Clubhouse App: How to leverage the new social media app for Public Relations and Business
Clubhouse App For Public Relations and Business: What Entrepreneurs and Business Owners Need To Know
- Should you include Clubhouse in your marketing and communication strategy?
- Is using the new Clubhouse app right for your business?
- How can you use Clubhouse in your public relations strategy?
- Is the future of social media audio-only content?
From B2B marketing to politicians: Clubhouse has already seen a variety of newsmakers on the platform. Newsmakers like Tulsi Gabbard, Elon Musk, and Barbara Corcoran are active on the social media platform. But how can a doctor, lawyer or author leverage Clubhouse to increase exposure, media and press?
In this article, we explore how to enhance your personal brand strategy and PR campaign with the new Clubhouse app.
PUBLIC RELATIONS CLUBHOUSE TIPS: WHY EVERYONE SHOULD BE MEDIA TRAINED BEFORE JOINING CLUBHOUSE
If you are not media trained, you shouldn’t be on Clubhouse. Media training should be required for anyone before they go on Clubhouse because it is easy to feel like you are in an intimate conversation and forget that even though it’s against their terms of service to record the audio chats, people can still record the rooms. It’s very easy to lose track of the fact that you are on stage in front of a live audience.
[READ] Media Relations 101 Guide
When you are a guest on a national TV segment, you realize the entire time you are on TV, it is not a private conversation and you are on a national stage. There is a disconnect on Clubhouse where people forget that it’s just like being on TV. Even though it feels private and intimate, you still need to remember that you are in front of a live audience. Not only are you in front of an audience, but you are also actively growing an audience.
When the room gets large, it is easy to lose track of who that audience is because you’re focused on moderating the room or being a speaker. If you lose focus of that and start clicking on everyone’s profile, it can be distracting and ultimately lead to more media mistakes. It will also make for a lower quality conversation.
There is a paradigm shift in the PR and TV booking world on Clubhouse. On TV, if producers like you as a guest, you are asked back on again. On Clubhouse, if people like you as a moderator, you are not asked back on your own stage, but rather, you can see if people liked what you had to say by the people who keep returning to your rooms. If you don’t develop an audience, it is the translation of a producer not asking you back on air. This is important to consider when you are analyzing your Clubhouse public relations strategy.
Use Clubhouse to display the 3 S’s to Reporters:
- Show a reporter how you think
- Show a reporter what type of source you are
- Show a reporter what you know and how you speak
Clubhouse Media Training 101: Know when to pass the ball
A true subject matter expert knows what they are not an expert at. It’s important not to speak about everything, even if you’re asked to if you’re brought up on stage. Know when to pass the ball to someone else if it is outside of your wheelhouse. We talk about that in content marketing. It’s incredibly relevant on this social media platform when people are going to be throwing rapid-fire questions at you. They are excited that they have an expert, but it is not up to them to understand the depth of your knowledge and subject matter expertise, that is up to you.
When we talk about how to fight misinformation in real-time, one way to do that is to say thanks so much for this question. So-and-so on stage is better equipped to question because it’s not in my wheelhouse. We tell people to do that on TV during executive media training. It’s important to do that on Clubhouse, too.
Stick to your scope of practice.
Digital marketers should not give advice on psychiatric disorders or mental illness. Marketers are not psychiatrists. In medicine, there is a concept called scope of practice, which means that you stick to discussing areas within your topic wheelhouse and you don’t veer too far outside of that. The same theory applies to Clubhouse regarding the advice subject matter experts are dishing out on this audio social media platform.
How can Clubhouse help my Public Relations campaign? What purpose does Clubhouse serve in my overall PR strategy if I already have a PR firm?
If you are active on Clubhouse, you can quickly be positioned as the go-to leader in your industry. When reporters start hearing you speak on stage, they can tell the depth of your knowledge and whether you will be a good guest for their show.
If you already have a New York PR firm, being active on Clubhouse can also help you get more out of the investment you have made in your PR firm. In essence, it can lead to more press placements because it strengthens the credibility of what the PR firm is pitching about you in correlation with reporters seeing you on stage on Clubhouse. They are more likely to respond to a PR pitch from a publicity firm if they have heard you speak on Clubhouse as opposed to a cold pitch where they have never previously interacted with you.
How can Clubhouse hurt my public relations campaign?
“Strategic PR is about mitigating risk.”
If you are not media trained, you need to be very careful before speaking on Clubhouse. Be cognizant of the people in the audience and what media is present. Furthermore, anyone today can act as the media by recording a sound bite and tweeting it as an out-of-context statement.
One way a PR firm can help you with this is to be active on the platform every time you speak as a co-moderator. We have seen this with prominent politicians on the platform where every time the politician speaks, the press secretary is present on stage.
Clubhouse is akin to a live press conference. You wouldn’t do a press conference without your PR firm present, and the same is true when you are active on the platform.
Is the media going to ruin Clubhouse for everyone?
There is an ingrained Clubhouse culture when the media enters the room, you will hear the moderator say just so you know, so-and-so has entered the room from The Washington Post or X reporter is here from The New York Times. We are resetting the room to let everyone know. Inevitably, some people will leave because they are uncomfortable with a reporter potentially writing about the room. Assume anything on Clubhouse is on the record.
That being said, many media outlets have shared internal memos with writers that what they hear on Clubhouse is off the record and cannot be pulled into their stories. Other reporters have stated that anything shared on Clubhouse is fair game and on the record and have said that they record full audio recordings and transcribe them using Otter.ai to pull quotes for stories.
The updated Clubhouse Terms of Service states:
You agree to not use the Service to:
- Record any portion of a conversation without the expressed consent of all of the speakers involved.
- Share information (on Clubhouse or elsewhere) that the speaker explicitly stated was to be treated as “off the record”
[READ] PR Pitching 101: How to successfully pitch your story to the media
5 Ways to Enhance Your Business Public Relations Campaign with the Clubhouse App
- Create a Club. Want to be known as an industry expert? Create a club around the audience you serve and host weekly rooms on that topic. Invite influencers to speak onstage during the rooms. This will lead to cross-promotion and social media buzz.
- Join pitch rooms. The audio chat app has made it easier than ever to connect with reporters, editors, producers, bookers, and journalists in real-time. If you want to enhance the PR campaign and the hard work your PR firm is already doing, join some of these rooms so the editors see your face.
