Clubhouse, the social media platform that’s rapidly gaining popularity, is the new talk radio. This social audio app is currently only available for iPhone users, but an Android version should be available sometime in 2021.
Clubhouse is going to breed a new type of media personality. It offers an exciting opportunity for subject matter experts who can sustain a conversation and interact with an audience in real-time.
What is Clubhouse and How Does it Work?
Clubhouse is an audio-only social platform where people get together in virtual rooms, each run by a moderator. Participants can passively listen to a conversation. The moderator may invite them to the “stage” to participate in speaking or asking a question.
Discussions in a chat room can be about any subject you can imagine. The size of the room can vary from a handful of participants to 5,000 people. Smaller rooms have the advantage of being more intimate, offering the opportunity to connect with people on a deeper level than you may not be able to otherwise.
Who Should be on Clubhouse?
People who do well on this platform aren’t necessarily those you would see on the conference circuit or stage. It’s not about looks; it’s about expertise.
Introverted people seem to be very much attracted to Clubhouse. Those who wouldn’t normally do a keynote in front of 5,000 people at a conference are comfortable doing it in a Clubhouse room.
Even if you’re not considering Clubhouse as a social platform right now, you should still get your name for your handle and the dot club domain before someone takes them.
What are the Benefits of Being on Clubhouse?
It’s much easier to build authority and brand expertise on Clubhouse. Keep in mind there’s no barrier to entry as there is with speaking gigs. Getting on the virtual stage with a social media influencer is much simpler than coordinating all of this in real life with all the emails and back and forth. It makes influencer marketing much more achievable.
It’s better to look at Clubhouse as a marketing opportunity to build authentic relationships with potential clients. In that context, be careful when deciding whether or not to pitch. Your time spent on Clubhouse is not going to be a direct sales activity where you’re closing leads and deals all day long. Think of it as an extension of your brand on a platform that you may not otherwise be.
While most content marketing focuses on generating ROI, it’s important to approach Clubhouse from a content-first mindset. This is a segment of your audience that is attracted to audio content. So, if your goal is to educate people, then this is another form of content or another way of reaching them.
However much time you can devote to this platform is worth it in the end. Because there’s no barrier to entry, you can just hop in and hop out. But consistency is key to making it work, just like any other platform. You’re still following the maxim of garbage-in garbage-out.
The temporal nature of Clubhouse content means there is no data to guide you in decision-making. What’s the best time to go on Clubhouse? Most will say after work. At the very least, it avoids unwanted distractions during regular work time.
How to Become a Successful Clubhouse Moderator
Moderating a room on the Clubhouse app is challenging. It’s all about the social audio experience. Unlike a podcast that you can script to a high degree, everything that happens on Clubhouse is live.
It’s not a private call. It may feel private and intimate, but there’s an audience there, just like on radio or TV. It’s real media that can really keep people on their toes (and it’s easy to be put on the spot). Given that situation, get some media training before going on the platform.
In addition to media training, being a good moderator requires an ability to read the room and understand the dynamics and tone. You can’t draw on body language, so you’ll need to focus on non-verbal queues. For example, are there long awkward pauses between speakers.
You need to be a strong leader because you are responsible for everything in that room. That’s where the buck stops.
Clubhouse and SEO
Given that events are not recorded, it’s easy to dismiss Clubhouse as having zero relevance to Search. However, Google has started indexing Clubhouse event pages. These event pages are the epitome of thin content, there’s really nothing there!
But so many people linking to these pages due to the excitement surrounding the platform. As a result, these pages are going to start to appear. You’ll find these event pages appearing for exact match queries and complex queries that involve people associated with the event.
I imagine that eventually Clubhouse will probably archive these events and build out some sort of infrastructure. That would be great for Search.
If you think about Clubhouse as an event, it offers a prime opportunity for rich media optimization. For example:
- Pre-interviews with people going to the event.
- Session reviews.
- Post-session reflections.
- Repurposing the content across several platforms.
This isn’t something that will necessarily happen naturally. It needs to start with a recording. However, recording conversations is currently against their terms of service unless everyone in a room agrees.
Getting that consent is virtually impossible if you have more than a few participants. But I can imagine that Clubhouse ends up recording and transcribing everything so they can have an archive.
As a young social media platform, Clubhouse has a number of significant challenges it needs to overcome.
As mentioned above, it’s against their terms of service to record any conversations. This can make it harder for those looking to associate themselves with brand entities. You have to get them in the room to get them on board.
Some possibilities could be sponsored rooms and branded rooms. They’re a target audience, so it would be natural for brands to reach out to the club’s moderator to collaborate. At the same time, there’s a risk that the commercialization of Clubhouse will jeopardize its coolness factor. Marketers ruin everything!
On the bright side, that transient nature of the content creates a real fear of missing out if you’re not around to hear it. But because you have to be there in the moment to participate, it can be challenging to find the time to attend. You just can’t have it both ways.
The issue of recording conversations creates its own dilemma. People who know they’re not being recorded act differently than people who suspect the possibility that they are. So that potentially changes the dynamic to more along the lines of a podcast.
Lastly, the audience can get pretty big, which can pose problems when trying to both moderate and speak. That distraction of moderating can result in a lower quality conversation.
All Eyes on Clubhouse
There’s a lot of attention being paid to this social media app. Getting in on the ground floor makes it easier to capitalize on that attention. Eventually, the platform will mature and organic reach will decline. We’ve seen that happen time and again.
In the meantime, it’s definitely worth exploring. And if you’re an Android user like myself, you just need a little patience.
Written by Stephen Jeske