For every successful stream, a community works together to support it. If you are planning to start your own streaming career, the true key in finding a positive result in your venture is to know how to build your own community. After all, the greatest evidence that a streamer is successful is based on the activity of their viewers such as subs, gift subs, shoutouts, poggers, and the Fs in the chat. So, considering that you plan to be a streamer, why should you build a community?
For some streamers, a community has the added benefit of learning more about yourself, and at the same time, also lets you meet people that may become trusted friends in the future. But also remember that streaming is a form of entertainment. It is a part of the modern-day entertainment industry, which is why its success is attained by effort and strategies. And as mentioned earlier, the biggest contributor to your success as a streamer would be the community that you build up in your career. So, it would do everyone aspiring to be a streamer well to remember that you are streaming not just for yourself but also for your viewers.
Entertaining Your Viewers
Imagine yourself as a customer in a restaurant. Restaurant A has poor and rude services alongside terrible food being served for you. Restaurant B, on the other hand, gives you good quality of service and food alongside the welcoming demeanor of the staff. You would probably choose to stay again in Restaurant B over Restaurant A, and that is the same case with building a stream community. You must entertain your viewers by giving them a good quality of service and content in order for them to be invested in your stream and be a part of your community.
So how do you provide good service in streaming? How do you make your audience feel welcome enough to participate and engage with the interactions that occur during the stream? One thing to remember in building a community is that it does not belong to “you” alone. It belongs to everyone in it. This mindset creates a healthy and safe environment for your viewers, and in turn allows a growing stable community that would uphold and share your beliefs.
Accommodating the viewers/members is much needed because before their numbers increase, the hurdle needed to be overcome is to make them stay. Obviously, not forcefully but willingly. In other words, how do you make them interested and excited for your stream, to keep them consistently attending and engaging your streams, and eventually supporting you? This can be done by events and giveaways, and reward systems that acknowledge the contribution and participation of your members to add fun and good vibes in their interactions. Aside from having a healthy mindset, this can be also done by engaging and welcoming them or giving them good content.
Good content depends on your target audience. Do they like a specific genre of games? Or they just want to enjoy watching your progress in certain games? Or maybe you are kind of hoping they enjoy your torment and suffering because of very difficult games? I’m not going to lie, the last assumption came from Dark Souls streamers. And while it may sound a bit extreme, well as a streamer, you have to deliver. That does not mean you should disregard your own enjoyment. The Dark Souls streamers are just a sample and they do enjoy the game despite some unpleasant moments. If you can find the common ground in which both you and your viewers enjoy the stream, that would be the best scenario. After all, according to the experience of Elucifere, a Twitch streamer, he felt like the people that were interested in joining stayed for the wholesomeness of his community. It basically shows that good content might give you some additional views, but in the end, it comes back to making them stay to be a part of your community.
Setting a Consistent Schedule
Time is very important in many aspects of life, hence having a consistent schedule will play a huge role in your community. If your viewers know that you go live at very specific timeframes all the
time, they will be prepared to watch you. It has the same concept as watching television where people would always turn on the T.V. at specific times to watch their favorite shows. If you want your community to continue growing, having a consistent schedule allows for viewers to give their time to you as it also helps in maintaining the attendance of your own viewers.
Basically, a constant and consistent release of content will help maintain and increase the members of the community because it tells them that you are willingly giving and investing them your time. This is important because time is the biggest cost you will have in building a community. You can start and maintain a community with zero budget, but it will consume your time. But for many streamers, it is a time well spent.
Use of Different Social Networks
Just streaming alone is not enough to efficiently build a community. Streamers reach out either to their existing viewers or to possibly new ones by the use of other social network sites. Therefore, social media networks act as powerful tools in advertising your stream to entice viewers to join in. Many streamers use Discord, Twitter, Instagram, etc. as a medium in connecting with everyone else. If they can find you on social media, it would make it easier for them to access your stream and feel more connected with you. Another means of networking is to collaborate with fellow streamers to gain more prospective viewers. It wouldn’t hurt to work together which could possibly benefit both parties’ community. As long as it is kept clean and professional, problems would be kept at a minimum or none at all.
Social networks can also be the starting point of your community. For instance, Twitter and Discord servers can act as a medium of getting to know people to build your community first and gaining an audience before you start streaming. It can help build personal relationships with people who can help advertise content you are preparing on Twitch or YouTube. This can save you time and helps you realize that creating a community eventually is a team effort. Because in the end, you may have started the community, but its members built it.
Overall, building and maintaining a stream community takes a numerous amount of time and effort. Simply put, it concerns a lot of building trust between you and your viewers, just like a relationship with shops and their customers. You give them good service and they return in kind to support you. Eventually, you would see that both of you are working together to build something that may be timeless.
Special thanks to Elucifere for participating in the interview for this article and giving his insights. You may check his stream channel at: https://www.twitch.tv/elucifere_ch
Article written by Jeremiah Orellano