Clubhouse 101: The Power of Audio and Live Connections
TL;DR – Clubhouse, the newest social media app, has exploded onto the scene with its unique live, audio-only experience. Driving conversation and dialogue between users, the invite-only app creates a new opportunity for digital marketers to connect (and listen) to their audience through authentic conversation. Don’t be the last to the Club – get on the waitlist or beg a friend on the app for an exclusive invite.
Clubhouse has taken the digital marketing space by storm, exploding onto the scene with early adopters flocking to the invitation-only social networking platform. It has shaken up the social scene with its audio-first format, creating a platform for unscripted, authentic communication among users around the world. From educational sessions specific to your brand’s industry or your own personal interests – you can drop in and drop out of hosted panels, comedic acts, meditation, entrepreneurial networking, wine nights, health and wellness, and so much more.
If you can think it – you can join a Club for it on Clubhouse. There’s a Club for everyone to enjoy free-flowing conversation and entertainment, and even make new friends. And – it’s all live. So, if you’re new to Clubhouse or on the fence about joining, we’re going to give you the inside scope (but hint, hint…join now!).
What is Clubhouse?
Essentially, it’s a podcast app combined with a walkie-talkie – on steroids. From smaller, “water-cooler” type Clubs to larger expert, panel-led Clubs, Clubhouse attracts users from all walks of life, even celebrities and politicians, engineers, artists and more.
Its focus is on voice and genuine, flowing conversation, rather than text and visuals, setting it apart from its social network predecessors like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. But don’t worry about your voice getting lost among other participants – moderators and hosts monitor discussions and give users permission to speak in turn. Simply join a room, listen in, and ‘raise your hand’ if you want to speak up.
It’s the platform for listeners and the platform for speakers. It’s a place for people with a voice and people with an opinion – especially those who are camera shy. If YouTube is television, Clubhouse is radio.
How do I join?
Here’s where the exclusivity of a secret club comes into play. Currently, Clubhouse is open to new members by invitation only. Each user is granted a limited number of invitations when accepted onto the app to which he or she can share with friends. As you become more active on the platform and follow more Clubs and Clubhouse members, you’re gifted with more invites to spread around.
Don’t have any friends on the app? You can sign up for the waitlist. Friends on the platform who have your phone number saved will see that you’re waiting for an invite and can choose to gift you access.
Clubhouse is only accessible via mobile device and only available to download for Apple iPhone users, though rumor has it they’ll be expanding to Android devices soon. Accounts are created using your mobile phone number to ensure each person only has one account, and that it’s a real person on the other side.
How does it really work?
Once you’ve been accepted as a member, you can begin chatting and following other members right away. Scroll through your feed to browse popular Clubs and Rooms, or search by topic to find one that suits you, and tap to join in. You’ll hear the other Club members speaking as soon as the Room opens. You can also view a list of the moderators, hosts, and those who are approved to speak, along with a list of everyone else in the Room.
If you’re ready to contribute to the conversation, ‘raise your hand’ to be approved by a moderator to add your take. Use the plus sign to invite a friend into the room. Or ‘leave quietly’ to find another Room to join. Like what you’re hearing? Follow a Club to add meet-ups to your calendar, or follow the moderators by clicking on their picture – you’ll receive reminders when new Rooms are scheduled or when those moderators are speaking in other Rooms.
Maybe you’re ready to start your own Room. First, get active on the platform, and then apply to own a new Club. Anyone can apply for their own Club, but they’ll need to have started 3 Rooms prior to applying, as Clubhouse gives priority to its more active members. Clubs are approved by a Clubhouse admin and current wait times vary between 2-3 weeks.
Why should I care about Clubhouse?
Unscripted, authentic and totally connected. Clubhouse is a prime way to connect with likeminded people and audiences who genuinely want to spread knowledge and advice. Plus, you’ll get to hear from voices around the world – it’s not the norm to be able to do that once a day, much less multiple times a day. The platform is designed for networking, education and entertainment. If you’re a personality in one of these three spaces, it’s a no-brainer to get involved. Personally, we feel there are not enough hours in the day to join in on the many amazing topics and conversations happening – and be warned, it can become quite the fix (in the best way possible) when you do join.
Clubhouse seeks to keep the app as authentic and genuine as possible, which is why it’s still operating in an invite-only beta stage to limit a rush of growth. In its infancy, it’s hard to come by brand profiles. In fact, Clubhouse rules dictate that “you must use a real name and identity on the service” discouraging brands from joining for advertising purposes. They add: “While brands are welcome to create clubs and host conversations on Clubhouse, user accounts must represent individual people, rather than brands, brand mascots, or other non-person entities.”
How can my brand use Clubhouse?
As the app takes off, brands should tread lightly in entering the market. Due to stated rules, Clubhouse discourages brands from creating branded accounts, though they encourage brand ambassadors, executives and employees to create personal accounts and act on behalf of brands. So – you can still spread knowledge and learn from others in the same industries and discuss the same challenges, successes and goals in your respective arenas.
This doesn’t mean you should discount Clubhouse from your digital marketing efforts. To engage your brand with the Clubhouse audience, use brand ambassadors and influencers to start (or join) conversations within relevant Rooms, using Clubhouse as a piece of your partnership by sponsoring discussions. Similarly, use thought leaders within your company, such as executive leadership or subject matter experts, to engage with Clubs and Rooms that authentically fit in with your brand or industry.
Ask questions. Are there challenges your brand is facing and you want some advice? Gather your questions, ‘raise your hand’ in the room and get real-time advice from panel leaders and listen to other members ask questions. Clubhouse acts as a rolodex of case studies – learn new tactics, avoid bad ones and spark new ideas – all in one hour, in one room!
Not quite ready to start Clubhouse dialogue about your brand? Be an observer and use the app for social listening. Monitor related Clubs for mentions of your brand, or competitors, and stay up-to-date with trends occurring among your target audiences simply by listening in on their conversations.
If you’re an active personality or subject matter expert, we’ve done the brainstorming for you. Here’s a list of ideas for topics to jumpstart your Room:
- Knowledge presentations – show off your expertise!
- Live Q&A – invite your followers to ask for your advice and point-of-view on topics
- Host a conversation – include a fellow subject matter expert on a hot topic
- Review a product – provide your opinion on a useful tool or product that you use daily
To familiarize yourself with Clubhouse and its lively conversation, listen in on a few of our team’s favorite Clubs:
- TikTok Creator Club: hear from brands and creators finding success on TikTok
- Girls Love Travel: travel inspiration, tips and tricks
- The Great Food Debate: the only thing better than eating food? Talking food.
- We The Future: hear remarkable stories of change makers around the world
Ready to join the conversation on Clubhouse but not sure where to start? Contact our strategy team to help you build your Clubhouse.