We’re moving beyond Zoom. At least, that’s the case for many executives, thought leaders, and content marketers replacing their Zoom obsession with the upstart social network Clubhouse. The invite-only, just audio app has been making the rounds on LinkedIn for months. It only seems to be growing in popularity, leading many marketers to wonder if it’s finally time to sign up and see what all the fuss is about.
“Clubhouse gives you the opportunity to engage with people in a genuine way in real-time,” says Erryca Robicheaux, New Media Strategist at Interview Connections. “Think of it as a live podcast where the audience can interact with the hosts. They get to be part of the show.”
Discovery can be a bit overwhelming at first. Stick with it, because there’s plenty of value to be uncovered. For content marketers, making the most of Clubhouse means knowing how to approach the service, prepare your brand ambassadors, and keep up with the digital Joneses.
Interacting, Not Creating
Clubhouse feels like a conversation, and many clubs you join will be both relaxed and dynamic. There’s no established pattern that everyone adheres to, which generally keeps things lively and prevents stuffiness. A big reason for this atmosphere is that there are no recordings of a session once a room ends. It’s about making the most of the moment, instead of worrying about the end result. Treat every session as a live interview.
This doesn’t mean to throw caution to the wind completely. There's always a chance someone will record what you or your executives are saying. You want to have everyone prepared and keep company values in mind, even if you’re a bit looser than normal. “If someone is going on to Clubhouse to represent your company, then they understand that everything they do and say, even when they are not on the clock or not talking about the company specifically, will be representing your brand,” says Robicheaux.
Content teams should prep whoever goes on Clubhouse and make it easy for them to join and participate. You might need to build out their profile, create a deck or notes to look at, brainstorm topics, and prep them as you would for any interview. “You should think of Clubhouse as any other kind of live interview, like a TV appearance or a podcast,” says Robicheaux. “You or your company’s leaders need to be ready because there’s no ghost appearing — having someone stand in for leadership — on Clubhouse. It’s live, and people will hear your voice. Whoever is on Clubhouse will be the person others actually hear.”
Be Persistent, But Patient
Clubhouse is proving to be a smart strategy for companies large and small and startups and solo shops. But it doesn’t happen instantly. Building a following will take time. Content managers can make that easier by creating and curating a club while the face of the company goes out and speaks across a variety of chats. Even with a strong initial effort, it will take a commitment over time to get the most out of it.
“The most impactful users form relationships with other people on Clubhouse,” says Robicheaux. “That person can turn relationships into rooms they run together to gain a following as well as inviting each other on stage to speak in other rooms.”
If the content marketer isn’t going to serve as the brand ambassador, they can help by finding active clubs to follow or join. Add events to the ambassador’s calendar so they can have the app on in the background and raise their hand and jump on stage to speak when they’ve got something worth adding.
Every Clubhouse user will need to do their own legwork when it comes to participating. However, this can be a big benefit for large teams and content managers who want to share their own voice. Because you don’t have to handle Clubhouse alone.
There’s Room for Two (Or More)
It’s easy to view the service as a way for just executives to shine, but don’t take that limited approach. Everyone who can safely represent your brand can be a valuable team member.
“The great thing about Clubhouse is that, unlike other kinds of live interviews, it’s not limited to a single person,” says Robicheaux. “So, the content person and the company leader or executives can all be on it together. I would estimate that half of our company is on Clubhouse.”
“Our founder and CEO both moderate rooms regularly, but so do our agents and new media strategists. So, people hear about our company from multiple perspectives and a lot more frequently. That’s one reason Clubhouse’s worth comes in many different shapes and sizes.”
You get out what you put into the service, and there’s plenty of opportunities for companies to establish a large presence.
Keep Up With What’s Happening in Clubhouse
Clubhouse is moving quickly, with innovation happening both in and outside of the app. One of the most prominent features is yoyo.club. That site makes it easier to find Clubhouse rooms and content marketers can use it to better plan their days and events. Pair it with some of your favorite clubs — a few of ours are Marketing Club, Tech Talks, and Future of Work — and you’ll quickly get a curated list of rooms to join each day.
“The purpose of yoyo.club is to help you find rooms moderated by the people you like to hear from,” says Robicheaux. “It’s not a room search or directory, but rather a way to follow your favorite mods so you can see where they will be moderating. This is a super new platform that was just released, and according to the founder it will look completely different in just a few weeks.”
Twitter has taken notice, too. The service has launched its Clubhouse competitor named Spaces to a subset of its users. Spaces has limitations and appears to be more controlled and rigid than Clubhouse. It’ll likely have a different reach, as it leverages Twitter’s 192 million daily active users.
Clubhouse is carving out its own space and has the potential to move past the marketing, tech, and startup focus that are currently dominant. No one quite knows what’s next, but if Twitter is already paying attention, there’s a good chance Clubhouse will continue to evolve as a new type of meeting, conference, and engagement tool. Which is potentially great for you, since it can mean new audiences for those able to keep adapting along with it.
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