Today is the first in a series of intermittent UnThink Solar blog posts that I’m hashtagging as the “#SolaFred Moment.” Like many humans, I often have random thoughts, critiques, and questions about solar and energy storage marketing and communications that pop into my head, but I rarely get to jot them down or develop them into a fully baked blog post.

Rather than let these moments float away into thoughts about what’s for lunch, I’m going to start jotting them down here on the UnThink Solar blog, and RSS feed them into LinkedIn and Twitter.

Because this is a random moment and due to limited time, these posts won’t usually have any images or video or graphs (although I recommend blogs have at least one image, video, or graph). It’s just a stripped-down, raw thought, suggestion, or question that I’d rather get out into the world than keep under my Solar Fred cap.

Feel free to comment on Twitter or Linked, and I’ll try to respond there. I may also form a random Clubhouse forum to discuss some of the topics… if you’re on Clubhouse.

And that brings me to my first Solar Fred Moment:

Why should the solar industry use Clubhouse? I don’t know. That’s why this is a random thought.

I mean, why do we need another social media platform to distract us or help us, depending on your perspective. If you’re not on Clubhouse, briefly, it’s a new audio-based social network that allows you to start a room about a particular topic, and people can “enter” the room and talk with you. There’s no video, there’s no text chatting. It’s just you, invited speakers, and anyone joining. People can raise their hands to ask more questions and contribute, and you can also hashtag the room for others interested in the topic.

Those are the basics. Is Clubhouse going to be useful for solar marketing? Maybe. Maybe not. It depends on how it develops with consumers and our B2B solar community.

Off the top of my head, I can see scheduling a Clubhouse for a non-visual webinar-like discussion about a hot topic, such as “Are large-format solar panels worth the extra costs?” But then why not just have a webinar that you can also record and share later? A webinar would also have the advantage of visuals if you need them.

On the B2B solar/energy storage side, I can also see solar equipment companies having Clubhouse’s chats right after a product release. It would be a kind of press conference for customers who might have questions. But once again, they could do the same with Zoom.

For both residential and commercial solar, I can also see Clubhouse being an audio “Ask Me Anything” forum. But…again, you can easily do the same forum on Zoom. The only advantage on Clubhouse is that random strangers interested in the topic could “drop in.” Oh, goody. Except they’d be random. Would they really care or waste time and distract from real potential customers with real concerns?

Would random people likely become a customer, even if they were following the #solar hashtag? It’s too early to tell, but I suspect conversion rates would be low…if you could even track conversions. Sales departments would need to ask about lead sourcing and specifically mark “Clubhouse” down as a source.

Overall, I think Clubhouse may be good for solar company thought leadership, public relations, and branding, but I wouldn’t count on it for B2B or B2C lead generation. On the other hand, it could be an elaborate time-suck for short-staffed marketing departments. It’s really too early to tell.

That’s it for today. As mentioned above, it’s a random thought. There are plenty more “classic” (i.e., years old) thoughts on the UnThink Solar blog. Feel free to read through those. Some of them are still relevant. Some not.

I’ve missed blogging regularly, so I hope I can keep this up. I’ll end with my mission statement: Be bold for solar. Stand out and educate.