Social Audio Apps
As social-audio apps like Clubhouse, Beams, Pludo, Racket and Quest have gained popularity in the last year, more marketers, product teams and up-and-coming competitors are beginning to explore the strategies that are making and breaking the user experience in this space.
On one side, these products were fairly straightforward when they first hit the market because content creators could simply sign up, create audio rooms or short-form podcasts, and then set a time for a broadcast. But as more and more negative user feedback bubbles to the top of internet forums, now is a good stopping point to consider just how “social” social audio should be.
We know social audio isn’t meant to imitate YouTube, Twitter or Facebook, whose user experiences are largely built around one-way communication. But if we exclude them, who should social-audio companies consider while developing their strategy?
Given my background in television and marketing, it should come as no surprise that I believe social audio needs to leverage the same strategies used by major news organizations.
Based on my experience, here are five of the easiest ways social-audio app teams can do it.
Organize for inclusion
But what we rarely think about is how the design supports or doesn’t support disabled users. A notable — and reasonable — concern that emerged last year as social audio took off was the lack of accessibility features for people with impaired sight or hearing.
Small text makes it harder for people with impaired vision to navigate the apps, and the lack of captioning makes it difficult for those who are deaf to enjoy the conversations.
In the first year, leverage journalists and hosts
Marketing social-audio apps to content creators is a great way to pull in early adopters, but it could be better to identify experienced hosts and journalists that are willing to work with your brand in its beta stage as well.
Why? Because when you’re building an app that will eventually take up a portion of the media market, credibility is king.
Content creation and credibility aren’t mutually exclusive. And vetting by experienced journalists and hosts who have experience producing live shows and moderating public feedback can improve the audience’s experience.
Mimic big media
What do Spotify, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, ABC, NBC, CBS and the BBC all have in common? Programming.
If someone wants to know what’s coming on at 8 o’clock tonight on ABC, it’s easy for them to find out and set aside time to watch a show. With Netflix, audiences know about changes in the lineup weeks if not months in advance.
Consider having a lineup of rooms or shows that are produced by in-house talent. This way, the user audience has a reason to be on the platform even if their favorite creators are on hiatus.
When creators receive complaints, Educate immediately
When entertainers mess up, all it takes is a few groups of people to air their concerns, and before you know it, their career takes a huge hit. Sometimes this happens because the content creator has acted maliciously, but other times it’s due to honest mistakes or sheer ignorance.
Here’s the thing: If you’re swift to remove the creator, not only does it tarnish their career, but it strips others in the community of the education needed about what to do in a similar circumstance — and how to reconcile the initial concerns privately and publicly.
Given the live nature of these platforms, these snafus are guaranteed to pop up, and for that reason, it’s a good idea to figure out how to address issues in a way that’s supportive to all involved.
Launch a Content Council
Last but certainly not least, the moment your company goes into beta testing, it would be wise to create a content council to address any areas of sensitivity that may come up on your platform.
Social Audio Apps