Back in March of 2020, something very special happened in the world of social media. A new online app, “Clubhouse,” made its debut. Almost overnight, the novel concept turned into a phenomenon called social audio.
Originally labeling itself as a “social audio app,” Clubhouse became the first social audio platform of its kind.
What is Social Audio Exactly?
Social audio is the next iteration of social media. It can best be described as social media in audio format. Instead of using attractive images, such as on Instagram, or text as on Twitter, users communicate with the spoken word. For that reason, it is sometimes referred to as voice-based social media.
With social audio, users record themselves talking. Like other forms of social media, the subject matter isn’t regimented. So far, users have recorded storytelling and talking about recent events or trending news topics.
One exciting facet of voice-based social that makes it unique is that users can host private or public “rooms” for other members who wish to listen or participate in discussions.
This medium isn’t likely to replace other forms of social media. Rather, it’s a supplement to the realm of social networking, facilitating yet another form of communication.
A Range of Platforms For Social Audio
Like most other popular things in life, it was only a short time before other audio-based social media platforms began showing up after the success of Clubhouse. Now, people can choose from:
Facebook Audio Rooms
Facebook Audio Rooms arose in 2021. It offers live audio rooms where Facebook friends can speak amongst themselves or Facebook Group members can congregate for a chat.
Twitter Spaces also came on the scene in 2021. Members who have over 600 followers can utilize audio spaces to espouse ideas verbally.
This offshoot of the popular music service Spotify offers what they refer to as a chat server that is used with the spoken word. It’s already a favorite with music artists who seek to connect with fans.
Discord arrived early on the scene as a way for gamers to talk to each other. It’s become better known to the public and now many are using it to communicate with friends and family via voice.
The name says it all. This app is similar to Clubhouse, except that conversations are moderated in an effort to prevent harassment and/or abuse by listeners.
How Brands Can Leverage Social Audio
Voice-based social may be different from other forms of social media, but it shares one very important ingredient; the public loves it. And as the most successful brands recognize, where there are eyeballs, there’s money to be made. In this case, the eyeballs are ears, but same difference! Marketers are taking notice, too. According to expert research, 44% of digital marketers are planning to augment their social media presence with audio in 2022.
The way that brands can seriously leverage social audio remains to be seen. The full marketing potential has yet to be realized; it’s early days yet. However, here are some plumb ideas to consider:
- Interview-style discussions about a product or service from your company.
- Q&A-style discussions about a new product or service.
- Discussions around a lifestyle where your product would be used.
- Helpful hints about a topic where your service or product would be used.
- Discussions about a new movie, celebrity or music artist where the brand can be mentioned as a “sponsor” for the content.
Once your company considers the possibility of utilizing social audio, no doubt you will be able to come up with a myriad of creative ways to leverage this new social networking outlet.There are currently over 4.2 billion social media users throughout the world right now. That number is only going to increase with the addition of social audio.
If you’re not sure how to step into social audio, you might want to consider starting in the paid social media space.
Paid sponsorship opportunities are beginning to open up on social audio. In November of 2021, the NBA announced that it will host 40 Twitter Spaces. This gives NBA branding opportunities and has sponsorship availability for other brands moving forward.
It won’t be long before similar opportunities start showing up on Facebook Audio and other social audio platforms. These will likely work similarly to the paid sponsorships on Instagram, where social influencers are paid to promote brands. This kind of brand promotion will likely work well with Gen Z.
What Kinds of Companies Can Benefit Most From Social Audio?
Certain kinds of brands and goals align well with this approach to social media. If you are unsure if you should invest marketing resources in this new medium, see how your brand and goals stack up.
B2C vs B2C Brands
B2C brands could fare very well with this new medium. The range of topics is nearly endless, depending on what the individual brand provides.
B2B brands may have a harder time finding their key audience (it’s not like brands are the ones attending social audio events; it’s individuals on their personal social platforms), but the range of opportunities are nearly endless for B2B brands as well. Expert panels, industry trends and best practices, podcast recordings, and all kinds of audio opportunities present themselves to B2B brands.
Brands With Followers
Brands with a large following will do well in this medium. If you already have lots of followers, it’s likely that you can move the “party” over to audio pretty seamlessly. This will give your company yet another way to reach your target demographic in ways you haven’t been able to previously.
As mentioned, social audio is in its early phases, though out of its infancy. In other words, it’s old enough to have proven its efficacy as a marketing strategy, and young enough. If you’re still hesitant about getting into this space, why not contact Hawke Media for a free consultation?