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Exploring Clubhouse (and Beyond): 5 Things Brands Should Know About Social Audio

If you’ve been waiting to get into (the) Clubhouse, your time may be coming.

It also might not last long.

On May 9, the much-hyped social audio app was made available on Android phones, after amassing some 15 million users in the first few months of 2021 alone while available exclusively (and by invitation only) on iPhone. As one might expect, the buzz surrounding Clubhouse has attracted its fair share of attention, with pizza delivery app Slice, Square’s Cash app, and even Kool-Aid among the first notable brands to test the waters.

But Clubhouse itself may not be in the social media pool for long. While there were reports in April that Twitter was in talks to buy the service, the social giant has also been developing its Twitter Spaces audio platform for months. In addition, Reddit began previewing its Reddit Talk feature in April, Spotify is relaunching recent acquisition Locker Room as Spotify Greenroom, and Discord has launched Stage Channels. Add in forthcoming Facebook and LinkedIn offerings, Clubhouse will soon face a network effect disadvantage that may prove difficult to overcome (even without the browsing limitations and other user experience drawbacks).

Still, even if the forthcoming competition keeps Clubhouse from becoming a true powerhouse, the entry of such major players also means that social audio isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. And that makes Clubhouse a great place to figure out how your brand can best use social audio.

Here are 5 things to consider as you do:

  1. Be human. When the Kool-Aid Man crashed through the Clubhouse wall in February, it was an interesting novelty, as was IHOP’s use of a room for the sound of sizzling bacon. However, the first rule in Clubhouse’s guidelines requires the use of real names and identities. Besides, Clubhouse is about authenticity and human relationships. For brand activities on Clubhouse—and probably other social audio platforms as they debut—find a reliable face and voice for your brand, someone whom you can count on being around a while.
  2. Build your profile. Clubhouse gives you a nice open-ended space for your bio. Make use of it. Get the most important info into the first two lines—that’s what shows up in searches—but build the whole thing out using emojis (appropriately), bold and italic text (you may have to install a new keyboard app on your phone for this), and links to your other social media accounts. That way, people know where to contact you directly. (Clubhouse has no direct message function.) A striking photo also makes a difference.
  3. Use notifications to your advantage. When you follow someone on Clubhouse, you have the option to receive notifications when they start or enter a room. Keep that in mind when you join rooms—especially if they aren’t brand-relevant—and even more important, when you start and name your own rooms.
  4. Work with influencers. At this early stage, a good number of Clubhouse users can be viewed as influencers, which makes it a great place to capitalize on influencer marketing. Find the key influencers in your category, and explore opportunities to network with them, ideally by joining them “on stage” in Clubhouse rooms.
  5. Remember: The world is listening. Clubhouse’s rules prohibit unauthorized recording, transcription or sharing from conversations in its rooms, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. It also doesn’t mean that the next generation of platforms will have the same rule. Your best bet is to think of Clubhouse as a conference you’re attending virtually, and remember: The bigger your brand, the bigger the risk from an ill-conceived remark.

 

Want to know more about how your brand can make the most of Clubhouse, or any other social media platform? Contact us.

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