There’s a new social media platform in town and everyone’s talking about it. But should you be part of the new trend that is Clubhouse? And is Clubhouse here to stay or ready to fade away? We put the spotlight on this exclusive, audio-only social media platform that’s already attracted high-profile personalities, including Tesla Founder Elon Musk and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Should your brand be on Clubhouse? Let’s look.
You Say Clubhouse. We Say – Know the Facts
Available exclusively for iPhone users, Clubhouse is the place to be for casual, drop-in audio chats with like-minded people. Part conference call, part Zoom meeting, part live podcast and part house party, Clubhouse makes it easy to listen, chat or exit rooms silently.
Individuals can host and join different conversations, be invited on stage to share their views or forge new business connections by following others. App users can also read the emoji-laden profiles of users and take the initiative to connect via Instagram or Twitter. Profiles are short, sweet and to-the-point. This isn’t LinkedIn.
As there’s no playback feature, the app uses FOMO to keep people hooked. After all with drop-in appearances from Oprah, Mark Cuban, Lindsay Lohan and more, anything can go down. But is Clubhouse, with its invite-only status and all-eyes-on-me attitude really worth rejigging your social media strategy? Here are some useful stats:
- Clubhouse first launched in April 2020 and now has over 10 million global downloads.
- The app has 6 million+ users, most of which were added between January and February 2021.
- Clubhouse has had no trouble with funds, as it has already raised $110 million in two rounds, both led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
- Clubhouse is invite-only, meaning that anyone who wants to join has to be brought in by someone who already has an account. You can still download the app and put your name on a waiting list, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll ever get an account that way.
- Before it was launched, Clubhouse was valued at $100 million. As of December 2020, this was boosted to $1 billion.
While small in comparison to apps like Instagram, which has approximately 1 billion monthly users and a value of over $100 billion, Clubhouse is growing fast. So, let’s check out some stories from the Clubhouse and discover if this app could benefit your brand.
Clubhouse in Action
With Clubhouse being new and shiny, it was bound to attract attention. And the buzz has been accelerated somewhat as a result of enforced lockdowns. People are looking for new ways to connect, with Clubhouse offering multiple opportunities for business.
Word on the street is that social media influencer, real estate investor and Discovery Channel’s Undercover Billionaire, Grant Cardone, got commitments for $8.5 million for his real estate fund using Clubhouse. Cardone hosted a live event on the app in January. This was a Q&A for accredited investors. He spent two and a half hours in his newly created real estate chatroom discussing the benefits of investing in real estate and shared his own investing philosophies with the audience.
In his first week on the platform, Cardone:
- Joined thousands of fans for the premier of his hit show Undercover Billionaire on the Discovery Channel, providing behind-the-scenes previews to attendees on commercial breaks. Exclusive content was also revealed by star of season one Glenn Stearns which spiced things up even further.
Top tip for Clubhouse marketers
If you’re going to use this app, don’t simply regurgitate information from other channels. This is your chance to release fresh, exciting, gripping and timely content that hasn’t been heard elsewhere. The more original and energetic your content is, the more likely you are to attract followers. Clubhouse is therefore ideal for drumming up excitement about new products or integrating a celebrity takeover.
- Landed a movie role across from A-list actor, Robert DeNiro, a connection that began after meeting movie producer, Tim Sullivan, in a chatroom. This shows how the platform can be used to make valuable connections.
Top tip for Clubhouse Marketers
There’s loads of rooms on Clubhouse and with plans to extend to Android, users are likely to grow. So, make sure you use your time wisely by only engaging with content and people that can elevate your brand. As a rule, it’s a good idea to attend rooms with a smaller following regularly. When room moderators recognise you, either for your attendance or making valuable contributions to a conversation, they’ll hopefully invite you up on stage more. This should boost your following in return.
Another Clubhouse initiative generating attention is the Good Time Show hosted by Facebook employee Aarthi Ramamurthy and husband, Sriram Krishnan who has previously worked for Twitter, Facebook and Snap. The show first captured public attention in February when Musk interviewed Robinhood CEO Vladimir Tenev on his controversial decision to impose trading restrictions on volatile stocks like GameStop and AMC amid skyrocketing shares. Musk promoted the interview on his Twitter account hours ahead of the event and thousands tuned into the show. Viewers hit Clubhouse’s previously maintained limit of 5,000 guests and even more streamed the interview on YouTube.
Top tip for Clubhouse marketers
Focus on peer-to-peer communication as this can generate a host of useful and relative conversation topics. The Good Time Show, for instance, resonated with Musk who had expressed displeasure with the media’s characterisation of his efforts in the past. Use the platform to give your business a voice and cut out third-party reporting or involvement. Of course, this also comes with some level of risk. With regards to live communication, you can’t take back anything you say. So you must have a clear idea of what you can reveal and what you can’t, especially if your Clubhouse session is about a new deal or a product launch.
Another tip is to use your already well established platforms to promote new and exciting content on Clubhouse. Just like Musk…
How to Enjoy a Valuable Clubhouse Experience
Before we delve further into maximising Clubhouse for your brand and business, there are a few things to consider. Here’s a quick checklist:
The Clubhouse app functions like an audio-only Zoom room.
