How the App Taps Into Our Need for Serendipity
I’ve spent three weeks on Clubhouse and learned about:
- The state of fine dining with some of the world’s best chefs
- Listened to marketing experts debate on #MondayMarketing
- Accidentally/awkwardly welcomed new Clubhouse members in groups of strangers.
The opportunity to learn about these topics (other than the last) isn’t exclusive to the Clubhouse app. However, the opportunity to engage in an ephemeral environment filled with serendipitous discussions (aka live chatting) is, and it’s got a lot of momentum behind it (Clubhouse is now up to 10 million weekly active users). Here’s a personal anecdote that sheds a little light on the wonders of Clubhouse:
Clubhouse Clout Exchange
I received a notification that famous comedian Tom Green and entrepreneur/brand expert Swan Sit had started a “room.” Sit, a Clubhouse expert with over 1 million followers, welcomed Green to the platform with an open dialogue about how we can use the app (accompanied by a few other interesting speakers, such as Jimmy Kimmel Live! writer Will Burke). Within seconds, there were over 2,000 listeners, causing an exchange of followers between Green, Sit, and the other influential participants. On Clubhouse, all of one’s followers are notified if they are a speaker in a room. In this instance, it allowed Tom Green to borrow some Clubhouse clout from Swan Sit, resulting in follower growth on the app. At the same time, Swan Sit gained clout among a new audience of Tom Green fans and beyond. There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of Clout Exchange (we should really trademark that).
Biggest insight gleaned from Green: Tom Green talked about how Clubhouse brings back the fun of live events. He jokingly mentioned, “not the actual event itself necessarily, but that feeling when you tell your friends about what happened and there’s that sense of missing out, like, ‘Oh, you had to be there’ at the Tom Green Clubhouse Room.” Remember those days pre-YouTube when you couldn’t watch the highlights? That’s how I felt! It was a weird giddiness knowing that what I experienced was gone – there wasn’t a link to share with my friends, and it was only for me. (Sidenote: screen recording is possible, but it is highly discouraged and carries large consequences.) Green also was impressed with the positivity on the app.
How Can Brands Get Involved Today?
Apparently, Clubhouse is very discouraging of brands pushing their message, but it is essential to start building clout now. As mentioned in our piece on influencers, you must build/utilize authentic relationships with influential voices by empowering them with a platform to speak or engage with an audience. They can be internal employees, partners, creators, or a mix, and they must have the freedom to act organically. Moreover, they mustn’t focus on branded ideas or topics; they must create ongoing conversations around specific topics that are important to them (not the brand, yet adjacently related). Swan Sit didn’t mention anything about Nike, Will Burke didn’t mention anything about Kimmel, and Tom Green didn’t mention upcoming shows; and yet, here I am in my new Nike Air Max shoes, flipping back and forth between Kimmel and reruns of The Tom Green Show because I trust them.