By now, you’ve already heard about Clubhouse, the audio-only social app with over six million users (the majority just joined over the past couple of months). The invite-only channel is the social platform du jour, with everyone from brands to entrepreneurs to curious individuals joining and hosting conversations on just about any topic you can think of. If you’re still working out how Clubhouse works – and maybe even more importantly, why it works – check out what five industry pros had to say about it.
"While I would agree that we've all reached our limit with apps to mindlessly scroll, think of Clubhouse as a tool for your business or personal brand. One where you can set clear boundaries and implement some really powerful strategies that can help you connect with and reach more people. The space is not yet overly saturated because people are still figuring out what it is. Anyone can start a Club and host chats related to their field. Unlike LinkedIn which can feel like the place people go to brag, you can really only be successful on Clubhouse if you're adding value." -Molly Schoneveld, President | The Storied Group (check out more of Molly’s tips here).
"We’ve seen quite a bit of interest in Clubhouse as of late - I think the “members-only” approach of the app has made it feel very fresh and exciting. From a brand perspective, we see it as a great place to position brand founders as leaders in their respective spaces, whether that’s navigating the business world as a female founder, leading the charge in sustainability, or advising others on how to build a successful start-up. It’s the next iteration of a panel, podcast or even Instagram Live. We love how the app provides a very intimate feeling within even very large rooms - as you listen, it feels like the speakers are right in your living room. It will be interesting to see how the app develops and continues to grow this year, but we do think there is room in the world for an entirely audio-based app to be embraced." -Renee OGAKI, Founder | OGAKI
"I think there is an element of sociology for the best and brightest that all just want to be back in a room together sharing ideas, testing out theories and openly communicating – this time it just so happens to be a chat room! I also believe there is a fundamental difference from zoom and other online communication platforms where we have seen a large cross-section of the user base essentially saying that we’re "zoomed out” and less engaged, so this feels refreshing and new for everyone. Clubhouse may not necessarily be for work, but it’s absolutely for networking, which we are all in desperate need of (whereas zoom never really offered us that in a deeply meaningful way).
Does Clubhouse survive or does it just create the roadmap for Facebook and Twitter to refine and update their platforms? My hunch is too early to tell, but I would be very worried about how to monetize this audience while they have it actively engaged. It’s very easy to become the next House Party.
As far as tips, don't be afraid to raise your hand or speak up in a room, especially if you are invited on stage. It's just like having the courage and confidence to walk up to a stranger at an event or a party. You may never have that access again and if it seems fleeting, it's because it is. Do feel the room out a bit before you dive in; sometimes the best contribution you can make is just to listen. We have been given a window into some incredible minds (from Grimes to Gary V to Bill Gates) over the last few weeks who are sharing on this platform like never before, so sometimes best just to take it all in and be grateful you got a ticket!" -Zev Norotsky, Founder | ENTER
"We recommend using the app as a way to meet and hear from other professionals in your field while also learning about new topics that pique your interest. See Clubhouse as a tool to grow both professionally and personally. The best conversations are those that build off each other and involve multiple speakers, experiences, and perspectives. Encourage other speakers in a room to share, ask questions, and keep the conversations collaborative, not competitive." - Hawkins International PR Digital Team (catch more tips here)
"It’s worth dipping your toes into Clubhouse. Find yourself an invite and go hang in a few rooms and join a few clubs. Avoid the instinct to only follow people you already follow on other social channels because chances are they’ll be saying the same thing they write, tweet or say elsewhere. My recommendation is to use Clubhouse to seek out new people, new ideas and new conversations, and to listen and learn from them. Once you determine you have something valuable and topical to contribute, then step up to the mic. It might feel safer at first to join a room in progress, and raise your hand to speak. Or, if you’re feeling bold, start your own room or create a private one and give it a go." - Samantha McGarry, Senior Vice President | Inkhouse (more on that here)
Photo: Hawkins International PR