The Clubhouse app made headlines as the next big social platform. That said, it's time for brands and marketers to take a look at this, get a feel for it, and decide whether to join in too.

That said, clubhouse is so new that brands also need to figure out how to get involved.

To help you, we have put together this overview of the young platform and its advantages and disadvantages from a marketing point of view.

We'll also look at use cases and examples from early adopter brands making interesting moves on the platform.

Bonus: Get a free, customizable competitive analysis template to easily assess the competition and identify opportunities for your brand to move forward.

What is the clubhouse app?

Clubhouse is a "drop-in audio app". That said, no video, not a lot of text, and as far as the pictures go, you only get a profile picture. In addition, the conversations are live and short-lived, so nothing is recorded and nothing is archived.

For users, the experience is somewhere between a podcast and a conference call. You can enter “rooms” where people (up to 8000) gather to talk about certain topics (often for an hour, but sometimes much longer). The app is about live conversation, not static content.

Fast clubhouse statistics

The Clubhouse app was launched in March 2020 but didn't enter the App Store until September 2020. Although their number pales in comparison to "old social media" platforms, their growth since September has been remarkable.

  • It's small: In terms of user base, 2 million weekly users is the number most cited. (By comparison, TikTok has 689 million active users and Twitter 353 million.)
  • It grows fast: On February 1, 2021, the clubhouse was downloaded 3.5 million times. As of February 16, 2021 there were 8.1 million.

Clubhouse global weekly iOS downloads

Source: AppAnnie

How to use the Clubhouse app

Now you know the story, but how does the Clubhouse app actually work? Here's a quick and easy guide on how to navigate the app.

Track an invitation

To join the clubhouse: First, you need an invitation. Savvy friends or colleagues may have a replacement. Or, if you're patient, you can just download the app and sign up for the waiting list.

Create your profile

Profiles are pretty simple in the clubhouse. Here are some facts to consider when building your facts:

  • Your profile picture is the only picture you will use here.
  • Your bio is the only text you'll use (and only the first three lines are above the crease, so focus on that).
  • There are no clickable links other than to your Instagram and Twitter profiles (these are important if you want people to be able to find you and contact you).

Expand your network

The app asks you to follow people: people on your contact list, influencers, thought leaders, and other users who care about the same things that you do.

If you follow people in the clubhouse, you will be notified when they open rooms and you can invite them to open rooms with you.

(Be warned that the Clubhouse app is accessing your phone's contacts at the time of writing. For more information on the app's privacy policy, see below.)

Enter or start a room

In the clubhouse app, a room is just a room where people gather to talk. The rooms can be public or private, or something in between. Within rooms, users have three different roles: moderator, listener or speaker.

Clubhouse room

The "stage" of a "room".

The first time you walk into a room you are automatically a listener, which means your microphone is not turned on or available and you can only contribute to the conversation by raising your hand (by tapping this icon at the bottom) on the right ) and a moderator (one of the people with the green badge) invites you to the “stage”. Speakers are people who are allowed to stand on the stage and speak, but are not moderators.

Anyone can open a space, but there is certainly a learning curve to making it a good one. The clubhouse has some guidelines for having great conversations here.

Join or create a club

Clubs are now interest-, identity- or industry-oriented groups. Each club is essentially a series of conversations curated by its creator. The club founder plans regular (e.g. weekly) meetings with relevant people that serve the interests and needs of the group.

At the moment, each user can only create one club. So pick a relevant niche before you pull the trigger and create yours. For more information, see Clubhouse's helpful Clubhouse FAQ here.

Advantages and disadvantages of clubhouse for companies

Ok, now we've figured out the basics of using Clubhouse. But what should brands and marketers consider when exploring their options here?

Pros: Clubhouse is new and exciting

Many older social platforms are gigantic, saturated with ads, and when it comes to marketing strategies, a hundred best practices should be followed. The clubhouse is small, often surprising and open to experimentation.

Due to the relatively small audience and the short-lived content of the clubhouse, mistakes and missteps are a matter of course here. It's a good place for marketers to stress test new messages or speak to customers in ad hoc focus groups. Rooms are groups of people who have chosen themselves out of interest and are open to listening.

Plus, getting excited about the platform can lead to more exposure to the brands that pop up before the rulebook is set in stone.

Con: The numbers are not there yet

Both in terms of volume and measurement, Clubhouse will not (yet) break any records.

Nobody yet knows exactly what the success of brands in the clubhouse will look like, let alone how high the ROI will be. However, for those who are settled in the long run and looking forward to seeing their growth in five years, there are a few different clubhouse analysis apps and link shorteners out there already.

Pros: Clubhouse is for people, not brands

Since the app is intended for conversations, the concept of creating a branding profile on Clubhouse doesn't work quite the same as it does on other platforms. For example, who speaks for the brand? A manager, a speaker, an improvisation comedian, Idris Elba? (And why in this case the managing director, the speaker, the Improvisations-Comedia or Idris Elba not just create their own profile?)

There are some brand profiles currently in existence (see Milk Bar below) but you don't really see them active in rooms. It is far more common for people to create profiles and name their employers or customers in their BIOS (see Milk Bar CMO below).

Brand profiles Milkbar and Sarah Tabb CMO

Brands in the clubhouse may be better off empowering and empowering real people – whether employees, CEOs, or outside influencers – to communicate and listen on their behalf.

