Clubhouse – what is all the fuss about?

Andy Acton talks about the fast-growing app Clubhouse and why it's making an impression within business and dentistryAndy Acton talks about the fast-growing app Clubhouse and why it’s making an impression within business and dentistry.

Clubhouse is quickly gaining traction as the next big social media platform.

In short, it is an audio-only drop-in chat platform. It uses the age-old way of communication: voice. Innovative eh?!

You can join and just listen in the ‘audience’. Or, if you feel it’s a discussion where you can add value, you can raise your hand and join the ‘stage’ as a speaker.

You see, Clubhouse has a simple but effective structure and etiquette; it relies on members being polite and showing courtesy to others in discussion rooms. You can report abusive behaviour within the app.

Much of why it is being talked about so much is it being an ‘invite only’ app; an existing member needs to invite you to join.

The degree of exclusivity is in part to limit numbers and not overload the app as it develops. But it’s also such a clever way to create a buzz. Everyone has a fear of missing out.

Clubhouse is a start-up business, growing extremely quickly and at present is only available on the Apple IOS platform, meaning you need an iPhone to use it. The intention is for it to be available on Android sometime in 2021.

I have been on Clubhouse since January as I was curious to see how it could help with the business’ profile.

Striking a chord

For anyone interested in joining, I have set out a few observations after my first few weeks of usage:

  1. It enables you to network – I’ve used it to listen in on topics ranging from start-up funding to cooking tips, but mostly for dental related ‘rooms’. A ‘room’ is the term for the discussion you join. Room sizes vary from a few people up to thousands. The maximum limit is under constant review but is currently 7,000 per room
  2. Don’t try to sell – the most used word in relation to this platform is value. If you are going to join a stage to try to sell what you do then one of the room moderators (each room has at least one) will most likely politely ask you to make a meaningful contribution. If you are unable to do so these moderators have the ability to drop you back into the audience
  3. Manage your time – this is another platform to be considered alongside many other marketing channels. It is currently a ‘shiny new tool’ getting lots of attention, but manage when you use it. You should be using it when your target audience are there. I’m finding 7 to 9pm are popular times for UK members and this also means you get the afternoon audience from the USA. I’ve found some of the USA members provide great insights on their approach. This can give a valuable and different perspective to a UK-only audience
  4. Curate your network – Clubhouse has about 10 million members worldwide, thousands of clubs and endless numbers of rooms every day. It’s important to follow those within your area of interest so you can be notified about rooms that are of interest to you. This will also help build your following and will mean you get to join in the conversation as you’ll have a useful contribution to make, ensuring that you are adding value
  5. Start a conversation – you don’t need to join someone else’s room you can create your own and lead the discussion. I host a regular weekly slot on the Business of Dentistry
  6. It’s live – naturally this brings a degree of risk as once you’ve said something, it’s done and ‘out there’. It also means you need to be around when rooms are ‘open’ (ie happening) or when your target audience is. There is no way to record a room or revisit the content
  7. A great opportunity to build authority – if you are an expert in your area of work this gives you a great platform to demonstrate that knowledge and impress the audience. It’s another touchpoint for potential clients to engage with you.

It is still early days. But Clubhouse has found a niche in the world of social media platforms that appears to strike a chord with millions around the world.

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