Should Business Leaders be on Clubhouse?

Through the Clubhouse voice chat rooms, business executives, micro-influencers and subject area experts have a new, unprecedented opportunity to connect with their audiences.

Engaging with Clubhouse app
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Recently, my mom called me to ask about all the new screenshots filling up her Instagram feed. She mentioned little bobbing icons, green dots and captions like, "What a genuine group of people," and "I can't believe the deep connections that were fostered tonight." I explained that she is witnessing the Clubhouse or "CH" phenomenon where people of all ages, all around the world, have flocked to this new, invite-only community.

So what exactly is Clubhouse?

Clubhouse is an audio-only chatroom app launched in 2020 that focuses on fostering connections between people worldwide. Each chatroom consists of a moderator, speakers and audience members. A moderator creates a topic and starts a chatroom, and the app automatically pings their friends to let them know that a new chatroom has started. The moderator (identified by a green asterisk) has the ability to speak to the room, search the room, pull audience members up to the stage to speak and send speakers back into the audience. The audio rooms are live-only, meaning they can't be listened to later.

Why are people flocking to CH and spending hours at a time on the app?

Due largely to the COVID-19 pandemic, people are starving for human interaction. The CH app has the ability to generate a diverse and complex interpersonal network that is practically limitless and doesn't require anyone to wear a mask. The intimacy — coupled with the relative anonymity — of the Clubhouse voice chat rooms has spurred personal, business and even romantic relationships. People use CH for all sorts of purposes, from altruistic and inspirationally driven voice chat rooms such as Cara Zimmerman's wildly popular Gratitude Room to commercially driven pitch rooms hosted by big-league venture capital investors like Adam Zeplain and Marc Randolph to entertainment-driven late-night karaoke rooms with well-known DJ Matt Rogers and American Ninja Warrior host Matt Iseman.

Should I be on Clubhouse?

First, I should warn you: Participating in CH chatrooms as a moderator, speaker or audience member is addictive. It's not uncommon for people to spend 12 or more hours a day on the platform, often allowing Clubhouse to play in the background throughout the workday. Unfortunately, it also is not uncommon to find voice chat rooms discussing aspirational (rather than practical) click-bait business topics fixated on brand marketing and get-rich-quick schemes. Despite that, however, CH offers an amazing opportunity to explore new technological avenues for interpersonal communication and social interaction.

Through the Clubhouse voice chat rooms, business executives, micro-influencers and subject area experts have a new, unprecedented opportunity to connect with their audiences. The vulnerability and improvisation required to manage these rooms provide an extraordinary way to connect, teach and create stickiness that has never existed on other platforms.

Live Q&A isn't new. Instagram, YouTube and Twitter all have live features. But what is new is fostering Q&A sessions focused on a common vertical or shared interest. The apparent removal of the fourth wall and simple UI/UX should propel leaders across many industries to join the application as soon as possible. Although there's no direct monetization tool on the platform (yet), there is the opportunity to hear the firsthand experiences of the people you're connected with, which will help inform brand work, content strategy and even marketing spend.

You may learn something about a new topic, place or person, or you may find your voice for the first time on social media. Regardless, you will undoubtedly learn more about your relationship to technology.

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