- Build Relationships. Have you been vying for face time with a CMO? Or perhaps you have been trying to make headway with a specific beat reporter? Follow the reporter on Clubhouse and join the rooms they are in. Get to know what they are interested in.
- Gain insights from real-time feedback. Before pitching your product or brand to the media, wouldn’t it be great if you had some real-time feedback? As a CEO or CMO, you can use Clubhouse to get instantaneous feedback from clients before clicking send. This way, you can get the kinks worked out and any potential user issues and the Clubhouse users can provide as beta testers instead of the media. A win-win!
- Integrate Clubhouse room topics with breaking news. Instead of waiting for a producer to call you, bring your talking points to Clubhouse. Host rooms on topics of the day. Clubhouse is the new cable news. Moderators are the new cable news pundits.
CLUBHOUSE- PR AGENCY DISRUPTION
What is most disruptive about Clubhouse in regards to the disruption of the traditional public relations agency?
From a PR agency perspective, if you’re not on Clubhouse, there’s no way you can be properly servicing your clients and giving them the best possible PR counsel. This is the biggest new social media platform to disrupt the PR industry in a while. Clubhouse is going to breed a new version of media personalities (hello moderators!) and it’s interesting because people do well on this platform who may never have been active on the conference circuit or the stage to begin with. Introverts are attracted to this platform who never wanted to speak in front of five thousand people to keynote a conference before the pandemic. But now on Clubhouse, they can do it from the comfort of their bedroom.
The authority building and brand building expertise is important. You can put your client’s expertise on stage adjacent to other social media influencers that otherwise would be very difficult to reach. If you wanted to do an event with them, you’d be going back and forth at least 20 emails deep trying to coordinate with all these speakers. They may or may not answer and it may never happen. Clubhouse changes that paradigm. With less planning comes more spontaneous moments.
As a PR leader and an agency owner, doesn’t Clubhouse create a tough situation for managing a brand’s accounts or acting on their behalf?
Yes, because I can’t hop on so I can tell the client to make an account on here. Unlike Facebook or LinkedIn, I can’t ghost post or ghostwrite on their behalf. I have no access to their account without having physical access to their phone. I cannot begin to tell you how many Publicists say, oh no, my client is on stage again and it’s eleven p.m. I need to hop on Clubhouse and they are so anxiety-ridden about what’s going to be said, As public relations consultants, we naturally have so much anxiety and we craft messages on brand but we at least get to do that behind closed doors before someone goes on stage. It’s a much more condensed timeline. If a client’s going on air, maybe they’re going on air for a three-minute segment, not a six-hour room on Clubhouse.
There is certainly a whole new component of- how do you manage that and billable time and what does that look like from an agency perspective? Clubhouse and disappearing audio content, your content strategy’s future. The ROI of that and how you build for that and how you say this is something we need to shift resources to because this is a conversation a lot of public relations agencies will have over the next few months.
What is Clubhouse providing the market that other social media networks have not provided in the past? What makes this innovative or a game-changer?
Clubhouse provides a voice behind the avatar. It is easy to be a keyboard warrior and say mean things to people, but when your voice is attached to your avatar and social media handles, you have to think through your words and there is a level of accountability that is much greater.
Audio-based social media platforms force users to have more civil discourse and dialogue. That is considerably harder to do on text-based social media platforms.
“I love the Clubhouse room we did because it keeps you on your toes. You have to really know what you’re talking about and you have to be able to answer questions when someone gets on stage and challenges you. I got challenged fifty minutes in, but it was a good, respectful dialogue. It wasn’t people screaming at each other.” – Jordan Paris
On a podcast, you can say what you want. Nobody’s calling in and getting on the stage to challenge you. It’s a much more balanced conversation on Clubhouse because you have people of all different ideologies talking with each other and having an actual dialogue. There is something about voice chat social media that makes you more accountable to your words and the other people you are speaking to. Simply put, it is much harder to be mean to someone when you are dealing with a real person instead of a bot or an avatar.
CLUBHOUSE DISRUPTION- PODCASTING INDUSTRY
Will Clubhouse disrupt the podcasting industry?
Clubhouse is the new raw and unfiltered media. In many ways, it is a form of new media because it is not produced at scale. If you want to keep someone on their toes, put them on stage on Clubhouse. Forget a podcast because if you really want to know if they say what they know and one way to do this is by putting them on the spot on stage. I was talking to someone about the podcasting industry versus Clubhouse and they said podcasts are fake because they are prerecorded and produced because on a podcast, you know what someone is going to ask you.
Audio-only social media is not innovative. Podcasts have been around for a while, but what makes this approach different is pairing disappearing and fleeting audio content with a life user experience that makes it stand out. None of it is game-changing technology. Social media has gone on too long without a level of personal accountability and this is now changing that dynamic.
CLUBHOUSE INDUSTRY DISRUPTION- INFLUENCER MARKETING & BRAND MARKETING
Will Clubhouse disrupt the influencer marketing industry?
I’m curious to see what happens with the influencer marketing component and possible integration within the Clubhouse platform. Are we going to see sponsored rooms and branded rooms? For example, if there is a conversation around pet food and there is a dog club or a pet club and you have a brand like Chewy. Maybe they decide that they want to sponsor that room and what does that look like? These conversations are already happening. Their target audience is leaving it for them as that brand going to connect with the moderator or admin of that club and say, let’s collaborate. I see that as the future of this social media platform. It’s so new, as you mention, that I haven’t seen it yet, but I think that’s the direction it will go in.
CLUBHOUSE MODERATOR SKILLS
How do you moderate something that disappears? What are the moderation skills you should focus on outside of media training?
Clubhouse Moderators are the new influencers
The top 5 skills to be an effective moderator on Clubhouse.
- Read the Room. You have to be really good at reading the room.
- Understand tone. You need to understand the dynamic of the room, the tone of the room. You can’t tell body language, but you can see people flashing their mics if they agree with the sentiment.
- Fill the space. Pay attention to long, awkward pauses between speakers.
- Read between the lines. Understand how to read between the lines of what’s going on in your room and learn how to take control over the room when the conversation goes off the rails.
- Reset the room. Reset the room every thirty minutes to one hour, but don’t overdo it.
