If you’re a Twitch or YouTube streamer, or perhaps are an artist or cosplayer, you most certainly have a community. With Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks to keep up with, it may seem like there is way too much to do to manage your community. However, Discord is the number one place to host a community and foster healthy conversation among members. In this article, you’ll learn all about how to use Discord as an entertainer, so you can engage with fans with ease!
Setting Up Your Server
Before you get your community up and running, you need to set up Discord. Luckily, doing this is ridiculously easy, and we have a guide on how do that in under 2 minutes. Make sure you pick a recognizable name and logo, and set up the proper channels. There are some channels that every server should have, as well as plenty of others that will depend on your niche. Make sure that you have channels dedicated to things like rules and announcements, as well as some specific channels for posting new content and allowing fans to discuss your work. It is very important to include a channel for new members to land on that introduces them to what the server is all about, including any important rules.
If you’re a creator, then you don’t have time to always be on your Discord server and making sure everyone follows the rules. There will always be trolls, and you have to keep them at bay. Do this by keeping a team of trusted moderators around. These should be people that you know from your existing community that have been a positive and engaging force. Your moderators will keep the peace when you’re not there. If you are an experienced streamer, then you have probably used mods before, and know all about how to choose good ones.
To further prevent troublemakers from entering your server, there are some security settings you should adjust. There are different verification levels for new members, that range from no restrictions, all the way up to members needing to wait 10 minutes after being in the server to send a message, or even to have a verified phone connected to their account.
Inviting People to Your Server
There are two ways you could set up access to your server. One of those is to open it to the public. The other option is to make it invite-only and control who joins.
Open to the Public
If you make your server open to the public, the invite code can be shared by any member. Do this if you want a wide audience with no restrictions. There is always the possibility that trolls will join, but that’s what moderators are for! This will also allow all of your Discord-using fans to communicate with each other and with you on this platform.
Getting people to join the server should be easy! Announce the server on whatever platforms you entertain on, and share the Discord link! If you have a massive fan-base, be cautious, because you don’t want a repeat of what happened in Markiplier’s Discord server. Whether its Twitch, YouTube, or Instagram, posting the instant invite link will bring engaged fans into your new server. Make sure that you have it copied in every YouTube video description, have a Twitch chatbot share it in chat, and include a Discord panel beneath your Twitch stream. And for social media platforms, make sure you have the classic: “Link in bio!”.
If you have a website, like a portfolio for artwork, then you’re in luck! You can add a Discord widget to your website. This will show a list of members currently online, as well as a button to connect and join the server!
If you choose the public option, you can select to make the instant invite never expire. When you click the invite button in Discord, there will be a checkbox to enable this. But not to worry, you can revoke invite links at any time.
You can also decide to limit access. In this case, only you or certain roles can send invite links, so you can have only trusted members bring in new people. As the server owner, you also have the ability to revoke any invite links from your server settings. One popular way to use this more private format is to give out an invite via Patreon tiers. That way someone actually has to pledge donations to you in order to join. And if they stop pledging, you can set up Patreon to automatically revoke their access. The same goes for Twitch. If you want to only have Twitch subscribers join, then you can do that!
Choosing this more controlled, private option is great if you want to ease into it, and not get overwhelmed by millions of people. If you want to use Discord as a place to communicate with only your most dedicated fans, choose this route.
Keep Members Engaged
Whatever you do, don’t let your Discord server rot and die because you weren’t active on it. This is the place your community can stay engaged long after your livestream has ended, so make sure that you give it the attention it deserves. Here are some idea to keep people excited about your server.
- Run periodic contests – this could be art, writing, or MLG 360 no-scope compilation videos
- Hang out after you stream – open up a channel to answer fan questions and engage with these people who are willing to stick around
- Play games with members – the ultimate experience for any fan, getting to play games with you (especially on stream) is a great way to show you care
- Just hang out – be available to chat with people, so they know that you care about the community and want to talk
Luckily for Twitch streamers, Discord has a dedicated Twitch integration. If you are a Twitch partner, it’s easy to sync your server with Twitch. Your subscribers can be given a special role, so you can give them access to special channels! You can also use this to limit who can join, and have only Twitch subscribers in your server.
There are also a number of other integrations you may want to use. In addition to Twitch, you can integrate with YouTube, GameWisp, Patreon, Nightbot, XSplit, and OBS. XSplit and OBS are great for streaming while using Discord, and allow you to make custom stream overlays that feature Discord.
Well, if you’re an entertainer and have an online community, what are you waiting for? Discord can help you engage your fans in a whole new way. So go ahead and spend 5 minutes setting up your server, then fine-tune it to be exactly what you need! Whether you go public or private, integrate with apps or not, Discord will provide you with an easy-to-use platform that is sure to make fans happy.