#RiseAndGrind #StreamYoSelf #Crossclip. There's a lot to know about social media as a streamer. In this article, we'll break down how to use it effectively, and how to (hopefully) turn it into a viewer-making machine for your platform. We ride!
Always start with the why. Why you ask? Because having a strong idea of what you're trying to achieve will inform every decision you make. It's no different on social media. Is this the right kind of content to post? Am I posting too frequently? Is this the right platform? A clear understanding of your goals will help answer these questions. Start with what you're trying to get out of it, then mold what you put in.
For most streamers, the why of social media comes down to viewership. Specifically, user acquisition. Twitch does not have the discoverability that platforms like TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter does. On these platforms, any post can go viral and yield the creator thousands of new eyeballs. On Twitch, it can be hard to get discovered, even if you're streaming for hours on end (see our other article on growing your Twitch channel).
Social media then serves a way for people to discover your content. It's about grabbing attention, entertaining, then getting those viewers over to your Twitch channel. The why of your efforts behind posting on socials is to feed the pool of people who discover you on Twitch. If that aligns with what you're looking for, read on. If it doesn't, also read on.
Like you do with your channel (if you're not, then you should), it's important to set goals for yourself. Nothing motivates people more than working to a specific, measurable goal. For our purposes, an example of a good goal would be to post 5 times per week. It needs to be something that you can have direct impact over, something you can hold yourself accountable to, and that, if achieved, would signify progress.
In the remainder of this article, we'll discuss a few strategies for how to grow your following.
There is no shortage of advice on how to create an effective brand. Be simple. Be complex. Fit in, but be unique. In this section, we'll hone in on one piece of advice that is key when it comes to your brand.
First, I don't think the power of your own brand can be overstated. It's important, particularly when you're trying to attract viewers on social media. The first step is to decide what your channel represents. A channel for podcasting will be branded much differently than a gaming channel, just as a channel for live sports would be different from a travel stream. Look to auxiliaries in your space for inspiration, and (I know it's easier said than done), but try to emulate their style with your own unique twist.
We'll touch on this piece of advice again later, but I implore you:
As you're building your brand, it's important to decide on what it is, then run with it. Every time you change your logo, your setup, your video intro, your brand is less recognizable than it was before. Sometimes these changes are necessary, and they should always be an upgrade. The thinking goes that you will lose some mindshare, but in the long run it will pay off as your brand is more recognizable, professional, and unique to your content.
However, if you're changing your assets too frequently, it will be like starting from scratch every time. Viewers almost always need to interact with your content multiple times before they find you on Twitch, and if they didn't know the video they saw today was from the same streamer as the one they saw yesterday, it will take them longer to convert.
So, do your research and build your brand for the type of content you produce and the audience you want to attract, and then be consistent. Use the same logo across all your socials, the same handles on Twitter that you do on TikTok, the same intro on YouTube as you do on Facebook, the same sign off on reddit as you would on your own blog.
If you're looking for a place to get started with your branding, Streamlabs offers handy tools to create visual assets you'll need for your socials. Things like a logo maker, Twitch panel maker, YouTube thumbnail editor, and an intro maker.
Time is your most precious resource, and as a streamer you don't have much. There will always be a constant pressure to be live as much as you can, but setting aside a period of time for social media will pay dividends in the long run. Think of it this way – if you stream for 8 hours, that's 8 hours someone could interact with your content. But if you streamed for 7 hours and used the last hour to edit that stream into content for the week, then you have 7 hours of potential viewership + continuous opportunity to attract a viewer via your videos. They live on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram forever (or until this simulation is over), getting seen by new viewers even while you sleep. So take the hour to up your content production. It's worth it.
The question is, where to post your content? Unfortunately, there is no shortcut to success. You need to research the target audience of your channel. Who are you trying to appeal to? Where do they live on the internet? And how can you get noticed in those areas? Are they on TikTok, Reddit, Twitter?
For example, maybe there's a subreddit for a game you play with a highly engaged community. Maybe there's a niche blog that posts highlights and it asks for submissions from viewers. Understand what's different about your channel, who your viewers are, where they lurk on the interwebs, and find them there.
Your social media strategy must also include the larger platforms. YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. Posting your content on TikTok is an absolute must for creators, as their discoverability continues to be unmatched. Having a presence on these platforms gives your channel legitimacy, and casts the widest net possible to attract new followers.
Now, the astute reader might ask themselves, how am I to do all of this and stream consistently? The hour analogy from earlier is looking more and more farfetched. We created Crossclip to help with this exact problem. Posting highlights from your stream to social media is arduous and time consuming. Crossclip is a simple video editing software that makes it easy to convert horizontal footage (i.e. gameplay/your stream) into vertical videos ideal for mobile-first platforms. From hours to minutes, editing your content has never been easier.
For more information on Crossclip, check out this article on getting started. If you're looking for specifics on how to upload to each platform, check out these articles on uploading to TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram. And if you're an absolute noob struggling to get the clips from your stream, check out these articles on how to make a Twitch clip, and how clips work on YouTube.
Once your videos are created, my last piece of advice in this section is to utilize hashtags effectively. More than being #annoying, they're imperative for platforms to tag your videos and maximize the chance they'll be discovered. For more info on hashtags, check out this guide to TikTok hashtags.
This is heavily tied to branding, but it's imperative that you're consistent with the content you produce. That's not to say all your posts should be the same, but it means that if someone sees a piece of your content, enjoys it, and then sees another one down the road, it should tie back in their minds to the first one they saw. You need to affix yourself into their psyche, and the best way to do that is by being consistent.
Whether it's a video intro, a manner of speaking, the cadence of your posts, or the color scheme you use, the more you can carve out a unique, recognizable slice of the pie for yourself be consistent, the better chance you'll have of growing your social media, and as a consequence, your streaming channel.
Your fan's attention is a zero sum game. If they're watching other videos on TikTok, they're not thinking of you. That means you need to be constantly working to catch their attention, and then once you have it, to keep it. I feel like I'm making the same point over and over again, but to effectively grow you'll need to be consistently posting.
Remember: consistency, consistency, constancy.
Let's recap what we've learned in this post. There are several steps to growing your social media as a creator.
1. Think about what your goal is, what you're trying to achieve with your channel and your social media accounts, and use that goal to inform your decisions. Create measurable objectives and hold yourself accountable.
2. Create your brand. Think about what makes your channel unique, what new flavor you can add to the pie.
3. Understand your viewers, where they lurk, and what types of content they digest, and be present in those areas.
4. Be consistent. When you've figured out the rest and it's time for execution, be disciplined and reliable. This is a career. Treat it like one.
I hope you've learned something from this article. Another great resource, as mentioned above, is to follow the channels you would like to emulate (emulate, not copy, as copying would not be unique).
I look forward to seeing your clips plaster my newsfeed.