Listen to the latest buzz around social media, and you're sure to hear Clubhouse mentioned. Clubhouse is a new and unique social media app that lands somewhere between listening in on party-line telephone calls from the 1900s and tuning into an interactive modern podcast. Shrouded in an air of mystery with its invite-only access, Clubhouse is arousing interest in many businesses, who are now curious about how it might impact their marketing strategy.
For businesses interested in learning more about Clubhouse, this guide will walk through the basics of the platform, including detailed information about how the app works and what to expect when using it.
In addition, the piece will dive into some of the key reasons your business should pay attention to this rising-in-popularity app and what actions you need to take today. The result should prepare your company for the next wave in social media.
What is Clubhouse?
For those who are just hearing about Clubhouse for the first time, it might be hard to grasp what this app is all about. Launched in April 2020, during the height of lockdowns and the new pandemic world, Clubhouse started out with only a few thousand users. The largest portion of its user base was initially in Silicon Valley. Think tech junkies and startup gurus.
Now, Clubhouse has millions of users, including big-name celebrities, and it spans the globe.
So how does Clubhouse work, and why are people waiting in a virtual line to join?
The premise is simple. Clubhouse is an audio-based social media platform where chat rooms are launched, and conversations occur. Without video or any way to direct message other users, Clubhouse is a bit of an unusual blend between the reality of walking into a physical room to chat with others and a virtual world of anonymity where users can simply listen in on other people’s conversations.
How chatrooms work varies greatly. In some cases, a chat room might be a casual conversation among a handful of people. In other cases, it might be a more formal conversation with thousands of listeners, similar to a podcast.
Each room has a moderator responsible for overseeing the conversations and for allowing others to speak up. In fact, the moderated style of the conversations on Clubhouse makes it notably different than any other social media platform. All participants are muted until a moderator allows them the chance to speak.
In some rooms, a moderator will invite anyone who enters the room to join the stage. Here, you have the chance to raise your hand and voice your thoughts. However, if you prefer to remain in the background, you can decline your invitation on stage. A “leave quietly” button allows you to drop out of the room at any moment.
Topics for chat rooms range dramatically. From sports-focused conversations to business venture discussions, there are chat rooms to match any interest. Not only that, but many who join Clubhouse also cite its addictive quality. You can hop from chat room to chat room, sometimes listening in on what feels like a personal conversation between friends, and other times hearing a TED Talk-style speech.
In addition to chat rooms, Clubhouse features clubs. These clubs are usually topic-based, such as Women in Business or Startup Founders. Clubs are hosted by the club founder and usually involve a weekly or daily chat. Additionally, after joining a club, members will see club events showcased on their personal calendars.
Exploring new chat rooms and clubs is easy. From the main feed, users will see an array of rooms and clubs featured, based on categories of interest chosen during sign up. You can also explore through search or through a section called “Find Conversations About…,” with topics ranging from languages to places to tech to wellness.
The search feature also allows you to look for another user on the app. Similar to other social media platforms, when you want to connect with other users, you simply follow their profile. Profiles feature a photo and a short text-based bio. Additionally, most users connect their Instagram and Twitter accounts to their Clubhouse account. This allows users to build up their social media presence across platforms.
While you can’t direct message other users through a traditional text-chat system, you can see when users you follow are online and opt to start a private room with them. This will then launch an audio-based conversation, which you can keep private or make public.
How Do You Join?
Clubhouse is a phone-based app and is currently only downloadable on iOS devices, with plans to eventually launch to Android. Downloading the app is simple and free. However, that's when things quickly become more complicated.
Clubhouse is, after all, a social networking tool built on the same ideology as the clubhouses of childhood.
You can only get in if you have an invite.
Existing users are given two invites to share, which can make it difficult to get a foot in the virtual door. Think Google when Gmail launched.
In the meantime, those interested in using Clubhouse can download the app and reserve their username. After entering a phone number, name, and a future username, Clubhouse will inform those who sign up via text when their turn to join becomes available.
