Which is Right for Selling Your Book — Twitter Spaces or Clubhouse?

With both audio chats now available on Android and iPhone, authors must consider which best serves their readers. Here’s an overview of the choices.

Pierre DeBois
May 10 · 6 min read
Twitter Spaces offer authors the chance to build on their Twitter audience (Source: Pierre DeBois)

You just finished your book, and you are thinking about how to use social media. You likely have heard about the latest trend, live audio rooms, which allow users to talk with other users in real-time.

So you look up details about Clubhouse — which I have covered here — and you have also heard about Spaces, the Clubhouse competitor Twitter created to provide live audio to its communities. App users come to chat about a variety of topics, from tech to popular culture. App users come to chat about a variety of topics, from tech to popular culture. When engaged, each person takes a turn to speak by clicking a mic.

You now face a new question to consider. Which should you use may not have considered is that you now have two ways to develop your audience. So which platform is best as a useful marketing strategy for selling your book? Take the plunge into Clubhouse? Or go with Twitter Spaces? That’s a fair question with any new app or solution. But there are some things to consider.

Both platforms have pros and cons. This means as you decide how to market your book, webinar, or products and services for your business, you have to think more thoroughly about what tools each platform has that will entice someone to make a purchase. Your usage of a social platform dictates the benefits people will receive as a customer.

The Basics on Clubhouse

Clubhouse for Android was just released (Image:PIerre DeBois)

Clubhouse is a live audio social app that allows people to host virtual chat rooms. Users can browse discussion topics in each room so they can decide where they want to go, listen, and engage other people. Clubhouse is essentially a mix of the best qualities of conferencing and podcasting to form a confortable setting for a room audience to discuss a topic.

The way Clubhouse allows people to join various discussion rooms can seem much more intuitive for fans of your book. While a Twitter feed is not necessarily for Twitter Space, it is part of how a given Space discussion is announced and marketed. Some fans may not be familiar with hashtags, which are used to form a community that might be intuitive to some people but not to new folks coming in. Imagine having a Twitter chat with audio such that you feel as if you’re in a cypher. Yet you don’t have to type hashtags each time you reply to stay in the conversation. That structure simplifies participation for readers who want to hear their authors without adding steps that would be more familiar to a given platform’s audience.

The “speakeasy” approach to the app beta has been the strongest part of its appeal. The budding interest has turned into a red-hot popularity, timed perfectly for an era in which people have been mostly restricted to home. Clubhouse has sustained buzz during a year because people want to connect to each other yet remain distant. That aspect plays into the culture that emerged under the specter of the global COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the number of Clubhouse has created staggering numbers.

But there are limitations. To gain access to set up a Clubhouse profile requires someone to receive an invitation. That process — along with the fact that app was initially launched to operate on Apple iOS — limited Clubhouse to mainly iPhone and iPad owners. When you ask your audience to join you for a webinar or gathering, the arrangement means your readers or most ardent fans who do not have an Apple device will be excluded. While Clubhouse just announced a beta Android version of the app, you should always check that your hosted events are on a platform on which the majority of your intended audience can access it easily.

Clubhouse just announced a few additional features which can aid the income of authors. A beta payments system called Payments will be available. The feature will allow Clubhouse attendees to send a tip or pay an attendance fee. This gives the host a monetization model for small webinars or discussions that teaches a skill. At this time, the program is in beta, so only a select few Clubhouse hosts have access. But with the recent pressure from other platforms to launch audio chat rooms and associated features, such as Twitter’s Tipjar, Clubhouse Payments will likely this will come out of beta very quickly.

The Basics on Twitter Spaces

Twitter Spaces operates similarly to Clubhouse. The key difference lies in where chatrooms are hosted. Clubhouse operates as a platform hosting various rooms, while Twitter Spaces allow Twitter users to host a “room”. The Spaces arrangement changes the nature of being able to browse room topics easily. The singular nature means that it is one virtual room with a given topic, so you need a number of people to make the attendance worthwhile. I sat in one Spaces hosted by a panel of developer advocates. It was truly a lot of fun because of the varied insights the panel shared regarding career development. Yet the panel were very popular developer advocates each of which had a sizeable Twitter following.

But Clubhouse users could potentially host a conference, letting invitees enter associated rooms with authors and publishers with different panels.

If you have been using Twitter regularly, you can probably figure out that Twitter’s big advantage is its dedicated subgroups which use the platform constantly to share events, comment on relevant real-world events, and host relevant discussions. The culture of those groups represents an audience that could relate well to your writings, videos, and your book.

In addition, there are other tools that can enable a strong connection to a broader audience. Twitter Ads provide a means to share a direct call to action phrase, such as purchase my book here, or come see my webinar.

Another tool, Twitter hashtags are also ways to connect to the aforementioned subgroups. Interested in connecting to young Black developers, for example? Use the #BlackTechTwitter hashtag to bring attention. Or joining a Twitterchat using a specific hashtag.

Writers also use Twitter to share posts for associated writings and images as well. The timeline on social media platforms is designed to support your topics and comments (which unfortunately can be used to pass misinformation, as the world knows all too well now.) For example, I share articles on analytics to help attract other practitioners and potential clients to the profile. Doing so makes it easier to connect with an audience that would be potentially interested in purchasing Zimana analytics services.

As an author, you want to broaden your audience, so Twitter can be a better choice if you are still developing ways to engage with your audience or seeking to join one that has already formed.

For tips on this, I have written a few posts for Better Marketing on re-engaging your Twitter followers. I have also written a post called How To Rejuvenate Old Content, which may sparks some new topic ideas for you as you strengthen your social media presence.

Which to choose?

Where you spend your time online determines if a new platform, like Clubhouse, or a favorite hangout, like Twitter, is a goodfit. Image WOCInTech

With all the pros and cons outlined, you really don’t have to choose one platform over the other. You can honestly use both, experimenting to see what works with your audience best — a solid established audience who loves the exclusivity (Clubhouse) or an opportunity to build an audience (Twitter Spaces). Keep in mind the technical differences will change pretty quickly, especially as Clubhouse begins to expand with an Android version of the app. No matter your preference, using audio chat can bring an exciting way to speak to your readers and for people to enjoy getting to know you and your work.

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