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The UPS Store Small Business blog
  • 20 September 2021
  • Bert Strickland

How Small Business Owners Can Utilize Clubhouse to Create Deeper Connections

Clubhouse, Clubhouse, Clubhouse — it’s all you read or hear about when talking with friends over Zoom or signing into your social media platform of choice. But what is Clubhouse, how does it work, and how can it help your small business? If Clubhouse is on your radar, here’s what you should know as a small business owner.

man in workshop phone on tripod

What is Clubhouse?

Clubhouse is an audio-based social media network. The purpose of the app is to allow people to publicly listen in on others’ conversations based on a variety of topics or to start the conversation themselves. There are no pictures or videos on the app, only profile pictures and live voice recordings.

Clubhouse’s self-description reads, “Clubhouse is a space for casual, drop-in audio conversations — with friends and other interesting people around the world. Go online anytime to chat with the people you follow, or hop in as a listener and hear what others are talking about.” Other users and reviewers have compared the app to a mixture of Facebook and podcasts. If a Twitter thread was a podcast, this is what it would look like! The most common use for the platform is to create “live podcasts” because they create opportunities for real-time collaboration.

Who’s on Clubhouse?

Entrepreneurs, celebrities, your friends, scientists, health aficionados, advice seekers and so many others are on Clubhouse, in addition to small businesses pushing out content they’ve created and small business observers. There are multiple conversations going on within each broader topic. For example, within the sports topic there are conversations about specific sports, the business of sports, player news, team news, fantasy sports, health and training for different sports — the conversations are virtually endless. The more topics and people a user follows, the better the Clubhouse algorithm works to start suggesting rooms that fit their interests. And that is one of the beauties of Clubhouse for small business owners: It brings in the people part of small business and others with like-minded interests to you.

How does Clubhouse work?

Conversation rooms can be started by any user. That user then becomes the host who controls who is allowed to speak in these conversations. Additionally, people can be designated as moderators to help create a seamless broadcast. When a person enters a room, everyone is muted except for the creator and moderators, and both roles have the power to bring other listeners in the room to the “stage” as a speaker. Conversation rooms can take on different styles, for instance a talk show and interview style of conversation or a more casual role with close friends having a smaller discussion.

More specifically for small business owners, the positive attributes of Clubhouse include:

  • The platform is a great tool to connect with other small business owners to learn from their successes and failures, ask for advice, and even offer advice!
  • In that same vein, Clubhouse allows for a deeper subject-based connection with other people and groups in a unique format that is different from other social platforms. In other words, compared to direct messaging or social media posts, Clubhouse’s virtual conversations naturally create more of a connection and understanding.
  • Another unique and critical aspect of this platform is that conversations are not saved forever. Conversations are not recorded, and they eventually disappear. This is beneficial for two reasons. First, it mirrors off-platform conversation — it’s fleeting and personal. Also, it forces more active engagement and listening because content is not kept (saved) like on other social platforms.

While there are many benefits to consider, there may be drawbacks to weigh in your decision to engage in Clubhouse. For instance, the absence of conversation recordings has led to an issue around the lack of accountability that has resulted in instances of hate speech and abuse on the platform. Clubhouse has worked and continues to implement community moderation guidelines to eliminate these instances; however, there is still room for improvement, especially considering that the usage of the app has started to decline from its peak popularity earlier in 2021.

How can you use Clubhouse?

Are you asking, “What’s in it for me as a small business owner?”

There are a number of ways that small business owners can take advantage of Clubhouse’s exciting and unique attributes.

The simplest way that small business owners can utilize Clubhouse is for their own education by connecting with other small business owners. There are a plethora of rooms from other business owners that offer advice, share stories and answer questions.

When it comes to marketing and advertising, there are currently no official advertising options on the Clubhouse platform, but that does not mean that small businesses can’t get creative and find ways to take advantage of Clubhouse to promote their small business, grow their customer base and improve their business.

For example, you can create your own daily, weekly, monthly or any desired cadence for conversation rooms to connect with consumers to help educate them on your products and to establish yourself as an expert in the community. For example, a local liquor store can hold weekly conversations to spotlight liquors, craft beers and wine — how they are made, what food they pair great with, how to include them in recipes and so much more. This also offers the opportunity to share their story and what makes their business unique.

Another way small businesses can utilize Clubhouse is through local partners and influencers within the platform. As a small business owner with a room on Clubhouse, you can offer users exclusive access to these folks to talk about a topic related to their business or category. For example, a local jewelry designer can have a local fashion influencer on to talk about trends in jewelry design and fashion, answer questions on style tips, and much more!

How do you get started on Clubhouse?

Getting started on Clubhouse is easy. First, you’ll want to create a profile. Immediately after that, Clubhouse prompts users with pages of conversational topics that can be followed. Topics can vary from business advice to sports to world affairs and much more. After becoming familiar with how the app works and how people use the app by joining rooms and contributing to conversations, feel free to start hosting your own rooms and conversations.

Don’t forget to promote your Clubhouse rooms and conversations in store and on other social platforms.

If your small business has a large following on another platform, or you do not feel comfortable joining a new platform, there are similar capabilities on other social platforms.

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