Con: Live takes a lot of effort

Most brands (with the exception of audio-focused media publishers like NPR or Politico) will likely find that it is not that easy to adapt existing assets for this new platform. Instead, Clubhouse is more about finding your voice. Or maybe listening carefully and helping raise other relevant voices.

Con (Pro?): The clubhouse is ad-free

Clubhouse has stated that ads will never be part of their business model. For most users, this is a huge plus. Because of this, Clubhouse is reminiscent of the beginnings of Instagram or Twitter, when these platforms were a place for real conversation and connection.

However, the lack of ads means that integrating your brand into Clubhouse will take some imagination. With no ads or even clickable links, this is no place to scale conversions or monitor your click through rate. Really, the only direct sales path currently depends on directing viewers back to Instagram or Twitter.

Pro: The influencers are in the room

Influencers are moving into the clubhouse, but clubhouse is also creating a new generation of influencers. The app announced an accelerator program that pays influencers to build their audience and learn how to have great conversations. So far, Clubhouse's only monetization feature is a tip jar button that allows users to send cash to their favorite creators.

In the clubhouse, influencers are more like speakers, panelists or event coordinators than designers, videographers or spoke models. Thought leaders come from podcasts, Twitter and Substack, because in live audio, ideas and substance are more important than youth, beauty or dance movements.

At Market Prices: Clubhouse is currently showing up on influencer platforms with prices for 60 minute sponsored rooms between $ 50 and $ 2500.

However, this brings us back to the lack of analytics for Clubhouse: Without statistics beyond the number of followers, brands have to put in a lot of effort to find out what impact an influencer is really making.

Con: privacy issues

There have been a number of complaints about Clubhouse's privacy policy. Clubhouse is slowly working to correct them, but right now it looks like the company is catching up.

Although the app is nominally short-lived, conversations (in the case of "Trust and Security Incident" reports) are recorded with no further information about when they are deleted, saved, or who has access.

Other problems also arise. Does the clubhouse comply with the GDPR? France and Germany are not so sure. The app also requires access to all users' contacts. This means Clubhouse may have your contact information even if you've never heard of it.

Con: Bullying, Harassment, and Abuse

Like all social media platforms, Clubhouse struggles to moderate hate speech and misinformation. So far the solution has been to put in place user controls that some users say are used to further harass users who complain of harassment. Companies that place brand safety at the top of their list of priorities may want to wait and see how the clubhouse performs.

Pros: Loyalty and usage are impressive

According to many reports, clubhouse users are real converts. Since conversations are not recorded (or at least not for public use), the FOMO is real. Rooms can last 50 hours, and it's not uncommon for people to stay 8 hours or 40 hours a week at a time.

Some compare the compulsion to sports versus television: fans will drop anything to see their squad in real time while The Queen & # 39; s Gambit will still be there tomorrow.

Con: Live conversation is difficult for different time zones and languages

As anyone who has ever tried planning a social media post knows, timing is everything. In the clubhouse, time and language problems are aggravated rather than resolved.

Con: The clones are coming

Twitter has announced its own version of Clubhouse called Spaces, due to be released worldwide in April 2021. Discord announced a clubhouse-like feature called Stages. And Facebook has an unnamed clone in development too. Both established companies have significant user base advantages over Clubhouse.

Many brands will prefer to target their existing audience rather than building a whole new one on a new platform. Even if the live audio format claims a permanent place in the zeitgeist, there is no guarantee that the clubhouse will remain the dominant platform.

Examples of top brands in the clubhouse


At the end of March, the nail polish company O.P.I. partnered with beauty influencer Jaleesa Jaikaran to celebrate the brand's 40th anniversary.

Such space sponsorships – no hard sell, just a compelling host, some great prices, and fun times – are one of the most accessible entry points for brands looking to join the platform.

Beauty Trivia Night O.P.I. Space sponsorship

Source: clubhouse

RBI (a.k.a. Tim Hortons, Burger King, Popeyes)

In mid-February, Restaurant Brands International used the clubhouse to hold a post-earnings call chat with their executives.

It's interesting to note that while some of RBI's subsidiary brands are known for having a salty (sometimes too salty) social presence, brands like Burger King didn't create an official clubhouse profile last time around.

This leads to other corporate use cases for clubhouse, e.g. B. Employee Townhalls. For example, Google has a private club for Googlers. In this way, Clubhouse could theoretically earn a place as an alternative to conference calls, Slack or Zoom.


The Washington, DC-based Politico newsroom hosts rooms that provide news and analysis on education, healthcare, technology, and their other specialties.

For brands like these that already have speaking heads on their staff, Clubhouse is a natural fit. It remains to be seen how the clubhouse will expand or complement Politico's existing niche.

Politico profile

Left: Politico's profile; Right: Politicos Club.


Pedigree Doghouse Room in the Clubhouse App

Source: family tree

The pet care brand Pedigree found a different angle when sponsoring a room. Working with creative agency BBDO NY, the brand hired moderators who lead the way in mental health discussions to lead conversations about the various mental, emotional and physical health benefits of animal companions.

During the interviews, 20 adoptable dog profiles were presented, with Pedigree sponsoring the adoption fees.

Right now, Clubhouse is a great place to experiment with this kind of generous, mindful, organic marketing. And this is a great example of marketers feeling pressured to “get down on the ground floor”.

Remember, it is less important that your brand got in early than that you got in for the right reasons.

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