Originally written by Jim Meadows about small business
The social media landscape has evolved dramatically over the years. There are now several social platforms, each with different special features.
For example, Twitter offers its users a platform for sharing news and views. Instagram hosts stylized visual content. YouTube is the king of video. TikTok’s short-form video content provides users with a carefree escape.
And now we have a new social platform where users can share and interact with audio-only content. This new platform is clubhouse.
The creation of the clubhouse
Since the pandemic has robbed us of live events and the privilege of casually listening and contributing to random personal conversations, it makes sense why a social media platform that allows us to do just that has become increasingly popular.
In addition, the rise of podcasts and increasing zoom fatigue fueled the emergence of the clubhouse. For many, the app takes a break from the endless screen time we’re used to today. A Vogue journalist describes downloading Clubhouse because she felt “zoomed out”.
What is a clubhouse?
The clubhouse was founded back in March 2020 and describes itself as “a new kind of social product based on voice”. The new social platform was valued at $ 1 billion, with its popularity and user base growing rapidly. The size doubled between February 1 and 16, 2021, now with 8.1 million app downloads from the App Store.
It’s currently still in beta development and is only available for iOS. It also uses an invite-only model, which means membership is much more exclusive than other social media platforms, which has also helped attract intrigue.
Clubhouse is fast becoming the new “it” platform, but how exactly can companies use it to facilitate their marketing and influencer marketing efforts?
How do I use Clubhouse and what does it offer companies?
The app’s layout is straightforward to use. The homepage lists various rooms that members can visit. A different conversation takes place in each room. The clubhouse offers a wide range of topics of conversation for consumers and businesses, from guided meditations to panel discussions. Members can create their own conversations or join any room and, when they want to join the conversation, raise their hand to join it.
The clubhouse appeals to brands in particular because of its high level of commitment. The members in each room made a conscious choice to tune in, which means the listener is actively interested in the topic. For example, a woman looking to redecorate her home might be interested in rooms where interior designers and lighting experts have conversations about how to design a space.
Here there is an opportunity for brands to be at the forefront of relevant discussions and to appear as experts in their industry. In relation to the example above, an interior design company would increase their brand awareness by having one of their designers join the above conversation with an interested audience, including potential clients.
Small Business Marketing Opportunities
Join a relevant room
Clubhouse also offers brands valuable networking opportunities. When you join a room with a celebrity business person on a topic relevant to your brand, you can make meaningful and insightful contributions. Provided the post is authentic and useful to the audience, it can help improve your personal profile and even attract new leads.
Clubhouse can also act as a brand awareness platform for businesses by creating content that organically initiates a conversation while ensuring that they are the focus of that conversation.
Clubhouse is a social platform where success depends on the quality of the content produced, not the popularity of the brand. Brands have the opportunity to sponsor rooms with interesting and appealing content in order to reach smaller, more intimate communities. It enables brands to act as thought leaders and give them an authentic and targeted voice.
The clubhouse is about the exchange of knowledge and experience. It enables brands to build intimate communities made up of highly engaged, existing or potential customers. Brands need to look for sponsorship spaces that are likely to resonate with their customers, and not look at clubhouse sponsorship as simply a means of producing branded content.
Brands can also use Clubhouse to reach new audiences by sponsoring discussions that that new audience is known to be interested in.
At clubhouse, brands should approach sponsorship spaces by first considering the listener’s experience. The lack of graphics presents brands with a navigation challenge. In addition, radio advertisements cannot simply be replicated identically on the platform. High-volume ads will likely be in the format of the platform, which focuses on informal conversations.
Clubhouse is working to make the platform brand-friendly by introducing ticket rooms. These rooms are for closed discussions and users / brands can host events by invitation only. This makes Clubhouse an extremely targeted platform for brands that are sponsors.
The use of influencers in the clubhouse
Influencers have proven to be extremely adaptable to a wide variety of social platforms. Since its inception in 2016, many developers have successfully made the move to TikTok and helped brands make the leap. For example, last year we supported Wickes on the UK home improvement campaign’s first campaign on TikTok. The clubhouse has triggered a similar migration, with some savvy influencers expanding their presence on the platform and establishing themselves as “moderators”.
> See Also: 5 Tips To Make Your TikTok Small Business Marketing A Success
Clubhouse also appears to be investing in influencers by setting up a fund for a Creator Grant Program. This indicates the value that Clubhouse sees in influencers and their content on the platform. Brands are already recognizing the potential of the platform and want to stand out from their competitors by also investing in influencer partnerships.
For example, brands could partner with influencers to have a weekly conversation that contains the brand’s key messages. Clubhouse’s live format, which enables direct interaction with consumers, enables influential developers with highly engaged followers to create powerful and authentic branded content.
What the future holds for the clubhouse
As a new social platform, it’s hard to pinpoint how the clubhouse will perform, but it’s already showing a lot of early potential.
Interestingly, Clubhouse was designed to work with, rather than compete with, other social media apps. You can listen to a conversation while scrolling through Instagram, for example. The clubhouse is also directly linked to members’ Instagram and Twitter profiles. This means a brand can build their followers directly on Instagram and Twitter by hosting and contributing to conversations. If members like what they hear about a brand, they will likely explore the brand on other platforms.
> See Also: Your 4 Step Guide to Setting Up an Instagram Business Account
Clubhouse is still a long way from its current beta development phase, however. Social media giant Twitter has launched Spaces that will likely compete with Clubhouse. So it will be interesting to see how Clubhouse differentiates itself in response.
Still, Clubhouse offers a great opportunity for many brands, but especially smaller brands that now have a new, less crowded social media platform. The sooner they join, the more opportunities these brands have to grow on Clubhouse.
Small brands and small brand owners can now start having and participating in conversations that they may never have had access to before. It will be exciting to see what the future holds for Clubhouse and the brands that use it.
Jim Meadows is the Chief Strategy Officer at TAKUMI.
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