Usually Gen Z are the early adopters of any shiny new social app, with B2C brands the first to embrace a new way of reaching their target audience. But when start-up audio chat app Clubhouse suddenly burst into the mainstream earlier this year, it created a TikTok level of frenzy on LinkedIn and Twitter newsfeeds.
Clubhouse is still in its infancy, launching in March last year, but already it has 20 million weekly active users, who average 11-20 hours on the app. With the hype extending to our professional networks, B2B marketers are naturally wondering if they should dive in or take the usual wait-and-see approach.
We’re never ones to jump on a new social app craze for the sake of it. Yet here we are with a social platform that seems to be a perfect fit for B2B inbound marketing, instead of stretching it to do so. One that’s exciting our clients, peers and prospects too.
We’re excited at Tribal to explore Clubhouse. If you’re the same, read on for what makes Clubhouse so appealing and a few issues to consider before adding it to your B2B marketing toolbox.
What Exactly Is Clubhouse?
It’s a new audio-app where discussions take place in ‘Rooms’ with a host. It’s currently in Beta stage and is the equivalent of a prestigious golf club – membership is by invitation only and the dress code is strictly Apple only at the moment!
To find a Room to join on Clubhouse you scroll through the ‘Hallway’. There are three types of rooms:
- Open Room – Anyone can join
- Social Room – You can only join where it’s hosted by your followers or someone you’re following
- Closed Rooms – By invite only. (Another appeal to our FOMO!)
Once in a room, the speakers and moderators sit on the stage and you’re in the audience. Audience members are automatically muted but you can ‘raise your hand’ to join the conversation and a moderator will then ‘move you to the stage’ where you wait in turn to have your say.
What’s So Appealing About Clubhouse?
Understandably, Clubhouse’s invite-only approach lends an air of exclusivity, with people that keen to get in on the action that people are selling invites on eBay!
Exclusivity aside, there are plenty of other reasons Clubhouse is so popular:
- Conversations aren't recorded and there's no social footprint left of chat questions. People can therefore talk more freely than on an online webinar that leaves a social footprint of chat questions.
- You can join or leave quietly at any time, without a limit, meaning people can pop in and out of discussions as they wish.
- There are conversations for everyone. From marketing and company culture to health and politics, there’s always something to discover.
- It’s been described as a “beautiful mess”. Many users – ourselves included – have found the conversational nature of the app encourages more debate and learning opportunities than other hosted online events.
Should You Embrace Clubhouse? If So, How?
As we said earlier, we’re keen to see what Clubhouse holds. It seems like a great fit for the kind of conversations we like to have – where professionals share and debate ideas in a relaxed manner.
Still, there are a few things to consider before you jump in:
- Room discussions have been known to veer off course and last for hours. While this may be explained by the initial excitement, your moderator may need to veer conversations back on track and ensure there’s an exit plan.
- Is your audience on Clubhouse or do they wish to be? We’ve chosen to experiment with Clubhouse because our clients and peers are excited about it too.
- It requires regular commitment. Unlike webinars, you will grow your following through regular discussions that take place at the same time.
- It’s still in its infancy. Do you want to grab an early adopter advantage? Or do you usually take a more conservative approach?
- What will your audience gain from it? It can be difficult to extract useful insights quickly so can you ensure that the long discussions add enough insights and interest?
If you do decide to experiment with Clubhouse, it’s best to do so as part of an inbound approach. People have already been complaining about people using the platform to promote their business or services. The very features that make the app so appealing means that people will tune out unless you’re providing a Room for educational or interesting discussions.
We would love you to join us for our first Clubhouse discussion. We want to create a place where we can all learn from each other, sharing insights and practical tips and debating the future of all things social media related.