If you are a moderator, you have a tremendous amount of responsibility placed on you. It’s not as fun as just having a green moderator badge and saying, I’m going to lead this room. You are responsible for anything and everything that goes on in that room. If anyone reports what is said, it’s technically your room or club that will be reported. You have to inherently be a strong leader and as I’ve said before, not everyone is a leader.
Currently, there are people on Clubhouse moderating rooms that may not actually know how to lead. I’d love to see more leadership training around being a moderator. Everyone needs that. Public speakers build up that skill over time. They don’t just wake up and say, I’m a great public speaker. The same is true about being a strong moderator. You have to work at it every day.
"To be a good moderator, you must understand the [@joinClubhouse] room and be able to read between the lines of what's going on. Since you're responsible for whatever goes on in that room, you have to inherently be a strong leader."
— MarketMuse (@MarketMuseCo) February 10, 2021
The ROI of Clubhouse: Is Clubhouse worth the time for B2B Marketers?
Should you shift resource allocation to Clubhouse? What is the ROI of disappearing audio?
Well, what is the ROI of relationship building? Intangible.
Clubhouse is worth the time you put into it depending on your marketing goals and KPIs and how this platform ties back to your overall marketing communications plan. It’s not going to be a direct marketing activity that results in sales and lead generation for every business. For some people, it is. You hear people talking about closing leads and deals all day long from Clubhouse. In my industry, it’s more long lead and relationship building. So that’s how I see it. Warming up that cycle and building relationships. I see it as an extension of your brand in different areas that you may otherwise not be in or have those conversations in simply because it takes too much time on the front or back end to do that production work.
Content marketers are best primed to take advantage of the Clubhouse platform. I’ve had people say, what’s the direct ROI? Are you going to say that I can get X number of new patients from this? If not, I am not doing it. That’s not a content-first mindset. If you are already focused on educating people through different forms of content, this is just another form of content called audio content where you will continue that mission.
— MarketMuse (@MarketMuseCo) February 10, 2021
To be successful as a marketer on Clubhouse, you have to understand what that mission is. If you want to create a movement, understand what that movement is before you create a club, before you host rooms, and ideally before you are active on the social media platform. Look at why people are joining clubs or why they are tuning in for your show week after week. It’s because they are aligning with the mission that you have set forth.
"…To be successful, you need to understand what the mission is before diving into #Clubhouse. Then you start producing content that ties into your larger goal from there." (2/2)
— MarketMuse (@MarketMuseCo) February 10, 2021
Moderating a room and building a following organically on the platform is a lot of work. This isn’t the same as saying I’m opening up a Twitter account and I’m going to tweet when I feel like it once every six months or once every day. If you want to build a following organically on Clubhouse, you have to think of it like a podcast or a TV show where you are committing that every week we will be back at the same time.
We will be there five p.m. eastern every Wednesday night from five to six in the Content Marketing, PR, and SEO group. Come ask us questions so people can plan their lives around that schedule.
Clubhouse & Disappearing Audio Content: Fad or Future for Your Content Marketing Strategy?
Clubhouse has many marketers scratching their heads and asking themselves, “Should we be… on this?”
As a new social media channel powered by exclusivity where marketers can gain access to new audiences, does it make sense to take advantage of the opportunity before the platform is oversaturated?
Does the disappearing nature of the content lend itself well to a content marketing strategy? If so, what is the best way to leverage disappearing audio content for your content marketing campaign?
MarketMuse’ Jeff Coyle and Kris Ruby, President of Ruby Media Group discuss actionable tips to approaching this new media format within your larger content marketing strategy.
In this article, you will learn:
- Is Clubhouse a viable marketing channel for your business?
- Clubhouse’s value from an SEO perspective. Does Clubhouse even have any tangible value for SEO?
- How to leverage audio content for your digital PR strategy
- Rich media optimization + Clubhouse (best practices)
- How to moderate a Clubhouse room that leads to clicks, conversations, and traffic
Clubhouse and disappearing audio content
Welcome to another MarketMuse content strategy webinar and today’s discussion is about Clubhouse. Have you heard of Clubhouse? Is the new social media app part of your content strategy’s future? Our amazing guest today is positioned as the social media marketing expert in Clubhouse. Kris is the President of Ruby Media Group and she has recently been quite active on Clubhouse. I’m so happy to be able to ask her to join us today and share her experience and what she’s learned, but also how to associate public relations best practices and social media management best practices to your Clubhouse experience. Kris, thanks for joining us.
Your latest article was awesome and everything is extremely comprehensive. I know you recently did a long-form article on public relations, SEO, and content marketing optimization, and content repurposing. Everybody should look for that article on PR for SEO. It’s really great.
What is the Clubhouse app?
Clubhouse is an industry-disrupting audio-only app in the social media industry. When other social media platforms came along, I didn’t jump on them in the same way and I certainly didn’t consider myself an early adopter of some of them. When Snapchat was popular, I didn’t get as excited about it. When TikTok first became popular, I wasn’t as excited about it. Then Clubhouse came along and I have to admit I am a little excited about it because it is an opportunity for people to win who may otherwise have not been able to win on those platforms.
Other social media platforms traditionally rewarded a visual aesthetic: how you look in photos or on video, not how you sound. Understanding graphic design was also critical. This platform takes away that barrier. Because it is so new, the algorithm also rewards organic growth right now as opposed to so many of the other social media platforms which have been riddled with censorship issues and are in many ways tainted at this point with so much bad PR around data privacy.
Clubhouse rewards intellect. It rewards someone who is a true subject matter expert because if you’re not, you’ll quickly get kicked off the stage. Other people can tell when you have no clue what you are talking about live on stage or you won’t be able to sustain a conversation or to answer the rapid-fire questions you’ll get in real-time if you’re a speaker on the stage. So, you can quickly see the holes in someone’s argument that you can’t see on another platform that rewards how you look versus what you have to say. That is why I’m excited about Clubhouse from a subject matter expert standpoint.
It is a great way to build authority fast by leading with what you know. If you are valued in the community as an expert, you will be asked back to be a moderator and lead other rooms. I like the idea of rewarding knowledge vs. aesthetics.
— Paul Roetzer (@paulroetzer) March 3, 2021
“It’s about what you say, not so much how you look. That is interesting.”
I think that’s an amazing concept. It’s about what you say because it is audio. Should I be managing my Clubhouse platform in the same way that I’m managing my LinkedIn profile? Is this something that has that kind of weight?
