Clubhouse: Is Audio The Future Of Social Media?

June 3, 2021
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A long, loonnngggg time ago you would call your friends or romantic interests from the comically large home phone residing on your kitchen wall like a spider you hadn’t quite noticed yet.  

Through this giant box of plastic, we would exchange verbal pleasantries with others while twirling the spiral phone cord around our fingers for no apparent reason.

This was the norm. This was how we communicated with people.

Fast forward a few years, and with the invention of the internet came the first wave of social media, with early platforms like MSN and AOL allowing friends to instantly communicate with each other through bright, flashing messages (thankfully that trend didn’t stick around for too long).

Then came the likes of Facebook and Instagram, which took communication to a whole new level by allowing people to easily share messages, images, and videos with their followers. YouTube and TikTok made video communication a more mainstream and easily digestible method of sharing information with others.

However, audio-based communication was barely even considered an option, much like the green ink in those 4-colour pens you can buy from Officeworks.

That all changed when Clubhouse came along… 

What is Clubhouse?

I’m glad you asked. Clubhouse is the real-time, audio-only, invite-only, social media app where people gather together in ‘rooms’ to listen to celebrities, experts, business leaders, or even Joe Blogs in his mum’s basement, talk about a limitless range of topics that might interest listeners.

These topics might be to do with marketing advice, business tips, politics, current events, or just chill out rooms where you can go to chat with others.

The drawcard of Clubhouse is that there are no photos, videos or messages, so you can just hop in a room and listen to presenters talking, or virtually put your hand up ask a question of the room panel without having to worry about what you’re wearing, what others are posting, or even having to look at your phone.

The other note-worthy feature of Clubhouse is that these audio rooms only exist while the host and panel are in them. Once the room is over, there is no trace of it, no recording anywhere. So, it’s really a ‘you had to be there’ situation, which adds to the exclusivity of it all.

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The Rise In Popularity of Audio-Based Social Media

The hype around Clubhouse grew exponentially over its first few months of existence, much like the fabled fidget spinner did back in 2017. It became so popular, that even the likes of Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have used it (Clubhouse that is, although I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve also used a fidget spinner).

The early success of Clubhouse quickly captured the attention of the other big players in social, with platforms like Twitter introducing its own version of Clubhouse called ‘Spaces,’ Reddit introduced ‘Reddit Talk,’ and even Facebook and LinkedIn are working on their versions of Clubhouse as we speak.

So, it seems like audio-based social media is here to stay, but how can it be used by brands and marketers?

Audio-Based Social Media For Brands

These new platforms and features are still in the early stages of their growth, so there are no direct advertising functions just yet. But there are still several opportunities that brands and marketers can capitalise on to reach these new audiences.

Firstly, many of the larger creators on these audio platforms like Clubhouse have brands sponsor their chat room or show, much like the way brands would sponsor a podcast. This could be where the host announces at the start of their chat that their room is sponsored by your brand, or it may be written in the chat room name itself.

Secondly, brands can join the platform themselves and start their own club or room. For example, if your business is in automotive repairs, you may start a weekly chat where some of your experts discuss common car malfunctions, answer questions from your followers and provide car-based tips and tricks. This method is great for growing and building a loyal customer base and assets for your business as an expert in that field. 

Finally, you could pay a popular creator to be a guest speaker in one of your club events/rooms. This is a great way to reach some of the creator’s large audience as well as give value to your existing followers. For this, it is important that you choose a creator that aligns well with your brand and who will be able to speak to whatever themes/topics you want to cover. You may have also heard of this type of advertising before, it’s known influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing has been a staple for brands over the past few years across social media, especially on Instagram. It’s such a big part of social media marketing that we’ve even written an entire blog post on the topic! Have a sticky beak here if you want to learn more about influencer marketing.

Final Thoughts

Although the initial hype of Clubhouse has died down a bit, audio-based social media is here to stay. So there is certainly value in utilising platforms like Clubhouse, Spaces, and others to diversify your marketing efforts and reach the ears of a new pool of potential customers.

Have you tried Clubhouse yet? If so, what do you think? Let us know in the comment section. Also, don’t forget to like and subscribe! Wait. This isn’t YouTube…Thanks for reading?.. What I’m trying to say is this is the end of the blog post, so feel free to click away to another part of our amazing website, and if you have any questions at all, send us an enquiry. We’d love to hear from you!

Callum - Pink

Callum is a Social Media Coordinator at Milkbar Digital. He loves visual content creation through photography, but also enjoys coming up with creative copy to back it up. When he’s not crafting content you can find Callum listening to podcasts, binge watching the latest Netflix series or discovering new cafés.

Milkbar Digital is a Melbourne social media and digital marketing agency here to help business small and large. If you need help with your social media or don’t know where to begin, get in touch!

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