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5 changes audio-social apps should consider making right now

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As audio-social apps like Clubhouse, Beams, Pludo, Racket, and Quest have grown in popularity over the past year, more marketers, product teams and emerging competitors are starting to explore. the strategies that make and break the user experience in this space.

On the one hand, these products were pretty straightforward when they first hit the market, as content creators could simply sign up, create audio rooms or shortened podcasts, and then set a time for a broadcast. . But as more and more negative user comments rise to the top of internet forums, it’s now a good stopping point to consider how “social” social audio should be.

We know that social audio is not meant to mimic 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 when developing their strategy?

Given my background in television and marketing, it’s no surprise that I think social audio should take advantage of the same strategies used by major news agencies.

In my experience, here are five of the easiest ways audio-social app teams can do it.

Organize for inclusion

When we think of app design, the things that usually come to mind are the placement of the burger stack, the types of fonts, and the ease with which the user can enter and exit their account.

But what we rarely think about is how the design supports or doesn’t support disabled users. One notable – and reasonable – concern that surfaced last year when social audio took off was the lack of accessibility features for the visually or hard of hearing.

Small texts make it harder for people who are visually impaired to navigate apps, and the lack of captions makes it difficult for deaf people to enjoy conversations.

If you think about it, restaurants and cinemas usually have a way for patrons to use a different menu in braille or large print, or they provide captions for members of the audience who need the extra support to. enjoy the show. Social audio app teams and designers should include accessibility checkpoints in the workflow to address these concerns early in the development roadmap.

The first year, leverage reporters and hosts

Marketing audio-social apps to content creators is a great way to get early adopters, but it might be best to identify experienced hosts and journalists who also want to work with your brand in beta.

Why? Because when you build an app that will eventually occupy a portion of the media market, credibility is king.

Content creation and credibility are not mutually exclusive. And monitoring by experienced reporters and hosts who have experience producing live shows and moderating audience commentary can enhance the audience experience.

Not to mention, if you start with a range of talents who know the ropes, you can save time on user training offerings. By having believable figureheads leading your conversations, they’ll also set the tone for how creators who are on-board after them should effectively use the platform.

Imitate the mainstream media

What do Spotify, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, ABC, NBC, CBS and the BBC have in common? Programming.

If someone wants to find out what’s going on at 8 p.m. tonight on ABC, it’s easy for them to find out and set aside time to watch a show. With Netflix, the public is notified of programming changes weeks or even months in advance.

Consider having a range of venues or shows 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.

Yes, some content creators are savvy enough to let their audiences know when they come back, but not all of them have the backing of an experienced producer or team to ensure they can maintain a presence.

At first glance, this doesn’t seem like a big deal for app teams because you’re betting on the content creator to come back and get their audience. But this is where apps really lose their engagement: if the creators aren’t consistent and audiences don’t know when to expect them, and the user doesn’t quickly get suggestions for audio rooms or similar shows. , they lose interest. and stop coming back.

And later, when asked why they stopped using the platforms, their review is usually negative because they haven’t seen continued value.

When creators receive complaints, notify them immediately

When artists get it wrong, it only takes a few groups of people to voice their concerns, and before you know it, their careers take a huge hit. Sometimes it happens because the content creator has acted maliciously, but other times it is due to honest mistakes or sheer ignorance.

Here’s the problem: If you quickly remove the creator, not only does it tarnish his career, but it robs other members of the community of the necessary education on what to do in a similar circumstance – and how to reconcile the initial concerns. privately and publicly.

Considering the lively 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 troubleshoot in a way that supports everyone involved.

The suggestion here is to create a training program that the content creator will need to complete before they are allowed to return to the platform, or your business can partner with online or in-person training courses to educate them. people on topics related to things like race, culture or social issues.

I compare it to getting a ticket for a moving offense and having to attend a traffic school. These app teams should think of a similar solution that allows creators to navigate through the public eye and learn as they go. Not all content creators are trained as journalists. If they are targeted in marketing, there should be a strategy to retain them as active participants on the platform, even after mistakes.

Start a content tip

Last but not least, as your business embarks on beta testing, it would be wise to create a content board to address any areas of sensitivity that may arise on your platform.

Similar to how startups have advisory boards, consider forming a content board with industry experts on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Disability, Global Affairs, Politics, LGBTQIA advocacy, race, health care and social justice, to name a few. This relieves internal employees of knowing how to approach difficult topics on the platform. It also provides the company with a person who takes care of the business internally. These experts could come in handy if the platform faces some hot topic controversy.

As the social-audio space continues to expand, the ways in which creators and audiences interact with platforms will also expand. But if that growth continues to increase until the rest of 2021, one thing is for sure, the social-audio space may be bigger than it currently stands, and as a content creator and end user, I can’t wait to see what opportunities will open up in this space.