SOCIAL MEDIA
Ultimate guide for Streamers

This is the ultimate social media guide for streamers in 2020.

Have you recently started your Twitch channel and are looking for ways to grow it? Or have you been streaming for a while and want to see if you can build a bigger community and reach your Parter goals.

  • How to use Instagram to grow your channel
  • Why you shouldn’t be ignoring YouTube
  • How to grow your Twitter following
  • Why Facebook Groups are great for streamers

Let’s get started.

Who am I and why should you care?

Over the past 7 years, I have worked in the marketing and social media industry helping multiple businesses, agencies and charities grow their social media channels. This entire time I have been working on podcasts, live streaming projects, producing music and writing blog posts that have seen hundreds of thousands of views + plays. So, when it comes to social media marketing, I know what I’m talking about.

In this ultimate guide to social media for streamers, I’m going to show you everything I’ve learned and try help you as much as possible.

Why should you care about social media?

I get it, you’re busy… Streaming is a time-intensive project and who has time to sit on Twitter all day, edit multiple YouTube videos a week, run a Discord server and post some pretty photos on Instagram? Ultimately if you want this to be a success. You do.

This doesn’t mean you need to forget to sleep and start eating ramen at your desk every night. But you do need to prioritise your time to focus on this a little bit every single week.

Let’s see what you need to begin with.

What channels are you going to learn about?

Click on the image to zoom to the channel-section below!

CHAPTER ONE
INSTAGRAM

In this chapter, we’re going to cover why Instagram should be your number one social media focus.

We’ll show you through the basics such as making sure your profile is optimised for growth.

And we’ll go through how best to stand out in 2020.

How to Promote your Twitch Stream on Instagram

Instagram is the 3rd biggest social media platform in the world. With over 1 billion monthly users. This makes you being on the platform a necessity. Instagram has not historically been a place where streamers spent a lot of their time promoting themselves or building their profiles… but that’s all about to change.

What is Instagram and why should you care?

Taken from sproutsocial.com/insights/instagram-stats/

With over 100 million photos being uploaded every day, it may seem like an impossible dream to stand out on Instagram. And while it may be difficult, it’s not impossible.

Too many times I see accounts with incomplete profile bios, no URL link and a different profile picture to one their viewers may expect to see. These small things can make a huge difference in somebody following you or not. To give you the best chance of success, you need to make sure your Instagram profile is absolutely perfect.

Building your Instagram profile

Building an Instagram profile isn’t a difficult job, and you should keep improving it as you develop as a creator. But you do need to spend time thinking about what your audience want to see, or how the followers you wish you had want to see before following.

Maybe what you see below is wrong, or maybe it’s not right for you. That’s fine, but spend time understanding what is right for you. Look at what companies, games, other streamers you admire and other creators you admire use.

Oh and the use of emojis to break text up… absolutely perfect to clearly describe who you are and what you do.

Alright bad example... but it's mine 😉

We’ll discuss Instagram stories below, but highlights take a very prominent position on a creator’s Instagram, so be sure to use them. And be sure to use them well.

Your story highlights should be exactly that; highlights of your stories. These need to display the very best, funniest stories you’ve created so far, and be organised so people know what to expect per each grouping.

Don’t use them to just store every story you’ve ever posted, that’s not what they are for and really… how many followers really want to see that? You’ll know what is best to go here.

Treat your highlights like they are named, and not an archive of everything

Who is doing it well already?

Before we talk about what you could be uploading to Instagram, let’s look at what other big streamers are doing. The below list is not for you to compare and copy, but to highlight what is already working well for popular streamers. Never let their popularity paralyse your creativity because you feel like you can never be bigger.

All streamers started off with no viewers, they all spent years working hard to find their niche, their audience and ultimately their success. This will translate into Instagram followers who want to see more of what the streamer likes, or does on a daily basis.

I’ve spent time looking at hundreds – if not thousands – of streamers over the past six months, and pulled out five for us to look at. These are not the best, but they each give an interesting insight into what you could do on Instagram.

