What exactly is Clubhouse? [+Should Marketers Care?]

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In 2020, you might have heard your preferred influencers talking about a strange new social media app known as Clubhouse.

But , unless you a new huge online following of your, you might just be getting access to the app now.

Until a few months ago, Clubhouse was a platform where big-name celebrities, business leaders, Silicon Valley investors, and some of the web’s top global influencers  could have uncensored audio group chats regarding their lives, hobbies, work, or industries.

Now, since the invite-only Clubhouse continues to obtain media coverage and a developing pool of non-celebrity users, you might be wondering, “What the particular heck is it? And, how do I get in on the action? ”

Below, we’ll explain where Clubhouse came from, what it really is, and the pros and cons of using it in your marketing strategy.

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Clubhouse was launched in March 2020 by Paul Davison, who also previously worked at companies including Pinterest and Google, and Rohan Seth, a former Google engineer. According to the post  from Davison plus Seth, Clubhouse was created following a handful of social media app tests.

“After a lot of iteration in the audio space, we released Clubhouse in March associated with last year, ” the co-founders wrote. “Our goal was to build a social encounter that felt more human—where instead of posting, you could gather with other people and speak. Our north star had been to create something where you could near the app at the end of the session feeling better than you did when you opened it, because you had deepened relationships, met new people, and discovered. ”

Initially, Clubhouse had been marketed to top-tier influencers, celebrities, Silicon Valley traders, and industry thought market leaders, but recently opened in order to more general audiences. Some of the app’s first high-profile users  include Drake, Daymond Bob, Elon Musk, and Oprah. Early on, these notable customers were heard chatting within Rooms related to their passions, hobbies, causes, or sectors.

Despite Clubhouse’s exclusivity, it had been valued at $100 million  and received a $12 million investment from Andreessen Horowitz  within a year of its launch.

Most recently, Clubhouse has started to give access to a larger swimming pool of users by allowing each new member to invite two friends of their own. It has caused the user base in order to jump from 600, 1000 active users  in December 2020 to more than 2 million  today.

“This past week, two million people around the world—musicians, scientists, creators, sports athletes, comedians, parents, entrepreneurs, stock traders, non-profit leaders, authors, artists, real estate agents, sports fans, and more—came to Clubhouse to talk, learn, laugh, become entertained, meet and link. It’s the most exciting thing we’ve ever been a part of, ” wrote the Clubhouse team  in a Jan. 24 blog post.

Why Most of Us are Just Learning About Clubhouse

Just hearing regarding Clubhouse now? You aren’t on your own.

As mentioned, Clubhouse was initially targeted to high-profile industry “elites, ”  such as celebrities, CEOs, plus top online influencers. For a while, these types of users were the only real ones who could send out and receive Clubhouse attracts. On top of the app’s invite-only nature, it’s only available to iPhone users.

While Clubhouse’s early exclusivity made it fascinating and alluring to the every-day social media user, it triggered the app’s awareness plus user-base to grow at a gradual but steady pace.

Now that the app’s become more accessible to social media users, it’s been getting more awareness online and across news media. At this time, marketing experts are also starting to wonder if and exactly how they could use Clubhouse — or something like it — in their strategy.

In fact , numerous professionals, business leaders, and non-profit members can already be heard speaking within Rooms that discuss a topic related to their brand, business, or mission.

For example , a recent Room I dropped within on featured a group of lawyers aiming to offer education around patent protection. While this content was intriguing to audience, it also could have brought each lawyer’s firm more consciousness:

Lawyer Room on Clubhouse

Aside from marketers, main social media companies are also wanting to take advantage of Clubhouse’s audio social media trends.

Shortly after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke within a Clubhouse Room, the New You are able to Times reported that their social media company was allegedly building a similar audio platform. Meanwhile, Twitter  just started rolling out Twitter Spaces — a drop-in sound feature with its app — to a small group of beta testers.

At the moment, Clubhouse seems like a promising way to network and build a community online, and it is audio social format is already being adopted by competitors. However , in a time where all of us see a handful of new online platforms each year, is Club really a game-changer in the social networking space? Or is it yet another over-hyped app you shouldn’t waste your marketing efforts on?

Below, I’ll give a brief description of how the platform works and then weigh the pros and cons of using Clubhouse for marketing.

