When Elon Musk announced earlier this week that he'd be live on Clubhouse later that evening, it seemed to be the only thing anyone was talking about.
Clubhouse is the latest newcomer to the social media scene. A purely audio-based app, passive listeners can overhear discussions between some of their favorite business leaders and celebrities, as well as those in their industry and niche. Gary Vaynerchuk, Oprah Winfrey, and even Drake are just some of those who have already joined the app - making Elon Musk uncharacteristically late to this new, innovative platform. The timing of Clubhouse couldn't really have been better. As society continues to mourn the loss of human connection, there is a gap in the market between the same-old text-driven platforms (Facebook and Twitter) and the constant need for everyone to be on camera (dubbed 'Zoom-Fatigue'). Naturally, a voice-only app is the answer we've all been waiting for, whether we knew it or not.
When you join Clubhouse, you have access to chat rooms of different topics, interests and people. Some may have thousands of people in there (those with high-profile speakers), whilst others contain numbers in the tens and hundreds. You can customize your profile to reflect who you are, what you do and what you like to talk about. This way, if you request to be on 'stage' - join the discussion in the room with your voice, rather than passive listening - followers can identify if they have a common interest and would like to follow you for future chats.
As with every social media platform, there is an algorithm. Your algorithm will pick up both your contact list, your location and those you've chosen to follow. That way, it can suggest you rooms based on the kind of topics it thinks you'll be interested in. Of course, the ultimate catch is that you can start your own room and have people come in and listen to you. If you're consistent, and if you're speaking about topics of particular interest, you're like to grow a reasonable following, if that's your goal.
There are two criteria you need to fill in order to get your hands on an invite:
Clubhouse has assured people that it will soon be rolled out non-exclusively. However, as it is still in its Beta phase, you need an invite to join, or you will have to join the waiting list. The good news is that every new member gets at least two invites when they join - and ongoing promotions and offers often mean they will receive subsequent ones too. Finding somebody who has a spare invite shouldn't be too hard.
Much like all social media, Clubhouse can be used in a variety of ways in your PR and marketing strategy. The huge expanse of rooms allows users to join discussions related to work and business, or their favorite hobby. You can find rooms on bands, pop culture, Harry Potter - you name it. However, so far it's been highlighted as a great way to build connections and generate conversations around your profession.
There's no doubt about it, Clubhouse is the perfect platform to grow your personal brand. The platform exposes you to people within your niche, offers you a totally new way to reach your audience and, subsequently, provides you with potential new connections. The formula that Clubhouse seems to have nailed, however, is how passive listening to the various rooms provides the user with a unique sense of connection and exclusivity - almost as if they're overhearing an important phone call.
In a time of social distancing, there's no underestimating how much users are longing to hear voices, rather than stare at text on a screen. This creates the perfect environment for you to build and develop your personal brand, showcasing your knowledge and joining rooms of your expertise.
If you're on Clubhouse, you can find me at @HannahPower - join me weekdays at 1:30 PM GMT for an exclusive discussion on life, business, and the personal branding world.