What is Clubhouse and how does it fit your marketing strategy?
Updated: Feb 22
Chances are, you’ve heard the name Clubhouse being thrown around social media. What is Clubhouse, and how does it work?
Clubhouse, by Alpha Exploration Co., is a free app for iOS that has taken the world by storm amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of Jan. 20, 2021, the app was ranked number 8 in social networking on the Apple App Store with more than 173,000 reviews.
According to the app description, “Clubhouse is a space for casual, drop-in audio conversations - with friends and other interesting people around the world.”
During a live onboarding chat and Q&A, Co-founder Paul Davison said talking is the oldest medium known to humans. It comes naturally for us, and Clubhouse provides a way for people to stay connected or meet new people from a variety of backgrounds.
Unlike other social media platforms, once a voice chat conversation is over, it’s over. There are no archives of conversations. This casual, intimate setting has appealed to many during the pandemic who miss speaking with others or attending industry conferences.
Influencers, celebrities, and entrepreneurs have also flocked to the app. While the app started with a large San Francisco Bay Area audience, it has since grown worldwide. According to Metro, celebrities such as Drake, Oprah Winfrey, and Kevin Hart are now on the platform. Because of this, you never know who might pop in a chat room.
The exclusivity of the app has also created waves of FOMO amongst those on social media. Some might even say that its current invite-only policy is driving interest in the app.
While it’s invite only for now, the waitlist feature seems to indicate that it will open to the public eventually. The developers also said they are working on an Android version during an onboarding chat Jan. 20.
Now that we’ve introduced Clubhouse, it’s time to explore how it works.
How Clubhouse works
Once you download the Clubhouse app from the App Store on your iPhone, you will be greeted with a sign up page. From here you can either join the waitlist and reserve your username for when the app eventually goes public, or you can sign up with the phone number used for your invite.
If someone has invited, or nominated, you, you can finish setting up your account and get started on the app.
After adding your name, username, a profile picture, and following a few subjects you’re interested in, you’ll be asked if you’d like to share your contacts. This allows you to find your friends and family who are already on the app.
Clubhouse will then suggest a list of random users for you to follow, or you can skip that step and add people manually.
According to Co-Founder Davison during the Jan. 20 onboarding chat, your friends who are already on Clubhouse will sometimes create a welcome chat room as soon as you join. This may not always happen when a new user joins, but the option’s there. So, don’t be surprised if friends and family start talking to you before you even have a chance to get situated.
On the home page, or hallway, you’ll likely see a prompt advising you to follow at least 25 people. You’ll also find recommended rooms to join. At the bottom the green button allows you to create your own room. To the right of that is an icon that brings up a list of who is available for a private chat.
Along the top of the app is a menu. Search allows you to find others to follow and conversation topics to explore. You can also join clubs on various subjects like photography, real estate, marketing, and more. The envelope/letter icon allows you to invite up to two people to join the app. When you nominate someone, your name will appear on their profile. The calendar icon lets you see all of your upcoming events and chats that you can join, while the bell icon displays notifications.
By selecting your profile photo, you will find your profile. Here you can add or change your bio, connect to Twitter and/or Instagram, and see your following and followers.
You can connect your Twitter and Instagram accounts to your profile so that others can find you on those social platforms. You are required to sign-in to your account and provide some basic permissions to the app, such as the ability to see all of your posts, followers, and account settings (although you do not appear to be giving them permission to change anything, as it specifically says view.)
Once you’ve explored the app it’s time to start chatting! Davison encouraged users to join any room they see during the onboarding chat. He called rooms “the atomic unit of Clubhouse.”
If you join a room and want to speak, you can tap the Raise Hand button. Moderators of the room will see your request and can invite you to join them on stage. Moderators can also invite audience members to speak by selecting their profile photo. Users can then accept or decline the invitation.
When in the audience or while speaking, you can use the Leave Quietly button to leave a chat without saying goodbye. While this may not be accepted in normal conversation, the act of leaving a chat whenever you want is actively encouraged on Clubhouse.