According to recent statistics, Clubhouse has picked up four million users in two weeks and has recently surpassed ten million users. It is becoming very relevant. Should I be thinking about how to enhance my bio and profile on the new app?
Even if you’re not interested in using Clubhouse for your business marketing strategy, you should still secure the account handle for your name and take it before someone else does. You should also get the .club domain or your name before someone else takes it. Hold onto it to make sure no one else takes it. From a marketing perspective, this social media platform is worth checking out.
CLUBHOUSE- EVENT INDUSTRY DISRUPTION
Will Clubhouse disrupt the virtual event industry?
I view these Clubhouse rooms or events as a massive volume of micro-events. The feeling you get when a room is happening is very similar if you’re not on it. It’s similar to an event that’s happening in Portland, Oregon, this year. I wasn’t able to go and I thought, oh, gosh, I’m missing out. I had that fear of missing out. When there are people at these events whose information I value or whose intellect or insights may be interesting to me and I’ve already felt it. There was an event this weekend and someone tweeted at me and said, hey, can you jump in here? It’s Saturday. I said, my parents’ birthdays are one week apart. I really want to jump in there, but it’s their birthday. I can’t jump in there. This fear of missing out is already happening.
It’s only going to get more exciting. You’re representing both yourself and if you have one too many brands, you’re also putting yourself out there. It’s very similar to attending a live event or a virtual event that has an unplanned segment, meaning something that does not have a track. You’re not part of the track. It’s a social segment when you’re there. If you were creating a collection of a massive volume of these micro-events, how do you even manage that? How do you manage a schedule when it can be so intrusive and it’s so much time?
“How to Build Your Competitive Advantage With AI 🧠 ” with @sparklingruby, @akibalogh, @jeffrey_coyle, @paulroetzer, and Public Relations, SEO & Content Marketing. Today, Mar 3 at 5:00 PM EST on @joinclubhouse! https://t.co/lsSIG6LbyZ
— Sandie Young (@SandieMYoung) March 3, 2021
CLUBHOUSE PRIVACY AND RECORDING ISSUES
What policy or tech/security concerns should people have about the app?
How do you perceive the privacy dynamic on the app? You mentioned that you’re not allowed to record on Clubhouse by their policy, but who’s to say who is recording and what their goal is with the recording? I have a very significant recording rig. If I had the desire to, I could record that audio and have it for whatever reason. There are privacy dynamics, but there’s also a targeting dynamic if somebody had that type of motive.
Policy and tech concerns people should have about the app:
- Content moderation
- The app’s relationship to China
- Recording issues (on the record vs. off the record)
Access to your address book. You can technically opt-out, but what about those who do not realize they had a choice. Is there an ability to change this setting? If not, will our contacts be stored on their servers? Where are these servers located and how long will they store this data? They have made some recent changes in an app update to this feature, but that still doesn’t address users’ privacy concerns who uploaded their entire address book as beta users of the app.
Account deletion. Users have reported that it is very challenging to delete their accounts. This process needs to be easier and more accessible from within the app.
End-to-end encryption. Does this exist within the platform?
Moderation. It’s easier for the algorithms to parse through text-based data. How will admins police audio-based data from a content moderation standpoint? AI will play a huge role.
How do you combat misinformation in real-time? I’m fascinated by this.
— Kristen Ruby (@sparklingruby) January 2, 2021
You’re technically not allowed to record without the consent of other speakers; however, they do say that you can record if you put recording in the title and then you get written authorization and consent from the other speakers on the stage. Now, that makes sense in a closed environment. If you’re not having people come up for Q&A, I don’t see how you can possibly manage the consent of all random people that you’re adding on the stage unless you know all of those people. So that’s the disconnect.
— Kristen Ruby (@sparklingruby) January 2, 2021
Could antitrust play a role in this?
Section 230 protects people who are bullied in real time on this platform. The defamatory spin-off rooms about people in real-time a real legal concern. Some users have also reported the app microphone has used up a lot of “usage” time on their phone, even if they never opened the app that day.
As a consultant who has covered social media and tech platforms for years, we have an obligation to look into the privacy policies of all of these platforms before recommending that clients jump on them. I would like to see more of that happen. Less marketing hype and more questioning.
It is as if we never learned from some of the biggest privacy issues of the past with Cambridge Analytica/ Facebook and many others over the years.
Misinformation can be dangerous when used in the wrong context and because people can’t record Clubhouse rooms without fear of being kicked off the platform, this leads to a dangerous cycle. Community guidelines prohibit users from recording audio. This can enable the rapid-fire spread of disinformation.
Will the commercialization of Clubhouse bring us new features that could jeopardize its cool factor?
That may just be the maturity of the platform or the maturity of the product. It’s pretty novel and there’s a lot of challenges with this platform.
The shortcomings of Clubhouse so far:
- It’s only on one device type. Is that going to change?
- Is recording going to be a premium feature for brands?
- Are you going to have to associate yourself with brand entities at some point?
There are a lot of things that the app doesn’t do because it is so extraordinarily lightweight and casual.
That’s a really smart thing to think about. How is this going to evolve? We have some people thinking about the direction it’s headed, but also its technological shortcomings. How fearful should someone be that they are being recorded? Is that something that or should you just always have the policy that everything I say is going to be reported?
I’ve been in some Clubhouse rooms so far where I feel like if it was recorded, some of the people in that room would be frightened out of their wits. Are you seeing the same thing happen?
I’m seeing two different dynamics. As soon as it says recording in the title, the conversation is different and it becomes a little stiffer. It just sounds like a podcast again. People are more afraid to say what they really think because they are monitoring who is in the room and the audience.
Do you think they are likely going to be doing things like tracking and recording it on their own so that they can have audio search or doing their own transcriptions so that they can create an archive of all of their rooms? Is that their obligation or do you even see them even thinking about?
IS CLUBHOUSE AN INCLUSIVE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM?
Does Clubhouse have an accessibility problem?
Clubhouse has an obligation to make the platform accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing population because they have said that this is an inclusive platform that was not inclusive for a large percentage of the population. It looks like they are making some changes in that direction. We saw the podcasting industry get slammed for that as well. That’s why every podcaster had to start adding transcriptions so that the content is more accessible for everyone.
