Edited By Jenna Babinchak
Since its launch in 2011, Twitch has become the world’s leading live streaming platform for gamers and lifestyle casters. Twitch streamers have built formidable communities around shared and streamable content that allows the streamer to “broadcast” their gameplay or activity by sharing their screen with viewers and subscribers who can comment in real time.
In order to create a successful Twitch stream, you’ll need to start with an idea that you think viewers would want to watch. This is the easiest step, as it can be anything you want. While the site is generally used for gaming purposes, other content creators have found success in streaming there as well.
1. Set the mood
Once you have chosen your idea or content, you need to decide what mood your stream will have. The mood of your content will bring certain communities to your stream.
2. Ground rules
Additionally, it’s also important to set ground rules to your stream so that you ensure a safe cyberspace for yourself and your viewers.
“I actually had a really big problem in the beginning with rules,” says Twitch Socializer QueenPams, explaining that she began being “really lenient when it comes to what was said in my chat and how people act.” Pam says she “pretty much just let anyone say whatever they wanted.” This led to problems for her and her community. “There would be people that would feel uncomfortable and they would come to me privately about it.” In the end, she had to make ground rules. “It was just having to put down rules and drawing the lines and trying to figure out what’s acceptable and not acceptable.”
Networking is important–become friends with other streamer friends in the similar viewer range and engage with other communities by being interactive in their streams. But there are ground rules here also: Ensure you are not self-promoting in other channels.
4. Interact With your community
Ensure you are welcoming your viewers and keeping an open dialogue with them. You can ask them about their day, favorite genre of music or their favorite game. Find a commonality between you and the viewer. “I’ve made it work to have online games together and have virtual parties.” says Twitch Streamer Rwenc on how she engages with her community.
5. Be consistent
Consistency is key, as it attracts and keeps your audience. Create a schedule and post a calendar where your community can find the times and days when you’ll be live. When other plans come up and you can’t keep to schedule, make sure that your followers know that you won’t be online. Set up a clear and accessible way to communicate with your community so they know when you will be streaming next.
6. Use other social media platforms to maximize your audience reach
Social media platforms such as Tik Tok, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube can help you branch out to more users online. Establish what type of content you want to represent your Twitch channel so that it attracts potential viewers to come and visit.
Everyday millions of people are streaming on Twitch in hopes of creating an engaging community, viewership and following. Streamers such as QueenPams and Rwenc have used examples from the list of advice to grow their stream to be a small successful streamer. Streamer QueenPams started her Twitch career with 0 followers at the start of January 2020, and now has 2.5K followers as of April 2021 because she persevered and built an online community where people feel drawn to her. Following these basic steps, you too can cultivate your own online community on Twitch and share something that you enjoy with others who enjoy it too.