1. Lirik

www.instagram.com/lirik/

The OG of Twitch streaming, Lirik is known to be a huge cat fan, with many of his emotes and designs to be cat-themed. Therefore it is not surprising that Lirik is using Instagram for mostly cat pictures. What is interesting to see if that these photos are both high-quality and follow a consistent ‘theme’.

As Lirik has got bigger on Twitch and Instagram, his content has changed to include selfies, video game video clips and other personal interests including food. While the selfies don’t do as well as his gaming clips (or cats…) they humanise Lirik to his followers and make him feel much more like a real person they can chat to when he is live on Twitch.

This authenticity is extremely important on Instagram, and becoming a much bigger trend after years of over-filtered, photo-shopped images and selfies dominating our feeds.

Let’s take a look at another who uses Instagram to humanise themselves away from the ‘brand’ and more as a real person.

2. Valkyrae

https://www.instagram.com/valkyrae/

Valkyrae’s Instagram is a great mix of personality, gaming highlights, photos with other huge gaming influencers, fashion/merch photography and the instant winner… dog photos.

Ninja is one of the largest streamers on Instagram, and although he mostly posts short gaming clips from his streamers (Fortnite and more Fortnite), he also throws in some personality posts with his dog (awhhhh) and daily activities outside of his stream.

Showing off your IRL life is important for viewers getting to know who you are behind the screen, and allows viewers to understand the different things you enjoy.

Full of personality with portrait photos and selfies, Pokemane’s Instagram channel is a colourful place that ties in with her on-stream nature.

Pokimane also uses her Instagram as a place where she can promote her clothing merchandise. It’s perfectly suited to the Instagram audience who crave great imagery and cool clothes. Which also makes the Instagram following the best to ‘sell’ your merch or creations to.

5. CourageJD

Courage’s Instagram feels like a sports-person account – which is absolutely perfect for the audience who follows him across his different channels (especially YouTube Gaming!)

https://www.instagram.com/couragejd/

Some streamers are also competitive players and travel the world playing in tournaments, in Allie’s case this means she can utilise it and get some stunning photographs from different locations!

Summary…

If we are honest, not many of them are doing anything super special that you wouldn’t be able to do yourself.

  • Lirik posts pictures of cats, his gaming footage, selfies and food
  • Valkyrae is humanising her ‘brand’ into personal selfies, showing off her personality
  • Ninja is posting short videos of Fortnite and personal posts
  • Allie and Pokimane are utilising great portrait photography, photo’s with other gaming influencers, travel photos and selfies…

So, how do you stand out? Do you do something different? Something similar or something better? 

What content to post on Instagram?

Are you showing cool or funny video clips from your Stream? Taking amazing pictures of your setup? How about trying to film your mouse/keyboard while you play a game? (yeah I’m not sure how you’d do that either…).

But get creative!

There are a million things you could be taking a photo of, or filming. You just need to think outside the box, and tie it into what you normally do on your stream!

Storytelling is the what content creators are all about, so finding ways to tell ‘stories’ through your Instagram posts is worth considering.

Don’t neglect writing long descriptions on each post if appropriate!

Let me know what has worked best for on Twitter or Instagram!

Looking for more ways to promote your Twitch channel?

41 Ways To Promote Your Stream

Finding your niche

When I started the Emergence, I was trying to find the best, written content for Twitch streamers to learn more about getting started and growing their audiences – but there was nothing that gave streamers the full picture. While there were some fantastic guides on YouTube and articles, nothing had fully gone through every single question a streamer may have.

I believe there are three ways to find your niche:

Who are you?

Be yourself. Yes you can fake a character or a personality but it will never truly be you and never be authentic. Being yourself has an added advantage in that it is a niche itself. Nobody is you, nobody can do the things you do, the way you do them, and nobody can think of things the way you do. Be yourself.

Research everything

Read, watch, listen to everything that you are interested in. In this case, watch a ridiculous amount of Twitch streamers to understand what ‘niche’ they are working on, see which streamers are standing out on Twitter, on YouTube and in press. Critically think while you watch then, what made that funny? What is their branding like? What makes them stand out from the other people on Twitch? How do they run their social media accounts?

