By Amaris Modesto
If you’re an iPhone user and you haven’t downloaded Clubhouse yet, you may want to consider it. The almost one-year-old app is quickly growing in popularity, and you may be able to use it to benefit your business. Clubhouse is an audio-only social media app that allows users to access chat rooms where they can listen to interviews, panel discussions, live conversations and presentations. Rooms are typically divided into two groups of users: those who are speaking or participating and those who are listening. Moderators oversee the conversations.
Currently, the app has approximately 8 million global users and counting, offering businesses opportunities for growth, awareness building, and brand advocacy. As the platform grows, the industry mix it engages does, too. Today you can pop out of a conversation about structuring non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for success and join another about copyrights and trademarks. No matter how niche, your audience is probably on Clubhouse, and you have the opportunity to use the app to connect and gather feedback from them, share your brand story, launch a product or service, and generate awareness.
Some early adopters have already made good use of the app. Restaurant Brands International, for example, hosted a post-earnings call “ask me anything” featuring company executives last month. Cash App hosts $3,200 cash giveaways to audience members during a live game show hosted by techpreneur and investor Noah Lichtenstein.
Below are a few simple ways marketers can leverage Clubhouse even in its toddler stage:
1. Bring quality thought leadership and unique experiences directly to fans and new followers.
Gurus, subject matter experts, executive thought leaders and brand evangelists all have a role to play in leading Clubhouse conversations — and the more interactive the discussion, the better. For example, are you a marketer who can speak to monetization strategies for small businesses on social media? Share smart tips and advice in a room of small business owners, address live audience questions on their specific business challenges, and watch your clientele grow as a result. The advice may be free to listeners, but the relationships you gain are worth the investment.
The democratization of valuable information is what Clubhouse values, and brands can deliver. Did you hear about Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder Elon Musk’s surprise interrogation of Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev on Clubhouse during the most controversial week for the platform? The result was many overflow rooms to accommodate listeners in excess of 5,000 members who could join the main event, and a lot more interest in the app. This type of seemingly unfiltered, free broadcast experience is what Clubhousers crave. Unlike other platforms where content is carefully curated, Clubhouse conversations are live. Making an impact with each “on stage” opportunity matters, and putting yourself out there requires risk, comfortability with being unscripted, and surprise every now and again.
2. Deliver trust in your leadership.
In a cluttered content landscape where misinformation abounds, brands have an opportunity to share facts and proof points that establish credibility. Credibility and trust can help you establish real-world connections to consumers, which can lead to new business.Consider establishing and growing a presence for your company CEO, key leadership and pros, who can speak with authority, vulnerability and honesty according to their areas of expertise. Clubhouse uniquely offers the opportunity for audience members to directly engage prominent figures including major CEOs and celebrities. Give your audience a peek behind the curtains of your company through the lens of top executives.
3. Discover and engage with prospective influencers and brand ambassadors.
As an influencer-led platform, Clubhouse is ripe with opportunity to find people to amplify your brand message and moderate and promote conversations. Look for Clubhouse “club” leaders, listen for those who are tasked with moderating (a key role to play on the platform!), and keep a pulse on those most active in conversations pertaining to your industry. These are great candidates to engage as paid influencers and ambassadors around a campaign, company milestone, or even on an ongoing basis (e.g., hosting weekly office hours).
4. Cross-promote your other social profiles.
In addition to providing room for a plain-text bio, Clubhouse allows you to directly link your Twitter and Instagram profiles. (These are the only clickable links on your Clubhouse profile.) When you’re speaking from the virtual stage, the platform spotlights your presence, and listeners who appreciate your content are likely to immediately follow you on Clubhouse and your other social accounts as well. A huge perk of investing time on Clubhouse is organically growing your overall social media influence with meaningful contacts and business prospects who already appreciate what you have to say.
5. There are no ads for now; sponsor a room or pay an influencer instead.
While it’s possible to sponsor content through ad managers on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, this isn’t the case on Clubhouse. In lieu of a traditional paid advertisement, brands can opt to create or sponsor a room and/or pay influencers to host, moderate and build an audience around a particular conversation or series of conversations.
Finally, it’s important to remember that Clubhouse is about influencers, not brands. How to gain leverage is by building conversations among key opinion leaders and consumers alike, allowing the platform’s built-in spontaneity, exclusive access to A-listers and experts, and real-time always-on networking to work in your brand’s favor. If your brand could talk for hours on end, what would it say and who would it be? This is Clubhouse in a nutshell.
If you’d like to brainstorm specific ideas for how to incorporate Clubhouse into your marketing strategies, reach out to ICR Vice President of Social Media, Amaris Modesto, at Amaris.firstname.lastname@example.org.