By Karen Morgan
In a year of learning new ways to communicate with people, there was a gap in the market for an audio only social media app to enter the scene. January 2021 saw an explosion of users on a new social media network, Clubhouse, that’s recently launched in the UK, and we’re all over it.
So what is Clubhouse and how can B2B companies get involved?
What’s all the hype about?
Clubhouse is an invite-only app that requires an existing member to nominate new users or join a waiting list that the app developers say they are doing their best to make their way through manually as they are accepting requests. Waiting list members are vetted and can reserve their username while they wait. At the moment, your best bet is to find a friend who has an extra invite to share.
The app’s exclusivity drives the desire for joining, which is a clever incentive for growing a new app quickly. The private member-style format is creating a buzz, and it’s taking early adopters to really boost the appeal to the late majority. Our social lives have drastically changed in the last year. Let’s face it, this could be one of the few things that we get excited about at the moment.
Marketers are always looking for ways to grab people’s attention, so what better way of doing this than creating an exclusive community of members? We all get the fear of missing out but what adds to the power is the ability to invite new members once you’re in. They say that word of mouth is one of the most effective ways of communication and the idea of a friend inviting you to Clubhouse is intriguing.
What is Clubhouse?
The founders describe the platform as using audio to communicate rather than images and videos. This new social network is a mix of podcasts and live panel discussions, where you can host your own room or use the ‘raise your hand’ function to join another room. If you start your own room, anyone on the platform can drop-in, which is great for networking, but you can also create private rooms. Large Clubhouse rooms are managed by hosts and they allow attendees to speak when prompted, or you have the option to listen quietly and leave a room without making any contribution.
Like any social media app, when setting up a profile, they ask you to select from a long list of interests to cater the app content to your taste. This also allows you to be connected to other members with similar listening interests.
Currently, discussion topics are based on news of the day and mostly includes communications professionals who have been quick to catch on to the new networking platform. The discussions are organic and untouched by large advertisers for the moment, but it will be interesting to see who will be the first to monetise the platform. For the moment, people are eager to share their opinions and expertise on all things digital communication and world news.
There’s an element of community moderation due to the fact that when a friend invites you, their profile stays on your profile. Clubhouse is truly leading the way in social media safety to ensure no misbehaviour on the platform. The company claims that those who are invited are moderated by their friends, making a community of well-managed networkers.
What’s on the horizon?
Large social media platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn will keep a watchful eye on Clubhouse as they are in the process of integrating audio features. Has Clubhouse harnessed the very thing people are craving for - spontaneous conversation and finding new people to connect with?
As the app becomes increasingly popular, could this be the solution to our new normal for networking with the business community? At the moment, it’s only available to Apple users so we’ll wait to see how the app develops over the next few months and if it’s offered to Android users.
As digital consultants, toying with Clubhouse and using the app, we want to see how the app evolves and how it affects the digital marketing industry. We’re constantly scanning the news for the latest updates on social media trends and platform updates. At Flame we like to bring our clients the most up to date digital strategies for transforming their online communications with a specific target audience. We create elite PR and social activity that is sure to bring new insights and opportunities. Get in touch for a consultation with our team.