Clubhouse: the newest social platform. People either love it, hate it, or are confused by it. This all reminds me of the early days of Twitter before it became a mainstream platform. I was an early adopter, and, like all new, innovative ideas, people weren’t totally convinced it was here to stay. In fact, some people laughed at the concept and rolled their eyes. I’m hearing the same unease about Clubhouse, but also a lot of excitement as people think of all the value they can bring to their audience via this platform. There are no rules. Early users are molding the space and influencing its future. With Elon Musk making surprise middle-of-the-night appearances in rooms, you truly never know what will happen on Clubhouse.
Clubhouse’s lack of structure and regulation brings on challenges of its own. I recently spoke to Amy Stanton, deemed the Queen of Clubhouse. Our conversation sparked my own ideas about Clubhouse. I see a great deal of opportunity for brands and companies to use it in the future.
So what exactly is Clubhouse? It’s a drop-in, audio-only platform that can be described as part podcast, part Zoom call, and part house party. It’s basically live radio meets a conference stage, but you can attend from anywhere. It’s currently invite-only, making it just exclusive enough for the conversations to feel intimate.
A few key takeaways:
Beware of rooms led by speakers who aren’t actually experts on the topic they’re talking about. From the time you first join Clubhouse, curation is key. Make sure to be intentional about who you follow from your account. This will affect what room recommendations show up in your feed, and therefore what conversations are readily available to you. Follow people who you respect or want to learn from, who work in an industry you’re interested in, or who often talk about topics you’d enjoy.
If you work for a corporate brand, the opportunities on Clubhouse for your company are open-ended. You’re only bound by your imagination. If you or the company is thinking about starting a podcast, you might consider starting out on Clubhouse. There’s a lot less work that goes into hosting a room on Clubhouse than creating an entire podcast. You can start to find your voice and test-drive your podcast concept before fully diving in. The content you share feels less permanent, and potentially less detrimental, because currently Clubhouse conversations have no shelf life. Clubhouse’s creators have yet to save the content, and it will be interesting to see if they ever decide to archive and offer recordings in the future so their users can listen on demand.
You can get as specific as you’d like on Clubhouse, and the niche rooms are often the most popular. Someone from a company can talk about their specific position. This offers value to listeners, whether it’s to attract talent, crowdsource new ideas, or learn from others’ mistakes, as people are sharing specific, tactical tips. I’ve seen conversations surrounding supply chain issues to look out for, best-in-class marketing organizations, vendors, fulfillment partner recommendations, etc. There’s a sense of community on Clubhouse stemming from a shared desire to help each other.
But Clubhouse isn’t just for speaking. It’s also for listening. There’s so much opportunity for big brands to drop in on the conversations that their customers are having. It’s almost like a new form of focus group. As I said before, there’s still a sense of intimacy on the platform. Companies can listen in on real, honest conversations their potential customers are having.
With endless opportunities for collaboration between individuals from around the world, who knows what Clubhouse will look like, or better yet sound like, in six months — but it seems the app is here to stay.
Amy Jo Martin is an investor; the Founder/CEO of Renegade Accelerator; a New York Times bestselling author; a speaker; and a podcaster.