How Club Works

While we’ll become publishing a detailed how-to guide for the Clubhouse platform, which we’ll link to in this post later on, here’s a quick description of how some of the major features function.

Clubhouse’s Main Tabs

When entering Clubhouse, users will find a homepage that shows ongoing Rooms related to their own interests or followers. They’ll also find search, information inbox, calendar, and notification icons in the upper navigation.

Clubhouse homepage

When tapping the particular search or “Explore” tab, users can scroll via a feed of suggested Areas, Clubs, or people to stick to. They can also use the lookup bar to find specific people or Clubs. However , your seem like users can look for specific Rooms yet.

Clubhouse Explore tab

If users can’t go to a Room when they’re browsing the Clubhouse app yet would like to drop into one afterwards, they can tap the appointments icon. to see or create their scheduled Rooms.

Clubhouse scheduled room tab

Clubhouse Rooms

Entering a Room is essentially like attending a webinar or Zoom ending up in no video and a partly muted audience.

Attendees, who can join or leave an area at any time, enter (or drop-in) as automatically muted audience. If they’d like to speak or ask questions, they can tap the “Raise Hand” image in the lower right corner of the Room page. Area moderators will then be informed of the hand raise demand and can ignore it or even unmute the attendee.

Below is a look at what Club Rooms look like:

Clubhouse Room

Visually, attendees of the Room can easily see only the profile photos plus names of current individuals, with moderators and loudspeakers appearing at the top of the screen.

Users and moderators can also add people they follow to a Room by going the “+” button within the lower navigation. This gives their friends a notification that will they’ve been invited to a Space and enables them to open up the app and join it directly.

Starting a Room

At the bottom of the homepage, users can also tap “Start a Room” to launch either a “Closed” chat open to specific people only, a “Social” chat open to all of the user’s following, or an “Open” chat that anybody on Clubhouse can fall into.

Starting a clubhouse room

Users can also tap the nine-dot symbol on the lower homepage navigation to have a private audio talk with specific followers who are online.

clubhouse lower navigation

Room moderators, who seem to either launched the Room or were assigned to a ansager role after the Room released, see a similar page that attendees see. However , additionally they get notifications of new Room attendees and a list of guests who have raised their hand requesting to speak.

One particular interesting thing to note is that a Room only ends every time a moderator ends it or even when the final moderator simply leaves it. Additionally , moderators who would like to leave a Room without closing it can assign someone else to become moderator. This means that a Room with multiple moderators can go on for hours or even days.

Because of how long Rooms last, and the undeniable fact that attendees can join or even exit whenever they want, you may regularly hear more experienced Room moderators re-introduce them selves, what they’re discussing, plus who else is speaking throughout a Room event.

Clubs and Networking

Aside from developing Rooms, users can also stick to individual profiles of close friends, influencers, or thought leaders in their industry.

They can furthermore join or create Night clubs, which are groups of users along with interest in specific topics, interests, or industries. Take a look at some of the Clubs that appeared while i searched, “growth marketing. ”

Growth Marketing Clubs

Once users join a Club, they can be informed if a Club’s manager launches a Room related to its primary topic. For example , if I were to join one of the Growth Marketing Clubs shown above, I would be instantly notified if they hosted a Room on a development marketing tactic.

The Pros plus Cons of Clubhouse.

Benefits of Using Clubhouse

one Clubhouse could help brands build trust and community.

In 2020, consumers began to favour companies with authentic, reliable messaging  over big-name companies with decades of brand name loyalty. This shift will likely continue through 2021.

Precisely why? In a time of financial uncertainty and constant news occasions, consumers want to know that brands care about their customers and promote values with them. While developing a live, uncensored, unscripted Area related to your brand’s industry might sound nerve-wracking, it could assist some brands seem a lot more authentic and trustworthy.

“Clubhouse offers a lot of opportunities meant for connection with celebrities, a vast number of people in different industries, and even close friends, ” says Krystal Wu, HubSpot’s social media neighborhood manager. “It opens the doorway for live conversations enabling people to be vulnerable inside a community space. This type of connection is unique to deliver audio at ease with small to large groups of people. Its unscripted articles that anyone can be a part of. ”

Brands that use Club could earn credibility simply by discussing topics they’re experts on. But , they could furthermore earn trust because they already have made themselves available to pay attention and talk candidly with their audiences.

