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Clubhouse: what is it and is there room in ‘the club’ for your business?

The Clubhouse app has recently taken social media by storm, leaving many people wondering what exactly it is, and why it is so exclusive.

The platform was launched in March 2020 by Paul Davison, who previously worked at companies including Pinterest and Google, and Rohan Seth, a former Google engineer. According to a post from Davison and Seth, Clubhouse was created after a handful of social media app experiments.

The first thing to know is that Clubhouse is invitation-only. It started with each new member being able to invite one person to join. “Clubhouse does not determine who receives an invitation—the community does,” says the app. Most recently, Clubhouse has begun to give access to a larger pool of users by allowing each new member to invite two friends of their own. This has caused the user base to jump from 600,000 active users in December 2020 to more than 10 million.

Users can join or create chat rooms focusing on a variety of topics. The central feature setting Clubhouse apart from the likes of Facebook or Instagram is that you don’t need to look at your screen to participate. The rooms are audio-only, so while pottering around the house or walking the dog, you can still be fully engaged and partaking in meaningful discussions.

So, who uses Clubhouse?

We have seen plenty of big-name celebrities, influencers, musicians and Hollywood types on Clubhouse, and they’ve been getting stuck in. We have seen celebrities such as Jared Leto, Meek Mill and Kevin Hart - and even Oprah - using this app regularly. We have also seen a huge increase in CEOs and entrepreneurs joining the app, and even hosting chat rooms talking about their particular industry or niche. The platform is often described as social networking on heat.

What are the marketing opportunities?

The answer will largely depend on your business, and what you are looking to achieve. We have already seen some brands successfully utilise the app to aid in building an engaged audience. So, what should marketers be doing right now?

1. Score an invitation and familiarise yourself with the app

Invites are still in very high demand and may be difficult to come across. Reach out to your social media network and let them know you want in! Alternatively, you can look at other places, such as Reddit, where you can find threads where people have spare invites.

Make sure you optimise your profile, so audiences can easily find you. Your Clubhouse bio is where you can tell everyone what you want to be known for. What you include in your bio will determine how people find you via searches in the member directory or the club directory, and the type of followers you attract.

2. Take the lead 

Make yourself known within the app and start hosting rooms to show off your company’s expertise. This app is all about telling a story and engaging with audiences on a personal level. 

We have seen many brands use Clubhouse to host live webinars within the “rooms”, which are based around a niche topic or subject. Your business could do the same and use the platform as another channel to deepen the relationship with your customers.

By creating rooms for topics you are passionate about, and creating valuable conversations, you can quickly establish yourself as a thought leader in your particular industry. With certain gating measures, less engaged, passer-by users are filtered out, and chats remain more focused on the right audience.

Important reminder: Because there is no way to communicate via private message on Clubhouse, you will need to move such conversations to another platform. So be sure to do some self-promotion of your other social media accounts while hosting a room!

3. Monitor the space

Not only can you use the platform to be a company advocate, but you can also use it for social listening – which is more important than ever these days. You can drop into conversations with competitors, or even your audience, which lets you tap into subcultures in real-time, and cultivate qualitative research and insights on what is relevant to target groups. You can use your research to create fresh and relevant content for your audience based on topics they are interested in. 

What’s Next?

Clubhouse is currently an IOS-only app, which means the audience is limited to Apple users. The development of an Android version of the app is said to be on the way, which will open up opportunities for more people to join. 

We also predict that Clubhouse will soon announce advertising options. We have already seen brands sponsoring some rooms, but Clubhouse will likely look to make this a more formal, systematic option, while you’ll also be able to promote your rooms within the app, as well as adding branding, including URL links in profiles, amongst other things.

Don’t Wait Around! 

It’s been less than a year since its creation, and it’s already making waves, so the sooner you and your business can jump on apps like Clubhouse – the better! 

Our team of social media experts are always up to date with the latest trends and platforms and can help you make best use of them to reach the right audience. Want a chat with the experts? Get in touch to book a free consultation with a member of our team.