“Did you attend Elon’s roundtable?” “It’s like a salon for visionaries.” “Can you pleeeeease invite me?”
Clubhouse, the most-talked-about hangout during the lockdown days, is already beloved by technophiles. Now, savvy marketers are hoping the social media app can win the hearts of the masses. The members-only platform seems to have all the right ingredients to break through the noise of a crowded content sphere: It’s exclusive, intimate and engaging. But is it really an effective medium for communicating branded messages?
Claiming to be the cure for the chaos on other social media networks, Clubhouse has a number of novel features. Unlike other platforms, Clubhouse is mostly unidirectional. Conversations take place in voice-only rooms where users listen in on experts discussing ideas. While the audience can raise their hands to ask questions, content creators don’t have to give up the floor, eliminating problems found on other platforms’ comments sections.
Clubhouse is also temporal. Unlike podcasts, which can be downloaded and listened to later, this content is always live, never recorded. And while this may sound like a limitation, it creates a sense of urgency and occasion that you can’t get anywhere else. Requiring an invite to join, the network also provides a sense of privilege. But with over 13 million downloads since its launch in April 2020 – and growing exponentially – it has the scale to reach large audiences of trendsetters.
It’s little wonder that marketers eager to be heard see Clubhouse as an innovative new way to connect their businesses to virtual audiences. Who wouldn’t want their product to be presented to an invite-only private club full of interesting people and conversation? Sounds like your cup of tea? Here’s how to get started.
Build a bio
Once a member has invited you to join, it’s time to build a bio. Focus on information that will enable your target audience to find you easily through member and club directory searches. Think of it like a LinkedIn profile. Include everything from where you work to how to get in touch with you. And while you can’t include links to external profiles, you can write your details on the page. Next, follow some people, topics and clubs that match your business interests and start listening to conversations. Before you start marketing, you’ll need to get a sense of how others are successfully – and not so successfully – using the platform.
How to engage with your target audience
Get a room
To communicate with your audience, you’ll need to get on stage in a room. This could be your own room or someone else’s. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to speak about matters that are important to you and your business. However, unless you’re already known, you’ll need to start in a small room. Join one that’s too large, and you’ll find it hard to get noticed.
Choose rooms that are having discussions regarding your industry and will likely have your target audience. The more you show up in these rooms and connect with people, the more likely you are to get invited onto a stage. Once this happens, your following should increase.
Every time you’re on stage, your followers will get a notification that you’re live. When you finally take the leap and open your own room, consider connecting with others to host a joint event. This will help to grow your following further, as other’s speakers’ guests may be inclined to follow you.
For example, if you’re hosting an event on the Singapore property market, consider bringing on several other individuals you feel will compliment you and the discussion. Each time one of the other speakers comes on the stage, all of their followers will receive a notification. They’ll enter the room, and you’ll have the opportunity to speak directly to them. If they find what you’re saying connects with them, they’re more likely to continue following you.
Start a club
Clubs can be public or private. If someone follows your club, much like if they follow you, they will get a notification when there’s a discussion. While public clubs allow access to anyone, private clubs can also be beneficial to your brand, adding an air exclusiveness to those select followers who are given the honour of joining.
Interact with your audience
While you can just use Clubhouse as a unidirectional channel for sharing information that your audience will find interesting, you can also use it to gather data. To get feedback from your most important customers, take the time to have a Q&A session during your discussion.
What else is out there?
Spaces – The main contender
Twitter recently launched Spaces. It’s very similar to Clubhouse, except that once it finishes its beta stage, it’ll be available to everyone. We’re expecting this will happen sometime this month. Similarly to Clubhouse, Spaces allows creators to speak in front of a live audience that they can interact with. Users can track how their brand is trending through social listening tools and invite a targeted audience to upcoming events.
Lunchclub – Best for business networking
This app is like speed dating for business. Okay, it’s not exactly Tinder, but the app provides users with the opportunity to network with like-minded individuals in a one-on-one atmosphere. You just fill out a sort of bio and let Lunchclub know the type of people you want to meet, and with the help of AI, it sets you up with lunch dates. Lunchclub utilises Google Hangouts to enable you to connect over video with your “date”, which sets it apart from the competition. Because of this, it offers a more formal setting to market your product, meet new investors, or hire a new member of your team.
Leher – One for the Future
Like Lunchclub, Leher supports both audio and video. Otherwise, the India-based app is very similar to Clubhouse. Users can join clubs to listen to (and watch) live discussions that match their interests. While it hasn’t grown in popularity as quickly as Clubhouse, it is available to everyone.
The time is now
Although still in its relative infancy, getting in early to market your business on Clubhouse can give you a competitive edge. It provides you with the opportunity to discuss important topics relevant to your business with your target audience and gain valuable insights into what they want and need.
There are few places you can interact with your audience so directly. So if you’re looking for a new outlet to network and attract potential customers to your business, consider joining Clubhouse when that invite finally arrives.
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