By Billy Boulia|Apr 13, 2021

Key Takeaways:

  1. Understanding what’s on the social audio landscape
  2. What are the best ways to leverage Clubhouse now?
  3. How do you think about measuring success with Clubhouse?

The latest trend on the digital and social media landscape is the virtual conference room-turned-thought-leadership-live-audio party: Clubhouse. Launching only one year ago in the Spring of 2020 and during the height of the Coronavirus outbreak, Clubhouse has grown quickly to a staggering 10MM users worldwide. We can attribute much of this growth and popularity due to the lack of conferences or speaking engagements, of course married with what we now call “Zoom fatigue” as well as a large shift toward being “live” on social. And this new social outlet has piqued the interest of many B2B and B2C industries and industry leaders to come together in one way: social audio.

What’s very intriguing to us though, is that Clubhouse is catching the attention of some of its bigger, more established social platform siblings. As NBC News reports, “valued at more than $1B, Clubhouse has drawn the attention of Silicon Valley’s social media and developer giants…and they believe that live audio represents the next phase of social media.”

Very little is known about best practices or how to successfully engage, but the NBC News article brings up a very interesting tidbit of information, the next phase of social media. We have long heard about the various social media algorithms that impact content discoverability. And for years we have heard that video is the king AND queen of content. Well, what if this new landscape of live audio becomes the latest important variable in the algorithm equation? First there was text, then photo, then video and now audio.

Social platforms are already thinking of ways to roll out competitive offerings, as they have for years. Twitter launched a feature called Spaces. Facebook is working on a live audio feature to its current family of apps, as well as a potentially stand-alone audio app. That being said, it’s pretty clear that with the two heavy-hitter social platforms getting into the game, Clubhouse has hit on some new digital marketing gold.

But what has yet to be seen is just how popular social audio will be. Not only how popular it will be, but what is the most strategic use of the new creative tactic. From what we have observed and taken part in with Clubhouse is a very specific angle: one focused on thought leadership and in information sharing and collaboration. Rooms can be launched, moderated and controlled by anyone, and topics range from wellness to technology to identity and even “social marketing hustle.” The larger, more engaged-with Rooms tend to be hosted and led by industry experts. What arguably is one of the most exciting opportunities with these Rooms in Clubhouse is that it’s able to be leveraged as a first-to-market thought leadership opportunity (for now). Thought leadership in terms of:

  • Providing unique perspectives on a certain topic
  • Testing marketing and communications messages with an unbiased panel
  • Having live, unfiltered conversations with other industry leaders

An important consideration for anyone venturing into the platform, is that Clubhouse is unscripted. Going into a Room it’s best to have a script prepared on what you want to discuss, but because anyone can join and listen in (and even raise their hand to join), moderators are somewhat left to the mercy of those who join. So do your part and create a plan for success.

But what does success look like for such a nascent platform? As PR Week comments, “One benefit is simply being an early adopter. Particularly for tech companies, there is an opportunity to establish a profile on the app and take early steps to gain a following.” Another potential success metric is gauging an uptick in relevant conversations with a target audience: is share of voice (SOV) increasing within a given topic on a given platform? But due to the fact that Clubhouse currently has limited reach, no paid amplification efforts and disappearing content, there is a fundamental lack in measurement.

To counter that, as with any new social platform, the first mover advantage is very real here. Brands and marketers who value test and learn digital advertising approaches should think about jumping on to the Clubhouse bandwagon. Again, despite the lack of refined measurement opportunities, leveraging Clubhouse from a thought leadership and marketing incubator standpoint can be a most successful approach at the moment. As we continue to navigate the ever-evolving digital landscape, we see social audio as a potential for promising growth and prominence. It could be the next big shift in communication from longer form email or video conferences to that of a more engaging audio experience where knowledge-sharing is seamless.


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