What’s the hottest way to share news these days or throw an event? This spring, the NFL chose to use the social media platform Clubhouse to introduce the future stars of football as part of the annual NFL draft. The league partnered with Clubhouse to provide exclusive content to users in the days leading up to the draft. Whether this platform becomes a viable marketing tool remains to be seen, but the partnership should spark everyone’s interest.
Clubhouse, which was launched in April 2020, differs from other social platforms in that members interact exclusively through voice. Beyond a user profile picture, there are no photos, videos, or even text messages exchanged. Instead, users engage in active listening in rooms run by clubs and facilitated by moderators. You raise your hand when you want to speak, wait to be called upon, and then unmute your microphone to share your thoughts or ask questions.
Right now, only a few hundred thousand users have received an invite to the app (which is only available on iOS), but many are highly engaged. The new social platform is an appealing medium for all brands, but the challenge of building a sustainable Clubhouse presence might seem intimidating. Here are some marketing tips:
Appoint spokespeople. You need to find people who can speak authentically on your behalf on Clubhouse. Whether these are employees or stakeholders familiar with your brand, they should personify your values and talk confidently about topics that matter to your company.
Get engaged. If you were recently invited to Clubhouse, start by listening. Visit rooms that match your interests and actively listen to the conversations that members are having. Be bold enough to raise your hand when you want to contribute, and make sure you’re adding value to the room when you speak.
Create a club. Once you’ve accumulated a track record of engagement, you’ll be granted the ability to create your own club. It’s probably wise to name your first club after the brand you represent (if for no other reason than to secure your brand name).
Set an agenda. Once you’ve secured your club name, you can create a schedule of events covering virtually any topic as long as it falls under the umbrella of your club. You can even establish club rules, such as “be kind,” “show respect for the person speaking,” “no interruptions,” and “no explicit language.” Whatever your rules, they should reflect your brand’s values and personality.
Start moderating. As the owner of a club, you’ll have to serve as a moderator when meetings occur. You’ll have the power to kick people out of meeting rooms or even the club, if necessary. In my experience, however, people are generally respectful when communicating on Clubhouse.
Track success. To track your success on Clubhouse, you can see how many people are following your club. Unlike members, followers aren’t considered a part of the club and won’t receive notifications of upcoming events (called meeting rooms). As a moderator, you can also track attendance or poll members through a show of hands when meeting rooms are live. The number of hands that go up should give you a good idea of how many people are engaged.
Rooms that are more active get higher visibility in the hallway, a public area of Clubhouse where you can see what’s going on across all clubs. Fostering an engaged audience of brand loyalists will ultimately increase your ability to tap into other networks on the app.
Not all brands will be successful on Clubhouse, but you should know that social audio is more than a fad. The app’s rising popularity, the rapid growth of streaming audio that began in 2019, and the emergence of other social audio platforms like Twitter spaces are all signs that voice-based connection will be an important cultural phenomenon moving forward. If you’re not listening, you might be left behind.