That was where I was headed with that. For the first part of it, it was jokingly inaccessible for people who have Androids, or for non-Apple. But it’s not a joke. When something exists only in audio, that’s a serious accessibility problem. I’m glad that it is being discussed. Would this even be accessible for somebody who is hard of hearing or deaf? Could they even actively use the application to be a moderator? It could be very challenging given the skills that one needs to be very effective as a moderator.
CLUBHOUSE: THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL SELLING & EMPATHETIC LISTENING
What should users be thinking about to be effective moderators on the Clubhouse social media platform?
From a sales perspective, there is a fine line and balance of how do you promote yourself while also educating others?
I moderated a room on cancel culture for six hours and a few people said you didn’t mention what you do or who you are or your company. You’re so into moderating this room but you still need to remember you’re doing the room and you have a right to be able to say those things and sell your services. I think a lot of people are struggling with that. How do you walk the fine line of social selling on Clubhouse?
“It really makes the value of empathy and the value of improvisation important. It can put you to the test if they truly don’t have those skills or haven’t crafted those skills, they may just be a fly on the wall.”
There is no barrier to entry, so it’s a lot different than getting your first speaking gig and being nervous the first few events you do and then getting your groove and then getting to the point where you don’t even have to practice. The learning curve is still extraordinarily high. However, there’s no barrier to entry here. If people are going through that right now, they are like, whoa, I’m on center stage. I have never done this before. Should I be preparing for this? Am I good at this? How can anyone know the answer to this? I think what you’re seeing is and I’ve actually talked about this as a bit of a paradox in that the people have no clear empathy.
“I just think you’re talking into air.”
They are not empathetic in their communications. They aren’t trained in consultative selling. They are not good listeners. In a lot of rooms, they are seemingly ruling the stage. If you have ever been in a Clubhouse room and there’s just someone there who doesn’t care about what anybody else is saying, that’s what’s happening in a lot of these situations.
That is the role of a great moderator to say, how do I address the situation where a person is sucking the wind out of this room? That’s what we have to do as moderators of these rooms because I’m seeing this happen a lot in some of the larger rooms or ones where there is maybe a secondary motive. I know there is a lot of MLM going on in Clubhouse, so I’ll just leave that there.
There have been a lot of situations on Clubhouse where it’s very monopolized. Somebody could monopolize that time if it wasn’t moderated well.
There are a lot of people who may be less genuine that are dominating the platform. That’s the unfortunate reality on Clubhouse. I certainly feel that way in larger rooms. I just try not to go into them because I don’t find them satisfying. I prefer smaller, intimate conversations with less than twenty people where everyone can talk and everyone has a voice. I’d rather have twenty curated people than fifteen hundred people listening. Some people will say, oh, I thought there would be more people in this room. To those people, I would say this is not like an ego-based activity to see how many people you can get an audience or how many followers you could get. I am interested in the depth of the conversation, not the size of the room or the size of the audience.
My personal perspective is that value selling or consultative selling is very solutionless. I would much rather never talk about myself or my product. I would much rather understand the person who I’m speaking to or is part of the conversation, their challenges and how they make purchasing decisions, what their pain points are, what their view of a solution is. How they think they would solve this problem right now to be able to truly tie back to real quantifiable value and understanding that is the key to selling anything.
If you don’t understand, if you don’t care about that person, everything about them and their outcomes, you’re just slinging. Erring on the side of being a no-pitcher is the best. Those are the people that get invited back to events on stage. I once had the showrunner for the Content Marketing Institute tell me the best thing about a speech by Jeff is that he doesn’t mention MarketMuse.
It’s not because people don’t want to hear about it. If you’re doing it well, you don’t need to. The understanding that Kris is a PR expert comes through in the discussion. At the tail end, you may want to drop a few things. Hey, if you didn’t know this, this is what I do. This is how I do it. But if someone is truly going to make an investment like they would need to make in PR services, I would much rather have them do that.
How likely is it that your call to action is going to be so exciting? If you’ve got something truly valuable to offer and you want to talk about that, an offer like one might put on the tail end of a webinar for 15 percent off. As you wrap your time up, I do think that it’s a consideration.
Are you pitching first?
Are you making sure everybody knows who everybody is and what they represent and the value it represents?
It’s going to really stink if every time someone brings up a hammer and brings up a nail, you’re the hammer.
CLUBHOUSE MLM SCAMS
I’ve heard about Clubhouse app scams where MLM scammers tag team, they go in with two people and then share stories. So two people go into each room and then they’ll say, oh, Jeff, don’t you remember when we worked on this? They bring it up and they go back and forth off each other and then they bring that person into their funnel, except the other person has no idea what’s going on or that all this was preplanned before they did the room. You have to watch out for that stuff, too, which is a little bit scary when it comes to potential Clubhouse scams. A lot of people who have Cash App or say here’s how to pay me.
I want to tie this part of the discussion to search engine optimization (SEO) and content strategy. This isn’t something new either in the search engine optimization space or in the affiliate marketing space. There are triangulation schemes that exist throughout the web on people who I’m not actually promoting something directly, but I’m promoting someone else or their network who is supported by ad revenue or supported by affiliate revenue. What I’m already starting to see in some of these communications is, unfortunately, I may not be directly pitching something, but I am adjacently doing it.
Just to be aware of that is key, much like when you’re watching a YouTube video of someone promoting someone else or making a list of other people and it just happens to be that seven out of the nine people in their list are all affiliates of some product. You’ve got to check the net.
Normally, when you think about affiliate marketers, we are discussing things in terms of regulatory advertising guidelines and disclosures. I think about more text-based things. I think about them writing comments and threads. This is a whole new direction where they are out there talking and brand dropping in audio. Is that the future of affiliate marketing?
CLUBHOUSE CONTENT MARKETING TIPS: SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION, GOOGLE INDEXING, AND SEO TIPS
How is Clubhouse important for SEOs? When we were talking about it, it’s not very clear to me that it even is. I know we’ve had a couple of conversations about it. How do you feel about that now? What is happening with Google indexing as it pertains to Clubhouse?
They are starting to index events and event pages but these event pages are thin content. These pages are acting like thin content pages. But this app has such a massive velocity of excitement and authority. There’s a lot of people linking to these things that these pages are going to appear. They are going to appear for exact match on the actual events themselves. They’re going to appear for some really complex queries that involve people who are named and associated with the event and some sub-strings of those queries.
