30 second summary:
- Find out how Clubhouse stands out in the ocean of social media apps
- Clubhouse has taken its voice-only design from a potential limitation to its primary strength
- Users can perform multiple tasks while remaining on the platform as a background chatter (like in a coffee shop!).
- Because the app is so new and fresh it took me some time, but a lot of brands are now using Clubhouse
- Wherever there are influencers, advertisers are not far behind
- Just this week Clubhouse announced a new monetization feature, Clubhouse Payments, as “the first of many features that developers can use to get paid directly to Clubhouse.”
- Now may be a good time to start building an online community to add value and connect with your audience
Clubhouse is the latest addition to the ring of popular social media apps. The pandemic accelerated its widespread use and many A-list celebrities have taken over the platform to transform it into a more general space and conversation. Clubhouse is an audio-only network that has become a nuisance to more mainstream social media channels, providing a breath of fresh air and much-needed distraction for those of us suffering from video and zoom fatigue.
For many of us this is a welcome change, as the app is based on a voice-controlled live concept and leads conversations on very spontaneous and diverse topics. The themes vary and the app is still limited. However, as more people are invited, a wider range of lifestyles and social conversations will continue to be incorporated into the feeds.
Clubhouse Exclusivity: Pros or Cons?
The main problem with the app is that the appeal still lies in its exclusivity. You can only join if you’re invited (and using an iPhone). For many who have heard of Clubhouse but have not yet joined or been invited, this is a big problem for a larger expansion.
The “voice only” advantage
One notable differentiator for Clubhouse is that it has succeeded in transforming its speech-only design from a potential limitation to its main strength. Users can use the app as a passive background chatter while doing other work and listening, which is a breath of fresh air for many multitasking marketers like me.
Real-time conversations: The heart of what makes Clubhouse tick
The reason Clubhouse is different and exciting is because it’s in sync. It happens live and never again. If you’re not there, you’ll miss the conversation forever. Traditional social media channels are asynchronous. You can always access, revisit and review or engage content that is right for you and catching up at your own pace. Rooms can be recorded if permission has been given. However, this seems to be rare as the value lies in the authenticity of real-time communication and conversation.
As an excited and relatively new Clubhouse user, I am trying to find out the value of the platform for both my customers and myself. This got me thinking about how brands can use Clubhouse to build an online community to add value. Clubhouse is a platform that is firmly focused on creators, not brands, at least for now. A creator can certainly be a brand leader working to build the mindset and build community or interest in a brand, but within the club it’s about authenticity and the person, NOT the bigger brand.
How brands can use Clubhouse to build an online community that creates value
I asked some of my friends and industry colleagues for their opinion on the platform and found their answers useful, inspiring and noteworthy. Below are some answers that are relevant to the discussion of how brands can use Clubhouse to build an online community to add value.
- Amberly Hilinski, Director of Marketing at SodaStream International, said, “Clubhouse is weighing the rewards of enabling and respecting relevant content that you don’t own. Long lead-earned media for brand owners who have the privilege (or budget) of thinking in years rather than quarters. As the inevitable rush of influencer dollars hits, I worry about how the conversations will shift and how many truly “engaging” worthy guests will be booked. “
- Margaret Molloy, CMO of Siegel + Gale, said: “Time is the greatest challenge for many thought leaders. An important consideration is whether we want to make an effort to build a following on another platform. This is especially true for B2B executives with an active social chart on LinkedIn and / or Twitter. The clubhouse is firmly focused on creators, not brands, at least for now. A creator could be a brand employee hosting a community as a thought leader / community builder. However, it’s about the person, not the corporate brand. “
- Ashley Stevens, Brand, Content and Experience Marketing Specialist, said, “Brands can use Clubhouse as an extension of another online community or event. It’s a great place to “keep the conversation going” and build more personal relationships with current and potential customers.
- Rob Durant, founder of Flywheel Results, said, “Brands cannot use clubhouse the way they used other platforms. There’s no automation, there’s no outsourcing, there’s no editing, there’s no photoshopping. People don’t get to know you until you show up and are fully present. That being said, brands, even B2B brands, can use the clubhouse. You just need to facilitate conversations instead of dominating them. “
- Danielle Guzman, Mercer’s global director of social media, added, “Clubhouse is an opportunity for brands to rethink the way they interact with their audiences. Most of the branded social channels are broadcast channels, with very few having conversations with their audience due to resource constraints, lack of expertise, compliance concerns, and other concerns. Platforms like Clubhouse and the audio tools that Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms are working on are urging companies to review and redesign their social networks on social media.
It has taken some time, but Brands are now participating in the clubhouse talks. Many of my colleagues held doubts about the platform’s long-term returns and broader future, and insisted that brands should focus their efforts on places that offer maximum return. In the clubhouse there is a lack of analyzes and specific measurement data to measure the investment of time and energy for brands.
I am still interested and active on the platform. Right now I’m careful that this is the hangout for “popular kids” and that the attraction and interest is largely based on enthusiasm. Of course, brands can and should overhear ongoing conversations and get an idea of the audience who are joining in and holding conversations. Brands that listen to ideas and keep an eye on the culture and content of their market have a long-term advantage and advantage.
Wherever there are influencers, advertisers are not far behind. As things stand today, Clubhouse is still limited to around two million active weekly users in the app. It offers what every advertiser wants – a very targeted product that is used in a closed place. The question remains, however, of how and when to involve advertisers.
Just this week, the startup announced a new monetization feature in Clubhouse’s blog post, Clubhouse Payments, as “the first of many features that developers can use to get paid directly to Clubhouse.”
This is the first step in monetizing the clubhouse and the first step that many believe will lead to monetizing the platform.
With the advent of Twitter, LinkedIn, and other audio apps, Clubhouse needs to adapt quickly and make some changes to become a mainstream platform for brand marketers. It will be interesting to see how it all evolves over time!
Mariss Pick is a Social & Digital Strategist and Senior Marketing Director at Marissa Pick Consulting LLC. Marissa can be found on Twitter @marissapick.