What internal comms can learn from Clubhouse
Audio-based platform Clubhouse has quickly taken the social media world by storm. With the next chapter of work on the horizon and the need for innovative employee messaging strategies reaching a peak, what can internal communicators take from the success of Clubhouse to inspire their own strategy? And how can an audio-based messaging approach enhance employee engagement?
Clubhouse and the rise of audio media
While many position video as the dominant medium for the 21st century, audio is quickly making a comeback. There’s no better testament to the success of audio-only channels than Clubhouse, an app that describes itself as “a new type of social product based on voice that allows people everywhere to talk, tell stories, develop ideas, deepen friendships, and meet new interesting people around the world.”
In just one year, Clubhouse has amassed 10m active users, with a waitlist of over 1m eager to join the 300k virtual rooms created daily. Social media giants like Twitter and Facebook have even unveiled their own in-app live conversation features, in an effort to capitalize on Clubhouse’s success.
What’s behind the newcomer’s rapid popularity surge? While there are several factors that have likely contributed to Clubhouse’s success, timing is certainly one of them. The app launched in April 2020, as Zoom fatigue was just beginning to set in. Rather than deciphering body language and staring at their own reflection on a video screen, Clubhouse’s arrival gave users a new opportunity to build communities and engage in more open conversations.
Leveraging consumer media trends to enhance your comms strategy
It’s not just the social media playing field that’s changing. Internal communicators will need to devise new messaging strategies to engage their audiences in their next chapter. While email updates and top-down communications may have been sufficient in years past, these approaches aren’t going to cut it in the new world of work.
The employee-employer relationship has changed drastically over the last year. Inclusivity, flexibility, and a shared sense of purpose are now hallmarks of the employee experience and messaging strategies must reflect this. By analyzing social media trends, internal communicators can understand how colleagues connect and engage with peers in their personal lives and create an employee messaging strategy that parallels this approach.
As enterprises accelerate their adoption of digital internal comms tools, there’s an opportunity to leverage new mediums, including audio. This format comes with several distinct messaging advantages, such as:
- Faceless, not voiceless: Where camera-shyness can prevent your people from sharing their stories, audio-only gives everyone the chance to convey tone and create personal connections without the need for polished film production
- Spoken, not written: Some people prefer to listen to messages over reading, especially when it comes to long-form content. Podcasts and audio recordings contribute to a more inclusive messaging strategy by giving employees different options for engaging with content to suit their needs and preferences
- Sentiment exchange: It’s not just what you say that counts, it’s how you say it. With inflections and tone changes, audio makes it easy for employees to correctly assess the sentiment behind the messages that you’re communicating
- Any time, any place: Since your employees have plenty of items on their to-do lists, audio allows them to tune in while they’re doing other things, helping you increase engagement opportunities
5 things internal communicators can learn from Clubhouse’s success
When it comes to analyzing Clubhouse’s popularity, the power of audio is an obvious takeaway. However, there’s a lot more internal comms teams can learn by exploring the factors that contribute to the rise of the Clubhouse. Some key lessons that you can use to upgrade your internal communications strategy include:
#1. Cultivate a collaborative culture
One of the things that really sets Clubhouse apart is its ethos of people helping people, which is baked into the user experience. Clubhouse members are encouraged to volunteer to host welcome groups designed to get new users up to speed. Many of the conversations that take place in its rooms are about people sharing their own experiences and insights with others, such as panel discussions or 'ask me anything' chats.
Recreating this kind of collaborative culture within your organization can pay off tremendously, as group work is linked with both improved productivity and a boost in morale.
WACKER: enhancing collaboration with a user-centric intranet
From scientists to engineers, WACKER’s workforce is comprised of experts that have set the enterprise apart as a pioneer of modern chemistry for more than 100 years. To pave the way for the next century of innovative work, WACKER replaced their SharePoint intranet with GLOBE; a user-centric employee experience platform that reimagines collaboration across the enterprise and its extended network of partners.
#2. Add a welcoming touch
Clubhouse isn’t shy about rolling out the red carpet for its newcomers. Party cones appear next to users who joined the app within the last week so that others can welcome them into the community. When they first join, new users are instantly greeted with a welcome room filled with their friends on the app.
In the remote era, bringing new starters into the fold happens less organically, but technology can help bridge this gap. Consider how you internal communications approach can spotlight new joiners and make them feel included from the start.
Overhauling employee onboarding with an intranet
Onboarding is a pivotal moment in the employee lifecycle that decides who will sink and who will swim. With hybrid working adding another layer of complexity to the process, we’re dedicating episode 10 of the Unily podcast to uncovering what it takes to get onboarding right in the remote age.
#3. Don’t underestimate the value of conversation
At its core, Clubhouse is an app that gives everyone the chance to join in on the conversation. Users can hop into any room and warm moderators and speakers will greet them, making it less scary to participate and encouraging everyone to get involved. There are also discussions on virtually every topic, from Elon Musk’s famous interview to open mics and networking sessions.
Since Clubhouse’s success illustrates just how hungry people are for conversation, why not emphasize dialogue as part of your internal communications strategy? Provide employees with ample channels to connect with colleagues, contribute to enterprise-wide conversations, and even share their own insights.
#4. Make it easy and convenient for your users
It couldn’t be easier to get started on Clubhouse. There are no forms to fill out or required personal information to share. To up the convenience factor, users can join discussions and listen in on conversations any time and anywhere via their mobile devices.
When it comes to internal messaging, your employees will be looking for the same level of accessibility. Ensure a frictionless experience by providing ample training materials and resources for support. Take convenience to the next level with a mobile-optimized platform that will allow users to listen to audio content from any location, even when they’re on the go and have their personal devices locked.
Why a mobile intranet app is vital for next-gen internal comms
In the new workplace mobile-first employee engagement has become vital for enterprise success. Being able to reach frontline workers is more essential than ever and the focus should now be on ensuring they have everything they need at their fingertips to do their jobs effectively. So, why should every enterprise look at having a mobile intranet application, and what should you expect from it?
#5. Use exclusivity strategically
When analyzing Clubhouse’s success, you can’t ignore the exclusivity factor. For a while, the app was iOS-only and as soon as it became available for Android, a lengthy waitlist formed. To join Clubhouse, new users also need to receive an invitation from an existing member.
While your workplace needs to be inclusive at its core, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn something from Clubhouse’s approach to building a membership base. There’s an inherent sense of urgency around events and opportunities with limited openings. The next time you want to encourage your colleagues to get involved in a workplace initiative, get strategic about how you build buzz.
For example, if you’re launching a new employee wellness program with virtual classes for those who participate, emphasize the number of sign-ups you have and the deadline for joining. Your colleagues won’t want to miss out on an opportunity their peers are participating in, so they’ll be extra motivated to get involved.
Are your ready to revamp your internal comms strategy?
Internal comms rules are being rewritten. Today’s consumer media trends will shape the employee messaging strategies of tomorrow. If you’re looking to enhance your approach by leveraging next-generation technology, get in touch with our digital workplace experts.
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