Where are the gaps? Is there a streamer who speed-runs Diabo? Is there a creator who paints while they play Sims? Is there a hilarious streamer playing Battlefront 1? There are always going to be gaps, and there are always going to be ways to stand out by doing something better. There are thousands of PUBG streamers coming top 25 every game, but do you win nearly every game? There is a niche in itself.

Test it and learn!

You can only find out if all your ideas, your personality and your research was right by getting started, doing it, and learning from what is happening.

Sometimes finding your niche may take a long time, this is my actual website visibility over a year...

Engaging with other people

This is simply a case of being nice and friendly to those who make content like you do. For example, you find another streamer doing the same thing as you — they are not competition — they are a potential friend who may be up for collaborating and playing games with you!

In ThisIsFoobar’s case, he should follow all the Xbox Destiny 2 players on Instagram and engage with them. Watch what they are doing, do it better or do it differently!

And if he doesn’t find any Xbox Destiny players on Instagram… Sounds like there is space for one!

Do’s:

  • Follow relevant people whose content you actually like seeing
  • Leave thoughtful, interesting comments on their Instagram posts
  • Watch their stories — they’ll see you becoming a loyal ‘viewer’ and wonder who you are and why

Don’ts:

  • Don’t just spam follow and unfollow
  • Don’t leave comments on all their videos saying “this is cool” — you sound like a really boring robot
  • Don’t slide into their DMs asking for them to follow you, watch you or play with you

Instagram Stories

We can’t talk about Instagram without asking the question, are you using Instagram stories?

With over 300 million daily active users, Instagram Stories are a popular way for people to show off the less edited, more behind-the-scenes photos and videos throughout their day. Pictures are either taken from within the app or imported from your camera roll. They last 24 hours before disappearing so consider how they can be used for limited time events (such as going live pictures/videos).

Instagram Story ideas for streamers:

  • Why not do a short video tour of your setup, showing what you use and how you use it
  • Announce you are going live and what you are going to be playing that day
  • Q&A’s from your viewers
  • Review the latest game you are playing
  • Talk about what got you into gaming or streaming
  • Use the poll functionality
  • Reminisce about old games
  • Use any IRL events as an opportunity to create loads of Stories
  • Give a shoutout to other streamers and gamers you love
  • What are your other passions? TV shows? Films? Music? Dancing Cooking? Share it with your viewers!
  • Use the stickers and GIFs to liven up your photos
  • Don’t forget to use the Story Highlight feature, where they’ll live forever on your profile! Group these into separate ‘themes’.

IGTV

Instagram’ vertical video platform allows anybody with an Instagram account to publish videos up to 10 minutes long. Although it mostly sits in a separate app, Instagram has been allowing videos posted from IGTV to appear in your main Instagram feed. It also shows up as a circle panel in the same place as Story Highlights.

Although videos are currently not able to be recorded live, they have become the perfect place to re-purpose existing content in a vertical video format. Think about using your best YouTube and Twitch Clips on Instagram Video…

Although vertical video is not everybody’s favourite thing — It’s clearly what works best within Instagram.

IGTV videos can be found on a separate app or within the main Instagram app as profile videos. You can learn more about it here.

PS, I reckon the IGTV app will disappear soon and it’ll just be video on Instagram.

CHAPTER TWO
YOUTUBE

In this chapter, we explain why spreading your live streaming content to the other video giant, YouTube, is incredibly important and how it will help grow your Twitch channel.
But firstly, we need to talk about how to grow a YouTube channel… and the best ways to do this in 2019.

How To Grow Your YouTube Channel

There are three types of Twitch streamers on YouTube, the first downloads their Twitch videos and uploads them to YouTube with a title something along the lines of “LOL Twitch Highlights January 31st”.

The second streamer is editing together the best moments from their stream into an actual highlight reel.

While these both work as a way for Twitch viewers catching up with content they may have missed, it is unlikely to grow your YouTube channel beyond your existing viewers.

