Social media is always reinventing itself. In 2014, Snapchat was the first platform to introduce the “stories” function — allowing users to post an image or video on their profile for their followers to view within 24 hours. Fast forward a few years, and now nearly every single social media platform has introduced their own version of a “story,” with almost imperceptible variations to differentiate between the platforms.
The newest craze? Clubhouse.
Clubhouse is a drop-in audio app that is currently only available to Apple users. Unlike all other social media sites, anyone who wants to join the app has to be invited by a member of the platform. It’s essentially an interactive podcast — users can listen in on conversations between the moderators and speakers, and even “raise their hand” to share their thoughts. Listeners have the option of joining rooms and discussions on a variety of topics. Depending on the nature of the room, audience members are brought on stage to ask a question or contribute to the discussion topic. For business owners, this emerging platform is a great tool to grow your business. While there are rooms for so many different topics, most users flock towards rooms moderated by people with extensive experience in the business world.
The unique draw to the app is not only the exclusivity, but also the direct connection to industry leaders — the likes of Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Oprah have been in rooms on Clubhouse! You’re getting direct access to entrepreneurs and industry leaders who may be outside of your reach otherwise. There are rooms for pretty much any topic imaginable, including rooms meant for startups or small business owners to pitch directly to angel investors and venture capitalists. The possibilities for growth are endless! You never know who may be listening in.
The exclusive nature of the app means users are more receptive to engaging in conversations offline. Since Clubhouse is only focused on audio communication, there are no ways to chat or message anyone on the app. Users are able to link their Instagram and Twitter handles on their page and encourage their audience to message them on other platforms, allowing them to continue conversations privately. You’ll even find highly engaged Clubhouse members prompting their audience to include the word “clubhouse” at the beginning of their DMs so they are easy to spot when filtering their message requests.
Clubhouse is still in its early stages, there are currently no ways to monetize the app and no tools to measure engagement. As such, the speakers are there because they want to, which means the insight they provide tends to be incredibly valuable. For business-minded individuals, you may find the Startup Club to be a valuable resource. They host daily rooms focused on helping business owners navigate their finances, create marketing strategies and scale their companies for growth. The lucky users who get brought up on stage to ask questions will get advice tailored to their business. People have even found mentors and business partners through connecting on the app.
When it comes to Clubhouse, small businesses are in the unique position to establish themselves amongst the leading brands in their industry. Not only are you able to connect and get great advice and feedback from other entrepreneurs, you can build your own network and establish your brand. Unlike Instagram and Twitter, where your visual feed drives engagement and is the metric of success, your experience is your currency on Clubhouse. Of course, your following count matters, but your experience and the value that you can contribute to the rooms and discussions are what will attract others to your profile. If you’re on the app or know someone who can share an invite, it would be beneficial to get ahead and establish yourself on the app before it is open to the general public.