You might know that having your stream sit at the top of a game category is prime real estate for gaining viewers. And once you reach a certain amount of viewers, your viewership will begin to snowball.
But it can be a struggle to break past certain viewer counts.
So how do you build that initial viewership to break into those top spots?
You’ve probably heard the typical advice…
- Create great content: Be good. Be Funny. Be Girl.
- Engage with your audience: Read the chat, talk to your viewers.
The problem with this advice is that it only works once someone lands on your stream.
How do you get a constant stream of new viewers to check out your entertaining content?
Today you’ll learn how Jason solved this challenge to push a new game category to the top of twitch, grow his twitter audience by 74 followers a day (that’s 2,200 new fans every month), even when he’s not streaming… and how he turns those new viewers and followers into subscribers, product sales, and stream ambassadors.
Here’s Where The Problem Starts
A lot of streamers get “stuck” inside the platform.
This might sound familiar…
A new channel starts. You try to get viewers by simply streaming. The “build it and they will come” strategy. You spend months streaming to a handful of people. You hope more people randomly check out the stream and enjoy it enough in that very moment to get the viewer to follow or subscribe.
If you take a minute to think about it… Doesn’t it sound silly?
You’re basing a growth strategy on a random viewer scrolling down and luckily finding your stream. If you’re trying to make it streaming full time, that’s way too much chance (…even for a Poker player as you’re about to see).
Sure. These streamers have Twitter. They have Facebook. But if you look closely at their feeds it’s usually packed full of “I’m live!” updates that no one cares about.
As you can see he has 789 followers, but look at that interaction. A few likes. Zero Retweets.
It took me about 3 minutes of searching on Twitch to find this example. And you can find thousands more just like it.
The problem with posting Tweets like this is that people don’t want to share this crap. They barely want to like it. And most of them don’t even want to see it cluttering their feed.
But you see so many high profile streamers currently getting away with this (because they already have an audience of loyal fans) that new streamers just blindly follow suit.
However, you’ll see over the next six months that big streamers will start leveraging other media platforms to engage their audience. If not, they’ll be swallowed up by the savvy streamers who do.
On the other hand, streaming and creating content for your stream takes up a large chunk of your available time each day. So how do you find the time to create engaging content for social media?
Somerville implemented a strategy that mixes both worlds with very little extra work involved. In fact, as you’ll see… his audience is more engaged because of this strategy.
How Poker Infiltrated The Twitch Scene
Jason Jcarverpoker Somerville didn’t have the luxury of streaming a hit new release game and had a crowd of people follow him. He had to grow and build his audience and introduce them to Twitch.
He had to find other Twitch viewers and introduce them to Poker and his content. He didn’t grow his channel and the Twitch Poker community simply by existing. He does this through crafty social media marketing.
When you watch his stream you’ll frequently see Jason pull up his twitter feed and engage the community through Twitter.
It’s so subtle that most people probably don’t recognize what’s happening when he does it.
By pulling up twitter and acknowledging tweets he’s accomplishing multiple things at once:
- Encouraging viewers to follow his Twitter so they “don’t miss out” or have an extra opportunity to connect with him.
- Giving his audience the opportunity to create cool content that they can share with him, and possibly be “immortalized” by having it liked/re-tweeted by Jason himself.
- Engaging his community to build a closer relationship with them.
- Entertaining his audience – Twitch chat can be hilarious. This gives them the tools to create content that makes your stream unique and adds value to everyone participating.
- Killing “dead” time. When there’s no action going on, your viewers can get bored. (I’m talking about you loading screens and game queues).
Most importantly, this is giving his audience something worth sharing. When they re-tweet/share this content his stream gets put in front of thousands of new potential viewers.
Here’s the results:
'Theres no business like the online poker business' @JasonMercier @JasonSomerville https://t.co/LQlofirgKP pic.twitter.com/BTTeT7gh4W— Taiizor (@Taiizor) September 11, 2016
JCarver is bounty hunting, 3rd of 49 players left in the @PokerStars $700 KO! Watch live on https://t.co/NOGTZMzt7y pic.twitter.com/WvgiFCItVd— Run It Up (@runitup) May 12, 2016
@JasonSomerville Taking notes on how to become a poker pro! pic.twitter.com/N3jNbASGhM— Jacob (@caterpillakilla) April 12, 2016
These are just a few of the many examples, and these three add up to over 150 Re-tweets alone. Each of those re-tweets have dozens if not hundreds or thousands of potential viewers.
