Social Audio Explained: Conversations In Real Time

Updated: Sep 8

What are social audio apps?

Social audio is voice-based social media using audio to communicate and to boost followers and engagement. New platforms are surfacing in the audio space but the main ones are listed below, plus a newer app a friend is involved with:

  • Podcasts (or Microcasts)

  • Webinar

  • Twitter Spaces

  • Clubhouse

  • And Deepdive

PODCAST


Podcast is a digital audio file that is available on the internet. It can be downloaded and saved in mp3 devices such as the mp3/mp4 players and on mobile phones. Most of the podcasts are free to download with some that are underwritten by corporations or sponsored, with the inclusion of commercial advertisements. It is also composed of a series of episodes in which they are likely stored with a podcast hosting company.


A podcast series usually features one or more hosts engaged in a discussion about a particular topic or current event. Content discussions can range from carefully scripted to completely improvised. Podcast series provide an associated website with links and show notes, guest biographies, transcripts, additional resources, commentary, and even a community forum focused on discussing the show's content.


Subscribing to a podcast is straightforward: there is typically an orange subscription button marked XML or RSS (“Rich Site Summary" or "Really Simple Syndication”). RSS is an XML-based format for sharing and distributing Web content. It allows you to subscribe to a podcast and receive automatic updates from that as they become available.


Most people listen to podcasts because they are easy to consume.

People are motivated to podcast to:
  • Express a personal passion – could be about a trending world topic such as climate change, or challenges faced by consumers of technology, and so on. Such an example are Tom Raftery's podcasts about the Digital Supply Chain podcast, showcasing the latest happenings in the world of supply chain technologies and the Climate 21 podcast, highlighting successful climate emissions reductions' strategies, in order to educate listeners, and inspire us to also take effective climate actions.

  • Increase professional visibility, thus raising awareness of brand.

  • Cultivate a community of like-minded audience and attract relevant followers.

Robert Godwin Jones considers podcasting to be a disruptive technology in which it threatens traditional industries. He says that podcasting is the “radio for the people” and provides a narrowcasting version of broadcast media.


MICROCASTS

Microcasts are mini podcasts that only last for about 2-3 minutes or 7-8 minutes long and its content targets niche audiences – perfect for listeners who only have a few minutes to spare, or little patience, another example of how hosts can build a targeted online presence.


Microcasting allows anyone, anywhere, to create content about anything they are passionate about and capture a select audience large enough that they can make a profit via ads, sponsors, or other sales strategies like subscriptions. Many people involved in microcasting do it as a hobby, as a resume builder, or as a networking mechanism. (Source: study.com)


WEBINAR


Webinar or Web-based Seminar is an online conference or presentation that is transmitted over the web using a video conferencing software. The more common softwares are Google Meet, Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Teams. A webinar can also be referred to as webcast, web seminar, or an online event.


In-person meetings have been replaced with online conferences and virtual meetings, the latter skyrocketing in the last 18+ months. Webinars have been a popular, and often enjoyable, solution.


A webinar I tune into on the last Friday of every month is WaddsCon via Zoom, a learning and development event that covers innovation in public relations, media and marketing. The attendance is typically 200-300 people and there is lively discussion in the chat and on Twitter.


CLUBHOUSE

Clubhouse is a social networking app that facilitates groups, known as clubs. These clubs accommodate groups of people from hundreds to even thousands in number. The idea of Clubhouse is to drop into a discussion of interest from the ‘hallway’, raise your hand to join as a speaker, and ‘leave quietly’ when you wish. Conversations take place in real time in ‘rooms’ and after the chat ends, the room disappears and there is no option to listen to it again.


People have craved conversation in real time and the app has been a huge success, particularly in America.


Clubhouse was initially an invite only social audio app for ios users, with the initial release in March 2020. The app gained popularity in the early months after Covid-19 pandemic and gained users by December 2020 which led them to open the app for Android users as well, beginning in January 2021.

The Clubhouse features are:
  • Rooms

  • Events

  • Clubs

  • Backchannel - introduced in response to the launch of Spotify Greenroom

  • Explore

  • Clubhouse Payments

  • Creator First

  • Icon

The USP of Clubhouse is to gain visibility of your personal brand and this is done via a big push on everyone to follow the Moderators.


Get to know more about the app’s features here.


TWITTER SPACES is where live audio conversations happen on Twitter

As Clubhouse rose to popularity in the Social Audio circle, Twitter Spaces was introduced at the end of 2020 as a beta test for select individuals. Now, it is available to accounts with 600 or more followers and caters to both iOS and Android mobile users. It already has 336K Followers (Sept21).


@TwitterSpaces is a place for users to host rooms where speakers can hold audio conversations and listeners can tune in and request to speak – same as in Clubhouse rooms. As with Clubhouse, there is no video aspect, so you don’t have to worry about being camera-ready. These ephemeral, live audio conversations provide a space for any and every topic of choice and so far, the spaces have been small enough to join the conversation.


Fleets: Last July 2021, Twitter announced it was saying goodbye to Twitter Fleets with “Using our learnings from Fleets, we’ll focus on creating other ways for people to join the conversation and talk about what’s happening in their world.


With Fleets gone, Spaces has the potential to grow more and if you already have an audience on Twitter, you have a head start with getting conversations started. Conversely, with Clubhouse you’ll be either starting from scratch or with limited followers you have attracted since joining. Hosting conversations on topics that will appeal to your target audience is a great way to network and establish yourself as a Thought Leader. It is worth considering as part of your business strategy in order to achieve message penetration.


Deep Dive

Tripp Braden - "I believe that social audio can provide entrepreneurs a great way of accelerating employee and team development. Social provides an always available platform to help managers remain in contact with their team. Over 70% of employees place a high value on camaraderie and knowing their teammates care as a critical element to why they stay with their employers."


"Social audio platforms like Deepdive provide employers a more personal way of engaging and developing their teams. Younger team members enjoy the ability to use social media to collaborate work and social. As an added bonus they can receive real time advice from senior team members for dealing with their customers. The older team members can get help in developing their social media skills. It’s a great way to help build stronger connections on remote teams."


See Tripp's article 'Can Deepdive Help you Build More Productive Teams?" | You can sign up for a free Deepdive membership at https://www.joindeepdive.com/ - it is encouraging customers' and teams' engagement on social.


Have you made any of these audio applications part of your business strategy yet?
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