The third type of streamer is considering how they can use their Twitch streams to create content that is both entertaining to watch live AND watch an edited version of that content on YouTube. They are also making content outside of Twitch and uploading to YouTube. They understand how the YouTube algorithm works and what the meta is.

While you may constantly read ‘re-purpose your best Twitch content’ over and over, it’s a lot more complicated and hard. But without the hard work, how are you ever going to be better than the thousands of other streamers?

So, how do you promote your Twitch channel on YouTube and grow your viewership?

Learn the algorithm

Ever wondered why everyone’s YouTube videos are between 10 – 20 minutes long? This isn’t because of adverts, but it’s because of your new best friend; watch time.

YouTube ranks videos by a large variety of factors, but the most important is the amount of time viewers are watching your content.

Understanding that getting viewers to watch another of your videos after the first one shows YouTube that your videos should be shown more in the recommended feed. This coupled with a high watch time is a big thumbs up to the YouTube algorithm.

While there is functionality that can help you build watch time (such as End Cards and properly utilising playlists in YouTube), the honest way to increase your watch time is making great content that people want to watch.

The YouTube ‘meta‘ changes all the time, so pay attention to what is working for other channels and creators and test if it will work for you.

Thumbnails and titles

Incredible thumbnails and titles can make or break a YouTube video. Click-through rate from their homepage feed or a search term is a big ranking factor in YouTube, so the more people you can get to click through to your video, the better.

Oh and remember; most people watch via mobile so they need to be readable on a small phone screen!

Hook people instantly with your edits

The beginning of your video needs to hook them in instantly, don’t throw up a logo and dubstep music!

Your editing needs to eliminate distractions by keeping it snappy and full of great moments. Don’t drag it out with quiet boring moments, people will leave.

Focus on one particular area

We talk about finding a niche constantly on our Twitch guides, but understanding the audience you want to reach with your YouTube content is a whole different challenge. Plus, it helps the algorithm understand who to share your video with if you create content that fits within one ‘style’, ‘genre’ or ‘niche’.

Don’t forget to test non-gaming content. Your viewers may want to see behind-the-scenes or ‘vlog’ like content from you!

Develop videos as a series, utilising playlists. Imagine you are building a back catalogue of TV shows…

YouTube is a social network too

Don’t forget to engage with your audience on YouTube too. People forget that YouTube is as much a social network as Twitter and Instagram. Reply to comments, like them, pin them. Use the community tab and feature other channels on yours

Collaborate with other creators

Whether they have YouTube/Twitch followings or not, if they can make your content more engaging in a YouTube video, then try it and see what happens!

Other tips to grow your YouTube channel as a streamer

  • Make sure your channel is branded the same as your Twitch and is high quality
  • Be consistent – this is the same advice as Twitch
  • Put a call to actions in your video, ask for subscribers, give a like etc. But don’t do this super often
  • Use YouTube’s own Creator Academy to learn as much as possible

Oh and don’t forget, streaming on YouTube itself is a thing… a very big thing.

CourageJD, Valkyrae and others have made the move over there and are building big audiences. Considering how streaming on YouTube alongside the existing 2 billion people watching non-live content every month, it’s a huge opportunity that you should not ignore.

Join Your Fellow Streamers​

A free monthly email to help you know what to stream

CHAPTER THREE
TWITTER

In this chapter, we’re going to cover why Twitter is the networking king & queen for Twitch streamers, and an amazing way to engage with the wider Twitch community.

Let’s run through getting your profile set up for success and how best to create content for Twitter itself.

How Do I Promote My Twitch Stream On Twitter?

How do you promote your stream on Twitter? This guide runs through setting up your Twitter channel, how you should be promoting yourself on Twitter and some ideas to use across Twitter Video and Periscope.

If you a Twitch streamer who loves Twitter and are already active on it, then it makes complete sense for you to focus your time on it.

Your Profile

What should your Twitter profile look like? Firstly consider your profile image and cover image. These should be consistent with one another in their ‘theme’ and colour, and either display cool branding, important information (such as your schedule and times) or your mission (such as the below example from Canva).

