This is like dropping a bomb. The biggest issue on every streaming platform “community management”. What is it? What are ways to achieve this? How do you manage a community? All questions every streamer struggles with. In this article I want to give you more insight on the topic and the way I do it. Not saying I hold all the answers, just sharing my knowledge hoping it helps you.
Community Management for a streamer:
In its core, community management is about relationships and how your brand seizes opportunities to interact with your community. If you hope to build a long-term business with a strong brand, it’s something you’ll want to invest in. All. The. Time. A community is spread all over the place. Discord, your streaming platform, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etcetera. Like I said before, set aside your personal feelings on platforms and be there where your community is. There is a difference in approach though: New visitors and open communications with your current ones is through Social Media Marketing. Community Management is what happens after and beyond social. More “being a part of” your brand as a streamer. Let me share that insight a bit more.
Community is about maintaining relationships. It’s important that you know what’s going on that really matters to your community. Job interviews, people not feeling well, dating etcetera whatever they want to share. These are all great ways to build from social engagement into a relationship. Imagine “Brian” a person who is in your discord, following the channels already and you spot a post about a job interview. He comes in your stream, bit shy and just says “Hi” (or even worse: “!Lurk”).
You respond with:
“He Brian, welcome back! Did you get that new job, or what’s up?”
Wouldn’t you feel special at that point? The content creator you took time for to be with him/her is reaching out to your personally. Exactly my point. A community is investing in the little facts that matter to your community member and truly engage on it. I am not saying remember everything, that’s impossible, but when you are watching your VODS and learning, take notes of your chat. And use that for your own good.
Of course, as your community, they should be included with all your plans and ideas even in brainstorm phase. I’ll take it one step further even: they should lead you. You are a public figure, a streamer, no matter the size! If you have 10 community members, don’t act on 10, make yourself believe they are 1.000.000 already and include them on new stuff coming to the channel. Let them discuss your emote options or upgrades on the stream, games to play live because you want them there. They matter. In fact:
“A community is the basic element of your channels growth and future.”
So engage: Spark and Spur Conversations! Lead your community!
Try to make your social encounters turn towards community participation. And please, please, please…. Don’t start dropping random people all your channels and discord. No: learn about them, engage with them, respond on posts, engage, engage, engage! Ask if they want to join in a later stage or in livestreams and give them information on why they should join. And yes, I did this wrong myself too! We all been there.
Give them shoutouts and not just on streams also on your socials after you know they are solid streamers too (if they are). The engagement you take on adding them to your community is what going to make them stick! After that involve them in all elements of your stream. A massive tip is to create one platform, one spot where you are most active when it comes to community management. This way you know where you want your community to end up in and how to divert your audience towards that place.
So, my discord (10th Legion) is now close to 150 members. All legendary streamers, content creators or just doing !RIOT all over the globe. Why? I believe it’s because I do my best to interact, promote, help and give feedback on all kinds of topics. Making them better with the knowledge I hold. I also listen (yes, I do talk more then I listen, but still) and engage on topics at hand. But to take it next level I decided I wanted to give back more.
Yes I did it. There are many ways and shapes in which you can give back. Think about it and make it your own. It can be scare alerts, sounds that trigger, assignments that you do, giveaways etc etc. I created a loyalty system based upon “Golden Points” that can get the viewers free merchandising! Wait what? I give away free t-shirts, hoodies, mugs and more? Yes I do. Let me explain why.
1. Community management:
How great is it that people are wearing your merchandising? Awesome. Exactly. Especially when they drop it on there socials because that’s branding! You getting your name out there through this is just amazing. Meeting more people through there socials and spreading that brand all over the globe.
Loyalty to your channel is crucial. Not just to grow as a streamer, but also in terms of community management. So if loyalty is key, what are you doing to increase that? That thought struck me like lightning and I decided to act on it. “Golden Coins” is just a loyalty option in StreamElements that I tweaked to make it my own!
You start earning the second you drop in. 20 golden coins every 10 minutes just as a viewer. You also have the option to increase the subscription points for subscribers. As you can see, as a subscriber you earn 100 Golden Coins each 10 minutes.
All other key elements to streaming and getting your brand out there are options too. In my case I decided to create it like this. So every action people can take result in a growing amount of points.
With the points it’s, for you as the streamer, super easy to see who is your top 50 supporters and where you need to invest time in to make that viewer grow more towards you. This can of course be done in any way that you desire, I am just being transparant in my set-up on StreamElements. Nightbot, Streamlabs etc etc all have this option too.
3. Free Merchandising!
Whatever you decide to do with your points is up to you. I created a store that supports FREE merchandising (check it out). Community members and (new) viewers (even lurkers) get rewarded with the points and once they have enough they can get free merchandising shipped to wherever they want. I also use it in my community nights giving 500 points extra if somebody wins with Marbles for example.
Yes, great question: “I can’t afford that”! I highly doubt that. Imagine how much effort a person invests in your stream or gives to you to reach it. That’s, in my case, always more then my cost to ship it. Or the grinding takes long and I grow in my viewers/chatters which is worth something too.
There is no real downside to this, or please let me know? But if you are still worried, consider adding something different. My good friend, BeardedFroggy, does community wrestle nights and you can bet with his loyalty point system! Great idea, more interaction and no additional costs are added.
4. Your community: sharing and supporting:
I don’t know what can be better then somebody in your community telling others how awesome you are. As a brand, yes you are one, getting someone else talking about you is the very best way to naturally grow your channel. So try and increase that. Imagine, after investing a lot of time, you get your free merchandising, how excited would you be? Exactly! A social drop is done and, even better, what if they use when they are creating content? No better way to spread your name and love around:
“Make community members talk about you, but never forced, it’s based upon brand building!”
So, there is no better moment to start community management then right now. So kick it off. Do some shoutouts, or help me? Like this content? Feel free to share it with your network: that would be awesome! Start with working on your discord every day. And again: never say you are to small, that doesn’t exist because everybody starts with one member. Dream. Big. I believe in you.
I hope this helps you, like it helps me. Oh and never forget to !RIOT