Engaging Consumers With Audio Rooms

As retailers, brands, influencers and content creators look to engage consumers and create niche communities where shoppers can convene and share, they might want to consider Smalltalk. Here, Corina Marshall, head of marketing at Smalltalk, explains how the platform works, what users can expect, and how it can be used by brands and retailers.

WWD: What is Smalltalk, and how does it work? 

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Corina Marshall: Smalltalk is an app-less and browser-based live audio-only platform that helps brands, organizations and individuals build and foster community through elevated ways of voice connectivity.

Smalltalk works via a self-service interface available at Atsmalltalk.com, which allows users to create and customize Smalltalk audio rooms. For further functionality and integrations, brands and organizations can use the Smalltalk API to create custom audio experiences from within their own apps.

Smalltalk has many purposes and can be used for internal audio communication, eliminating the “do I keep my camera on or off” question, and supports team and cross-functional connection. Brands easily create their customized room in less than three minutes and share their unique link with their audience. It makes talking fun.

WWD: What was the impetus behind creating this platform? 

C.M.: During the pandemic, we started to see a shift in how people were interacting and cultivating relationships, both at the workplace and as friends. Smalltalk was created with this new hybrid way of life and communication in mind as we all tackle the challenges of staying connected during this global shift. We feel Smalltalk will play a role in connecting us globally and help us spark new and exciting relationships.

WWD: What is the user experience like? 

C.M.: Simply put — it’s exciting. The user experience is inclusive and welcoming — a key part of Smalltalk’s brand values. The user has the option to pop into a Smalltalk room on a desktop or on mobile. Smalltalk is designed to work naturally while you’re on a stroll, on the go, in bed or at your desk, anywhere really. We want it to feel fun and fluid and not like a chore. We look forward to those spontaneous and serendipitous moments that take place over Smalltalk.

Once the users are in the room, they can share their thoughts; engage; react with emojis, direct messages and Smalltalk with other attendees, and give or receive cash tips to and from other attendees in the room. If they have a cash balance in their account, users can simply “cash out” via Venmo or PayPal.

WWD: Is there a limit to the number of users in a session?

C.M.: There can be up to 8 million users in a Smalltalk room.

WWD: What is the value proposition for users? How does Smalltalk differentiate itself from other social platforms? 

C.M.: There aren’t any distractions; instead, there’s more of a focus on the conversations and words being shared while in the Smalltalk room. Smalltalk is a IYKYK [if you know, you know] situation. Communities find out about live Smalltalk conversations directly through brands’ marketing avenues, simply by sharing their unique room link to specific marketing channels. The benefit here? Brands can build community and loyalty through authentic and welcoming interactions.

Additionally, once attendees are in a Smalltalk room, the brand has complete control over what the user engages with so that the brand does not have to compete with other brands or retailers. This is a win-win benefit for not only Smalltalk brands and retailers but also their community; attendees are not being inundated with distracting competitive content. Their attention is directly driven to the room. In fact, an average Smalltalk room has a CTR [clickthrough rate] of 86 percent once a user is in the room. This means that brands and retailers have a higher chance of authentically connecting with an individual and a higher chance of converting an attendee into a loyal customer.

But there’s more. Smalltalk users can invite others into the Smalltalk room that they’re in by searching for a username. Users inviting others into a Smalltalk room is a strong acquisition tool for brands and retailers because clients are referring others who may be interested in the brands’ Smalltalk content.

Users can subscribe to a room and get notified by email or text whenever a brand goes live in a Smalltalk room.

Users can see who has joined or subscribed to a specific room. Users/attendees can click another user’s profile and either message them or Smalltalk with them directly. This is the perfect example of building connectivity and welcoming users to engage and grow their own community through a common ground — which most of the time comes back to small talk, literally and figuratively.

WWD: How can brands and retailers use Smalltalk? 

C.M.: Brands and retailers can create a custom audio room that feels like their unique aesthetic and share their room links with their target audience. Smalltalk rooms can be used for increasing internal communication and/or external brand activations centered around purpose-driven conversations. Once a subscriber pops into a specific Smalltalk room, they can listen to live conversations and engage with any CTAs [call to action] that the brand or retailer has embedded into the room. The CTAs could be exclusive promotions, content or any other retailer focus, such as social selling. Since Smalltalk is app-less and browser-based, brands can reach anyone in the world — as long as they are connected to the internet.

Editor’s Note: To learn more, email collab@imonsmalltalk.com or join this Smalltalk room, atsmltk.com/support, to speak to one of the Smalltalk team members and experience it for yourself. 

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