Meet Elon Musk and talk about space! Chat with Oprah Winfrey! Write sad lyrics with Drake!
You may have heard of Clubhouse, an invite-only audio social media platform with an exclusive list of celebrities and big brand names who “publicly” meet and talk about whatever they want.
It’s gaining more attention, and it’s worth exploring for your marketing mix.
What is Clubhouse?
A webinar, a podcast, and a chat room walk into a bar…
Clubhouse is somewhere between an online, unplanned, webinar-style auditorium lecture and a social networking tool. As a user, you can start your own “Room” or join another’s, which is basically like dropping into a Zoom meeting where the audience is muted (and there’s no video).
Originally a platform for A-listers, Clubhouse gave each active user the opportunity to invite two people, which shot it from 600k users in December of 2020 to over 10 million users by the end of February.
Should you be on Clubhouse and use it for your marketing?
Inevitably with every new popular social media platform, you probably feel forced to consider whether you should drop everything and join the shiny new one.
Here are three things to consider before you go knocking on Clubhouse’s door for an invite:
1. It’s Unrefined Audio Performance.
Imagine your least-favorite podcasts, and they probably sound something like two guys rambling about a topic they’ve already covered at nausea.
Early feedback on Clubhouse is that a lot of the conversations could’ve used some editing. They still get to the good stuff, but you have to wade through all the ums and ers and ramblings that would normally be edited out for the sake of everyone’s time and attention.
Plus it’s live, scary, and unpredictable.
Say you join and decide to start your own “Room.” At any moment, you could be faced with a weird, off-topic question or a verbal assault. Suddenly, you’re the White House Press Secretary and you’re trying to navigate hard-hitting reporters asking about a Tweet from four years ago. That’s not for everyone.
On the flip side, this improvised format does give you more freedom when it comes to content planning. If you’re a compelling speaker and you’re not intimidated by a live broadcast, you can save on pre-production (planning) and post-production (editing) time.
2. The Audiences Are Still Exclusive and Limited.
Clubhouse has two main audience limitations:
- It’s still invite-only
- It’s still iPhone-only
When you’re trying to expand your reach, tapping into platforms that limit audiences means spending your time and energy in a place with a much lower ceiling.
The opportunities to connect with influencers might be higher, but the chances you’ll garner a genuine, sizable following are limited.
Plus, you may have a lot of interested, potential followers who own an Android and can’t access Clubhouse.
Compare that to your own blog and web presence – or any prominent social platform you’re on – where the barriers to subscribing and sharing are just a few clicks.
3. It Doesn’t Allow You to Record.
Maybe the biggest drawback of Clubhouse is its reliance on spontaneity.
Even if you knock your ‘Room’ performance out of the park, there’s no recording that can stand on its own and become a content asset in your library.
Suddenly, you’re a standup comedian with no Netflix special. You have to keep performing night after night instead of just doing it once, nailing it, and getting it on camera.
Compare that to an audio-recorded version of your blog posts, podcast, or webinar that can be accessed 24/7. Unless you’re struggling to fill hours of free time, investing in resources that can be recorded and preserved is a much quicker path to building a content library that drives audience growth and scales over time.
While you can slip around this limitation with screen-recording apps or by filming your phone with another device, ensuring a high-quality audio experience is still a major question mark.
Keep an Eye on Clubhouse
Its invite-only and live-only limitations make it a tough sell at the moment, but apps can change overnight. If Clubhouse’s adoption rates continue to skyrocket or if a recording feature is added, it might be worth reconsidering.
For now, leaning on recorded audio content with no audience limitations can help you get a better bang-for-buck for your time and energy.
Exclusive audiences can be enticing, but you still need to work hard (and get lucky) to earn their attention. Growing your own following – one full of people hungry to hear from you and share your content – will always beat a half-hearted sideways glance from an influencer.