What is Clubhouse and why do I hate it already?

Have you heard of Clubhouse?

I can’t scroll 2 posts on Facebook without someone talking about it.

So why is everyone talking about it?!

 

First up, an explanation

What is Clubhouse?

Described by Vogue as ‘The New FOMO-Inducing Social App To Know. Clubhouse is an exclusive, invite-only audio app where participants can move around virtual rooms discussing arts and culture, from popular TV shows to the state of the music industry.’

So, it’s the latest thing for all the cool kids.

Ugh. I hate it already.

Clubhouse is a new social media platform (currently only for iPhone and only by invitation) where you interact by talking rather than writing. Like a live podcast where people can interact with the speaker, if they can get a word in edgeways.

 

Next up, some context

Part of my plan for this year is growing my audience. A big part – it’s my focus area for 6 of the months!

In doing that, one of my activities is to be more active on social media and use more platforms.

Aside: ‘do as I say, not as I do’

I always tell people to start out focusing on just one platform, and as you add others to review if they’re really working for you before you add another.

That’s exactly how I started out – I went with Facebook (and I’m sticking with it), then I added LinkedIn and realised it’s not the right place for me and my audience.

Now I’m adding loads at once. Very much what I don’t advise.

But I have thought this through and, to quote Kimi Raikonnen (hands up who saw THAT coming?!) ‘I know what I’m doing’.

 

Back to the Clubhouse thing

So, in deciding which platforms to add this year I considered ‘should I join Clubhouse?’

No.

1) I can’t. Not immediately, anyway – unless I want to buy an iPhone. The Android version of the app isn’t available yet.

2) You know when someone gets onto a subject they’re really fired up about, and your conversation quickly turns into their monologue? I have a feeling most of the activity in Clubhouse will be like that.

3) With the nature of it all being audio, it’s live and immediate. If you want to think a bit and look something up before joining in a conversation, chance are it will have moved on by the time you come back.

Exclusive, invite-only, FOMO-inducing, big voices, real-time – it sounds exhausting.

I might be totally wrong. It might be amazing.

But I don’t have the time and energy to find out (or an iPhone). Eff the FOMO*.

 

We’ve been here before

So many social media apps have come and gone, from Periscope and Vine to FriendsReunited and Google+.

Few are popular for more than a handful of years, and even fewer grow to the size of Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

Last year everyone was all about TikTok. This year it’s Clubhouse.

Do you remember in 2018, when suddenly everyone was signing up for Vero?

But Vero launched in 2015 and only got popular when the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook date breach news broke and everyone wanted to get away from Facebook. Who’s still using it now?

 

What to do, if you want to do it

If you are interested in trying Clubhouse, cool. I get it, we all like new toys.

 

There’s the first thing to consider – will you be looking at it as a toy, or as a tool?

If you’re just going to tune in for conversation and entertainment, fine. But remember that and treat it as such.

Social media can be a massive time suck. We’ve all said we’ll just scroll Twitter while we have lunch, and then wondered where the entire afternoon went.

If you’re going to use it as a tool, to be known on the app and use it to promote your business, that’s very different to just listening in. Find the right conversations and take part in them. Be helpful and interesting, just as you would do on a written social media platform.

Using social media as a tool is less about consuming content and more about creating it.

 

Here’s the second thing to consider – what if it’s not the next big thing?

Whatever social media platform you’re building an audience on, you can’t rely on it to be there forever (or for them to be on it forever).

Always encourage your social media audience to join your mailing list.

You’ll always have your list.

 

Are you a Clubhouse kid?

So you won’t find me on Clubhouse, but what about you?

Have you tried it? Are you waiting for an invitation? Are you waiting for the Android app?

I’m interested to hear your thoughts.

Come and tell me all about it in my clubhouse, the Small Business Support Facebook group.

 
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*Fear Of Missing Out

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