"@joinClubhouse is starting to index pages. But… they're thin content. But this site has such a massive velocity of interest that they're going to start appearing in search for exact match, names of those involved, substrings of those queries, etc…" (1/2)
— MarketMuse (@MarketMuseCo) February 10, 2021
It’s just naturally going to happen that way. One thing I’m imagining is that Clubhouse is going to need to consult with a technical SEO specialist and they are going to build an infrastructure or archive of these events. It’s a natural progression as they mature and that is something that they are probably not even considering but they should.
What I also see potentially in the future is that just like rich media optimization. I’m trying to think of this time of year and what events I should be going to, but if it weren’t for the pandemic, let’s just say we’re going to content tech in San Diego. The people that go to those shows and take repurposing and event marketing and relationship building seriously have pre-interviews with people that will be at the event. They do session reviews and evaluations.
They talk about the event, they build content, they take snippets, they tweet and by adding value, but also by profiling which sessions were great, how to really be a pro at this particular event. There is an avenue and I’m already starting to see it for people to act as repurposing experts of the sessions and the clubs that they’re attending. So, it’s not just creating those event pages. I’m using the audio, just like I’m using the content of an event or a speaker session or a workshop to make my own presence.
"…For instance, a screenshot of a room turns a #Clubhouse room into an image. There's an opportunity to run with rich media optimization here." (2/2)
— MarketMuse (@MarketMuseCo) February 10, 2021
E-A-T directly applies to the larger conversation around search engine optimization and Clubhouse. When we talk about building expertise, authority, and trust, this is a great way to do that and build up your authority by moderating rooms with other like-minded subject matter experts. Another way you can do that is by taking screenshots of you adjacent to other influencers on the stage.
Does that have a direct SEO value? I don’t know, but it’s certainly going to help build your authority.
With authority, it’s all about the transition of the audio to other forums to become valuable. It has no natural transcription. It isn’t being archived in search. It’s somebody taking the audio and turning it into other media. When you take a screenshot of the phone, you’re turning an audio session into an image. If you are then writing about that session and you’re writing a synopsis or a summary, it’s just like writing a transcribed podcast show note effectively.
So it’s about that repurposing and transitioning and the people who are really good at that. I think there’s a great opportunity to run with that and be very good at rich media optimization here. I’m already starting to see it with people talking about what they heard on Clubhouse. But that isn’t a natural thing. It’s not just going to happen naturally. Someone that has to actively consider the value and know the value of repurposing. There are some really good people out there already doing it.
Is there inherent value to you doing this if you’re not recording and you’re not repurposing and you’re just having disappearing conversations, how does that positively impact your content strategy’s future?
You have to know the types of outcomes that make it valuable. So relationship building, absolutely. If you are truly a genuine human and you actually care about others, this is a great application for you because it really comes through who cares and who doesn’t in these conversations. I think that’s really special. It’s why the first Pubcon I ever went to or maybe the second one I still remember. The first time I went to Pubcon and stayed up all night talking to Roger Monte and Lawrence Coburn in 2003 and I’m like, whoa, that conversation existed and no one will ever know that conversation.
There is a special, real, genuine value to these things that you couldn’t have possibly had and I think there is value there. There are other kinds of value like how hard would it have been to get all of us in a room today as improvisation or one person might have been left out if we had tried to orchestrate it or done it as an organized Zoom call. This medium creates situations that couldn’t happen anywhere else and makes it so that the genuine people really come through.
Clubhouse Content Marketing / Repurposing tips:
- Room recaps (long-form content)
- Tweet quotables overheard in the room and tag the speaker
- Host exclusive branded events
- Brands can sponsor events or clubs
- Host a room with a panel of industry experts
Will Clubhouse be a viable marketing channel for business growth?
I didn’t really get it at first. I didn’t know who was going to have value. What I’ve been trying to do is really think about that. I try to do that with every social media that I add to my ever-expanding list of stuff to do, because, frankly, social media endeavors, community management endeavors, events, if they’re going to be ongoing maintenance, required efforts, I think you’ve got to take that into account before you jump in.
Clubhouse has a no barrier to entry situation. So you can hop in and then you’re gone. You don’t even need to dive in. So that’s what made me even want to give it a shot, frankly. But what I’ve done is I’ve really started to think about why. This is important and there are tangible wins for me personally. I picked up two speaking engagements and I’ve had somebody reach out to me and give me a lot of feedback on a customer who probably wouldn’t have felt like they were empowered to do that.
I’ve also made a few friends on it that are CEOs and content strategies that I probably wouldn’t have connected with. There are CEOs whose names I did not know a month ago who I interact with and am so excited that I’m connected to them and I don’t know if I would have found them without the app.
I do see a lot of value there and I’m continuing to keep tabs on this and just say, what’s my key takeaway after every session?
- What’s my takeaway?
- Why was this worth my time?
It’s that direct accessibility to people probably wouldn’t have that is still a very exciting thing. But it is garbage in, garbage out if you want outcomes and you’ve got to put in the effort. It also ties to another concept. From your perspective, I hadn’t really thought that through considerably.
CLUBHOUSE TIMING: WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO HOST ROOMS?
You’re going to have the kind of answer no one has right now are ones like they ask about their investment in social media. Have you figured out how to find out the best time to start a Clubhouse room? When I read that question, I was thinking to myself, I absolutely have no input on that question that is based on data.
My listening preference is at night after 5 pm. It’s a totally different crowd of people who are active on the platform during the day versus at night. I wrote an article on Dennis Yu’s website about the culture of Clubhouse. I made a rule of no time during billable hours because those hours are bought by clients. If you are on Clubhouse during the day, is that really fair to the people who are paying for that time?
I’ve already seen work productivity plummet because of the level of distraction caused by the social media platform. And if you’re on stage and doing work for someone at the same time and someone could call on you that’s a lot. It’s not passive media consumption. It becomes active.
[READ] Blitzmetrics Dennis Yu: Kris Ruby’s Clubhouse Advice for Entrepreneurs
So after hours in your target audience or at least after hours for yourself or accounting for who that audience is I think is a great idea. That’s very similar to how one thinks about their social media planning and targeting. There are applications out there that look at all of my hashtags, analyze the ROI, typical hashtags like my hashtags, look at my typical posts, and every day can give me a weighted average of the best time for me to tweet. I don’t think that’s going to exist for Clubhouse for some time. It’s going to be anecdotal.