Are you ready for another social platform?
There are benefits to getting in on the action early. For example, Clubhouse has a relatively small following allowing you to grow your presence. Familiarising yourself with a new app also allows you to point clients in an innovative direction if you’re working as an agency. That said, it’s important to think about whether or not you have the time for yet another social platform. If your existing social media strategy is already bursting at the seams, it might be better to grow what you’ve already started rather than to add even more pressure to your team. Simply ‘being on Clubhouse’ isn’t enough. In order to make an impression you have to put in the work. Another social media channel means another set of content and more time and potentially budget to be allocated. Only take on this challenge if you’re ready and actually have something valuable to contribute.
Clubhouse co-founders Rohan Seth and Paul Davison. Photo courtesy of Business Insider.
Have you streamlined your other social media accounts?
Before you hit up Clubhouse and start hanging with the cool kids, you’ve got to nurture your old mates. That’s right, Clubhouse users will most certainly check out your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even LinkedIn profiles, so make sure all information is correctly and streamlined. You will be called out if any information isn’t correct, especially if you’re taking to Clubhouse as an expert in your field.
Do you understand the ins and outs of the platform?
Before you get active on Clubhouse, it’s important to do your research. For example, did you know that Clubhouse sends out a message to all of your followers when you’re on stage. So if you haven’t got anything of value to say it’s wise to lay low until you find your feet and gain confidence. Remember, social media users are fairly fickle and could unfollow you in an instant. Similarly, remember there are real people at the end of this app which could turn into very real business connections. Therefore all content you put out there into the Clubhouse world should be professional and of an exceptionally high standard.
If you’re ready to take the next step and get active on Clubhouse, here’s what you can do:
Be selective with the people, rooms and clubs you follow. The goal is to gain useful insights and to also contribute your knowledge. Therefore it’s better to engage with likeminded people that will have a genuine interest in what you do. Being choosy with the content you’re exposed to, will also block out the noise and ensure you don’t miss out on any juicy opportunities to interact with potential clients. You can use keywords related to your industry to search member and club directories.
Browse the Front Row
Deciding who to follow is an art. When you’re in a room, you’ll see three sections of people. The first section is the stage and shows the speakers. The second section shows the front row. This is made up of people followed by the speakers. The third section shows the audience. Tapping on people in the front row can reveal more people you may want to follow.
Whether you’re invited on stage or have started a room of your own, be sure to deliver value. Either ask a question or provide an answer to a question in the most intelligent and concise way possible. Your profile should explain what you do, so don’t waste time explaining who you are, who you work for and so on. Presume people already know you, as if they don’t, they will click to find out more information.
Top tip for Clubhouse Marketers: Maximise your talk time by optimising your Clubhouse bio. This will eliminate the need for repetitive waffle and make it clear what you want to be known for. It’ll also determine how people find you in searches, so remember to use industry words and phrases. Clubhouse bios should include emojis. These can help bullet point essential information about what you do, where you work and the interests you have. While Clubhouse doesn’t support links in your bio, it’s a good idea to include a strong call to action for people to connect with you and the username for your main social media platform.
Perfect Your Moderator Skills
When you create a room, you automatically become a moderator for this space. This means you can invite speakers to the stage, mute people and take full control of the room. This is a bigger task than it might seem. You need to constantly monitor the discussion and be ready to jump in if you feel people are losing interest or going off track. Don’t forget it’s also OK to take breaks, during which you can prompt listeners to follow people in the room or any other moderators you’ve added. A good moderator will also take advantage of a room’s diversity and ensure multiple viewpoints are heard.
Top tip for Clubhouse marketers
Before you set up a room and try your hand at being a moderator, it’s a good idea to explore the app first. Join other rooms of interest and watch how other moderators take control of a conversation. Write down moderator styles you like and note things to avoid as this will help you to finetune your own skillset.
Create Private Club Rooms
Creating a club is a great way to gather people interested in what you do. While those in a public club will get notifications when you open a room, private rooms allow people to have smaller conversations, perhaps about a potential collaboration. Private rooms are also a way to share exclusive information you don’t want to share publicly.
Clubhouse is a great way to set yourself apart as a thought-leader. It can spark interesting conversations and lead to new business partnerships. But it does take time to grow a community and shouldn’t be something you do half-heartedly.
Clubhouse is also still in its early days. There have already been controversies surrounding inappropriate content on the site prompting the app to introduce new moderation features. Clubhouse has said it is investing in tools to detect and prevent abuse as well as features for users, who can set rules for their rooms, to moderate conversations.
According to Discord’s chief legal officer, Clint Smith
“Audio presents a fundamentally different set of challenges for moderation than text-based communication. It’s more ephemeral and it’s hard to research and action.”
Considering the actions Facebook and Twitter are taking to ban hate speech and ‘false’ information, this is a very interesting space.
The direction Clubhouse will go in is yet to be seen. And while some businesses may see the developments of this platform as a risk worth taking, others may feel more confident with tried and tested social platforms. Contact Contentworks Agency to get Socially Sorted and enjoy regular social media interaction and reporting designed to grow your brand. We also provide strategy workshops and planning to ensure you’re hitting your KPIs through social media.