By: Regan Thompson
Just when you started to get the hang of Facebook, Tik Tok, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, the social media universe has added another app for you to add to your homepage. But this one is a little different. It’s an audio-only chatroom. You almost feel like you’re spying on someone’s work call, but you’re supposed to be there. Before you download the invitation-only app, we’ve broken down how it works and what we are learning from it.
How it works:
Completely opposite of Instagram, the only picture you can “post” on Clubhouse is your profile photo. Clubhouse gives a platform to a variety of voices — voices that want to be heard and it’s your job to listen!
So how do you find rooms that interest you?
- Tap the magnifying glass at the top left corner of your screen.
- Type in specific keywords that interest you OR scroll down to the “find conversations about…” section.
- If you scroll down the categories of conversations you’ll see it ranges from entertainment, wellness, places, sports and more. From there, you can specify what types of rooms you want to check out.
- For example, under the “wellness” category you can find rooms that talk specifically about vegan lifestyles, fitness tips, and even rooms where nurses and healthcare officials can connect with one and other.
- From there just hit “follow” once you find a room of interest. You’ll be alerted when that room is scheduling their next chat.
- After you have found rooms of interest and followed a few people, the calendar icon in the top right of your screen will allow you to scroll through the scheduled rooms for the day.
Clubhouse users have the ability to create a club with multiple rooms. Think of it like this: a club can be very broad and rooms provide in-depth conversation that aligns with that club’s subject. For example, Social Media Marketing Trends is one of my favorite clubs. They offer different rooms (conversations) each day such as “Be a Successful Social Media Manager.” This club allows experts and to give advice and tips that they have learned.
Tip: Follow people who are in rooms and clubs you like- this way your suggested rooms will be like-minded.
Clubhouse is currently only available in iOS format, so iPhone users have exclusive access. Before you head over to the AppStore, remember Clubhouse is an invite-only app. Every new user gets two invitations when they join Clubhouse. This invitation style of networking adds to the exclusivity of Clubhouse.
Who is speaking?
Experts, coaches, celebrities, and influencers, all in one place! This is the beauty of Clubhouse. It has presented itself as extremely adaptable for people who already have a strong presence on other social media channels. They have fluidly transferred their following from platforms like Instagram and Twitter to Clubhouse. But don’t let this discourage you from joining Clubhouse, it’s easy to join rooms and get engaged. Many rooms allow you to virtually raise your hand, signaling to them you have something to say. In hopes to keep things orderly, the etiquette of Clubhouse is to finish your statements with “I’m *insert name* and I am done speaking.”
What can I listen to?
Quite literally, anything topic you could think of — there is a Clubhouse room for it as topics are not limited. Everything from social media marketing trend rooms where entrepreneurs can pitch ideas, to rooms dedicated to green thumbs and improving one’s gardening skills. What I have found to be special about Clubhouse is some rooms are very specific. Conversations you didn’t even know you wanted to be a part of present themselves on this app.
With any new social media platforms, it’s important to learn the ins and outs of the platform in order to keep the best marketing strategy moving along. Here are some tips for marketers to have the best success on Clubhouse:
- Network: Chat rooms contain a variety of people who all share similar interests. Capitalize on meeting new people in already established chat rooms that share your business goals and expand your network! When you are listening in a chat room, Women In Marketing, for example, you have the opportunity to ask questions, propose a problem you’re seeing with your brand or product, gain real-world answers and make connections.
- Optimize your Clubhouse bio: Since Clubhouse is not like traditional social media platforms, it can be difficult to dictate how to catch followers’ attention. Make sure your bio is clear, concise and catchy! When previewing a profile, Clubhouse only shows the first three lines of your bio so it is important to stand out.
- Start a room that encompasses your brand and niche: The mic is open and you’re up! Operating behind the scenes in a chat room can be intimidating at first, but creating a new room allows you to open a door for your target audience.
- How to start a Clubhouse room:
- Head to the “hallway.”
- Tap “start a room.”
- Tap “add a topic.” Then, choose 60 characters or less to describe your room
- Next, you’ll be asked to choose 1 of 3 room options: “open”, which means open to the public; “social”, which means only open to users that you follow; and “closed”, with this option you select the specific users you want in the room.
- Tap “let’s go.”
- And voila! You have created your first chat room.
- How to start a Clubhouse room:
Tip: Promote your chat rooms, including date and time, on other social media channels.
Before starting your launch into Clubhouse remember these tips:
- Be clear with your goals and know your reasoning for joining Clubhouse. Is it to grow your brand and network? Or maybe, to learn from experts and join in on conversations? Decide what topics will best help grow your business and remember these questions when using the app.
- Optimize your time. Like any social media app, it’s easy to go down a rabbit hole of information. Give yourself a time limit on the app, just like with any other social media platform.
- Use a moderator. When hosting a room, you’ll see a lot of movement of people coming in and raising their hands. Having a moderator in your room allows them to handle the logistics of hand-raisers and moving speakers on stage. Then you can focus on the conversation at play.
Clubhouse hasn’t gone without critiques, here are some of ours that you should take into consideration before jumping on the platform:
- The lack of structure within the app can be frustrating for some users. While some rooms are planned days or a week ahead of time, and some rooms seem to come out of thin air. Established rooms themselves can even feel a bit unorganized due to the organic approach of the app.
- There is no way to leave any commentary unless you are speaking or chosen next to speak. No side conversations can happen which leaves fewer people to share their input.
- Clubhouse feels a bit like a podcast, but unlike podcasts, Clubhouse is not pre-recorded. So if you miss something- you’ve missed it. You cannot rewind the conversation.
- No direct message capabilities exist on Clubhouse. This limits the ability to network beyond having conversations in the chatroom. Being able to follow up with speakers after a room chat would launch Clubhouse into a networking dream.
The localization of Clubhouse:
Sometimes when in a chatroom, you’ll hear a variety of accents and opinions. Expanding knowledge and networks to all corners of the world is exciting and definitely worthwhile. However, if you want to network and hear from individuals a little closer to home- you can do that too on Clubhouse! The DMV area has launched this idea and has specifics for creatives in the area, people who just moved into the area and a DMV-specific networking room. These rooms have given me some new restaurant suggestions and allowed me to connect with people in my area!
Most talked about clubs and rooms:
- IHOP’s zizzling bacon chatroom: Yes, IHOP is on Clubhouse. But instead of active chatrooms with open dialogue, the pancake empire has turned to pleasing consumers with the sweet sizzling sound of fresh bacon being cooked. What makes you feel like you’re at grandma’s house is actually a smart and stand-out marketing idea.
- Women’s Powerhouse: This one is a personal favorite at Williams Whittle! This club offers an honest and exclusive room for women to share their success stories, learn from one and other, and eventually take their brands to the next level. It also offers a moderated conversational style of club that removes the noisy overwhelming cons that are often associated with Clubhouse.
- Amplify is a club for entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses. Moderated by Arjun Rai, the CEO of Hellowoofy.com, moderates the room usually, and even offers an “Underdog” room to focus on smaller businesses and teach new entrepreneurs.
What started as a social networking tool for Silicon Valley executives, has turned into a community for people alike, and not alike, across the world. Clubhouse gives every niche topic of conversation a platform. What seems like a podcast with low-level audio quality has taken over the AppStore. Clubhouse is a learning opportunity turned social media channel and is creating a new way of networking. ClubHouse may feel sporadic, noisy, and a little distracting. But it has quickly become an engaging platform that allows users to learn more about a variety of subjects. Overall, what feels like a free for all podcast has taken over the internet. Take a listen and let us know what you think.