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What the hell is Clubhouse?

Posted by Fiona Todd on 20th April 2021

When I think back to the early days of lockdown 1.0, I strongly remember spending a majority of my time either rediscovering the joy of nature or endlessly scrolling through TikTok.

While it launched 2016, the video-sharing app suddenly took the social media world by storm in 2020 as people desperately looked for new ways to stay entertained and connect with others at a time where we were all confined to the four walls of our home.

In the week of 16th March, the app was downloaded 2 million times — an 18% increase from the previous week — and saw a 28% increase in the first 23 days of March compared to February with 6.2 million downloads.

Thanks to its cringeworthy, yet comical dance trends and heart-warming animal clips, TikTok has become one of the fastest-growing social media platforms in the world.

But while TikTok is continuing to soar in popularity, we’ve recently seen a new kid on the social media block, Clubhouse, which according to Bloomberg is set to become the next social media star, with 10 million weekly active users, up from 600,000 in December 2020.

For those of you who are not yet familiar with the platform, Clubhouse is, in a nutshell, an audio-based social media app that allows users to listen to or actively participate in live discussions. These take place in different “rooms” that can be for professional networking or just a conversation with friends.

Unfortunately at the moment, the app is very much positioned as a place only for the big-name celebs and billionaires (think Elon Musk, Drake and Oprah Winfrey), and you can only join if you’re lucky enough to get an invitation.

But that doesn’t mean marketers should immediately dismiss the idea of using Clubhouse as part of their marketing communications. Clubhouse’s creators say they intend to build the app to be used by everyone and are working to make it available as quickly as possible.

So why should brands care about the Clubhouse hype, and what are the opportunities?

Build personal relationships

Thanks to Clubhouse’s open and conversational vibe, brands can build more personal relationships with their audiences in a way like never before. The app provides a similar intimate space that podcasts can offer, but gives listeners the opportunity to actively engage with discussions taking place in the room.

It also allows brands to establish themselves as an industry expert by starting discussion rooms on a range of different topics where they can provide valuable insights and start interesting conversations.

Make new connections

While LinkedIn will always be the number one social platform to network with peers and build new connections, Clubhouse offers the same benefits, but just in a more relaxed and friendly manner.

Clubhouse not only gives brands the opportunity to engage with potential customers, but also allows them to build relationships with other business leaders and industry influencers. Whether it’s swapping industry insights or giving businesses your advice, Clubhouse is a new and exciting way to build new connections.

Keep on top of upcoming trends

By listening to other discussions from competitors, similar companies and influencers, brands can use Clubhouse as a way of keeping on top of the latest industry trends and news.

By understanding what topics and trends are being discussed, brands can ensure these are being mentioned throughout content to position themselves as the experts in their field and stand out above competitors.

It’s clear that Clubhouse has the potential to be an effective marketing tool, especially in a time where physical events are non-existent.

So if you’re looking to reap the benefits of the up-and-coming app, it’s worth developing your plan now so you’re ready to jump in on the action as soon as the app becomes widely available (unless of course you’re lucky enough to have already got yourself an invitation).

Fiona Todd

Fiona’s early PR career began in a Hollywood film studio, but she left the glamour of entertainment in favour of the variety and greater opportunity offered by tech PR. Fi’s calm demeanour and pragmatic approach has helped her win the hearts and minds of her clients ever since. The secret to Fiona’s zen-like approach to account management is her love of yoga, helping her maintain mental and physical wellbeing after dealing with the daily demands of busy agency life.