Many of us are struggling with gaining personal human interaction in an ever more digital world. In post-covid reality, where Zoom fatigue is a real thing (and traditional social media is getting less friendly), audio hangouts are the newest form of social connection.
So, what exactly are audio hangouts? They’re platforms you can join to listen and talk to people without the hassle of looking presentable or the stress of constant eye contact, and with the familiar cues like emotional inflection and tone of voice. Some hangouts are like chatrooms, some are more like podcasts you can join, and others are more like informal seminars. All of them offer a great way to decompress — not to mention getting an honest idea of what your market really wants and how potential clients might feel about what your brand has to offer. Joining audio hangouts focused on your industry are a great way to hear what challenges and trends are currently on the minds of your peers and prospects.
Ready to test the waters? Here are a few places to take your first steps.
The top dog of audio hangouts is Clubhouse. This, the first platform of its kind, soared in popularity upon its release in 2020. It started as an exclusive, invite-only service for iOS only, but has steadily grown until it’s now open for anyone to join and available on the Android Play Store as well as the App Store. This independent operator gained the notice of the big names in social media for its unique approach, and for add-ons like Clubhouse Creator First. This accelerator program allows audio creators to reach brands and audiences, monetize their content, and even access resources like audio equipment and design services. Very handy for businesses and influencers alike!
If you’d like the benefits of audio-only content but are craving more reach than Clubhouse can provide, look to the little blue bird. Twitter offers a base of 330 million active users, and anyone with 600 followers or more can host a space. No invites are necessary, and live captioning is available. You can react in real-time with emojis just like you could in Periscopes, probably because Twitter acquired Periscope back in 2015. Because you don’t need a large following to get started, Twitter Spaces have shaped up to be the most popular substitute for Clubhouse.
Facebook’s Live Audio Rooms
Could we discuss social media without Facebook … so sorry, Meta? While one of the last to join the audio-platform journey, Meta has decided to do audio hangouts a little differently. As we’ve already covered, most platforms set up audio hangouts to give a voice to small influencers. Meta only allows American public figures to host a Live Audio Room. There can be up to 50 speakers at once, but an unlimited number of listeners.
Exploring the Audio Landscape
Each platform has its pros and cons, depending on your goals and the platform’s setup. One universal, though, is the emerging etiquette for interacting as a listener. Here are a few rules of thumb:
- Be considerate of other listeners. This means no hogging the conversation if you do opt to chime in, and, obviously, no rude comments. These are real people, not words on a screen.
- Stay on topic. If you’re joining a room about fashion, it would not be a good time to go on about your favorite video game, unless there’s a way it’s relevant to the fashion discussion.
- Stay social. Remember that social media is just that… The draw of audio hangouts is people being people. If you decide to listen in a room as your company or brand, don’t push so much that you no longer feel sincere. In other words, be authentic.
- Know the lingo. Each platform is going to have different terms for the way things are put together. For example, Clubhouse has “corridors” or “hallways,” which are essentially the app’s feed — the place where you can decide what room you’d like to enter.
- Listen first. Always try to read the room before you make a big splash. The whole idea of social audio platforms is to listen and possibly learn.
Social audio hangouts are making all kinds of gatherings — book clubs, launch parties, surveys, workshops, you name it — even more accessible to anyone who’s interested. This next wave of social media can help us connect more than ever … with friends, family, or future clients. They’re changing the landscape, and offering a great new avenue to get your message out there.
Ready to use the power of social audio for your business? Reach out to see how we can help you!