How big should your profile images be?

  • Profile image — 400px by 400px
  • Cover image — 1500px by 500px

Biography:

Your bio is limited to 160 characters and should be something that goes with your overall brand. Are you a funny character, then make sure it is something funny.

Website link

Link to the most important place for you online — be it your Twitch channel, website, Instagram or merchandise shop.

Oh and don’t link to anything like your donation page…

Theme colour

Simply put, make sure this is the same colour as your existing branding across other social media channels and your Twitch. You can pick one of the set colours or enter your own custom colour.

Why should you do this? Because people make split-second judgement and decisions based on things their eyes can quickly see, for example colour. If it feels wrong to them, looks different to what they expected or they just don’t like it… they’ll leave.

Pinned tweet

The final option is… your pinned tweet. This is a tweet you feel truly represents and shares the content you make. Maybe it’s a further explanation of who you are, your Twitch schedule, some fantastic content that acts as a strong introduction or maybe just something that went viral once and resonated strongly with people.

twitter.com/ryew101

Your Tweets

Twitter Tweets are 280 characters in length, can link to URLs such as live videos, website articles and your Twitch channel and can also be video, photos or GIFs. Now we’ve got the simple part out of the way… what do you tweet about?

I’ve always considered Twitter as a real-life party, everyone is talking to one another, sharing things or making their own statements. Who are you going to listen to, and who are you going to ignore?

The person you are going to engage with is the one talking about interesting things, asking open-ended questions or providing value to you — so make sure that engaging person is you!

You’re going to ignore the person who is constantly talking about their stream, their content and basically just screaming “LOOK AT ME”

Meme-culture is popular throughout the internet, but with Twitter’s inherent viral-ness build in, use your photoshop, video editing skills or pop-culture gaming knowledge to create a short piece of content (text, image or video) that users will find hilarious.

Gary Vaynerchuk gets it right with his “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” strategy. You want to provide value, entertain, educate, provide more value, then 💥boom💥, here’s content or here’s something to sell. How many times do you jab? Personally, I don’t believe there is a set number of ways to ‘jab’ your audience — this will depend on your tone of voice, your genre, demographic and knowledge of your audience’s patience.

Social media is not a way to promote your stuff, it’s a conversation and a way to tell your story.

If your story helps to promote your content… then it’s a good story.

Twitter Video

Because Twitter is such a fast-moving platform, these videos need to be short. Consider something under 90 seconds. (of course, rules are made to be broken, so test something longer, and test something shorter to see whether your audience engages more with it!).

Twitter’s videos are auto-playing, so you want something that will grab their attention straight away as they scroll quickly through the newsfeed. Consider colour, thumbnails and the copy you could put with the video.

https://twitter.com/ashnichrist

With the fast-paced nature of Twitter, comes with important of the time of day. Consider what your audience is possibly doing when you are posting tweets (or scheduling them in advance). Twitch streamers have an advantage in that they can get to know their viewers — so understanding their daily life habits, when they are online, their age and their nationality will be crucial in understanding when to post something.

For example, in the morning they are likely catching up on yesterdays’ news, looking for something to entertain or motivate them on the commute (and help wake them up). Throughout the day they likely have less time to watch longer videos as they’ll be at work, so shorter videos posted around lunchtime or during typical break times will do well.

In the evening’s people are relaxing and looking to switch off — so consider the habits many of your viewers will have during this time. The below screenshot from Twitter themselves gives some fantastic ideas for anyone thinking about this.

Twitter themselves recommend creating tutorials and making sure every video has a story to tell. Keep this in mind if you are creating simple highlight reels from your Twitch content.

  • Does it tell a story?
  • Does it entertain, inspire or motivate the viewer?
  • Does it educate them in some way?

We are hardwired to want to find value in what we do, whether it is education or just escapism, it needs to do something more than just be a showcase of them (probably only for them).

Who is doing it well already?