It makes you think about as you said, Kris, is this part of your content strategy’s future? My answer to that is it depends. It depends on what Clubhouse does.
If they start archiving audio, if they start doing audio search, if they start building out ways it can be more accessible and feasible ways for you to do this in a way that isn’t one hundred percent repurposing the path to that is quicker. If you’re going to invest time into it at all, you have to consult with somebody who understands the content strategy, content repurposing as a practice, and rich media optimization. It’s not that you’re taking the audio and transcribing it against the terms and policies. You have to bring this to the other medium in order for it to have a meaningful long-term impact.
That’s what I always say about leveraging media exposure. If you’re on TV, it’s not the TV segment that matters. It’s putting it on social media, putting it on your website, building your brand with it. If you don’t do that, it’s just a flash in the pan and no one may have ever seen it.
I’m really thinking about ways to do that. The best parallel I’ve given is there is a constant stream of micro-events or it’s kind of like how we kind of feel with virtual events right now. There are so many, are they getting diluted? Well, no, I don’t think so, if you’re willing to invest the time in creating and repurposing the content then it could be. It might be translating or morphing that event into something that is not evergreen, but it has some sort of more lasting impact or you’re marketing it from many places. If you had many landing pages or many things promoting the Clubhouse event or room, there’s value there as well. It’s very novel.
I run two different clubs so I bought the URL for each of those. I’ll create landing pages for both of them with a call to action and event calendar in the near future.
MICRO EVENTS VS. MICRO MOMENTS IN THE AFTER-PARTY ON CLUBHOUSE
When I think about the best conversations I’ve been part of on Clubhouse, they weren’t the actual event itself. They were at the after party of the event. Just like a real in-person conference. The best conversation is: is it when you’re listening to the keynote or is it after when you talk to three people about what you heard about the keynote? For me, those are the parts and those are the micro-moments that I love about it. It’s not the actual main event.
I believe that they are almost both the same thing because if you feel that strongly, you can turn the second one into a micro event and that’s where I’m seeing this. For me, going to conferences after the first few. It’s all about the relationships, it’s all about the after-party and the conversations you have in the hallway or that type of experience much more than the excitement of being a speaker or listening to someone you admire. That other part of it is very important and this feels like that.
That is why I’m excited for our Clubhouse room at five o’clock because that’s our first time trying this, where it’s an after-party of a webinar.
Aki my co-founder and President is going to join us to just talk about the ideas that come up as a part of what we talked about today or things that people agree with, things that people don’t agree with, and I feel like there is this scenario where if the room is very small, am I violating the people’s trust if I turn that into my content strategy versus if the group was larger? Am I not violating a person’s trust? So that’s also part of this for me.
I wouldn’t want to be a person who was seen in other people’s eyes as the documentarian or the exploiter of my room. There are just so many different dynamics that make you not want to do anything and wait for other people to do it, because this is one of those things like, gosh, what if somebody popped in your room and you’re like, oh, Larry’s here? I’m just saying the word, Larry, oh, Larry’s here. Whenever Larry’s in a room, he blogs about it and tweets about it. There are some things that could come from this that we can’t predict.
Are strong content strategists going to ruin this for everybody?
The Clubhouse application developers are product managers of what I would consider. This is what product-led growth is. It’s building applications that have a wild virality component. It provides unique novel experiences that you haven’t had in other places.
This is something that has the ability to create four million new accounts in two weeks. That’s pretty exciting. How do you view their future? What do you think their moves are going to be? Or do you think they’re just going to let it play out for a while and see if the slope continues to become massively exponential?
CLUBHOUSE CONTENT MODERATION POLICY CONCERNS
Content moderation is a challenge on the platform.
I’m curious to see what the platforms does in terms of content moderation or abuse that takes place on the platform, what that looks like and how they handle it. Now you can report trolling. But again, what does that even mean? What is the definition term of a troll? If you say something I don’t like, if we have a difference of opinion or if I don’t like that you said they’re micro-events. Does that make you a troll? Can I kick you out for saying that just because I have a different opinion? That’s why I get concerned. It lends itself back to the conversation around cancel culture on Clubhouse.
You can report someone for trolling, but what constitutes trolling? If someone disagrees with your opinion, does that make them a troll?
Lots of moderator ego trips on the platform and potentially verbally abusive behavior of moderators making audience members they bring up to feel bad. How are we holding these moderators accountable? The question people are asking is wrong- it is not that people are unprofessional who are moderating the rooms -rather- it is people who have already achieved a level of professional success who get away with shaming people in front of large audiences and people don’t call them out because they don’t want to be kicked off the platform or feel it is just par for the course because this is “how successful people” act. No. It’s not. And it shouldn’t be tolerated.
Over the weekend, I heard a well-known moderator tell a woman on stage “We don’t want to hear your life story. Ask your question and then be quiet.” He then proceeded to shame her with teaching her how to ask a question and to get to the point.’ It was embarrassing to witness. This is the type of content moderation the platform needs to struggle with- the nuance of abuse that isn’t hate speech, but also isn’t empowering in any way and leaves people feeling traumatized.
How will Clubhouse impact the speaking industry?
One concern that I have is let’s say you’re a speaker and you make money from speaking engagements. Are you devaluing yourself and your work if you speak on Clubhouse for ten hours a day but then someone asks you to keynote a conference and you say, here’s my rate. Are they then going to say, why would I pay you to speak if you’re on Clubhouse ten hours a day?
As someone who has spoken two hundred times live and a dozen times a week these days and only been paid one time. I didn’t even realize I was being paid and just happened to get an honorarium after the fact. I don’t remember who I donated to, but I don’t know the answer to that question. I don’t really understand the mental energy of someone who gets paid to speak. You have to really bring the value when you do get paid to speak then. You’re building relationships and you’re gaining more exposure.
Being a little bit exclusive with your time on Clubhouse is important. If people know that you are going to be available for one hour a week on Clubhouse and that’s their time to hear you, that is more alluring than knowing that you’re available ten hours a day on Clubhouse and not working. If you look at some people’s app usage, they’re on there all day long, and does that become appealing or is that a turnoff in terms of the fact that now they’re on there too much? Where do you draw that line?
