By Evan Nierman, founder & CEO of crisis management firm Red Banyan, which provides crisis PR consulting to clients around the world.
Every few years, a new social media platform emerges and is heralded as the next big thing. We’ve seen it happen with Snapchat, Vine, TikTok and Google+. Some apps ride a wave of popularity, while others fall into relative obscurity.
In some cases, the apps meet expectations: For example, Facebook purchased Instagram for an astounding $1 billion in 2012. The popular app has become a favorite among celebrities (think Kim Kardashian, Cardi B, Taylor Swift) where it is used pervasively. But it also appeals to everyday folks.
Just what makes one app more appealing than another isn’t always clear, but when something new appears, social media buffs are quick to make a switch. Enter Clubhouse, the edgy new audio app that is taking social media by storm,
All the buzz right now is about Clubhouse and who is using it. Ostensibly, Clubhouse is all about connections and being able to join in discussions with like-minded people. Right now, the app’s big lure is that it has become a stomping ground for the rich and famous. You could drop into a “room” that is moderated by an A-list celebrity and possibly get a chance to speak.
When you join the app, you sign up for topics that interest you. Once on board, the app alerts you when relevant discussions are taking place and encourages you to join as they happen. It provides an immediacy that you can’t find anywhere else right now.
Add to that the invite-only factor, and you have people clamoring to join. Never mind that the exclusivity element is a bit contrived. For the moment, it feels very special. People who join now are part of an exclusive group that is part of Clubhouse during its early stages.
Of course, when a hot new app begins soaking up media attention, folks rush to become users while other self-described experts advise them on how to best use the app for marketing purposes.
A seemingly endless stream of consultants have come out of the woodwork to talk about the importance of being on the new platform. They offer up their services on how to best navigate this new frontier. They claim to have the inside track on what it can do for you and how your business can mine it for customers. The truth is that it’s more likely no one really knows how to market on Clubhouse just yet.
However, when it comes to social media, some of the same best practices that apply to all manners of communication apply to Clubhouse as well.
While people have posited throughout time that any press is good press, that is not necessarily the case. For reference, see R&B singer R. Kelly, news personalities Matt Lauer and Bill O’Reilly or any one of a number of public figures who lost their careers and were never able to return.
If your Clubhouse strategy is shock and awe, think again. It’s likely to blow up in your face and cause you more harm than good.
Being “authentic” is often regarded as the single most important aspect of attracting new followers. Ironically, “authenticity” is often anything but authentic. You need to appear engaged, forthright and vulnerable if you want to succeed on Clubhouse.
Case in point — I was in a busy room with a lively discussion when a high-profile user who had not been paying attention got the mike. When asked to offer his thoughts, he had nothing of substance to say. His response was embarrassing. His authenticity factor took a hit.
Do Your Homework
To be successful on Clubhouse, you have to invest the time. Be willing to dial in to Clubhouse on an ongoing basis and spend time participating in conversations, and the app’s value will grow. What you put in is what you will get out. Be prepared to invest in a big way if you want to realize big benefits.
Put Yourself Out There
In order to use Clubhouse effectively, you have to be willing to put yourself out there. Whether you are employing “synthetic authenticity” or baring your soul, you must take a chance in some way to get noticed. You must be willing to talk, be judged and be vulnerable.
When you have an opportunity to speak in a room on Clubhouse, say something impactful. How you present yourself is even more important than on some of the other social media platforms because conversations are live. The imagery and words on other platforms can be carefully curated.
If you are participating in a room and the spotlight is on you, your opportunity to speak will be unscripted. Take it, but remember live conversation carries the risk of offending if someone misinterprets what you say.
Also, your Twitter and Instagram accounts are linked to the app, along with your contact information, so if there is a data breach, your personal information could be made public.
Proceed With Caution
Do not forget that nothing that happens on the internet really disappears. When someone sends a disappearing Snapchat, someone else can capture it with a screenshot. On Clubhouse, the conversations you have are not recorded in the app, but someone could easily capture them with another recording device.
Nothing is private or confidential, including utterances you might make on Clubhouse. People might feel they need to be bold to attract attention, but it can carry real reputation risks. Once you make certain comments you have to live with them forever.
Become A Thought Leader
Savvy Clubhouse users can market themselves as thought leaders by regularly hosting rooms or creating clubs to elevate their level of authority. Certain topics can be shared across other social media platforms to boost credibility.
Clubhouse is a bold new frontier filled with endless possibilities as well as serious risks. As you join in the discussions, it’s important to understand the opportunities and the potential pitfalls.
Source by www.forbes.com