The digital marketing space is always evolving and the latest trend that’s caught our attention is the rise of social audio platforms like Clubhouse and how they are ushering in a new frontier of social media and voice marketing.
Clubhouse isn’t the only platform making waves in the space and it’s already facing competition from the likes of Twitter and Reddit, who’re building their own audio social media platforms.
The race is officially on to get the top of the social audio and voice marketing mountain and we’ve put together a list of six platforms that are worth paying attention to.
- Twitter Spaces
- Reddit Talk
- Facebook Live Audio Rooms
- LinkedIn Live Rooms
Arguably the spark that lit the social audio trend, Clubhouse is the most well-known social audio app on the market. With an audience of 10 million weekly active users, Clubhouse took the world by storm with its ability to create and host audio chat rooms that have the feel of an unfiltered podcast.
- Users can create and host audio rooms and invite others to take part in live conversations
- Clubhouse is invite only and you can only be added by someone who’s already on the platform.
- There are no fancy audio setups, and the conversation room has a conference call feel. Once the conversation finishes the room is closed.
- Networking: The fact that people can enter live audio rooms means that you have the opportunity to build connections with others in your industry.
- Thought leadership: Industry experts have the ability to host rooms on topics they are an authority in this helps to build brand awareness.
- Exclusivity: With Clubhouse being invite only, it creates the image of exclusivity and that by being a part of the platform, users are featured in something special.
- Limited marketing functionality: As Clubhouse is still in an early phase, there’s only so much marketing potential that it brings with the features currently available.
- Unregulated content: While having raw content has its benefits, there’s also the risk of people being exposed to harmful content in audio rooms that aren’t edited or secured.
- Exclusivity: This is a double-edged sword, as being an invite only platform alienates many potential users.
2. Twitter Spaces
Twitter have been quick to develop their own social audio app called Twitter Spaces and it has a lot of intriguing features that make it stand out.
- Hosts can start live audio rooms and up to 11 people can speak a room at one time
- Anyone can join Twitter Spaces and listen to a conversation, including people who don’t follow you
- Twitter Spaces has a report function for any rooms that have harmful content or violate Twitter rules
- Immediate accessibility: Twitter Spaces is free for anyone to use and start creating audio room content.
- Built-in audience: People can invite their own Twitter followers to a room and people who don’t follow them for increased reach and engagement.
- Security: With people having the ability to report malicious content to Twitter, there’s an added sense of security with Spaces.
- Clubhouse clone: With Spaces being similar to Clubhouse, Twitter will need to work hard to differentiate the platform.
- Difficult navigation: To find Spaces, users can only see them when one of their followers is participating in a room or when someone tweets a link. Spaces will benefit from more refinement in the future.
- Association with potentially negative content: In some circles, Twitter has the reputation for being a polarising platform and this could potentially impact how people see the content that will be shown in Spaces.
3. Reddit Talk
Reddit is another business who’ve been keen to jump on the social audio trend and have created Reddit Talk.
- The moderator of a Reddit community can host a live audio room and invite others to join.
- Listeners can react with emojis and raise their hands so a moderator can invite them to speak.
- Hosts have the power to remove and block people from talks.
- Easy accessibility: Once Reddit Talk is rolled out, Reddit moderators will be able to get quick access and start creating audio rooms.
- Interactivity: The fact that listeners can use emojis opens up more types of interactions and reactions.
- Regulated content: As moderators have the power to remove people from talks, it’ll help to filter out harmful content and provide better security.
- Fast-moving platform: Reddit is a highly engaged community and marketers will need to tailor their Reddit Talk content to specific subreddit communities. Otherwise, the content may come across as disingenuous and have a negative impact.
- Hosting limitations: With moderators being the only people allowed to host Reddit Talk rooms initially, this provides limited marketing opportunities.
4. Facebook Live Audio Rooms
Facebook isn’t a stranger to tapping into the latest marketing trends and the social media giant is launching an audio social platform called Live Audio Rooms.
For now, Facebook are keeping the platform close to the chest and are reportedly testing it through Facebook Groups. It’s safe to assume that it will have similar features to other audio social platforms and allow hosts to create chat rooms.
- Massive audience: Given Facebook’s huge built-in audience, Live Audio Rooms has the potential to reach millions of people across the world.
- Complementary audio features: Facebook has also announced the creation of Soundbites, a product that will enable users to craft short audio content such as jokes or anecdotes. Expect it to be paired with Live Audio Rooms at some point in the future.
- Community building: With Live Audio Rooms being tested in Facebook Groups, there’s the opportunity to build a greater sense of community among users who’ll be able to join an audio room quickly and brands could use it to drive more engagement.
- Clubhouse copycat: Facebook’s track record of copying existing platforms is well-documented and they’ll need to bring originality to Live Audio Rooms to keep it fresh in the mind of their users.
5. LinkedIn Live Rooms
Another live audio platform to be aware of is LinkedIn’s live room feature, which is looking to capitalise on its built-in network of professionals across multiple sectors.
- A professional led platform: LinkedIn has the benefit of being a social network for brands and professionals and the live audio feature could be used to develop highly targeted audio content for different industries.
- Greater collaboration: Another benefit is that hosts looking to collaborate with industry leaders could find it easier to reach out via LinkedIn through a direct message.
- Networking and community creation: LinkedIn’s live audio product could be combined with LinkedIn Groups for developing new online communities.
- Beta testing: LinkedIn are still in the early stages of developing a live audio feature so there’s little information available on what the features actually are.
Another social audio app that’s caught our attention is Fireside. The brainchild of entrepreneurs Mark Cuban and Falon Fatemi, Fireside has been described as a cross between Clubhouse and Spotify’s Anchor feature.
This means it has a mixture of podcasting and live audio features:
- Intro music is played in a live audio room.
- Listeners can react to conversations in a room and type comments or questions.
- Podcasters will be able to monetise their audio content.
- Conversations can be recorded and played back in the future.
- Best of both worlds: With Fireside being positioned as a podcasting and live audio hybrid, it could become a great platform for brands that have established podcasts and audiences.
- Detailed interactions: The commenting feature of Fireside means there’s a deeper level of interactivity compared to other audio social platforms.
- Monetisation: Brands have the potential to earn revenue through producing content on Fireside, though this is still in the early stages.
- Clunky features: As Fireside is still in the testing phase, there’s still a lot to be worked out e.g., intro music in audio rooms has been described as being disjointed.
- Excessive hype: Co-founder Fatemi has written that Fireside will help people “say goodbye to current media platform limitations created by one-way conversations, a lack of interactivity and non-existent analytics.” In other words, there’s a lot of hype around Fireside and it remains to be seen if the platform will be able to deliver on the promise.
Looking into the future of voice marketing
There’s a lot to be excited about with social audio platforms and voice marketing. We’re planning to explore the future of the trend very soon.
Watch this space for the reveal of our voice marketing whitepaper and if you’d like some help with your digital marketing strategy in the meantime, call us on 0113 357 0440.