28 Apr New Ways Small Business Can Take Advantage of Clubhouse Marketing
Video may have killed the radio star, but if trends continue audio may have a fighting chance against video in the constant battle for the best content. At the same time video app TikTok experienced a surge in users, a smaller app named Clubhouse was launching its platform to an exclusive list of just 100 users.
The app, powered by invites from one member to another, had just two million users as it rolled into 2021 but has swelled to ten million in the first quarter of the year. Whether you’re impressed by the surging growth or rolling your eyes at yet another social media platform, it’s worth taking a minute to think through how Clubhouse and other audio platforms might fit into your marketing plan.
The Clubhouse Details
Clubhouse is a live audio-only platform available only on Apple iOS devices. It’s by invitation only, so if you aren’t a member you’ll have to find someone with an invitation they’re willing to share with you. The exclusivity of the group is part of what has fueled its sudden growth.
Users of the app create “room” based on topics they want to discuss. Unlike podcasts, these discussions aren’t recorded and edited to be played back later. Instead they are live. The group owner may choose who they allow to speak in the room and anyone can enter to listen in on the discussion. Discussions may be recorded by room owner to be posted in other places, but there’s no archive of discussions. If you miss a discussion you’re out of luck.
The platform’s success has spurred both Twitter and Facebook to invest in clones of the tool. Twitter Spaces has already beat Clubhouse to Android devices and is reported to be available to everyone this month (April 2021). Rumors are all we have of the Facebook app, but with the social giant’s reputation for cloning other successful platforms, we have no doubt they’re working on a new audio-only product now.
Easier than Video
Small businesses have two pain points when it comes to creating video: nobody wants to be on camera and video is expensive to produce. Yes, you can create a video with your smartphone, but editing it into sound bites takes skill and time most small business owners don’t have. Clubhouse audio, on the other hand, is live which eliminates the worry and cost of professional editing. One article related Clubhouse chats to the old days of calling into radio stations.
The Downside of Audio Only Platforms
Every new media experiences bumps along the way to stardom. Clubhouse and it’s copycats are no different. The two major hurdles for Clubhouse right now are the lack of content moderation and the absence of ad monetization.
Facebook and Twitter have taken flack for what some call over-moderation of their content. Following the 2016 election, Facebook implemented processes to censor content on its site and more recently added fact-checker blocks to content. Twitter has banned certain accounts due to content that didn’t follow its rules. As of right now, Clubhouse has none of these controls, partly due to the live nature of its media. The more the app grows, the more we can expect to see some type of moderation in place.
We also expect to see the app add monetization to its platform, after all, it needs to make a profit somehow. Ads might allow businesses who don’t want to create their own content to take advantage of the content already being created.
Tips for using Clubhouse
Audio-only media follows the same marketing tactics as every other digital or traditional media. Just because it’s out there doesn’t mean it’s right for your business. If you’re seeing your target market adopting the platform, now’s the time to jump in and experiment. Before investing a lot of time into the platform here are the best practices to follow.
- Set a goal — Know what you want to accomplish with your discussions and posts on the platform.
- Create a strategy that meets that goal — For instance, if you want to educate people on your industry plan to interview industry experts or create topics for discussion that move toward your goal.
- Be consistent — While live audio-only doesn’t have the expectations of regular uploads like podcasts, the success of every marketing effort is tied to consistency. Plan to schedule live talks every week on the same day.
- Cross-promote — Post details about your audio talks on your other social media channels.
- Measure, measure, measure — Remember that goal you set? Look back every quarter to if you’re moving forward and create a strategy to fix it if you’re not.
New social platforms are exciting especially at first. And if you can own your space before your competitors figure it out, even better. If you’re struggling to juggle all the social media options plus take care of your business, we can help. Email Hilary for information on social media management to keep your business top of mind while you take care of your customers.