If you haven’t yet thought about the ministry opportunity on Clubhouse, you may want to start now.
What is it?
Clubhouse is the new invite-only audio app that launched in March 2020, created by Paul Davison and Rohan Seth. Inside the app, there are virtual rooms you can enter to listen to or participate in a conversation that’s on a specific topic. You can also create a room on a certain topic. It’s gone from a small handful of beta testers into a growing network of communities which includes over 2 million visitors already. It’s poised to be the next big thing in social media — especially when it boasts appearances from the likes of Tesla boss, Elon Musk, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and most recently, billionaire philanthropist, Bill Gates.
How does it work?
On Clubhouse’s main page (The Hallway), the app works by allowing users to tap in and listen to live conversations taking place in “rooms” about a variety of topics. There are rooms where you can tap in and listen from “the audience.” There is a panel that’s “on stage,” where the moderators are indicated by a green asterisk. Once inside, you can listen or raise your hand by tapping a button if you have something to say. A moderator in the room will allow you “on stage,” which essentially gives you permission to talk.
The audio-only conversations aren’t recorded. You’re either there or you miss it… for now. The conversations range on a variety of topics including investing, how to pitch a start-up or podcast, love and relationship advice, marriage, family, church — virtually, every conceivable topic.
You can also form and join Clubs within Clubhouse, which the app describes as “interest-based groups.” Clubs can do things like start rooms within the club and host events. The app has a calendar showing upcoming events, as well. If you see something interesting, you can set a reminder notification.
How do I get an invite?
Clubhouse is still in beta, so you can’t just download it and hop on. In order to join, you need an invite from someone who is already on the app. You can get on the waiting list though, by downloading the app (at the moment, it’s only available for iOS). I tweeted about a Clubhouse invite hack you could try (or reach out to me for an invite — I have a couple extras!).
3 things to know about ministry potential on Clubhouse:
1. Build Community: When I’m on Clubhouse, if I hear from someone providing great take-away value, I click on their picture to learn more about them. Once there, I can link to their Twitter and Instagram pages (these are the only two external links Clubhouse allows right now in your bio). As you network and meet other Clubhouse members, you’ll find they’ll naturally follow you over to your other channels.
2. Give Help: I’ve been in rooms in which the speaker invites the audience to visit their Instagram or Twitter page for downloadable resources related to the topic. Clubhouse rooms are a great opportunity to encourage and provide direction to a new community with Biblically-based resources you or your organization have at the ready.
3. Invite Connection: As Zoom fatigue grows, users are looking for apps that allow them to connect in less invasive, yet still meaningful ways. Clubhouse offers live dialogue in communities becoming increasingly frustrated and weary with being socially isolated and worn out from attending video conference meetings all day long. One Clubhouse user reflected after having spent time on the app, “I feel a sense of healing, a sense of belonging, and instant community” (USA Today). Who better than us in Christian media to connect with those looking for hope, encouragement and community on Clubhouse?
Clubhouse user: “I feel a sense of healing, a sense of belonging, and instant community.”
Anticipating social media marketing in 2021, and beyond, I agree with Naomi Nakashima from Social Media Examiner, “Clubhouse represents a changing demand for our audiences. People want to see more engagement, value, and transparency but they don’t necessarily want the production and endless waves of content that come with following a brand on social media.”
Like any other social channel though, there is an upside and a downside on Clubhouse. One of the platform’s strengths is the diversity in its members. Explore the conversations on Clubhouse and you’ll find topics range across a broad spectrum — a spectrum which includes the topic of life and faith. As we discern the potential role of the platform for our industry, it’s not unlike a mission field and very much a place for us to give, not get. Frankly, my approach to any new social media platform has always been, “claim your name on the domain” and Clubhouse is no exception. At the least, it’s worth reserving your username in the Clubhouse app and signing up for future updates.
Lee Ann Jackson: “My approach to any new social media platform has always been, claim your name on the domain.”
This is the smallest Clubhouse is likely to ever be again and frankly, the perfect time to consider speaking into the platform about the most important Message there is to share with any audience!
Lee Ann Jackson has been a key contributor to the Ambassador Marketing team for 30 years. Her personal passion for sharing Christ was a catalyst for pursuing a mini-MBA in Social Media Marketing (Rutgers Business School). An early adopter of developing social channels, including Clubhouse, Lee Ann’s expertise has been invaluable to the agency and the ministries we serve.