We explore the potential benefits of joining the new social media app
Founded in 2020 by Paul Davidson and Rohan Seth, Clubhouse is an audio-only social media app. Valued at $100 million (£72 million approx) before it even had a website and reaching more than two million weekly active users when only available on iOS – Clubhouse is certainly one to watch.
Clubhouse has no photos, graphics, and videos. It is purely about social interaction. It is organised into rooms and a feed that is known as the ‘hallway’ or ‘corridor.’ There are also ‘clubs’ hosting regular rooms that you can follow.
Rather than being open to anyone, Clubhouse has created a sense of exclusivity through its invite-only system. To become a user, you have to be invited by someone and once you join, you get your own limited number of invitations. The more you interact with the app, the more invites you are awarded.
At first, the user group was confined to the US, mostly to wealthy Silicon Valley insiders and other elite groups, but now the number of active users is rising rapidly. While the sense of exclusivity may wane, the app still offers the possibility of exclusive conversations with the option of invite-only rooms. Even open rooms are capped at 5,000 listeners.
The first step is to get an invitation. You must also be on iOS to access the app at present, but a developer is being hired to create the Android version of the app. Then you can follow these simple steps:
Social media experts, The Two Lauras, offer a top tip for hosting a room: “When hosting, do be considerate of people’s time and don’t neglect your audience by making it all about you and what you want to get out of it – make it a two-way street.
Clubhouse isn’t all about hosting – it’s about listening and contributing to other people’s conversations, so we 100% recommend getting up on stage in a variety of rooms.”
Who are you trying to reach?
To decide about setting up a presence on any social media platform, the first question to ask is, “can we reach our audiences there?” There is no analytics or insights module to give information about audiences yet.
But you can search rooms to find out which groups are using the app and potentially find yourself in a room with traditionally hard to reach groups like celebrities or journalists. The invite-only system also gives you the opportunity to choose who you bring to the platform.
Who are you trying to showcase?
As an audio-only platform, having impactful spokespeople is key to success, whether these are senior staff, in-house experts, case studies, or patrons.
What content might work?
It is interesting to see the types of content that people are experimenting with on the platform. Most rooms seem to follow the panel discussion format, but more intimate ‘In conversation’ formats could also be effective.
Music and spoken-word rooms are also playing a significant role with stripped back acoustic and hip-hop seeming to suit the simple audio experience.
Are there opportunities to fundraise?
Currently, there is no donation mechanism or option to monetise your presence on Clubhouse. According to Henry Rowling from Flying Cars, however, a tipping mechanism will be introduced to allow creators to earn from their content.
The platform does offer opportunities to complement your existing fundraising programme. You can create intimate invite-only rooms for major donor cultivation or donor thanking events with your senior and frontline staff, for example.
You could also enhance special or challenge event fundraising experiences with exclusive behind the scenes or additional content. If you offer an information service, a Q&A for your beneficiaries with an expert could work well.
Clubhouse is in early stages of development, so it is difficult to say whether it will become a major competitor to other social media apps. For the meantime, with a small investment of time, it’s possible to rapid-test how effective the app is for your audiences.