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We’re entering a new golden age — one of social audio. Talking and tuning into discussions on social audio has become the equivalent of posting on your Instagram and LinkedIn feeds. Clubhouse couldn’t have come at a better time. The platform launched in April 2020 with the air of invite-only exclusivity as the world went into lockdown. It was welcomed with open arms by a captive global audience yearning for human connection without Zoom fatigue. The number of social media mentions jumped from 400,000 during its launch to December 2020 to 4.9 million during the first quarter of 2021. The popularity of social audio continues to grow and now includes Twitter Spaces, Spotify, Discord and Reddit.
What does this mean for entrepreneurs? It means more opportunities to build community, thought leadership, develop your brand and become customer-centric. The global pandemic forever changed the ways that businesses and consumers interact. The expectations are high, and the channels for communication now include social audio.
In fact, 82% of respondents to Talkwalker’s State of Conversation survey reported changes in the importance of consumer and market intelligence for their brand since the start of the pandemic. While COVID-19 has boosted digital interactions, consumers have been looking for more human interaction and support in their brand experiences. Consumers expect a human element to their interactions with brands on the social platforms they frequent. Now is the time for businesses to adapt or get left behind.
Many of the same rules that apply to traditional social media platforms hold true when getting started on social audio. Here are some tips to make the most of this new medium and have fun while doing it:
Pick just one — at least for now
When getting started, pick the one social audio platform that will best allow you to reach your target audience. Take a step back and assess who you want to reach and where they spend their time. Are you looking to connect with a general audience or are you after a niche community that frequents a specific social audio platform? If you have a large Twitter following, focus your efforts on Twitter Spaces rather than starting from scratch on another platform.
Consistency matters, especially when building your social media engagement strategy. Be consistent about your message and frequency as well as the timing of your presence. If you’re an expert in finance, make that the overarching topic of your sessions. Share insights, advice and your experiences as an entrepreneur with listeners. Select the same day and time each week to schedule your Clubhouse Room or Spaces session. Before you know it, scheduling your sessions will become a regular routine, and the same goes for followers who add you to their routines.
Create an experience
Why do people enjoy social audio so much? The main reason why people like these new platforms is they allow for good conversations, thanks to their live format. Other drivers are special guests or celebrities who can sometimes enter these chats and engage with listeners. Tap into your network, and invite a special guest to discuss trending topics in your industry during your next session. Make it a point to also be a guest on others’ Spaces or Rooms. Think of this as the social audio equivalent of a guest blog post.
Make some noise
If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one around to hear it, does it make a noise? Be sure to make some noise around your new presence on social audio. Promote your sessions on traditional social channels or send an email to your newsletter subscribers with details on where to find you. Incentivize attendees with giveaways, the opportunity to ask questions, access to exclusive information and other creative forms of engagement.
Set goals, measure and iterate
Social audio platforms currently do not offer measurement tools. That means you need to measure your efforts and set goals on your own. On Clubhouse, aspire to start your own club, which is a group tailored to a specific topic or interest. Clubs require platform approval and can be submitted for approval once you’ve hosted a room three times.
Below are a few key metrics to track:
- Determine how many people you want to reach over time, and take note of your followers and growth each week and quarter.
- Keep track of engagement by noting how many people stay for a full broadcast and how many drop off and when.
- Are you seeing any trends? If so, it may be time to mix up your content and strategy.
Listen and learn
Listening and responding to customers’ needs is key to the success of any business. Participating in a new social media platform gives you access to your very own focus group. It allows you to tap into customers’ expectations, experiences, preferences and aversions. Brands that listen to consumers and understand the voice of the customer will benefit from competitive advantages. The brands that take insights and turn them into action will stand out in a crowded marketplace, build brand loyalty and retain customers.
Key takeaways for social audio success
All good ideas need planning and strategy to become successful ones. Prioritize your content engagement strategy and take an iterative approach as you dive into this new world. Before going all in, spend time on the platforms you’re considering. Follow others, and take note of the things that stand out to you across different spaces and rooms. Your throughout approach and early adoption will pay off.
Originally published July 9, 2021.