2 . The app’s content is always evolving.

As the app initially hosted conversations related to entertainment, business, plus technology due to its initial target audience, the audio content around the platform has broadened and evolved

In fact , CNBC recently reported  that some of Clubhouse’s most engaging Rooms were launched by innovative Dark creatives who’ve done weighty experimentation on the platform.

For instance , instead of hosting a chat or even discussion, one group of Black performers hosted an audio-only production of Disney’s “The Lion King. ” 

Whilst there isn’t a recording of the Clubhouse performance, led by Noelle Chesnut Whitmore, Kam DeLa  and Bomani X,   here’s a screenshot from the occasion, which shows each Space moderator as the character they played:

The Lion King Room on Clubhouse

Picture Source

“What started as a random conversation on Clubhouse has scaled to something much greater. We have so many talented people contributing their time and energy to this overall performance, ” Whitmore said within a press release. “Our goal is simply to spread some pleasure to people through these activities. I never imagined this could get such a huge response. ”

In another example, a cocktail brand called Loop  hosted a Room that encouraged participants to have a drink and join a casual discussion with no specific topic. While this strategy is less structured, it enables people who would like to learn more about the brand or simply want to chat with other drink drinkers to connect.

Mainly because Clubhouse is fairly new, generally there aren’t major content-related requirements just yet. This means that anyone from any group, industry, non-profit, or brand can experiment with it and learn what’s really engaging to the app’s growing audience.

3. The app is primed for believed leadership.

Clubhouse’s user bottom was built around influencers and thought leaders. This means that users are likely coming to the particular app to hear the latest ideas, exclusive information, or conversations straight from industry experts.

For example , the particular scheduled Room shown beneath features Coinbase  Co-Founder and  CEO Brian Armstrong.

Coinbase founder interview

In a Clubhouse Room like the one shown above, customers could learn more about a brand such as Coinbase and ask its innovator questions about the company or its industry. Through Rooms like this, Coinbase and other brand names could boost both company awareness and credibility with audiences who listen.

four. Audiences want online communities plus audio content.

In the last 12 months, people who were stuck in your own home turned to webinars, virtual activities, and  other online experiences  to learn more about their interests, hear from others in their industry, or just feel a sense of connection to people outside of their own households.

But , while virtual events were beneficial for numerous, most of us eventually dealt with display fatigue.

Because too much screentime can be mentally draining, consumers also checked out podcasts  or camera-free webinars. Now, these types of audiences could be primed pertaining to Clubhouse’s audio-only nature.

“Clubhouse’s most appealing quality is that it’s a break from the nonstop screen time we all can be found in, ” says Kelly Hendrickson, HubSpot social media marketing supervisor. “Clubhouse is also a wonderful place to have conversations among specialized niche communities and topics. ”

And, while consumers are craving personal connections and reside content more than ever, many brand names are trying to build stronger on-line communities  and launch effective digital event strategies.

Ultimately, Clubhouse’s audio-only layout could help brands meet and construct an engaged community of fans on an interactive, genuine, and live platform.

Downsides of Clubhouse

1 . The particular app still has restricted audiences.

Ultimately, one of Clubhouse’s biggest brand marketing imperfections is also what makes it therefore intriguing: exclusivity.

“I are generally against anything that is certainly invite-only as it creates a culture of ‘others’, ” Hendrickson says. “Any time you should be ‘in the know’ to have a seat at the table, how could you also be inclusive? ”

While Clubhouse might pose distinctive group chat opportunities for community marketers when more people join, the viewers might still be too restricted for some marketers at the moment. On top of this, the app is still not available to Android users.

“Clubhouse actually hinders its features because there are many talented potential users out there that are missing out all because they are on Android, ” Wu says.

For anyone who is looking to only create content for the largest audiences possible, you might want to hold off on creating a Clubhouse strategy right now. However , if you’re only looking to test and see if you can reach the particular audiences it already has, it might be an interesting platform for your team to try.

2 . Clubhouse could have strong audio-app competitors.

Facebook and Twitter could be just the first platforms to create a similar audio drop-in experience. And, while this hints that will Clubhouse creators have found a platform many social media users want, the big-name competition could also pose concerns about the platform’s future.

