Clubhouse, an audio-only app that debuted in March 2020 and is now the hottest new entrant to social media, raises the question: Why would a jeweler want to be on a platform where there’s literally nothing to see? It might not seem like a natural fit, but Clubhouse could be a secret weapon for cultivating a brand image, collaborating with like-minded professionals, and communicating with CEOs, customers, and everyone in between.
That Clubhouse is invitation-only just enhances its appeal, says Allen Adamson, cofounder of marketing consultancy Metaforce. “It’s like getting into a hot club.” (Though in late July, Clubhouse opened up the platform to everybody.)
Clubhouse is perhaps the quintessential pandemic app: The loose, talk radio–style format gave users an immediacy lacking during lockdown. Its multicultural, borderless reach let people make global connections when they couldn’t travel. And with many reduced to videoconferencing for work, the audio-only format is a welcome respite from omnipresent screens.
“You can passively listen like a podcast, or you can actively listen without having to perform,” says Ama McKinley, founder and designer at Ilium Wing in Atlanta and creator of The Atelier, a Clubhouse jewelry conversation space.
How to Start
Clubhouse can be downloaded for free from Apple’s app store on a device that runs iOS 13.0 or later (i.e., a newish iPhone, iPad, or iPod). In May, Clubhouse rolled out an Android version (compatible with devices running 7.0 and up).
As with other social media platforms, you have a profile. The main dashboard (aka “hallway”) has suggestions for skills, interests, etc., that you can explore; you can search for other users, topics, “clubs” (groups), or “rooms” (events, such as scheduled talks). The format is a kind of hybrid podcast and telephone party line.
How to Explore
Look at who’s chatting in spaces like The Atelier, and check their profiles to see who and what they follow. And check accounts you follow elsewhere, says Laetitia Hirschy, founder of Kaaviar PR and cofounder of the women’s timepiece community Watch Femme. “I find my rooms through other social media networks or through the clubs I follow or the people I follow,” she says.
It’s not just jewelry; watches are a hot topic on Clubhouse as well. “IWC has done really well. They have weekly sessions called ‘The Things That Make Us Tick,’ and the CEO participates,” Hirschy says. “This is very beneficial to brands because they get to speak directly to consumers and collectors.”
Says Jennifer Gandia, co-owner of Greenwich St. Jewelers in New York City, “I’m trying to jump into rooms that have interesting topics and watching how the conversation just flows.”
Why You Should Join
“It gives people an opportunity to have conversations. That’s very different from other social media options, which are basically pushing out a message that’s already curated,” Gandia says. A Clubhouse room is, by nature, free-flowing and sometimes unpredictable.
“So much work and inspiration goes into creating a piece or a collection of jewelry or a watch. There’s always tons to talk about,” Hirschy says.
“It’s the one place you can be a jeweler conferring with another jeweler, and it’s not a push for sales,” McKinley says. “It’s just a place to have fun.”
(Photo: Sopa Images/Lightrocket/Getty)