Choosing a community on Twitch as it stands now
Nearly 3 weeks ago, Twitch released the Communities beta, a new tool which aimed to help broadcasters and viewers connect via mutual interests.
Communities are a new discovery tool to help streamers connect to the most relevant audiences and help viewers discover streams that fit their interests easier and faster than ever.
At the initial release of the beta, broadcasters seemed to arbitrarily create and choose communities to stream in. As the dust settles from the launch 3 weeks ago, the potential of the communities feature has started to shine through. I myself have found quite a few new broadcasters that I now frequent, that I found through communities which I most likely wouldn’t have discovered previously. Although with the communities beta still in its infancy, many broadcasters are uncertain of what community to choose, or how to choose the best community for them or their target audience. There are many different approaches you as a broadcaster may take, and we’re going to explore some these.
The first route you can take in deciding which community you should stream to, is by answering one or both of these simple questions.
How would you describe your stream in a single sentence?
Who is your target audience?
It can be as simple as that. How did you answer it? Did you say something along the lines of:
“A positive, welcome place for people” “A stream that plays a variety of different games” “A chill relaxing place people can go” “I’m a speedrunner” “A place for people from the same region as I am”
These answers are some of the more popular, and simplest to show that there are already prevalent communities that you can join to have greater and more specified exposure for the type of content you provide.
But I provide both a positive place for people to go and play a variety of games. What do I do now since I can only choose 1 community to stream to at a time?
This is a really valid question and where some broadcasters have a hard time deciding which community to choose. First avenue you could take, is by deciding which is the most prevalent to either you, or your target audience. Do you put a higher emphasis on advertising that you’re stream is a positive place, or advertising in a place where people looking for positive streamers would be? Perhaps you put a higher emphasis advertising yourself as someone who plays a multitude of games, or advertising your stream in a place where people are looking for a constant change of games. You’re the broadcaster, and you’re the best person to say what type of content you’re providing.
The Community I want to put myself in is way down in the list, should I join it or join the community that’s also relevant to me that’s higher in the list?
If you’re trying to min/max your exposure then don’t. Things are too inconsistent to min/max, as all it takes is 1 broadcaster joining or leaving a community to change everything. Lets take this scenario, I’m about to start my broadcast where I’ll be painting the most amazing picture of my life (which definitely isn’t a stick figure Kappa) but I’m trying to decide between the painting community and the positivity community. I really want to advertise myself to people that are looking for painting but its so far down on the list because theres only 20 people streaming painting. If I’m trying to min/max my exposure then id likely join the positivity community even though I would rather be in painting. Lets then say the Bob Ross channel comes online, well now there’s a 2000 viewer stream that’s in the painting community. That community just shot way up in the list, and I’m not going to realize it because I’m streaming. I could've been in both my preferred community and been in a top community. In the end, you should join the community that you think is the best fit for you. If you do this then you’ll also likely have a higher viewer retention rate, than if you chose one that is less suited to you’re type of content.
What about specific game centered communities?
If there’s a community that’s practically ported over from the game directory, then it should probably be avoided. There’s not much sense in being in the same type of directory twice. Now sub-directories on the other hand are a great choice, like the competitive Overwatch community if you’re playing competitive matches. If people are looking for general Overwatch gameplay and not necessarily competitive, then they’ll be looking in the game directory for Overwatch streams, and not communities. Joining just a plain community for a specific game may give more exposure over the game directories counterpart at the moment, but it won’t be like this for very long. As communities grow, generic communities for specific games will also become over saturated, and it’ll become irrelevant.
The only exception to this would be broadcasters that are doing content about a specific game, but not playing the game itself. For example a creative streamer, they would be under creative game directory, but the Overwatch community if they were creating something that is Overwatch related.
However, a game series community would be also be a great choice. Lets take a look at Pokémon. There are a ton of Pokémon games, and Pokémon fans have a community centered around it. No matter what the Pokémon game, if someone is looking for a Pokémon stream they’ll have a one-stop shop to see all the variety of streamers playing all the different Pokémon games.
Communities centered around established broadcasters, and Twitch teams.
Communities that are centered around established broadcasters and Twitch teams are another great choice to choose. If you enjoy a broadcaster, then anyone looking through that community also likes them, then you and your potential viewer already have something in common and have possibly already have conversed before. Streaming in a broadcaster’s or teams community also may give those established broadcasters a chance to find people in their communities that also stream.
At first, choosing a community to stream to may seem difficult if you’re not sure what would be best for you, but there are a couple ways to go about it. Regardless of what approach you take, in the end you’re the broadcaster and you’re the best person to say what community is a good fit for the content you provide.