Friday, May 24, 2019

3 Easy Tips to Network on Twitch

Improving your stream is always important, but don't let that blind you from the wonderful and vibrant Twitch landscape thriving right outside the walls of your channel. Meeting other streamers and getting to know their communities is seriously important on Twitch. This can gain you new followers, but more importantly you'll be inspired by new ideas, learn different techniques, and make new friends. If you're networking properly, then in a very short time you can cultivate a tight-knit group of Twitch friends who are all willing to help out your stream.

Don't sit around thinking of ways to get followers
quick, just get out there and meet people!
Unfortunately, many new streamers, either afraid to put in work or self-conscious about meeting new people, opt for short-sighted schemes and tricks which ultimately hurt their growth. Follow-for-follow programs will fill your channel with a number of bots or latent accounts, who will never actually watch or engage with your streams. Going into random channels or social media posts and shamelessly self-promoting your own stuff is a great way to get yourself banned from other communities, or possibly even reported. Don't try to cheat your way through the system- it will end up hurting you far more than it helps.

So how do you actually network on Twitch? In the end, it's the same way you'd network in any business scenario:


It's really that simple. As long as you're keeping this core concept behind everything you do, you will go very far when meeting new people on Twitch. Now the big question: how do you actually provide that value? You don't need any extra social media accounts to do it (see the entry 'Twitch Is the Only Social Channel You Need'), and you don't need a whole lot of extra time. Here are a few ways to make sure you're always bringing value when networking on Twitch:


If Spider-Man can find the time, so can you!
Too many new streamers will enter someone's chat only to talk about their own channel. Others will post the same copy/pasted comment in every show they join. Or they'll commit the biggest streaming sin of all: unsolicited self-promotion. They think these strategies are networking, but in reality it's only self-serving. Look, I get it. You're busy. Maybe you don't think you have time to truly engage with other streams all the time without cutting to the chase. You barely have enough time to do your own streams as it is.

But it's not as hard as you think. If you're on a lunchbreak, on the bus, in the bathroom, even getting a cup of coffee, spend a few minutes being a part of someone's show. Make it known that you're there, and provide value by being a real part of their chat. Even if you can't watch, just listening while working, and commenting occasionally based on what the streamer is saying goes a long way. They will certainly appreciate you being present, and you might even learn a thing or two by watching their stream or chat activity.


In my opinion, the 'raid' is the single most important tool for networking on Twitch. This is a command you use when your stream is ending to take all the viewers from your stream and bring them into someone else's channel. You can find out more info about the technical aspects here.

Unleash your inner pirate and RAID, matey!
You're providing an immense amount of value to the other streamer by doing this. Not only are you increasing their view count, but your viewers are coming in with your attached recommendation of that streamer's content. I've noticed that viewers coming from a raid are more likely to follow or engage than ones coming from a normal host or by browsing the Twitch categories. Why? Because they know they're likely to have a good time on this new channel if it comes with your seal of approval. Of course, this means that you're providing lots of value to your viewers too, because not only do they get to keep watching something after you go offline, but they may find another channel they love.

When you raid another channel, it's a mutual exchange- it will help you just as much as it helps the other streamer. First, the channel you're raiding is going to be very thankful that you shared your community with them. They may even follow you or join during one of your upcoming shows. Second, they will automatically know that you are also a streamer. They'll likely ask you about your own channel, and may even post a 'shoutout' command in their chat, linking to you and recommending that their viewers check you out. Third, now that you're acquainted and they know you're willing to help them, they will likely return the favor- you may see them raiding you back in the future.

I raid after every single stream I do, and because I do so many streams- 21 separate broadcasts every week- I've met an overwhelming amount of other streamers in the process. Many of them I've now raided dozens of times, and a good deal of them have become very close friends. Some of my viewers are now big parts of their communities, and some of their viewers are now big parts of mine. I can't recommend raiding highly enough- you should be doing this as often as possible.


At first, you may think that aligning with significantly larger channels is the best idea, because even a small fragment of their followers joining you would make a huge difference in your own follow count. If this is the way you're thinking, your basic reasoning is flawed.

This is because you're trying to get more value from someone than you're giving. 

A streamer with 10x or 100x your follower count would certainly love to get to know you in chat, but they're very rarely going to be interested in joining your streams or raiding your shows. This is, in its simplest form, because you can't likely help them. They're going to want to align with other channels that are a similar size to theirs. That doesn't mean you should be mad at those larger channels, it means you should be doing the same thing.
Looking only for relationships with massively larger
channels is just another way for you to avoid putting
in actual work when networking.

When you're picking people to network with, look for channels within 20% of your follower count. These streamers are more likely to stick by your side in the ensuing months. That's because you're both facing the same challenges. The longer you stream on Twitch, the more you'll realize that everything changes as your channel grows. You will likely run into more trolls in chat at 1,000 followers than you did at 10, and your level of hosting experience at 50 followers will be totally different from your experience level at 5,000. Your follow count doesn't indicate your channel's quality, but it is a surprisingly good measure of where you are on your Twitch journey.

Plus, if you have a similar follower count to someone else, your help will likely make a bigger impact on them. Someone whose stream normally has 10 viewers will appreciate a 10-person raid a lot more than a massively larger channel whose stream normally has 90 viewers. Make sure you're looking for people who can not only help you, but who you can help in return. This will ensure you're forming a truly two-sided bond with someone, rather than just trying to get a piece of what they have.


It might seem like there's no goal to shoot for with my strategy for networking- no metric by which to measure how 'valuable' a connection with another streamer is. That's a good thing! You don't want to be looking for what you get out of a relationship- only what you can give. But I can guarantee that if you truly keep this core concept of bringing value to others at the heart of your networking efforts, you will start noticing big results. People want to help someone they know they can count on. And you in turn will want to help them back. No matter what size your channel is, there are others out there going through the same trials- all you have to do is get out there and find them. So forget the tricks and schemes, and do some two-sided networking!

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