For instance , if Facebook or another main competitor can create something similar that’s less exclusive plus allows iPhone and Android users, people might leave Clubhouse for a platform using a larger audience or more credibility in the social media world. If this happens, marketers who invest greatly in a Clubhouse strategy might need to do a sudden pivot.

Could shouldn’t scare you far from testing the platform if you think it’s actual right for your brand, your competitors is still important to keep in mind. In case you are considering Clubhouse, continue to stick to its competitors and figure out how you could pivot your strategy to those platforms if your viewers start to flock there instead.

3. Clubhouse can seem like an “unedited podcast. inch

“Another challenge I think brand names and individuals will have with Clubhouse is how seems like an unedited podcast, inch says Hendrickson. “That indicates you’re hearing all the great meat, but you also have to pay attention to the trimmings. It will be interesting to see if long term, people are okay with that in their content. inch

If you’re planning to experiment upon Clubhouse, consider practicing a couple of conversation starters, how you will still enter the call, and figure out what you’ll do if you come across dead air, boring discussion, or off-topic discussion that will draws attention away from your Room’s goal.

Although Rooms are live and unscripted, having a gameplan will help you moderate an effective, higher-quality conversation than users might find in other Areas.

4. Brands could be too vulnerable.

Certain generations, such as Gen Z,   desire authenticity from people plus brands they follow  upon social media. With an app like Clubhouse, brands could make Rooms or Clubs related to their industry that include thought leaders, prospects, and even customers that want to talk with them inside a live, unfiltered way.

Nevertheless , while Clubhouse’s high level of unscripted authenticity has fascinated both marketers and prospective users, it also could put brands in vulnerable positions. Wu describes this as “a balance between great and evil. ”

Inside a year of its launch, Clubhouse’s live nature has already resulted in brand-related controversies.

For example , in February, Elon Musk, TOP DOG of Tesla and SpaceX, dropped into a Room with Robinhood Markets CEO Vlad Tenev  and raised his hand. When he had been invited to speak by the Room’s moderators, Musk started intensely questioning Tenev plus asked him to explain exactly why his stock-trading company halted its users from buying and selling GameStop and other manipulated stocks. You are able to hear the line of wondering in the video below:

While Robinhood’s CEO remained relaxed and collected throughout the talk, some brands might not have well-trained speakers who would react as calmly or professionally for this surprising scenario.

Additionally , although Clubhouse doesn’t allow customers to record, many either downloaded screen-recording apps or even filmed their phones with another video recording device. Because of this, Musk and Tenev’s conversation was covered by the particular media within hours.

Even though conversations cannot be replayed or recorded in the Clubhouse app itself, marketers on the application must remember that they’re live and anything they say could easily be streamed or quoted in seconds. Due to this, Room hosts should get ready themselves so that they can answer both easy and challenging questions from audience members. Moderators also needs to determine what they’ll do or how they’ll react when an unmuted audience associate says something controversial or unexpected.

Is Clubhouse best for you?

In its current state, Club could offer some main awareness and community-building benefits to brands. But , due to how new it is, additionally, it poses some challenges and cons to companies that are looking to reach the largest audiences achievable. Ultimately, while some companies might thrive on it, others might realize that it isn’t the best system for their goals just yet.

As with any new social media platform, you’ll want to spend some time on Clubhouse and find out what the app has to offer just before putting time and effort into utilizing it.

At this point, it could be wise to see if one of your friends or co-workers can send you a Club invite so you can familiarize yourself with the particular app. If you can’t log on, be sure to continue following the news close to it.

As you surf with the app or read Clubhouse news coverage, ask yourself questions like these:

  • Are topics related to your own product or industry broadly discussed on the platform?
  • Any kind of thought leaders or firm experts you could host the panel or two with to boost your awareness or even credibility on Clubhouse?
  • Are our competitors using Club? And, if so, can we create stronger Room encounters than they can?
  • Do you currently use marketing strategies that may be adapted to an audio-only platform, such as live video Q& As, webinars, or digital events?

With questions like all those above, you can determine if you’ll be able to create scalable and appealing content for this social media system.

Can’t get access to Clubhouse at this time? Don’t worry. We’ll carry on and cover it on the HubSpot Blog so you’ll be prepared when you do.

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