While we’ve talked about what you could be doing, we could look at what others are doing that work brilliantly on Twitter… but you should never compare or copy what somebody else does.

Happiness equals reality minus expectation — Tom Magliozzi

Other streamer’s success should only highlight what is already working well for them on Twitter. Never let somebody else’s popularity paralyse your creativity because you feel like you can never be bigger. We live in a world where the opportunity is endless.

All streamers started off with no viewers, they all spent years working hard to find their niche, their audience and ultimately their success. For example, how did Ninja become famous?

Oh and let’s be honest; Paladin Amber is the queen of Twitter content (and without re-purposing her content from Twitch to Twitter… wouldn’t be one of the fastest growing streamers over the summer of 2019).

Bloody trash goblins…

CHAPTER FOUR
FACEBOOK

In this chapter, we’re can’t forget the one and only Facebook. It may feel like only your mum and grandmother use it every day, but on average 1.59 billion people use it every single day.

We’ll go through how to set up your page and create content specifically for the Facebook audience.

Oh and why you shouldn’t forget you can stream on Facebook too…

How Do I Promote My Twitch Stream On Facebook?

Honestly, this is going to be a short one. Facebook now has it’s own streaming platform called Facebook Gaming. This means that promoting your non-native stream is going to be relatively difficult unless you are using an existing Facebook Group for Twitch Streamers.

If you find yourself with an audience coming from Facebook, it could be worth you testing streaming on Facebook Gaming and see how it goes for you! Facebook have recently made some big moves signing streamers such as Disguised Toast and Corinna Kopf.

While the number of streamers is low at 153,000 (compared to Twitch’s which varies between 2.2 million and 3.2 million), it means it is a much less competitive platform for you to grow.

Re-purposing your content for Facebook

If you are not looking to grow your own Facebook Gaming channel, but instead want to promote your Twitch channel, then re-purposing your short clips and longer highlights into native Facebook videos will be your best chance of creating engaging content that the Facebook algorithm will love! 

What else to post on Facebook?

Use all the Facebook post features to test what works best for your audience into the algorithm. Be it questions about gaming, streaming and everything in between or things you are interested in yourself that your audience will engage with (for example; music, politics, history or graphic design!)

Don’t forget Facebook stories! While it may not feel like anybody uses them because you don’t. According to Facebook, stories have now reached 500 million daily active users.

Streaming on Facebook

As I said earlier, Facebook Gaming is now a significant destination for those looking for streaming and live gaming content. So if you think you’ll build an audience on Facebook rather than Twitch – give it a go!

Existing streamers say they earn more money on Facebook Gaming than on Twitch!

Are there other channels you should spend time on?

There are so many other potential channels you can grow your Twitch stream on.

You may think it’s silly because it hasn’t been done before. But doesn’t that mean it’s just waiting for you to do it?

If you are already using these platforms on a weekly basis, it makes sense to focus some of that entertainment time and share the amazing content that is your Twitch channel!

  • Snapchat – exclusive behind-the-scenes content for your viewers
  • TikTok – It’s not just memes and silly dance moves, TikTok may start off looking like a fun toy similar to Vine, but it’s about to become much more than that.
  • Pinterest – do you create anything visual on your channel? Share it on Pinterest! Pinterest can drive a huge amount of people to a website!
  • SoundCloud – do you create anything audio on your channel? Use SoundCloud to share it further
  • Quora – are you a gaming education channel? Why not teach people using your typing skills & words rather than your voice?
  • Anchor – want to start a podcast? Anchor is the easiest and best way to create an audio show straight through your phone!

There are many, many more social media channels you could see success on depending on your skill-set and where your audience spends their time.

Coming soon!

I’m going to continue to add to this guide with additional guides on Discord, TikTok and Pinterest!

If you want to find out when we drop new updates to this guide, sign up to our email newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/geVqU5

Wondering what The Emergence is?

The Emergence is a streamer education website. It’s run by Mark who has worked in marketing for over 7 years and has been a gamer since the Amiga days when he learnt the alphabet by playing a Mickey Mouse game.

You can find more of what we do here:

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