The early days of social networks were dominated by text: Facebook posts, status updates, and 140-character tweets. Pictures were not far behind, and videos became a crucial part of the language of social media soon after. Only in the last year or so, though, has audio started to make a serious impact on the landscape of social networking platforms — and what an impact it is.
The audio-based social app Clubhouse has gone from 600,000 weekly active users to over 10 million in just 6 months according to data compiled by SEO firm Backlinko. It’s not just new platforms either: Twitter recently announced that they would enter into the audio space through their new Spaces feature. The implication for businesses is clear: there’s a whole new way to reach potential customers, and the time to take advantage of it is now.
Navigating an entirely new medium as a company can be intimidating, but don’t worry: almost all businesses are in the same state of uncertainty as yours. Here are 4 tips that can help you stand out from the crowd:
1. Maximize audio quality.
It sounds simple, but it’s crucial all the same: if you’re hoping to connect with people via audio, you need to be sure that audio is as high quality as possible. Cheap microphones, slapdash recording studios, and unnecessary background noise can all make audio much more difficult to listen to, thus lessening the impact that your audio presence may end up having.
The fix here may seem obvious — just buy top-level equipment and create a dedicated studio that blocks out unwanted noise — but these solutions may not be financially viable for all businesses just getting started in the world of audio engagement. Expensive equipment is great for those who can squeeze it into their budget, but it’s not the only way to increase audio quality.
Significant amounts of background noise can be scrubbed using the right API commands as explained in this helpful guide from the sound quality experts at Dolby.io, and hanging a few blankets on the walls of a small space can be the foundation of an amateur but functional recording studio. It may not sound like much, but taking steps like these can go a long way in setting your company’s audio apart from that of its competitors.
2. Engage in the right spaces.
Just sending your audio files out into the void or hopping into random conversations on Clubhouse probably won’t get you very far. Just as important as the audio content itself is where you choose to deploy it. Knowing which Twitter Space to join or Clubhouse room to find yourself in is next to impossible for those just getting started, but doing so is crucial for maximizing your over social media presence.
As Hubspot notes in their step-by-step guide to getting started on Clubhouse, the first time you open the app after getting invited, you’ll be asked both to choose topics of interest and access your contacts to see what topics they’re engaging in. Do not neglect this: choosing topics related to your business’s operations is crucial for finding the right spaces to engage customers in, and any of your contacts already on the app may be a part of some spaces you’ll want to be aware of.
Once you’ve got your bearings and have some solid connections in the audio world, consider setting up your own Clubhouse club or starting a Twitter Space dedicated to a topic adjacent to your business. Not only will you already have people in your network ready to join, but you’ll be able to start pulling in the users most likely to be compelled by what you have to offer.
3. Get your leadership involved.
Of course, Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces are still exclusive services, the former reserved for those who get invitations and the latter for certain accounts designated by the company. This means that your social media team might not have immediate access to these platforms — your leadership likely has the best chance of breaking in.
It’s no surprise that Read This Twice’s list of Clubhouse’s most influential members includes names like Marc Andreesen, Ben Horowitz, Katie Stanton, and Virgil Abloh: people are more than willing to listen to what the business world’s most visionary leaders have to say. Even if your business’s C-suite does have quite that level of star power (or if your business doesn’t have a C-suite at all!), you can still leverage your collective expertise into a more meaningful presence in these spaces. Capitalize on the specialties and thought leadership of your company’s top faces — engagement will follow soon after.
4. Team up with other businesses.
When it comes to marketing and getting your business’s name out there, collaborating with your competitors may well be the last thing on your mind. All the same, it’s not easy to get off the ground on audio-based social apps. The more people you can reach with your digital presence, the better.
Think of each Clubhouse room or Twitter Space as a miniature conference on a certain topic: you’re more likely to attend conferences with substantial lineups and exciting perspectives, right? The same principle applies here. Reach out to other businesses in your space and see if they’d be willing to participate in a talk on the areas of your shared expertise. For any potential customers interested in those topics, the sight of multiple big names in one place will likely be too good to pass up. Think of these as jumping-off points for your activity on these platforms: develop an audience by teaming up with others before using the strength of that audience to start creating a presence all your own.
Audio social apps are new frontier for businesses and consumers alike. You may feel an urgency to hit the ground running with them, but be sure to make your first steps carefully. As these tips show, they can have a lasting impact on your ability to connect with others through audio.