If you’re anything like me, the idea of having to master a new social media network feels daunting. For pete’s sake, we just learned how to create Instagram reels, right? So, when Clubhouse started getting a lot of buzz over the past few weeks, many of us here at Voxus were apprehensive, to say the least.

In case you’ve been focusing on other more important things (like maintaining your sanity during a pandemic), Clubhouse is “a new type of social network based on voice — where people around the world come together to talk, listen and learn from each other in real- time.” Developed by Alpha Exploration Co., it launched in April of last year, but it’s still in the early stages and is currently invite-only (meaning you’ll need an active user to personally send you an invite; I’m getting flashbacks to the days of MySpace).

The app itself is a little hard to describe because there truly isn’t anything like it on the market today. Imagine you’re attending a large-scale nationwide conference (I say imagine here, because Covid) and you’re selecting different breakout sessions to attend based on your personal interests. Clubhouse is kind of like that. It’s full of different conversations that you can join as a participant with some of the industry’s leading experts. The kicker is, it’s all audio and in real time.

With the rise of popularity in podcasting, real time audio seems like a natural next step. With more than 10 million active users and a rumored $1 billion valuation, Clubhouse is well on its way to disrupt the industry – even if we’re not quite sure exactly how yet. But whether or not it should be part of your marketing strategy is a completely different question.

I can’t be the only one who remembers the rapid rise and fall of Google+, and because of that, I tend to approach social networks cautiously. You can’t master them all, so if you’re going to invest time in promoting your brand on social media, it’s better to provide quality content over the quantity of networks you’re on. And that goes for Clubhouse, too. Anyone can start or join a conversation on the app—you may get lucky and drop in on Elon Musk or even Drake, but there are plenty of silent conversations, too.

So that brings us back to the original question—should you invest your time here? Clubhouse gives you unprecedented access to influencers and thought leaders across a vast landscape. From a personal development perspective, the answer is yes, you should absolutely investigate it. But adding it to your broader marketing and PR strategy may not be the right move for every brand.

If your organization has a robust thought leadership strategy, and you find yourself consistently adding value to the media landscape with established thought leaders, Clubhouse could be a place where you can continue to validate your expertise. Just today I dropped in on a conversation with some of Instagram’s top content producers discussing all things social media. It was a great conversation and I walked away with some tangible ideas.

This isn’t a place where you’re going to find water cooler talk. Clubhouse is a platform that is largely used by influencers and thought leaders, so most of the conversations happening on the app have actionable takeaways while at the same time, providing a space to collaborate with the very people shaping your industry.

The value that Clubhouse provides to thought leaders is something you won’t find on many other platforms. It gives you the opportunity to contribute and interact with your peers live, in a way that really hasn’t existed up until now. However, I’d also argue part of the draw is in its name itself — in many ways it is an exclusive club, which has certainly added to its hype.

If you’re ready to join and contribute to the conversation, you can find me on Clubhouse @janetlynnbrooks.