Clubhouse is the next social platform gaining traction. With investors and high-profile individuals joining, is it worth a startup founder’s time?

Finding cost-effective ways of marketing your startup is a part of every founder’s job. It can be tempting to try and assert your voice across all channels all the time, to make sure you’re making as much noise as possible. The risk is that we spread ourselves too thin and don’t give the right channels the right amount of attention to drive decent results. 

Social media has always been great for growing and nurturing loyal audiences online, but it’s always a good idea to focus on what works for your business. 

Audio is a growing channel which all founders should consider. Podcasts are a great way to bring your brand to life and are incredibly popular amongst certain demographics. But new and innovative audio channels are now popping up, and Clubhouse is the latest to be gaining traction with influencers around the world. 

Should founders consider Clubhouse as part of their marketing mix? Is it worth your precious time?

A mobile phone with the Clubhouse app installed
Where should founders focus their time when it comes to social media?

So what's all the fuss about Clubhouse? 

Clubhouse is an audio-only, real-time social media platform that allows anyone (as long as they’re invited, of course) to take part in conversations. The premise is really very simple: the oldest form of communication known to humans, in a digital, virtual setting. 

How many people use Clubhouse? 

Seemingly a lot. Although still technically in invite-only mode, the app recently reported  ‘2 million “weekly active users” in recent weeks. Alongside the viral user growth is the inevitable interest from investors, and the fledgling company is already valued at around $1 billion.  

Should founders consider using Clubhouse? 

We’ve taken a look at why founders might want to consider using Clubhouse:

1. It's an opportunity to network with those in your industry 

Each ‘Room’ in Clubhouse is an opportunity to speak with others on a chosen topic. Much like a breakout room on Zoom or Hopin, you’re able to network with other people from your industry, or other founders of early-stage companies.

Pop-up networking sessions are springing up across the Clubhouse platform, and offer users an opportunity to be given a ‘slot’ to pitch either yourself, your business or to ask for advice. Clubhouse wants to reinvent how we network, and believes its ‘Rooms’ offer the answer. 

2. It's a platform based on value, rather than cheap sells 

If you’re looking to market your startup on Clubhouse, you’ve got to spend some time thinking about the best way to go about it. Unlike other social platforms that are more curated and produced, Clubhouse is real-time and filter-free. Rather than pushing your product on users, it’s more about getting across your purpose, your values, and your story as a founder. 

3. You can own a space and establish your startup as a thought-leader by setting up 'Rooms' 

As the app is growing in popularity and is still at a relatively early stage, it’s a prime opportunity to assert your position as a go-to on the app for a particular type of conversation. If you don’t feel your industry or passions are being catered for, start your own Room - and users will follow. 

So, should you sign up? We’ve got a few things to consider before you do. 

Why you might want to think twice before putting time into Clubhouse:

1. It doesn't lend itself simply to traditonal marketing strategies 

Clubhouse’s algorithm groups together your profile with others’ you follow, so it’s important to only follow those that are relevant to your specific field. Whilst other platforms recommend following a variety of accounts, and the more the merrier, with Clubhouse you need to take a more streamlined, strategic approach - value comes first. 

It might take some time to work out your strategy on the app, and with their real-time, no-filter approach, once you’ve spoken, there’s no going back.

2. We don't know what shape Clubhouse will take as time goes on 

Whilst Clubhouse’s user base grows, so too will the platform adapt. With Clubhouse, each Room is moderated by the users themselves, and takes new twists and turns, making it harder to predict where the conversation is headed. It can sometimes feel high-risk, without knowing what someone might say next.

3. It's easy to get lost in the crowds - already 

Whilst it’s a new platform, Clubhouse is already booming. A host of celebrities, high-profile entrepreneurs and in-the-know folk are joining the ranks on the app - and you can already, quite easily, lose your voice in the crowd. 

Once your following increases, so does your Clubhouse clout, and many users find they are asked to speak “on stage” by the moderators of Rooms without asking to join, bringing major growth to their following.

So, what's the verdict? 

If you’re considering using Clubhouse for yourself as a founder, or for your startup, spend some time joining other Rooms first, before choosing to set up your own. 

Whilst it’s an app that prides itself on authenticity and real-time conversation, we recommend learning what works, and what doesn’t, before taking the plunge.

Our advice for startup founders? Watch Clubhouse from the sidelines before jumping straight in.

Find out how Virgin StartUp can support your business today.