In times like ours, with the workforce now wearing pajamas and rovers exploring Mars, it seems unlikely that a new social media platform can surprise us. Yet, Clubhouse did.
The Clubhouse app first entered the scene in 2020 (prompting a buzz from influencers and websites) as a private social media app mainly occupied by the hottest celebrities, investors, and business owners.
However, earlier this year, it opened its doors to new members, and now marketers and business leaders alike want to examine Clubhouse more closely: How does it work? What is all the hype about? And (we’re all thinking this) can Clubhouse really be good for my business?
Let’s dig deeper into the phenomenon of Clubhouse, the history, and tips for how B2B marketers can use this shiny-new platform to enhance their marketing efforts.
What Is the Clubhouse App?
Clubhouse offers live, non-recorded conversations between celebrities, leaders you admire, or just your dear friends—still invitation only.
Clubhouse started in the summer of 2020 and shot off very quickly from private to public accessibility in just over six months. By January 2021, the number of members accelerated into the millions with more and more businesses catching on.
July 10, 2020 — The first private (only for iPhone users) beta version rolls out. The public version is in the works.
October 4, 2020 — As the number of users grows, business owners of Clubhouse address the moderation of communities to prevent unwanted incidents.
January 21, 2021 — The public is welcome to join the party; the number of members rises from 600,000 to 10 million.
March 14, 2021 — Clubhouse creates an inaugural accelerator program for creators, Clubhouse Creator First. It aims to support new creators on the platform with equipment, promotion, and the development of their fresh ideas.
April 5, 2021 — Clubhouse introduces voluntary payments. This first monetization feature aims to support creators financially. All payments go directly to creators.
April 18, 2021 — Clubhouse continues to grow internationally.
May 5, 2021 — Clubhouse announces Creator First finalists.
May 9, 2021 — Clubhouse opens its doors to Android users. The rollout starts from the United States, with other countries following gradually.
With its popularity on the rise, memberships continue to grow. All you need to join the app is an invitation from an active Clubhouse member.
Once you receive an invitation, you can log into the minimalistic interface of Clubhouse and be able to join conversations immediately.
On the homepage, you can see a list of rooms—virtual spaces that host conversations. You first get introduced to the ones that are live and relevant to you (hosted by your contacts or followers).
The navigation menu includes a search bar, calendar, notifications, and inbox. There is also a "Start a room" button at the bottom that allows you to begin and choose its status (open, closed, or social):
- For hosts: You can start a room, moderate it, mute and unmute its guests, invite and uninvite speakers, or add moderators. The conversation can only end if the moderator ends it or leaves the room.
- For guests: After you’ve received an invite, you can join in, but you’ll be muted to prevent any noise distractions. If you want to be unmuted, you can request it by tapping the "hand" icon. You can also invite other guests to the event. If you want to exit the room, you can do so by tapping the "Leave quietly" button.
Every user can follow any user (based on preferences) and join or create clubs (groups of interest). Once you join a club, you’ll be notified of every event it hosts.
Can Clubhouse Be Good for Business?
As a B2B marketer or business owner, it's important to utilize every opportunity that can promote your brand or company. That's where Clubhouse marketing comes in.
Think about it: It’s the closest we can get to live events with the pandemic. It’s a chance to connect with new audiences, share your advice, and shine your value proposition.
Plus, FOMO (fear of missing out) lures the listeners in—it’s new, exciting, and unique.
The pros and cons of Clubhouse marketing
Before establishing your Clubhouse marketing strategy, let’s go through some pros and cons:
- Generates high demand. Since almost everything is online now, people yearn for something real, that doesn’t involve even more screen time. Screen fatigue is a real thing, and audio content is one of the ways to battle it.
In Clubhouse, the format is purely audio (the only pictures you’ll see are profile images). It has advantages over podcasts with its live factor because conversations are held in real-time, which adds to its authenticity. The disadvantage is that if you miss it, you miss it. Just like things offline.
Clubhouse gives you a chance to hop on the authentic audio conversations that may be missing from your industry.
- Perfect for thought leadership. Leaders like Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk have already spoken in some of the rooms, and brands like Loop, Coinbase, and Hubspot have followed in their example.
However, if you don't have an invite to join, you'll be unable to attend these events. But once you're in, you can create a club, promote it, find your audience, and discuss relevant topics within your industry for customers.
- It’s new. Being brand new brings complications along with the excitement. Just like with any other new tool, you’ll have to invest some time and effort to get results.
Do social media promotion and preparation beforehand. You’ll attract new visitors to your website, generate brand awareness, and may even land a new customer or two.
- It’s unedited. Remember, it’s just like a real conversation. It’s “on-air” and unpredictable. A Clubhouse speaker must be able to move in many directions, answer questions, and face critique. This means being collected and calm, ready to bring value to the table.
The good news is, if a guest is acting up, a moderator can mute and remove a person who is causing any disruption.
7 Tips for Your Clubhouse Marketing Strategy
If you decide to give Clubhouse a try to optimize your marketing strategy, here are a few best tips to follow when hosting an event:
Be humanThis is what Clubhouse is about—to have insightful conversations with real people who share our interests. Even if the intent should be more educational than fun, there’s no reason to bore your guests with a monologue promoting your services.
Engage participantsUse credibility and honesty to build a better rapport with your listeners. Ask questions, engage with guests, personalize their experience, and maybe even entertain them a bit (a joke or two will do).
Stick to the pointWhen you gather people in a room to discuss lead generation challenges, don’t get distracted from the topic. For example, if your guest asks you about sales specialization and you're talking about marketing trends, answer briefly, make a note for a future topic, and get back to your original point.
Assign moderatorsDon’t underestimate this option. The more people you get into your rooms, the harder it becomes to moderate them and be a speaker at the same time.
Optimize your bioJust like the subject line in a cold email, your bio serves as a preview for your rooms. It defines what message you send into the Clubhouse community and what followers you attract. Use your achievements and anything relevant about your room.
Collaborate and form alliancesClubhouse is a great way to connect with like-minded people in your industry and create new partnerships. You can schedule conversations to discuss new projects, debate on controversial topics, or just share some insights. You can even host online events with panels and speakers from all over the world.
Attend other eventsReturn the favor and get in on the action by joining other rooms and events hosted by your colleagues, dream customers, and even competitors.
Is Clubhouse Right for Your Business?
B2B marketers don’t get surprising tools that often, and when a unique opportunity knocks at your door, you should at least see who’s there. Take advantage of hosting live events and participating in new discussions to promote your brand and learn about the latest industry trends.
Want to join in the excitement? Download the app and stay tuned for an upcoming Clubhouse event hosted by CIENCE. Details to come!