What do Elon Musk, Barbara Corcoran, Drake, and Tim Horton’s have in common?
Besides being household names, you find them all on Clubhouse, the new drop-in audio app taking the business world by storm.
I know what you may be thinking, “not another social app I have to join.”
And I get it. Between Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat (and perhaps you finally just signed up for a TikTok account) there is truly a lot to keep up with.
But with the rise of influencer marketing and the importance of organic networking, Clubhouse presents new opportunities for brands to make an authentic connection with its users—here’s why you should accept that invitation.
First, a quick rundown
Clubhouse is an invite-only, audio-only social media networking application. It is a hotspot for what every brand desires: highly concentrated groups of influential people from all demographics and circles, speaking unscripted on a variety of topics.
The app started off as a space for Silicon Valley techies to share ideas during the pandemic and has since grown to serve over 2 million users. With chatroom “club” topics ranging from “how to make a $1,000 in a day” to poetry slams, Clubhouse offers a place for everyone to engage.
- New members must be invited by an existing Clubhouse member to join the platform
- Invitations to join are sent via text message, therefore an existing member needs the invitee’s cell number
- The platform is currently only available on its iOS mobile app (not desktop or Android)
- Members are prohibited from transcribing, recording, or otherwise reproducing and/or sharing information obtained in Clubhouse without prior permission
- Members now have the ability to create a club within the app (previously you had to request a club)
The power of influencer marketing
Influencers on Clubhouse can also grow their social platforms simply by engaging on the app. Brands can work with influencers behind the scenes, or company executives can come forward as leaders to offer advice, answer questions, and host discussions.
In an interview with RETHINK Retail, Kady Srinivasan, senior vice president of marketing at Klaviyo, revealed that one of its clients—Hedley & Bennett—launched a one-for-one campaign where it donated one mask to frontline workers for each sold.
“Discussing the importance of supporting essential workers as a business or leader could feel like a natural way to refer to what a brand is doing in passing,” Srinivasan said. “Brands who are pushing out campaigns for Women’s History, for example, can engage with those topics, but don’t need to highlight every move their brand is making.”
How companies can capitalize
Clubhouse doesn’t need to act as an e-commerce space, but rather a community for discovery and knowledge.
Srinivasan told RETHINK that when engaging on Clubhouse, companies or executives should not directly promote their products or services. Instead, having natural conversations about something their brand is doing can be a great way to organically engage with potential customers.
Brands can also help build a community by adding valuable guidance during chat rooms. For example, the following advertisement for a Clubhouse chat hosted by McDonald’s Brazil offered a space for other businesses to ask McDonald’s executives questions about pandemic challenges, careers, and business management. Their willingness to have casual and open discussions creates powerful brand awareness.
The platform is also a great networking opportunity for executives to meet other executives at companies they are trying to target.
“It’s also important to note that Clubhouse does not only have opportunities for consumer brands; even those in the B2B space have strong ways to engage,” Srinivasan said.
Retail Influencer Ron Thurston, VP of Stores at Intermix, has moderated rooms alongside other industry experts and media for the “Retail Trends!” club—which is described as a collection of retail nerds who regularly discuss what’s going on in the wonderful world of retail.
Despite the growing convenience for brands looking to utilize the app for their businesses, it’s clear under Clubhouse’s initiative that they prevent direct advertising or selling. The app is currently ad-free and remains casual because of the unscripted and live nature of discussions.
Srinivasan noted that she has seen many hiccups with how retailers have entered and pushed out content on other social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram.
“Brands that are savvy will truly lean in and listen to the topics that are paramount among their consumers,” Srinivasan revealed. “It’s a huge learning opportunity and provides insight directly into what matters to their end consumers—those insights could be used to influence product development, marketing strategy, and so much more.”
Gabriella Bock contributed to this story