Additionally, signing up early will tap into your contact list and alert any friends you have already on Clubhouse that you’d like to join. In this way, you might find yourself land an invite quickly after joining.
What Is the Hype for Businesses?
As with any new social media platform, often the initial stages after launch can feel a bit overhyped. However, with its massive rise in popularity during a short period of time, there is reason to believe that Clubhouse is far more than a flash in the pan.
In fact, Clubhouse went from merely a few thousand users to more than three million as of January 2021, and it did so in only a matter of months. Additionally, the app was valued at a whopping $1 billion in December 2020.
The excitement around Clubhouse took on a whole new life when big names such as Elon Musk started to show up. With celebrities and prominent business leaders now joining the app, it is easy to see why businesses are starting to buy into the hype. More than simply a new place to hang out, Clubhouse is host to an array of meaningful and interesting niche conversations.
Clearly, savvy businesses need to start tuning in to this rising social trend.
Why Your Business Should Pay Attention
Why is Clubhouse worthy of a deeper dive? It's simple — you need to be present anywhere your customers are present, and at some point, that will mean having an active presence on Clubhouse.
With every new user being handed two more invites, the domino effect is already in play.
Many of your customers are already taking part in conversations through this new platform. Some of these chats might very well intersect with your business’ expertise. This is where companies will have a huge potential for content curation.
The potential for your customers to talk about your industry and business is real. Joining will allow you to lead those conversations and build meaningful interactions with potential clients.
For example, if you own an auto dealership, good odds are you already have staff members who are extremely knowledgeable about common vehicle repairs, maintenance, and other industry-specific topics. Many folks would benefit from hearing about these niche topics. By offering insights into, let’s say, important monthly vehicle maintenance tips, your dealership could build a reputation for being helpful and knowledgeable.
The possibilities are truly endless. No matter what your business does, there is a place for you to create value add for your consumer base while establishing your brand.
What Action Should Your Business Take Today?
While the conversations around Clubhouse might be new to you and your team, there is no better time to get ahead of the competition.
Right now, businesses interested in strategizing around Clubhouse should take the following actions:
- Download the app, and reserve your username.
- Reach out to your network. Does anyone you know have an invite to share?
- Regardless of whether you can access the platform immediately, start building a strategy for how your company might use Clubhouse. For example, ask yourself the following questions:
- Who will have an active presence to represent our business? This might be your existing social media manager, or it might be the CEO. The right face for your company will depend a lot on how you plan to interact on the app.
- What expertise or niche market could you corner? Can you bring specific topics to the table that will establish you as an industry thought leader? Start making a detailed list with outlines of potential chat room topics.
- What type of club could you create? Think about how you might take events you used to host in person into a virtual space. Clubs allow you to create an ongoing event calendar.
- What types of conversations will you be looking to join? Beyond just leading chat rooms, Clubhouse is also about engaging in existing conversations. Think about areas where your team will want to plug in. This can be an invaluable method for gathering information about your customer base.
Additionally, businesses interested in having a Clubhouse presence should start to think through what will make their profile stand out. Creating a succinct but meaningful bio is a must.
While Clubhouse is new and still on an invite-only basis, there is no time like the present to begin building a holistic strategy around interacting with customers via this new platform.
Down the road, it is likely that interacting with your target audience via Clubhouse will be no less natural than doing so through Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter today.
Building Targeted Marketing Strategies
At J&L Marketing, we believe in building out targeted marketing strategies that span numerous channels. Our goal is to help our partners become thought leaders within their industry. Through the right content curation and customer interactions, we can help your business build meaningful and lasting relationships with potential clients.
Whether it is creating a robust social media strategy, looking to future platforms such as Clubhouse, or curating a targeted audience data set to drive meaningful traffic to a landing page, our team is here to help you stay ahead of the competition.
If your business is interested in learning more about forward-thinking marketing strategies, including building out potential ideas around the use of Clubhouse and other social media apps, contact our team. We will be happy to discuss what role social media might play in your marketing endeavors.