You don’t just have to join rooms. You can start your own room at any time, or you can plan for later and add it to your calendar. By adding a chat to your calendar, anyone who follows you or is in your extended network can see it in their calendar.
Private rooms can also be created from a larger room by tapping someone’s profile photo and inviting them to a new chat. This is the Clubhouse equivalent of tapping someone on the shoulder.
If you think someone would enjoy the room you are currently in, such as an expert on the topic being discussed, you can use the Ping button to invite your followers to the chat.
And, as with other social media platforms, if you feel uncomfortable around someone, you can block them. You can also report other users who are breaking the rules and guidelines of the app.
Those are the basics of using Clubhouse. However, there are a few quirks to the app.
Quirks and limitations
While using Clubhouse, we’ve discovered a few quirks that you should be aware of.
First, Clubhouse does an onboarding chat every Wednesday at 6 p.m. Pacific where users can learn about the features and ask questions. These are a great way to learn more about the app and the founders. There are also town hall chats on Sundays where users can submit questions from the Support page.
While using Clubhouse, you might hear someone say “PTR,” or pull-to-refresh. Because Clubhouse is audio-only, if someone in a room wants to show the audience something, they often update their profile photo. When someone says “PTR,” they want the audience to refresh the page to see the new photo.
Another unique quirk are invites. Everyone has two invites that can be used to add other people to the app. If you are active enough on Clubhouse or those you added are extremely active, you can be granted more invites to send out. You can also get more invites just by asking for them, such as if you want your entire team at work to join. All you have to do is contact Clubhouse Support and explain the situation.
Tucking People In
This next one isn’t exactly a quirk, but we thought it was fun nonetheless. During the onboarding chat, Davison explained that if someone on stage falls asleep during late night or early morning chats, moderates should kindly move them into the audience. This is referred to as “Tucking People In.”
No return to home button
When looking for others to follow by seeing who others follow, it can be easy to get stuck deep in pages of user profiles. If you keep clicking on a user to see who they are following and then select another user, and another, you have to manually go back each page to return to the home page. If you are pages deep in the app, it might be easier to just close it and reopen it.
These are just a few of the quirks we’ve discovered so far, but we’re sure there are more out there. Have you found any interesting features or norms on the app? Let us know in the comments!
How to use Clubhouse for content marketing
Clubhouse has not been fully explored by many marketing agencies or businesses just yet. However, the potential for content marketing through Clubhouse Voice Chat is endless.
Some marketers and business professionals have already crafted bios with calls to action and links to their website to try and get new clients. This could be especially effective if you’ve just chatted with someone and started building a relationship with them. When they go to follow you, they’ll see your call to action.
The people on Clubhouse are the content. There are no posts or visual content, only the voices of participants. This makes the app a great place to speak with others, create new business connections and relationships, and tell others about your products or services (such as in private chats). Please ensure that your product/service is relevant to the conversation, though.
Many rooms have also been created around tips or advice. If you’re an expert in your field, you’ll have the opportunity to speak to dozens or hundreds of others in a single room. By helping others you’ll start building relationships, which can eventually lead to more followers and more chances for someone to become a client or customer.
You can also create your own chats around subjects related to your business.
While exploring available and upcoming chats on Clubhouse, we found rooms for marketing on Instagram, how to market small businesses, and how to blog. There are also specific niches such as chats for real estate tips, photography tips, how to become published authors, and even morning yoga sessions and meditation classes. The possibilities are endless!
Audio chat app Clubhouse has exceeded expectations and become the latest social media platform to become mainstream. With an exclusive invite system and no visual content, the app is certainly unique and full of possibilities.
From joining chats with celebrities, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and experts on various subjects to like-minded individuals wanting to discuss a certain hobby, Clubhouse rooms have it all. The ability to market businesses, products, and services is endless.
No matter your background, interests, or career, you can meet new people or create business connections with Clubhouse. There’s something for everyone, and new features are bound to roll out.
We hope you enjoyed this article on Clubhouse and the potential benefits we see for businesses on the platform.
Have you tried Clubhouse yet? What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments! You can also check out our other blogs for tips on getting started with Twitter, why marketing is important for businesses, and how to get more views on YouTube with SEO.