For those in the business of student recruitment, staying on top of the latest and greatest in regards to social media is critical. One of the dark horses of the social media world is Clubhouse. Haven’t heard of it? That’s ok, neither have a lot of folks. This elusive, invitation-only app has only recently opened up for mainstream use after being designed to cater to the upper echelons of society. However, more people are jumping on board now that it’s becoming easier to access. Therefore, we wanted to help you get in on one of the fastest-growing social media platforms that everyone is trying to access. Here’s some insight on Clubhouse, and how you can utilize it for student recruitment.
What is Clubhouse?
Created as a hub for Silicon Valley investors, celebrities, and influencers to connect and share ideas, this app is now gaining momentum among non-celebrity users. While it continues to be a forum for individuals to chat “about their lives, hobbies, work, or industries,” it’s also leaving outsiders clamoring to get an invite. Launched in March 2020 by previous Pinterest and Google employee Paul Davidson, the goal was to “ build a social experience that felt more human—where instead of posting, you could gather with other people and talk. Our north star was to create something where you could close the app at the end of the session feeling better than you did when you opened it, because you had deepened friendships, met new people, and learned.” Therefore, instead of posting photos, Clubhouse users can pontificate, share ideas, and connect with other like-minded individuals.
This invite-only application uses “Rooms” where users can create or stop by audio-only chat rooms. These can be private, shared with friends, or broadcast for the public. The app is only available to iPhone users, and to access it, you must be issued an invite by a current member. Even though the app still retains a sense of exclusivity, the user pool is slowly growing. Recently, new members were allowed to invite two friends of their own, causing the 600,000 member pool to increase to over 10 million. This means a huge potential audience for those looking to enhance their recruitment market.
The benefit of Clubhouse:
If you haven’t gotten an invite to Clubhouse yet, don’t feel left out. Since the app was initially designed to target CEOs, top influencers, and celebrities, they were the only users able to issue invites originally. However, now that the app is becoming more accessible, people are beginning to wonder how they might utilize Clubhouse in their marketing strategy.
If this might be something you’d like to use for your university, you’re not alone. Already, there are several Rooms where professionals are sharing their experiences, connecting with others, and gaining ideas. However, if gaining an invitation doesn’t seem promising, don’t worry too much. Already, Facebook and Twitter are in the process of developing and launching similar audio applications.
How to use it:
Once you’ve gotten and accepted your invitation, it’s time to familiarize yourself with the app. Upon entering, users can peruse different Rooms, drop in on a chat where they can listen or participate by asking questions, or set calendar reminders for chats they’d like to visit later. The “Explore” tab offers a list of Rooms to visit, people to follow, and Clubs to join. Clubhouse Rooms function much like a Zoom meeting: users can drop in or leave as they’d like.
For those hoping to utilize Clubhouse as part of their marketing strategy, starting a Room might be the way to go. In a Room, you can share information about your university, interact with students, host interviews with university officials, faculty, or alumnus, and chat with student leads. Since Rooms only end when a moderator exits, this keeps you in charge of the Room and its dynamics.
What to know:
Since Clubhouse is a constantly changing and evolving platform, it seems as though there’s nowhere to go but up when it comes to utilizing this app. However, if you’re considering joining in, there are a few things to consider. Make sure staff is prepared with your brand’s message. Since Clubhouse is an audio stream with no face-to-face interactions, it can be easy to let your guard down and divulge too much information. Therefore, those in charge of your Clubhouse account should be well-versed in your university’s message and be prepared to answer questions appropriately.
Additionally, Clubhouse does still have a relatively limited audience. However, since it's growing by the day, this doesn’t mean your university should be deterred from joining. Instead, try to find which of your possible student market is on Clubhouse, and connect with them there. Curate topics of interest for students, such as the admissions process, information about programs, thoughts from current students, and interviews with alumni. Remember, since it’s an audio stream there isn’t a lot of opportunity for editing, but candidness can create an intimacy with prospective leads. Students will get a chance to understand who you are, and what your university is about. Additionally, hold question and answer sessions so students can take a break from their constant screen time to tune in and listen to responses. Most importantly, be prepared to follow up with prospective leads. This will allow your staff the opportunity to get to know students on a different level and continue their interactions with them outside of Clubhouse.
While social media is constantly changing, there are definitely benefits to keeping up with the most intriguing and newest forms of connecting with your students. In a time where students might be burnt out from constantly looking at a screen, Clubhouse might provide your university with a unique opportunity to connect while still staying relevant.