WTF is Clubhouse!

Are you aware of the new buzzword going around social media at the moment? That word is ‘Clubhouse’. But why is it so, well, ‘buzzy’ and what is it exactly? And more importantly, as a marketer, do you need to pay attention to it?
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WTF_Clubhouse

Enlighten me then, what is the Clubhouse app
Clubhouse is a new audio-based, invite-only social media platform that was setup to let people chat in real time, share stories, collaborate and bounce ideas off of each other using just their voice and the downloaded Clubhouse app on their Apple phone (sadly Android users are not yet invited to the party).

Vogue described the app’s experience as “a dizzying bringing together of live podcast-style conversations, panel discussions, networking opportunities and advantageous multiple-room use… the social-media app mimics real-life interactions.” 

Designed to be a space to host authentic conversation and expression, what really sets Clubhouse apart right now is both the audio only aspect and the exclusivity. This is driven by limitations on the invitations that allow you to ‘join’ Clubhouse and has cleverly meant that Clubhouse has become a social hotspot as a result, fuelling its appeal among entrepreneurs and business elites as well as innovators and lovers of new platforms (and a ton of celebrities).

Given its current new-kid-on-the-block popularity, is it something you need to pay attention to, either as an individual or as a business/brand? We will come to that.

Ok, so is it truly a social media platform?
Social media platforms come and go, so is Clubhouse here to stay?

Well it is a bit too early to say for sure but Clubhouse is showing signs of turning social media marketing upside down. And here is why…

  1. You can connect and engage with professionals outside of your industry. Hell, you can even be ‘in the room’ with THE Oprah if you like.
  2. The wide variety of ‘rooms’ available filled with real-time chats on a HUGE range of topics is impressive.
  3. The true emphasis on high-value conversations rather than overtly produced or sales-y content is appealing.
  4. The early adopters are already extremely loyal and people are very picky about who they invite to join the app with them.
  5. The audio-only format is a winner, both in regards to a major point of difference vs the other platforms as well as focusing on quality conversation.

And once you jump on the app, it will literally take you minutes to see how Clubhouse will assist in your networking, expansion of knowledge and, if this is your objective, grow your authority.

Should I be in the Clubhouse?
Currently, you can’t simply choose to be on Clubhouse, you have to be invited by a contact already on the app. That will show you the power of your network!

And at the time of writing, Clubhouse is still in beta testing, and not on Android, so you will unlikely be able to get your entire community onto the app. 

But if you do bag an invite, or once it is open to the general public, it does offer a new,  exciting and engaging way to connect with your community. Plus you can also meet other Clubhouse members as you network your way around the platform who will then likely follow you over to your other channels and communities too.

So if you are serious about raising your profile, networking and adding value to conversations, then right now, Clubhouse is the place to be.

Ok, it is not all about me! What else can Clubhouse be used for?
So remember, social media isn’t about YOU! It is about what you can offer your audience in an engaging and enlightening (or even, entertaining) way.

Clubhouse is exactly the same.

We will talk about brands and Clubhouse a bit further down this blog; but here are some ways you can consider using Clubhouse.

  1. Supporting virtual events: attendees can connect and engage with each other before or after the event.
  2. Podcast communities: This will really come into its own once the app is public, giving you the opportunity to build and engage communities related to your podcast, especially between episodes when things can often quieten down.
  3. Collaboration: Clubhouse is a great place to discuss and chat through collaboration opportunities; the entire conversation is private and protected and once the chatroom is closed, nothing is saved.
  4. Content creation and curation: before you get carried away on this one, recording or transcribing conversations without EVERY participant’s permission is strictly against the platform’s Terms of Use. But you can get round this by setting up a room specifically for this purpose and being really clear you intend to record or take quotes from the room to use in articles, blogs etc.
  5. Networking with thought leaders: Clubhouse gives you the opportunity to learn from other experts from other industries, businesses and individuals. Now you don’t need the invite to an exclusive event to hear them speak, you can share a room with them and even ask questions.
  6. Auditions, debates, book clubs, performances: all of these work on Clubhouse and the rule of thumb is, if it works on audio only then it will work on Clubhouse. You can really get creative in what this means for you when starting a room.

 

Can a business or brand join Clubhouse?

At the moment, no. It is all based on an individual profile and invitations via people.

There is no doubt that at some point, Clubhouse will roll out influencer marketing initiatives and partnerships with brands, although how/if this is monetised is still the question. 

As with all new social media platforms, advertising opportunities are likely to evolve over time; advertisers should wait and watch the growth of Clubhouse to determine if it attracts their target audiences and offers benefits for their brands, particularly when Clubhouse exits the beta phase.

Got the info you need? Well, here is our Clubhouse summary!
Clubhouse could be a rose amongst the thorns of social media. We as people, businesses and brands want to give and receive more engagement and value, but we don’t necessarily want to create, or consume, a bottomless pit of content. The idea of joining conversations with a myriad of people to talk about a specific content theme is very appealing.

But let’s not forget, it is a private beta app and not yet public. Not to mention the likely issues of trust, abuse of the platform and poorly moderated rooms once the app is open to all. 

What will happen when the full spectrum of the commerce and marketing community get involved? How will this affect the value and networking avenues that are currently the reason for its early success, as well as it being opened to the masses (hell, the exclusive invite mechanic has been a GREAT shout to get people talking). And what will monetising the platform ultimately do and will it alter the set up?

Quite simply, we won’t know for a while yet. Until then, if you have an Apple phone and a way to get invited, jump on in and use this window to your advantage to connect and get a feel for what the platform is all about. Use it as a break from Zoom and webinars; it is so refreshing not to be on camera and listen to quality content from the comfort of wherever you like. (The author of this blog will confess to logging into Clubhouse in her PJs and slippers).

To find out more about Clubhouse (bribes are accepted for our precious invites) or any social media platform then contact us here.

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