Connecting with your community outside of streaming is so much more than just posting in a discord server an hour before you stream. There are many ways you can connect with your community without having to be live. That being said, you don’t have to just open all of your DM’s up in order to be connected with your community!
Social medias is a great way to connect with your followers and community. Chances are if people are connecting on those platforms they are helping your reach as well too. There are some folks who will be die hard dedicated to connecting on socials and will like/share/retweet all of your stuff! Even commenting on posts as well too. In order to really connect, (provided you dont have hundred and hundreds of people commenting) reply or like every single one of these responses! Seriously. A little interaction goes a long way. I know for me, I follow a dude from Sweden named Orb. He is one of the most connected people to his community. He connects on twitter and Instagram, he likes replies and comments back. He is able to do this and as a viewer it makes you feel important because the person you are following and interested in is showing you are significant. Like you aren’t just a viewer to them. Not all streamers are like this but Orb is great for really showing he appreciates his viewers and community!
Discords is one of the best ways to connect with your community on AND off streams. Whether you are commenting in the morning or commenting after you are live, or even just jumping in to conversations it is a great way to bring the community together even by having viewers and viewers chatting together! the more active a discord is and the more involved you are, the stronger the connection grows. If you create a safe space with you viewers then you will see more people want to stick around because they have made friends with the people in there. I know sometimes I cant always make streams, But I will check in their discord server in the morning, See if the streamer said anything important and connect with the community. When you really get into a community and connect they become more like family than friends. You all talk about your lives as a place to vent or talk about popular topics and the latest news. Especially if everyone is from different countries around the world too. look at the Covid Crisis, How different different places around the world are handling the situation!
Playing with viewers is a popular and easy way to build a stronger community. There are a first ways to do this successfully. You can do it by playing with subscribers first, that is something people who have an establish community do so that subscribers can have another perk. If you are smaller and growing this might deter people from wanting to watch you and give the appearance that you are just in it for money. For me, I dont mind playing with viewers/subscribers and am actually in the process of bringing back designated days for this! However using a mic for voice communications can be the question. I know some streamers who don’t use ANY voice comms, one is for fear that a person will say something on their stream like dropping the N-bomb or whatever else. Another stream who doesn’t use voice comms but this is because they have sooooo many viewers that it could get hectic. Then there is another streamer who uses voice comms in any game possible with their viewers since most people are subscribers and know that there are some things you just don’t say. For me, I use voice comms with friends and regulars. If it is someone who is in the stream for the first time chances are I’m not going to be using voice comms just in case. Some people can be jerks and try to say things negatively over a stream.
Community days are a super fun way to get a bunch of folks together. Another thing that ties into viewer games. I have seen some streamers do them on stream and others who have done them off. This is where they just hang out in discord and play games or they stream. I would suggest, If you ware playing with a bigger streamer/partner streamer.. and you MUST stream, Then it may be wise to have your push to talk on. Nothing is more annoying then hearing someone play with a partner streamer and be talking to their couple of viewers. Have some respect! For me, if I’m playing with a few partners that i watch and do viewer games I don’t normally stream while playing with them. I want to really focus on games and have a fun time! Also, it looks SUPER annoying and cringe-y if you are playing with a partner/much bigger streamer and you change your stream title as a touch of click bait like “Playing games with XXX” because it looks like you are using that person in order to get clicks or views on your stream.
Movie Nights is something I offer to subscribers once a month and I’m part of a community that also does them once a month. However with Corona Virus I have seen people also opening up to Discord Movie nights. Something I may look at getting into but I’m not entirely sure I was thinking about putting it up to a vote on twitter actually! This is when they use a streaming service like Kast or even discord streaming because they have upped the participants and how many can watch. I would only say don’t do this too often or it might lost it’s appeal but once a month is a great time to do it! I know some streamers mute their mics during this time (My preferred method!) and they have a text channel and then another who just has open mics/push to talk and they talk during the movie. This is another fun way and once you get into the habit you’re viewers will really enjoy and look forward to. you can even vote on different movies or subjects as well to get the community more involved!
As you can see there is many ways to connect with your community outside of streaming. Find out what works for you and look at what other channels are doing also! Do what you feel comfortable with and watch how your once divided or quiet community could become busy and exciting!