This doesn’t include all the hundreds of tweets that Jason didn’t happen to re-tweet or interact with.
This is how Somerville is able to pull in dozens of follows organically every day without streaming or interacting on Twitter.
Why Does This Work?
This follows the same psychology of donations appearing on screen. People want to interact with the streamer and they also want their or message to be on the big screen. People will donate hundreds of dollars just to crack a joke or be noticed.
In the same sense, viewers are willing to spend hours photoshopping a couple images just to have it re-tweeted or shared on stream. They will tweet jokes, or make video parodies just to be recognized or get people to laugh.
Jason captures this perfectly by simply showcasing it on his stream and encouraging his audience to join in on the action.
Over time your audience begins to realize that they aren’t just a viewer, they are apart of a community. They share their funny images. They see pictures of other members of the community in their new RunItUp gear. And they want to be apart of it. So they follow. They subscribe. They buy.
Engagement is what builds a community. A community is what drives subscribers, sales, and shares.
Much like streamers have discovered that that reading and engaging with chat has helped build and grow a community. This strategy kicks it into overdrive by giving an opportunity for those viewers to share your content and stream.
This completely changes the game from flooding your viewers with: “I’m live!”.
How to implement
Let’s get moving. Here’s some action steps to start implementing this and start building an audience that you can actually leverage.
Before we get started, if you’re not active on social media you need to get active. Start sharing things about your day. Follow interesting gaming streams or streamers and re-tweet their content. Join discussions. Share funny or exciting highlights from your stream. Share funny chat exchanges from your stream.
Doing this alone will pull in a few viewers for your stream. Then once your Twitter feed stops looking like a ghost town (or an “I’m Live!” graveyard) you can implement the steps below.
Step 1: Ask For The Follow
Encourage your viewers frequently to follow you on twitter. You don’t have to be salesy. You can follow modify what Jason says:
“If you’re enjoying the stream today, you can help get the word out by sharing this tweet (pulls up twitter) it’s @jasonsomerville. I’d really appreciate it.“
Or a quicker version:
“If you guys like what you see here, you can help me out by following me on Twitter @jasonsomerville“
It’s very simple and to the point. But it’s also nice and letting your audience know they are doing you a favor.
Step 2. Engage LIVE
During your stream open up your twitter feed to see what’s going on. If you aren’t getting a lot of activity yet, plan to tweet out a few things on your stream. This subtly lets your audience know that you are on twitter and you’re looking to engage with them.
If you’re active, then begin re-tweeting things from your audience, or engaging them. At the very least, read some of their tweets out loud. This will let them realize that their voice can be heard, and encourage them to join in on your twitter activity.
Step 3: Highlight Great Content
Anytime you get a funny tweet, picture, or share, make sure you open it up and highlight it on your stream. Engage with it as if it were a chat message. Laugh at it if it’s funny. Congratulate them if it’s well put together. Argue with them if that’s what they are asking for. Banter.
It’s best to do this between games or during natural downtime when your audience only has the choice to stare at your face or a loading screen. You’re probably not as cute as you think you are…
Jason likes to “play” with his audience and decide live if the tweet is worth a “like” or “re-tweet”. This creates a bit of a competition and has his audience trying to one-up each other, or put in a great deal of effort in order to get a coveted re-tweet from Jason.
I’ve seen on streams where viewers will take it upon themselves post things to image sharing sites (imgur) and ASK to post it to chat (since Nightbot usually blocks all links). If this happens, you’re missing out on a HUGE opportunity to get more social shares and more viewers. When this happens after you set up your twitter engagement plan, politely tell them no links in chat, but you’ll definitely check it out on twitter if they tweet it to you.
Step 4: Continue To Engage
This is important. You have to make this a recurring relationship. Engage with your stream both on Twitch and on the social media platform that you use.
It has to be consistent so people know their voice will be heard. Each time there’s a pause in the action on your stream, pop twitter up and engage for a few seconds.
Your audience will begin to interact with you on Twitter. And this will begin to follow a natural growth of people sharing meme’s and content relevant to your stream.
Stop Hoping Your Viewers Just Show Up
If you’re just streaming every day hoping that your viewers are going to randomly show up… you’re gonna have a rough time.
Now you have a strategy that is easy to implement to not only build your audience, but also to make your stream more unique, entertaining, and engaging for the audience.
You’ll be able to start building a community and control the destiny of your streams growth.
Is this the only thing you should be doing? Hell no. But this is a great start.