It’s one of the newest kids on the block in the social networking space and has taken big parts of the world with storm – even with (or perhaps because of) its invite-only approach (the appearance of Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and other high-profile names might have helped). But should brands join the club? And if so, how do they make the most of it?
The premise is simple: Clubhouse is a platform for live audio conversations that take place in so-called ‘rooms’. Users can join or create rooms that focus on topics they would like to start or join conversations around – if they get an invitation from an existing user, that is.
Clubhouse is ephemeral by nature – you’re either (listening) in on a conversation, or you’re missing out. Once a conversation is over, it’s over – there’s no recording feature or playback. The good news is that the audio-only feature allows users to tune in while driving or doing the dishes – unless you are a moderator (the one who hosts and leads the conversation) or speaker.
No ads, no marketing opportunities?
The app is ad-free, so what options does that leave brands with?
While it’s still early days, the general consensus seems to be that the platform still holds potential for brands to get their messages across – at least indirectly.
- Sharing your brand or founding story to create brand awareness and connect with potential customers.
- Testing products or ideas on audiences.
- Social listening, i.e. listening in on relevant conversations in order to gain insights and help shape or tweak strategies.
- Establishing thought leadership by delivering valuable conversations around a topic related to your brand or business.
- Working with influencers, for example by inviting some to have conversations about mental health, sustainable fashion or whatever topic is relevant to your business.
But along with opportunities come limitations. A biggie in the context of Clubhouse is that the app is still exclusive by nature (though rumour has it that access will be rolled out for everyone at a later stage). The fact that you need an invitation from an existing member to join means that it’s (still) for the select few – and that’s worth keeping in mind for any brand, no matter which route you take.
Watch this space
Needless to say, it’s also important to make sure that a potential Clubhouse brand presence fits into the wider marketing strategy before you jump onboard. So while it’s worth keeping an eye on the development of the platform, it may not be for everyone just yet. One of the takeaways from this article about Clubhouse and the fashion scene is that very few brands have created rooms as of yet. A more popular approach is to have brand representatives join in on conversations every now and then.