Yeah, I agree. It depends on how much value they’re bringing. If you knew somebody was on that you think was super valuable and the value they bring, are you turning them into your on-demand consultant?
We were talking about do we host a Friday session where we’re doing on-demand live audits? That would be really cool. Or would it? Is that something that would get diluted over time? I think it’s a great concept. I don’t have a ton of time after hours. I’m typically on Clubhouse when I’m driving home. There’s a couple of the moderators and one of them said, “We caught Jeff. He must be on his drive home. I happened to be driving home because frankly, I’m making a decision between listening to a podcast recording, listening to music, or if there’s a Clubhouse discussion and I’m actually making that decision when I jump in the car now. That is definitely something I did not expect to be a decision that I would be making every time I hopped in the car.
Clubhouse is the new talk radio is the conclusion we’ve come to.
Remember: Regardless of how great your story is, it will always have a limited impact if no one hears about it.
I was with a good friend of mine and we were on Clubhouse the other day. Sometimes I just want to jump in and be a fly on the wall. The better you are at content marketing and being an authority, the more likely it is somebody is going to throw you on stage. So that’s something that we’ll have to deal with, too, is can you, can you flag yourself as, please don’t pull me on stage? That would be an interesting feature that Clubhouse could consider.
⏰ Wednesday, Jan 27 at 5:00 PM EST on #clubhouse
— RubyMediaGroup® (@RubyMediaGroup) January 26, 2021
CLUBHOUSE PR TIPS: FINAL THOUGHTS AND JEFF COYLE’S HOT TAKE
Be legitimate. I think this is yet another rise of good community managers. An important part of being a great community manager is to lift up your community. If someone asks a question and you’ve done the research of your regulars and you point the question towards that person to shine a light on them, you look great, too, because you’re actually doing a service to the community. That was what I was talking about with the people who steal the air from the room.
It’s a much better decision to shine the spotlight on others and it reflects so well on you and your ability to be self-aware. That is something that I’m excited about when I’m in a Clubhouse room where someone is doing that because it just really feels right. It shows you’ve done the research of your regulars.
Research your regulars. There’s my hot take. When someone hops in and that’s another saying from value selling; show them you know them.
The application to that as it pertains to Clubhouse is to research your regulars because they are going to be the ones that keep the engine running. This has been a wonderful conversation on a topic that most people aren’t talking about.
— MarketMuse (@MarketMuseCo) February 17, 2021
CLUBHOUSE SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERT | PRESS
Looking for a social media marketing expert to speak on Clubhouse? Here are some of the latest media interviews New York Social Media Marketing Strategist Kris Ruby has given on Clubhouse.
SOCIAL MEDIA: CLUBHOUSE
What is the dark side of Clubhouse?
Social Media Marketing Expert Kris Ruby, CEO of New York Social Media Marketing Agency Ruby Media Group shares 4 concerns:
- The barrier to entry to moderate a room is significantly lower than speaking or moderating on the conference circuit. This means people are potentially responsible for moderating large groups of people when they may have zero formal moderator training. Essentially, they are getting real-life hands-on training in the app which means they are learning as they go while moderating. Unfortunately, that means mistakes will be made and those mistakes could be made on you. Clubhouse moderation requires emotional intelligence, leadership, and empathy.
- Moderator bias towards speaker priority. Is the moderator prioritizing inviting speakers to the stage with high follower counts? The room experience is highly curated by the moderator. This means if the moderator is mentally unfit to lead, they could potentially be exposing everyone in the room to a poor emotional experience that can have lasting traumatic effects, without consciously intending to do so.
- The spread of misinformation on Clubhouse. Someone could say something blatantly false on the platform and unless someone reports the room, the comments will go unchecked. When you put people in power that don’t necessarily deserve the power (moderators with zero training) it creates a false sense of security. When we attend an industry conference, we believe the speakers have been vetted. The problem with Clubhouse moderators is that people are assuming the moderator has been vetted because they have an audience and an impressive Clubhouse bio. You can have an audience on Clubhouse and still peddle misinformation. On other social media platforms, people can fact-check you and correct you in real-time. With disappearing audio, that doesn’t exist, creating a dangerous cycle of misinformation that cannot be corrected or retracted.
- People who are not media trained should have a crisis communications consultant on standby. The conversation feels intimate, yet it is easy to forget that you are speaking on stage to a live audience. People prepare for TV interviews or podcast interviews, but Clubhouse is more of a casual environment, which can lead one to have a higher level of comfort when they still need to be thinking about risk management. It is important to be aware of your surroundings and who is in the room when you are on stage. The allure of a private conversation is just that. People can still tweet anything you say while you are on stage in real-time. Clubhouse will keep crisis communication PR professionals very busy over the next few months.
Have you generated any business from Clubhouse? How much time have you invested in Clubhouse so far? We would love to hear about your success (or failure) with Clubhouse for your B2B Marketing Strategy. Do you use Clubhouse for your business? How have you used it to get more patients, clients, referrals, or media opportunities?
ABOUT RUBY MEDIA GROUP
Ruby Media Group offers public relations, social media, content marketing services. We focus on personal branding and making our clients the go-to experts in their field, whether that’s on TV, on podcasts, digital placements, which helps your SEO as well. We represent thought leaders in different fields ranging from marketing to medical to anything and everything in between. Reach out for a consultation if you are looking to build your personal brand. Want more PR secrets for crafting coverage-worthy stories, pitching journalists on Clubhouse, and leveraging earned media for big results? Contact us today for a consultation to take your Clubhouse public relations and marketing strategy to the next level.
Join Jeff and Kris weekly in the Public Relations, SEO, and Content Marketing room on Clubhouse every Wednesday at 5 pm ET to continue the conversation! (Link) Weekly AMA, live audits, and fireside chats. Don’t miss our next Clubhouse room in the PR, SEO, and Content Marketing club: The role of AI in earned media
CLUBHOUSE CONCIERGE MARKETING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS SERVICES
Are you ready to manage another social media platform? If not, we can help with your Clubhouse PR strategy. Ask us about our new Clubhouse booking and concierge service. Need a moderator or host? Can’t stand the thought of finding guests and creating interview topics and the production work of Clubhouse? We can do it for you! Ruby Media Group is a PR and branding agency that offers PR services for Clubhouse content creators. Contact us today to learn more.
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