Posted On 09 Mar 2021
Venetia Hillary

Wondering why you’re hearing a lot about the new Clubhouse app lately? You’d be excused for thinking “what’s all the fuss about?” There is a new social media platform popping up every day, right? This one has grown by 10 million users in just three months though! So from a marketing perspective, it might be time to take some notice.

This relatively new social media platform was first introduced in April 2020 with an invite-only marketing strategy. Clubhouse initially invited just A-list celebrities, CEOs, and top influencers only. Now the app is open to all (as long as you have an invite!) and its user base is growing rapidly.

What is Clubhouse?

Clubhouse is an iPhone app that allows users to connect via audio-chat-only rooms. In a recent post on the Clubhouse website, the founders noted their simple intention in creating Clubhouse was to create a safe place where users could gather with others and talk.

“The thing we love most is how voice can bring people together. No matter where you live in the world or what networks you have access to, in Clubhouse you can be in the room—often with people whose lived experience has been very different from your own.”

Whilst Clubhouse is currently only available on iPhone, the app’s runaway success has forced its creators to focus their efforts on the Android option. And quickly!

Users are able to form ‘Clubs’ around subjects, follow along with conversations and host ‘Events’ with followers. As a user, you can either be an active participant, or a passive listener. Basically, think of it as a cross between a podcast and talk-back radio and your nearly there!

Today, Clubhouse boasts over 10 million users – up from just 600,000 in December 2020. It also allows each user to invite friends to join, which partially accounts for the app’s explosive growth. The buzzworthy launch strategy plus celebrity drop-ins from the likes of Harry Styles and Elon Musk didn’t hurt either! However, users seem to appreciate Clubhouse for its capacity to connect people from all walks of life in intimate conversation. Over the past year, Clubhouse rooms have been filled with everything from industry discussions to nuanced social justice dialogues to support group meetings to public memorials.

Clubhouse’s Marketing Value

As Clubhouse grows in user size and popularity, it’s natural to wonder whether it may be a good platform for your marketing efforts. Indeed, it’s easy to see how you might use conversations about issues of relevance to your company to drive traffic to your website. But Clubhouse’s marketing value is more profound than this.

The platform can:

  • Help you build credibility with your audience. Clubhouse hosts live conversations between people, which means that a company representative could quickly find themselves going off-script. By embracing this characteristic of Clubhouse and being authentic, you can build trust and credibility for your brand with your audience.
  • Firmly position you and your firm as a thought leader. By speaking knowledgeably about your industry or relevant subjects with others, you can use Clubhouse to help position yourself as a leading voice in your field.
  • Help you avoid Zoom fatigue. The audio-only nature of the platform lets people connect without needing a screen. The benefit of this cannot be overestimated as screentime has been at an all-time high during the pandemic. Plus, you don’t need to be camera-ready to use Clubhouse.
  • Leverages consumer appetites for ephemeral content. FOMO (or fear of missing out) can be a powerful motivator. Clubhouse content is not recorded or archived. So if you can pull together conversations that people want to hear with guests people care about, you’ll attract large audiences (currently capped at 5,000 on the app).
  • Builds social proof using your voice and brand. You don’t have to have a six-figure follower base to say something and be heard on Clubhouse. Instead, you can build your credibility and value by being authentic, knowledgeable, and engaging.

Clubhouse is already being used to great effect by influencers to grow their following as well as by businesses to grow awareness of their brand and credibility with consumers. With the app still in its infancy, big brand marketing test cases are still evolving. However, some notable uses include:

  • Kat Cole, former President of Cinnabon, hosting an office hours room for entrepreneurs and offering to send anyone who emailed her their address free Cinnabons, creating a viral moment;
  • Kevin Harrington, Shark Tank investor finding new investment deals to close with a Shark Tank Clubhouse room;
  • Brands like Bite Toothpaste gaining new customers with company-sponsored rooms

This Clubhouse Might Be For You?

Clubhouse is currently enjoying great reach, high engagement, and low dilution whilst it’s in this fast growth stage. It is also not currently monetised, so users enjoy a completely ad-free experience. Is Clubhouse right for you, your business and your industry? That is not 100% clear yet, however we think it’s definitely an engaging new space to be aware of.

From a marketing perspective, it’s always exciting to watch new developments as they happen! So whether Clubhouse ends up being just another social media flash-in-the-pan, or the next Facebook, if you are lucky enough to get an invite, we definitely think you should check it out for yourself.

If you would like to talk about your social media marketing strategy, and what platforms might be right for your business, we’d love to chat. Contact us here at OracleTree today!

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