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Robin Colner: What’s the buzz about the hot social media app Clubhouse ?

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robin colner marketingClubhouse was launched in March 2020 and has now reached over 2 million weekly active users. What is it? Clubhouse is an audio app that allows users to join rooms with moderators to discuss specific topics. Once you join a room you can request the mic to share a thought or ask a question. Sound old school? Maybe, but the buzz is catching on like wildfire.

The app is still technically in beta and users need an invitation to join. Fortunately, current Clubhouse members receive a number of invitations they can share with colleagues and friends. Once you request access through the app, your name will appear on a list shown to some of your contacts that are already members and they can invite you to join. Once you join, pick an account name and enter a room where you can listen, learn, contribute and even leave quietly. You can even decide to start your own discussion room.

Why the buzz? People are finding it refreshing to be able to share their thoughts in quick conversations and help others learn from their experiences. The platform is designed to help you meet people, receive tips from a variety of experts — such as business coaches, financial planners, real estate investors and marketers — and deepen your relationships with people that have interests in common with you.

Among the groups are many that address issues related to starting a business and finding motivation to overcome personal and professional challenges. There are industry-related discussions for entrepreneurs, stock traders, nonprofit leaders, real estate developers, musicians, videographers, scientists, parents, authors, artists, sports fans and more. People come to Clubhouse to talk, learn, laugh, be entertained, meet and connect — the perfect antidote to our pandemic isolation.

According to the Clubhouse blog, there are now thousands of rooms filled with people hosting game shows, recapping NBA games, singing opera, discussing philosophy, sharing travel tips, running support groups and even meditating together each night on the app. Users are hosting daily talk shows and panel discussions, performing standup comedy, playing guitar and giving history lectures.

I have been on Clubhouse for a few months and I have to admit, it gets better each time I jump into a room. I have reconnected with colleagues, received great productivity tips and have expanded my exposure to numerous new ideas and people, all during my daily five-mile walk. I also don’t have to fix my hair and makeup every time I join a room (Sorry, Zoom).

You will find celebrities, politicians and business leaders jumping into rooms to join discussions. Recently, Elon Musk interrogated the CEO of Robinhood on the recent GameStop trading freeze.

It is easy and enjoyable to jump into rooms. As a branding expert, I recognize the potential for gaining recognition by moderating a popular room, as well as the possibility of expanding one’s visibility and following to a wider geographic audience. Moderators and creators are now receiving the most traction on the platform.

I believe that the ability to engage in real time with presenters, speakers, moderators, performers and participants will ultimately cause a major disruption to podcasts, which provide static audio content and no live Q&A engagement.

Rumor has it that Clubhouse is already developing recording capabilities so that a discussion can be archived and replayed. Radio show hosts are recording their shows in Clubhouse. The app is also developing an algorithm to recommend rooms by category as users log in. I expect certain rooms will attract sponsorship dollars from corporations, and associations will probably sponsor events through the platform in the future.

Currently, moderators need additional tools to control discussions and users are clamoring for ways to save and share the audio content. This will be introduced soon. All of the social media sites are circling the wagons around Clubhouse as they are likely thinking of ways to copy the platform or buy it.

The Clubhouse founders just raised a second round of capital that will be used to pay creators through either tips, subscriptions, ticket sales and a creator grant program for emerging creators.

I believe Clubhouse will be a huge game changer with staying power. Marketers and industry experts should participate as soon as possible to leverage a first mover advantage. I also expect Clubhouse to be bought by one of the leading tech platforms. I vote for LinkedIn, which is owned by Microsoft, to buy the company. This will allow LinkedIn to have a unique feature that supports its professional development and content marketing functions.

Check out Clubhouse and email me if you need an invitation. I am off to expand my Clubhouse profile bio, which should be about the length and depth of an optimized LinkedIn profile.

Robin Colner is the CEO of DigiStar Media, a branding and marketing firm that helps businesses and professionals generate visibility, leads and sales using effective digital and social media strategies. She can be reached at 914-826-5512 or at RColner@DigiStarMedia.com and on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and Clubhouse with the handle @RobinColner.

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