This past year has changed social media in significant ways. We interact so much online and through video chatting that there's definitely a bit of “Zoom fatigue.” Simultaneously, this video interaction has shown us that simply communicating via text is often too impersonal, and ideas can easily be misconstrued without vocal cues to give them context. Like a birthday cake without decorations, it works, but it seems a bit empty.
Enter the audio app, Clubhouse. For now, the app is invitation only, but it surpassed 10 million downloads worldwide as of February 2021, according to SensorTower. But why is audio so popular all of a sudden? And what makes Clubhouse so much more intriguing than other social media apps?
Unfortunate instances during the past year involving children bursting into the room and pet intrusions have revealed that while video can be useful, it can also be a bit invasive.
Audio allows for meaningful, real-time conversation that’s “better than text,” so why not go social with the idea? Clubhouse has done just that (and might be the perfect secret ingredient for your media mix).
What is Clubhouse?
When defined the simplest way possible, Clubhouse is audio social media. It’s an invitation-only platform, as mentioned above, but invitations are simple for users to generate and share with their connections. The app has attracted some big names, including Mark Zuckerberg and those from other social media apps.
How does it work? Users can create “rooms” related to specific topics, which may be everything from investing and cryptocurrency to — well, Clubhouse itself. But there are a lot of business discussions and marketing opportunities as well. Poets and writers can get exposure from doing readings in rooms of their own, and brands and businesses can start meaningful discussions that attract investors and customers alike.
The app is so popular that other social media platforms are, of course, seeing the value of audio interactions as well. Twitter has a new audio Tweet function and is developing a similar platform called Spaces. Facebook, though nothing is official yet, will likely follow suit.
From a social media marketing standpoint, there is certainly an opportunity here. But users can also learn marketing lessons from what Clubhouse itself is doing for its own platform.
Key Marketing Takeaways from Clubhouse
Because Clubhouse is relatively new, it hasn't aggressively marketed to the general public. But the internet is a "cornucopia" of success stories and mistakes that brands have made. Like threads on Reddit, posts that go viral for all the wrong reasons, and other social media fails, the good comes with some challenges.
Here are five takeaways for you to consider from Clubhouse and for marketing on the platform:
If your competition is on Clubhouse, listen in to what they're talking about or how they're talking about it. Also, look for your customers. What are they saying about products or brands similar to yours? What questions are they asking?
Even if you don’t have competitors on Clubhouse, it's still a good idea to listen. As the app is relatively new, see how conversations about other topics and brands are going and how clients and customers respond. Determine who is on the app and if any of them are your target audience.
For example, let's say you provide web design services, and you find that people are talking on Clubhouse about how Google Core Web Vitals impact web design. You can join the conversation and share some of your personal and professional experiences, ideas and suggestions, and so on. Like adding a clever farewell note to a retirement cake, this is a great way to get a message across and make people aware of your brand and your unique value propositions.
Attract an Audience
Even if you find your audience is not on Clubhouse yet, invitations are easy to create. Get members of your team involved, and invite a select number of your customers or clients to join you for discussions, even if it's just to ask, “What do you want to hear from us?” While they say too many cooks in the kitchen is a bad idea, in this case, the more, the merrier.
There’s nothing wrong with starting small and scaling once you have a better idea of what you're doing. Then you can work to attract a larger audience. And if your discussions are lively and popular enough, your audience will invite others to join them.
Pro Tip: Clubhouse itself attracts its audience through recommendations (or invites), giving them a sense of exclusivity. You might want to try this recipe in your marketing mix.
Target Your Questions and Topics Carefully
As with any other conversation, open-ended questions are good, but questions or topics that are too broad can quickly get out of hand. Remember, moderation is already extremely difficult on social media unless it happens within your own Facebook group or page. Even then, heavy-handed moderation can be a turnoff.
It's even more challenging to monitor real-time audio conversations.
Skip the Hard Sell
Yes, you need to have a purpose for your presence on Clubhouse, so it doesn't become just another potential distraction. But keep in mind that the app is about conversation: Make sure your call to action (CTA) matches the conversation’s tone and outcome. If it doesn’t, skip it.
As the saying goes, if you have to force in your CTA, it doesn’t belong – whether you are on Clubhouse or another platform. Just like slicing into a warm cake or using cold butter for your batter, don’t add something if it doesn’t fit the recipe.
These takeaways will likely remain relevant no matter what happens with Clubhouse and what that future looks like.
Clubhouse is an emerging social media platform, and like all others, it's meant to be more of a social outlet than a marketing one. However, if you're trying to build a social media following for your eCommerce brand or nearly any other type of business, having a presence and a following on each platform certainly offers advantages.
Need help, or aren't quite sure where to get started? One of our strategists can help you look at your current mix and see if you need to add another ingredient, or more of it, to take your eComm shop from "tastes good" to something your customers can't live without. Get your FREE digital marketing audit today.