Why the Clubhouse Social Media App Might Be KILLER for Radio

Brian Curee

At Killer Bee Marketing, we use digital tools to bring communities closer together. We serve several Christian radio stations that have experienced the power of audio, and video streaming instead of in-person events this past year. But even when the pandemic is over, people will still want the option to participate in a community without leaving home. 

Clubhouse is a new, audio-only social media app. Where radio is passive (primarily one-directional from host to listeners), Clubhouse is active (listeners can become participants). It’s the perfect middle ground for connecting with audiences who value the flexibility of digital events but miss the spontaneous, intimate feeling of casual conversation. Plus, there’s potential for monetization.

If you’re a Christian radio station, here’s everything you need to know about this exciting new opportunity with Clubhouse. Reach out if you’d like help from KBM to incorporate the Clubhouse social media app into your station’s digital strategy.

What is Clubhouse?

Clubhouse is a live audio platform that was launched during the pandemic in 2020. It’s similar to a chatroom, or even a conversation around a dinner table. It’s voice-only, and visitors can either listen passively or participate actively. Clubhouse offers additional features to help mediate and control the digital flow of conversation. 

Within the app, there are “rooms,” which can be given specific titles. Some are open to anyone, whereas others are closed. For instance, Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner was able to wander into an open room called Personal Branding Masterclass. He spoke with people from all over the world, including well-known angel investors and CEOs of major companies.

Celebrities and influencers are using the Clubhouse social media app as a spontaneous voice chat tool to connect with fans. The app capitalizes on the intimacy of the audio format in podcasting and offers it to communities for connecting in voice-only conversations. In an age of “Zoom fatigue,” amplified by lack of meaningful social connection, it’s no wonder that Clubhouse gained enormous popularity toward the end of summer 2020.

At the moment, Clubhouse is invite-only, so you’ll need to know someone (or find someone on Twitter) who can extend an invitation. It’s not currently monetized, and anyone can sign up if they have an invitation.

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What’s possible on Clubhouse

On Clubhouse, it’s important to know what’s NOT possible. Nothing is recorded on Clubhouse, which lends a more casual feeling to the chats than video conferencing. You can’t write any comments, and you can’t make private comments to others. 

But here’s what you can do instead. You can listen passively to conversations, dropping into different rooms and learning from diverse speakers. You can join the conversation by raising your hand digitally and receiving an invitation “on stage.” Once there, you can be made a moderator and invite others on stage. It’s typical to have between 5 and 20 people “on stage” and hundreds in the audience.

From a business perspective, the Clubhouse social media app makes it possible to connect more intimately, more immediately, with a geographically diverse community than is possible with other social media platforms. It’s still early days, but there is obviously huge potential for radio stations—especially Christian radio—to capitalize on Clubhouse for growing their communities.

Christian radio on Clubhouse: Idea #1

The first way that Christian radio can utilize Clubhouse is a lot like a radio show, but with the option for listeners to participate. A Christian radio station could host a room with an artist and invite their listeners to join the conversation. Alternatively, you could host a Bible study with listeners and invite local pastors. 

Remember, nothing gets recorded on Clubhouse. Any events you hold on the app will be gone after the conversation is over. This makes it feel a lot like going to church or even a night out with a local artist. Because it’s time-sensitive, you can capitalize on the urgency and exclusivity to get people to tune in live. Make sure you plan a section of the event for listeners to become participants.

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Christian radio on Clubhouse: Idea #2

Clubhouse’s main feed is called the “Hallway,” where you can see information about public rooms. You can also see how many people are inside. There’s also a schedule of events so that you can plan ahead and attend events hosted by people you follow. 

A very timely way to use Clubhouse could be to host a room that’s focused on people sharing some of their struggles during the pandemic. Christian radio can use Clubhouse rooms as a continuous prayer time for their communities. If you choose to make this room public, it may even be a way to welcome in curious outsiders who perhaps wouldn’t otherwise wander into a church or religious event.

Christian radio on Clubhouse: Idea #3

It’s good to keep in mind that inside your target audience there are different segments of people you can connect with. For example, if your primary audience is “Christians,” within that audience you have multiple groups like stay-at-home moms or college students. Use Clubhouse to set up identity or topic-specific rooms to help bring together audience segments. 

Open a room for moms sharing DIY projects or parenting tips. Facilitate a conversation for college students about finding their faith and creating a life as a young adult during an international pandemic. Let your room creation be guided by your demographics. Whereas with radio, you can only have sequential shows, with Clubhouse you can have simultaneous rooms under the same brand to reach all your audiences at once.

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Christian radio on Clubhouse: Idea #4

Finally, it’s easy for a radio DJ to use Clubhouse to continue a show topic off-air, with a live audience. Think how exciting it could be to finish your radio show and then take the conversation into a virtual room. Here, listeners could meet one another and delve deeper into the topic at hand. This builds incredible intimacy between host and listeners, strengthening the brand and the likelihood that they’ll tune in again next time.

Get ahead of the game by reserving your profile now

The Clubhouse social media app is rapidly expanding. It’s attracting celebrities, Silicon Valley investors, and influencers who see the potential to connect more deeply with their audiences.

This is a platform KBM believes radio needs to keep an eye on. If you want to get ahead of the game, you can reserve your profile now. All you need to do is download the Clubhouse app (currently only available on iPhones) and choose your handle. You can do this without an invitation. If you know someone who is using the app and your name appears on their app, they can “wave” you in without expending their one invitation. Otherwise, you’ll need to wait for the invitation to get full access to Clubhouse’s capabilities. Oh yeah, once you’re in the club look me up @briancuree.

Killer Bee Marketing is your digital partner for creating powerful connections with your audiences online. Parler or Clubhouse? Paid advertising or organic growth? Content marketing or offline ad spots? We can help you answer these questions and more. Schedule a free 15-minute call today.

Brian Curee

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