Thoughts on How Brand Leaders Can Join the Conversation on Clubhouse - Rolling Stone
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My Thoughts on How Brand Leaders Can Join the Conversation on Clubhouse

For business owners and marketers, this live audio experience represents a great opportunity.

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Drobot Dean — stock.adobe.com

Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Rolling Stone editors or publishers.

Did you receive an invite? It seems everyone’s excited to get an exclusive invite to the audio-only latest social media craze that’s Clubhouse. This ultra-exclusive platform is having a blast since the founders invited hundreds of friends and friends of friends, including celebrities, influencers and billionaires, to be part of app beta-testing.

So, What’s All This Buzz About Clubhouse?

Clubhouse is an app that lets people host and join audio conversations. Launched in the spring of 2020, it’s currently invite-only and only available (for now) on iOS. CEO Paul Davison assures us that it will eventually open to Android users, but we’re months away from that development coming to fruition. Despite its exclusivity feature, the app now boasts 10 million users and counting, so chances are high that as a member of the “Club,” you can find yourself right in the mix with major players in the entertainment industry and Silicon Valley.

Helping you connect with other people, join conversations, learn something new, share your views and establish your brand, Clubhouse has made a name for itself in the tech and communication industry in less than a year. The hottest and newest social media platform is like a huge block party, corporate retreat, conference and social community rolled into one. Because you can join informal conversations and share a Clubhouse “room” with marketers, basketball fans, bitcoin enthusiasts and more, Clubhouse has become the newest hangout of people who want to be “connected” after months of being stuck in their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

How Does Clubhouse Work?

Clubhouse has rooms where users meet, discuss and share ideas, but there’s a catch. Instead of using text or being able to communicate face to face, you can only hear audio and speak to the audience of any particular room. Think of it as a podcast but with audience participation, and you can join and leave the room whenever you want. All conversations happen live and are not recorded, so there are no playbacks. Users are free to start a room and choose to make it open for everyone or make it a closed conversation for selected people only.

Many of these rooms are hosted by experts in their fields: venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, luminaries, journalists and gaming experts. Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and Oprah Winfrey are among the list of prominent names who have been hosting roomfuls of enthusiastic users. Influencers like digital marketing mogul Swan Sit, powerhouse entrepreneur Farokh Sarmad, Golden Hippo co-founder Craig Clemens, comedian and actress Leah Lamarr, Beyond the Interview co-founder Nicole Behnam, Elevator Studio founder Dan Fleyshman, Schmidt’s founder Jaime Schmidt, BeautyCon powerhouse Moj Mahdara, and more have risen to the top. Clubhouse also hires moderators for a better flow of dialogues and ideas.

Clubhouse is unique in that it hosts a “small” community of different groups sharing their best thoughts and insights in active and engaging ways. Every day, people hold conversations across a wide variety of disciplines, professions and general interests.

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How Is Clubhouse Changing the Social Media Industry?

Clubhouse’s meteoric rise has attracted the full attention of social media giants, investors and software developers. Tech giants acknowledged that audio-based experience is the next revolutionary feature of social media platforms, prompting others like Stereo to create its own version and Discord to update its 2015 platform from an audio app for gamers to an audio app for everyone.

According to commentary from tech analyst Ben Thompson, Clubhouse has revolutionized the use and highlighted the importance of audio. The future of social media is geared towards talking publicly or podcasting at zero cost in real-time. Facebook is currently testing its own version of the app and working to add live audio features to its existing products. (Full disclosure: Author’s agency is partnered with Facebook.) Twitter will publicly launch its Spaces audio rooms for both iOS and Android users in April 2021. Spotify is now experimenting with sophisticated live podcasting tools to jump on the bandwagon.

For business owners and marketers, this live audio experience represents a great opportunity to promote your events, products or services. By sharing your brand story and expertise about your niche, you can generate marketing awareness, create focus groups, get reviews and connect with the target audience.

How To Establish Your Brand on Clubhouse

When you get an invite, the first step is to write a bio and add a unique profile picture. Check out the rooms, and join some you’re interested in. Introduce yourself briefly, and don’t be afraid to speak up. Let your brains and personality shine because on Clubhouse they truly matter.

To effectively enter this space without being overly promotional, you have to tie your conversations to relevant and timely subject matter. Clubhouse is a platform that thrives on being able to capture a snapshot of any landscape as it happens and allows people to share perspectives and experiences. So, with that, brand leaders should come in with an understanding of what the cultural conversation is and not try to force a subject. Think of the person at a party who shows up late and tries to riff on the inside joke with no context. No one wants to be that guy.

What’s Next for Clubhouse?

The trailblazing journey of Clubhouse to build a name in the social media industry is phenomenal. It didn’t rely on the networks of competitors, but created its own social graph of users. Now that its rivals are planning to scale up their operations by adopting a live audio component, the challenge is to sustain its domination. What makes Clubhouse unique and special is the sense of intimacy and respect among users. As it opens its door to more people, expect more buzz from Clubhouse.

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