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What is Clubhouse, and how can marketers use it for success?

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

The newest and buzziest social media app, Clubhouse, is exclusive and also elusive. It’s a voice-only space that feels remarkably analog: nothing is recorded and nothing can be visualized. Currently accessible only by invitation, its allure is, in many ways, akin to vintage fashion or velvet-rope social events: it’s pared-down, fuss-free, and particularly desirable because it’s difficult to access.

But as much as Clubhouse’s model is a throwback to the old-school partyline days of simple landline phones, it’s also touting itself as something entirely new. The app’s own language speaks of major boundary-breaking ideas: “Clubhouse is a new type of social product based on voice that allows people everywhere to talk, tell stories, develop ideas, deepen friendships and meet interesting people around the world,” the app says of itself.

And there’s no denying that Clubhouse is being discussed and dissected all across the web. It provides a stage for leaders to talk where followers can listen as part of an audience, and sometimes even wait to be called on. Rather than the collective atmosphere of traditional social media, Clubhouse offers a clear platform -- and to those who get to speak in it, power to amplify their message.

People want access to its rooms, and for marketers, providing value to a Clubhouse discussion is a surefire way to get noticed and propel your messaging to new heights.

Clubhouse has been endorsed by some major celebrities, including Oprah, Drake and Ashton Kutcher, and it’s entirely possible to interact with those famous names -- as well as some of the world’s most successful Silicon Valley investors and social media influencers -- inside of Clubhouse’s rooms. While many social media platforms have devolved into echo chambers of identically-aligned opinions, Clubhouse is a refreshing shift where members can enjoy real-time chats on a variety of topics, and genuinely have their ideas challenged and their minds expanded.

Also, while other platforms often feel like content farms or churn machines where filters and slick hashtags skew reality, Clubhouse’s focus is on quality over quantity.

But how exactly does Clubhouse work, and how can you navigate its features to take advantage of all it has to offer? Here’s a quick primer.

Currently, Clubhouse is invitation-only, and exclusivity is a big piece of the appeal. But the app has hinted that it soon plans to expand to the general public. To get a foot in the door, it’s good to have friends who are on the app: existing users are able to bring in two new members each. If you can’t source an invite via a well-connected friend, you can also try putting out a social media SOS, sending a tweet or Instagram message with the words #Clubhouse to crowdsource for an open invitation.

Once you’re on the site, maximize your profile. The only clickable links in your bio are the Twitter and Instagram profile links -- don’t forget those! And make sure that any other links you include can be easily copied and pasted. Use keywords strategically, and don’t be shy; if you want to be invited to discussions on real estate, or technology, or fashion, get those words in your bio so those invitations are extended to you.

Make sure your bio is as strong as possible. The first three lines have to pack a punch and quickly and succinctly let people know who you are and what you have to offer. Every single word -- and even every single emoji -- needs to be searchable and strategically chosen so that potential audiences can find you. Recently, they added the option to share your Clubhouse profile so that people can follow you. (Simply tap the new “share” icon on your profile.) You can also now share a club by tapping the “...” on the club page and then tapping “share a link”.

To build a following, tap your network. One of the most beautiful things about Clubhouse is it allows anyone to build an organic following based on natural leadership skills rather than filters and social media hype. So seize that opportunity. Once you’re on the app, create rooms around topics you are passionate about -- it’s the quickest and most authentic way to establish yourself (or your clients) as an expert in a field.

Don’t forget to be strategic. While Clubhouse’s return to honest communication, face-free chats and unrestricted access to celebrity (once you get an invite) makes it feel like something entirely new and refreshing in the social media world, it’s important to remember that no matter how authentic the voices on the app are, marketers and CMOs still need to always utilize the space with a strategy in mind. Choose rooms with care, dole out those two precious invites only after thinking plenty about the chain of networking opportunities you want to be linked to, and remember that even though Clubhouse does not record its conversations, nothing on the app -- or on the Internet -- is ever truly anonymous. Clubhouse is an amazing opportunity for both failure and success. Choose correctly, and it will propel you forward.

A word of with all new apps, scammers quickly emerge. Everyone can be a moderator in any room they create on the app. If you are asked to pay to be a moderator or for a moderator badge, it is a scam.

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