Twitter is one of those tools that always gets mentioned no matter if it’s about networking, promotion, marketing or an array of other things. It’s the go to answer for almost anything these days. Most common is that you should “use it”, what does that even mean? Well that’s why this article is going to be all about using Twitter for Twitch streamers.
- Twitter, what’s it really good for?
- Create content on Twitter
- How do you utilize Twitter
- Hashtags as a tool
- What you shouldn’t do
Twitter, what is it really good for?
When it’s mentioned it’s said it’s important but never explain how it’s should/can be used. Now I understand that most streamers actually don’t know and those that do, know more about their own situation then yours. That’s why it’s difficult to give a step by step guide for everyone. While it’s easy to say “use it” or “have fun with it” or “share something shareable”, and they’re all true statements it takes a lot more to understand what can work for you.
Twitter has it’s roots in e-mail blasting. Basically it’s the same as reply to all on your inbox but without the negative stuff that comes with that. They then send that forward to someone else. Why did they send it? They thought it was funny, interesting and that it would bring the same to other on their list. Much haven’t changed when it comes to Twitter. People re-tweet what they think is valuable to them. What that is however is where the work comes in. What’s worth something to you might not be for someone else. That’s why understanding your channel and what type of broadcaster you are is so important. If you don’t then how do you know what’s relevant to your stream? You can kind of walk around this by being a variety stream, you’ve sold your viewer on YOU anyway so they’re there to hear more about you.
However there’s no need to share everything on your Twitter feed. That goes for both variety streamers or not. Even if you’re a variety streamer you’ve probably built your stream on certain aspects of yourself, or even expanded on some of them. That’s not bad thing by the way, there’s nothing wrong with “adding” 10%. You do the same changes depending on what social environment you’re in anyway. You’re one way when you’re with your parents, another with your grandparents, one at work and one with your closest friends. This whole “be yourself” is a bit of bullshit when you think about it. Be the person you want to put forward to your viewers and of course what you’re comfortable with.
What does all that mean to you then? Simply put most streamers use Twitter as a message delivery system or hashtag spam. It’s not really your fault it’s probably because someone have told you that’s the cool thing to do on Twitter. While that might work in someways, as in when reaching out to your community and that’s probably where you’ve been active. However that type of marketing won’t work when you have 10 followers. It’s not going to be the same conversation and you want to be apart of the conversation.
Create content on Twitter
So how do we become part of the conversation or even better how do we become the conversation? Utilize the built in features of Twitter; don’t post a link to your Instagram upload a Photo to Twitter, or video or Vine (guess who owns Vine? Twitter). Create a experience on Twitter that can be spread, yeah your cat picture won’t have the same spread as a thought out campaign that leads to your stream. Why haven’t streamers done this before? Probably since it takes time and a lot of effort to pull of the right way. You can do it on a low budget for sure, there’s no doubt but it will take time (and time is money) from you.
So no, Twitter isn’t the main source for you ability to get more viewer. Your content is and while Twitter can spread that content for you it’s Twitch isn’t a stable content (unless it’s a VOD), it’s there for that moment and that moment alone. Yet this is the way that most use Twitter, as a way to post a link to their content but that’s not really going to spread the same amount. What will spread on Twitter is engagement, and when I say it’s a good way to extend your stream you can also think it’s a way to extend your community beyond the chat. Twitch have a lot of engagement in chat and all around the content that you create at that moment, that’s one of the main draws of Twitch. To repeat, no posting a link to your Twitch on your Twitter won’t bring you that much more unless you add context (and even then it’s limited to the amount of follower that are willing to share that tweet). Content gets your viewers not messages.
How do you utilize Twitter
First of all I hope you’re ready to start using Tweetdeck. Secondly you should add a search tab and put in a keyword and filters to start being part of conversations. That will help you find topics about what your stream is about (back at how important to understand what your channel is about/your brand). These conversations is what can get you attention and is a great way to not only network but to interact across into other communities. It’s not about spamming your channel but simply adding value, being helpful, humorous by adding your twist, perspective and context. If you’re not engaging out of your following you will have no reach on Twitter. You can have how many giveaways you want but at the end of the day if you only reach your followers there won’t be anything there.
Hashtags as a tool
Hashtags can be powerful but maybe not in the way you’re thinking. It’s not about adding as many as possible, it won’t up your visibility and will only looked tacked on for the sake of getting attention. What you want to do is look at trends and create/use hashtags that are relevant to you. It’s a lot more important to listen and it’s a lot harder when you’re on a smaller platform and your reach is only on that platform. You probably shouldn’t pay too much attention to the worldwide trend or even local trending hashtags, that’s not where you’re going to get the right people to your Twitter, and eventually to your Twitch channel. You need to do a lot of work and actually look at what other streamers are talking about and the trends on Twitch. For instance during the Bob Ross event there was a lot of opportunities for streamers to become a part of that conversation, and there are new things happening everyday that you can and should be apart of.
What you shouldn’t do
Don’t overshare. Or don’t overshare badly. A photo of your cat might not be what your audience is interested in IF your entire thing is built on being about dogs. Kind of goes against what you’ve built up. If your stream is about cats then go ahead post pictures of your cat, it’s relevant. You can however make a cat relevant for your dog stream if you add context about dogs. It’s all about your spin on the content.
Don’t keep changing your Twitter image all the time and when you do be careful. You might even loose attention and engagement from switching it constantly. Twitter is a noisey place and the only thing that really sets you apart is your thumbnail in someones feed. People don’t only follow you, I hope you know that, so when they follow maybe a hundred or a thousand your image has to break through that. The best way is to use your brand colors and use a image that is easily recognizable as you, be that a avatar, logo, emote or photo. Whatever it is, don’t change it too often.
This was a lot of fun to write and let me know if you want more of these for every social media platform. Then again this is what I sit down and do for my clients sometimes. Of course what I write for them is personalized and is made for them specifically. That’s why I had the line about what works for you might not work for someone else. All you really can do is try and if you fail try something else.
Also I need to focus more on Twitter in the future. Here’s another tidbit, you don’t need to be the best practitioner of a platform to understand that platform better then those that are already using it.
I have a morning meeting tomorrow for a pro bono thing I’m doing, wanted to give back to the youth here in my city. I sadly don’t have a podcast ready for this week either. I might have exhausted as many companies as possible… well I’m talking with a few but they didn’t have any time this month so I had to push that back. Going to try and do as many as possible and then have a last new year episode as the end. For more stuff follow me on Twitter @visiblespeech