Clubhouse: Leveraging the new social media app as brands and thought leaders
Breaking down the newest viral audio-only platform and diving into how brands can use the app to build deeper connections with customers.
Robyn Welsh, Intern
Clubhouse is the latest social media app to take the internet by storm—reaching over 8 million downloads worldwide since its launch a year ago. Like many social networks, it owns a unique niche: it’s audio only.
Is Clubhouse an opportunity for your brand? Read on.
Joining the Clubhouse: A primer
Currently, access to the app is invite-only since the app is relatively new and is undergoing beta-testing. Once invited by a friend who is already on the app, users can find conversation topics, people, and clubs of interest on the explore page using one of 14 topic filters or the search bar.
Conversations occur in “rooms” where participants can raise their hand and request to join the speakers on stage. It’s somewhere between a conference call and a moderated free-flowing podcast, with up to 5,000 users at one time.
Conversations span from business and investing to liberal arts, politics, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ rights. Don’t want to contribute or listen-in to a discussion? You’ll find guided meditations, live music and more. If you’re tired of talking about COVID-19, the app could be for you: most conversations are positive, optimistic and future-focused.
So far, there are no ‘business’ accounts available on the Clubhouse app (like business accounts on Instagram), and few brands have created profiles. However, we see a massive opportunity for brands to connect with their audiences by hosting casual and informative conversations. Intentional conversations that embody creativity and curiosity do best. No one wants to join a Clubhouse that lacks organization and innovation.
So how can you optimize the app for your brand?
Strategize and listen carefully
While the app allows you to listen in real time to your customers’ conversations, you’ll want to determine the most relevant conversations for your brand. Spend time looking through the clubs and rooms to note conversations that align with your base and your brand. Learn about your audience. And since many conferences, events, and shows are getting cancelled, brands can turn to Clubhouse to interact directly with their customers.
Conduct research and gather your information about the app
Since Clubhouse is a new platform, we still lack research on how people interact with the app, users’ geographic spread, and more. As a brand, adding to this limited research data pool can help frame you as innovative and a social leader in your field. When conducting research, keep in mind that recording conversations is against Clubhouse Community Guidelines.
As with all social media apps, Clubhouse sponsorships and partnerships with influencers present opportunities to get your brand name out there. As you’re listening to conversations, identify individuals who moderate discussions, are well-spoken and have fascinating ideas, you can reach out to them for potential partnerships.
For leaders, participating in Clubhouse conversations can signal curiosity and commitment to your community. Executives can use public or private rooms for analyst calls, media briefings, and community relations. While not every journalist is on the app, many are, presenting opportunities to invite specific reporters to your discussions.
Restaurant Brands International (RBI) recently hosted an hour-long chat with executives one day after reporting its 2020 earnings results. Generating publicity on current and future restaurant trends—a timely conversation for an industry that is feeling the effects of the pandemic – RBI was able to position its executive team as thought leaders. The intimacy created by the app can foster both professional and personal relationships.
Finally, don’t be afraid to be real and raw. Part of the beauty of Clubhouse is the authenticity of a live audio-only conversation. Leverage that advantage — and stay honest with your audience.
Robyn Welsh is an innately curious storyteller who combines creative thinking, journalistic skills, and marketing experience to create experiences for audiences. A recent graduate of Mount Royal University’s Journalism program, Robyn has worked in multiple newsroom editorial roles copyediting, mentoring, designing layout, and as a Publishing Editor, to oversee newsroom workflow and production. In her free time, Robyn can be found in nature with her camera and friends, or fingers-deep in polymer clay working on her next creation.
Want to learn more about digital platforms, social media and content strategy? Reach out to our digital team at [email protected].