Just what everyone needed in 2021: a new social media app (please note the sarcasm). Clubhouse seemed to appear out of nowhere - at least in Europe - and now, you can't spend 5 minutes on Instagram without seeing a screenshot of the mysterious new app. At Buro155, we've been getting lots of questions about Clubhouse and its potential for small businesses, so here's a Q&A with everything you need to know.
Q: What even is Clubhouse?
It's an audio-only app. The easiest way to think of it is as live podcasts that allow you to join in. Someone hosts a 'room', assigns a topic, and anyone can start chatting away. There's no web version, so it's really still in development. Watch this space.
Q: Sounds good! Can I join?
The app is currently in beta-mode, so it's invite-only for the moment. We suspect that this exclusivity has helped boost Clubhouse's allure. It's not actually that hard to get an invite, and if you really want one, drop @Buro155 a DM on Instagram and we'll see what we can do. One other thing: the app is currently only for iPhone users.
Q: What are the benefits?
Clubhouse's main benefit is the ease with which you can listen to and join in conversations. It's a lot more intimate than a podcast, because you have a chance to participate, and this also means you're engaging closely with influential people. It's also nice to have an app that's not so appearance-focused for a change: you don't need to get dolled up like you might for an Instagram Live.
Q: Are there any downsides?
The app is very new on the scene, which means it's pretty unregulated. There's room for the app to be used for negative purposes, and there aren't the same bans on white supremacy/ racist/ sexist behaviour as you see on other apps. Famous people who've recently been banned from Twitter (cough cough Trump) can easily jump onto Clubhouse to spread hateful rhetoric, so it's going to be interesting to see how the app deals with these issues in future. There's also supposed to be a rule that you can't record conversations on Clubhouse, but from the content we've seen on Instagram, it doesn't seem like that's policed.
Q: How can I use Clubhouse for business?
There are lots of ways that Clubhouse could be used for business.
Build a network by engaging in conversations with influential people.
Position yourself as an expert by hosting discussions on your industry. Don't forget to promote the conversation on your other social media channels.
Learn from experts by following them and listening to the conversations they participate in.
Identify and connect with potential new clients.
Make your value proposition clear in your bio and invite people to connect with you on Instagram. You can find us on Clubhouse at @phoebed. See you there!