The Clubhouse phenomenon quickly swept across social media in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic mainly because of its unique drop-in audio format and because you could only get on the platform if you had an invitation. With every social scene shutting down for months due to pandemic precautions and gathering mandates, Clubhouse became the clubhouse everyone wanted access to. The quintessential nightclub that everyone spends more time in line waiting to get in than actually on the dancefloor. The digital disco that Studio 54 would be if it transformed into a party in your pocket.
But what exactly is Clubhouse and how did it take social media to the next level? I’m glad you asked.
The Clubhouse Experience
Clubhouse started out as a social network designed for podcasters, hence the audio chat format, but founder Paul Davison rebranded the app before its official iOS (or iPhone) launch in March 2020. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect.
As most of the world’s population self-isolated, the invite-only app exploded in popularity because it offered a new way to connect with people from around the globe. Thought leaders and digital pioneers like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg appeared on the app adding to its credibility, and soon, invitations to join began to pop up on resell sites like eBay for nearly $400 a piece. (Not to mention, the app secured a $12 million investment from venture capitalist, Andreessen Horowitz in May 2020).
But once you snagged an invite, the Clubhouse experience offered something other social media platforms lacked. It focused on sharing stories instead of visual experiences.
On Clubhouse, you can talk to people from different countries, discover new ideas about topics you care deeply about, tell stories and deepen friendships, and listen to experts on everything from marketing and tech to world affairs and entertainment.
And, now, you feel special every time you open the app because not just anyone can join. The exclusivity is almost as valuable as the information shared for some users. But how can businesses use it for growth if there’s a limit on who can join?
It’s tricky, and it’s something my own team has wrestled with, especially when creating a social media marketing strategy that is both interesting and worthwhile. But I think we’ve figured it out, and I’m thrilled to share what we’ve learned about using the startup app with you.
How to Get Started with the Clubhouse Platform
First things first, you need an invitation to join, but you no longer have to have an Apple device (or iOS). As of May 9, Clubhouse is available to Android users, too!
Once you’ve secured an invitation, consider how you want your brand or business to appear on the app. Do you want to show up as your brand like Social Media Examiner for example? Then you need to create a Club. However, if you want to show up as yourself or a brand representative (like a mascot), you need to create a profile. We’ll cover how to do that in a second, but for right now, take a second to think about your goals for the Clubhouse arm of your social media strategy.
- Do you want to build brand awareness or position yourself as a thought leader or industry expert?
- Do you want to generate new leads or build a reliable network of peers and trusted colleagues?
- Do you want to tackle trends in a unique way or find your fifteen minutes of viral fame?
Your answers to these questions will impact how you navigate Clubhouse (and social media in general). Here at SizzleForce, I chose to create a personal profile since it is community-based and people crave connecting with real, live, personable people. 😉
Now, to create a profile, you need to claim your invitation then optimize your bio. Emojis are king on this platform, and like Instagram, links are not clickable. So don’t be afraid to let loose and show your personality a little bit. Just make sure you’re crystal clear on how people can get in touch with you.
As you can see in this screenshot, I used emojis like bullet points to keep the content moving but eye-catching. My zones of genius are up first along with a custom URL that houses links to the most exciting and popular content in my business.
Next up, I focused on setting myself apart. Marketers abound on Clubhouse, so I knew I need to bring some powerhouse moves and tell future clients and colleagues exactly what they will experience if they connect with me.
Then, I follow up with how to get in touch outside of Clubhouse. The app is fantastic for dropping in on live conversations, but it’s not really meant for messaging. I wanted to make sure people could get in touch with me easily and with little confusion.
Finally, I wrapped things up with fun facts about myself. Think of this section as the Icebreaker Olympics, and share the most intriguing, irresistible information about yourself or your business. I mean, you’re just dying to know why I turned Andre Agassi down, aren’t you?
Once your account is active and your bio is set, tell the Clubhouse app what interests you, start joining some rooms, and jot down ideas for your own unique rooms to start for your business or niche. It will a little bit like you’re in a constant state of preparing for a first date, but I promise you, you and your team will get the hang of it and, dare I say, fall in love with the platform soon enough.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- If you’re in the wellness space, host a room with ambient noise and invite others to relax with you.
- If you run a consultancy business, create a daily talkshow where you give out advice.
- If you’ve considered starting a podcast, start a room as trial run (or if you have a podcast, repurpose your older content into room material).
But Is It Worth Your Time?
There’s been a lot of rumbling around the Internet about Clubhouse being a flash-in-the-pan app. Vanity Fair even said, “the Clubhouse party is over.” But I don’t trust the Debbie Downers. While it’s true that the world is reopening and people are heading back to work and to actual parties in real clubhouses, the app is still a valuable part of the social media ecosystem.
Nearly 300,000 “successful rooms” are created each day on the platform with the average listening session clocking at 60 minutes a day. And the waitlist to join on both Apple and Android systems is millions of users long.
So while I wouldn’t drop everything in my business and marketing efforts to run to Clubhouse, it is definitely worth spending some time on especially if making connections is part of your business model.
Build Your Clubhouse Community Starting with Ours
Speaking of connections….while the Clubhouse experience is something that is very near and dear to my heart, it’s almost impossible to top what Facebook has done in creating community. That’s why we host a Small Business Marketing Challenge group on Facebook to help make your business sizzle. Members are generous in sharing what’s working in their own businesses and sharing new ideas and topics to explore on other channels, like Clubhouse. We’d love to have you connect with us there, and of course, you can always follow me on Clubhouse.