Recently, I wrote about optimizing your Twitch wall in order to gain more followers, but how can you go about gaining more concurrent viewers?
As streamers, we are always grateful for even a single viewer taking time out of their day to hang out on our channel. However, it often feels even more rewarding and exciting when the viewer count starts to tick up!
The exact opposite holds true, too: it can be discouraging when it feels like you’re putting on a good show, but the viewers just aren’t trickling in or sticking around. If you feel like you’re currently in a rut, keep calm and read on!
Below are some of my quick tips you can try in order to snag a bigger audience:
Use Social Media to Fight Saturation
Saturation is arguably the biggest challenge that all smaller streamers face. The Twitch community has surged to insane numbers, and the introduction of broadcasting capabilities on next-gen consoles has further increased the number of live streamers vying for attention. With so many other channels out there, getting noticed is difficult! In order to draw people to your channel, you need to use the tools at your disposal, and this includes social media.
If you don’t already have a social media account, I strongly recommend firing one up. Once you have a social media account in place, start putting your channel’s URL on blast whenever you go live. Twitch integrates nicely with Facebook and Twitter, simplifying this process by automatically sending out messages to your followers that you’re currently broadcasting. Take advantage of this handy feature so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to handle this step yourself!
If you don’t have many followers on social media, seek some help from your friends online. Networking is always a smart course of action, especially when trying to grow your Twitch viewership. Find people who share your interests and help promote their posts. They might reciprocate without you asking, but you can always politely ask once you feel you’ve become good enough friends, too. Once you have other people sharing the link to your Twitch channel, the likelihood that viewers venture your way goes up.
Actively Engage Your Audience
Now that you’ve directed viewers to your channel via social media, you need to hold their attention! This can be done by actively engaging with your audience. Welcome new chatters, especially if they are first-time visitors. You can keep them on your channel by greeting them enthusiastically, and it even helps to give them a very brief explanation of who you are, what your channel is about, or what goal you are trying to accomplish during that live stream session. Give them your attention, but don’t bore them with a lengthy novel, either!
Offering your audience ways to be active in the chat is a great way to keep people around. Ask them questions, such as what their thoughts are about the game you are streaming. Not only will this often lead to great interactions between yourself and your viewers, but it can also liven up the chat as viewers agree with and challenge each other’s opinions. Also, never be afraid to throw that high-scoring run in order to properly greet or chat with your audience! However, if you really can’t afford to give your viewers your full attention during some games, there are other ways to keep the chat lively and the viewers hanging around.
Use Twitch Chat Bots to Liven Up Your Chat
One of the great things about Twitch is the multitude of available automated chat bot moderators. These bots not only police your chat and keep it free of toxic spam and language, but some even have the ability to run mini games to offer your audience even more ways to enjoy your channel.
Here are two bots that I utilize on my channel that have proven hugely popular with my viewers:
Not only is Moobot easy to configure for cleaning up unwanted spam links and bad language, but it also comes programmed with some interesting mini games. Viewers can try their hand at a game of harmless, virtual roulette, or they can test their compatibility with anything they can imagine using the !love command (Rick, do you really love the lamp?). I highly recommend taking some time to check out Moobot’s various capabilities.
Moobot also has the ability to play music from within its dashboard, as well as accept song requests from viewers. This latter feature is especially great, as it provides you with yet another way to engage your audience. Whenever someone new drops by your channel, you can instruct him or her to request a song. Moobot will automatically add their song request to the queue, and now you’ve got an individual who will stick around to hear their requested song play on your live stream!
This bot features a user-friendly dashboard that is easy to pick up and program, especially with its optional tutorial. While some of its flashier features remain locked until you pay for them, it is more than usable with its free capabilities alone. There’s a reason why Moobot is one of the most popular bots on the block, and I give it a thumbs up.
Ankhbot packs a variety of the same capabilities as Moobot, but it also features a points/currency system. This is a fantastic feature that has probably increased my viewership and watch durations more than any other.
Essentially, Ankhbot will keep track of how long a viewer is watching your channel. You can program the frequency with which the bot awards points to viewers, such as 1 point for every 5 minutes spent watching. Additionally, you can have the bot award additional points if a viewer was actively chatting during that time frame! This encourages people to not only stick around your channel — driving up your viewer count — but also livens up the chat as they try to add to their point total.
Viewers can then use their accrued points to enter giveaways, play mini games, or place bets on outcomes (like whether or not you win your next game!). You also have the ability to setup “rank” titles that viewers will reach as they hit certain point totals. This further encourages viewers to stick around and rack up as many points as they can to beat out fellow chatters to reach the next rank first.
Ankhbot offers a very deep level of control and customizability, making it my top pick for automated chat bot. While its user interface is definitely more confusing than Moobot’s, it offers you a much wider range of control. I definitely recommend taking some time to check it out and learn the ins and outs of this bot.
Stream On a Consistent Schedule
Setting a stream schedule for yourself and adhering to it is a fantastic way to ensure steady viewer counts. This gives viewers the ability to shape their own schedules around the times that you’ll be live so that they can regularly show up and hang out. It’s a lot more difficult for people to catch your live stream if you pop online at random and inconsistent times, so if you’re striving for regular viewership and higher view counts, be sure to stick to a schedule and post it on your Twitch wall!
Get Out and Try it!
These are just some of the things that even a brand new live streamer can jump in and start doing in order to help boost their viewer count. Never be afraid to put your audience before your record-breaking gameplay in order to build a more loyal fan base. Treasure your regular viewers (and let them know it!), and do your best to welcome newcomers. Encourage viewers to share the link to your stream, and offer them ways to engage with you and each other on a regular basis.
Try out these steps, and hopefully you’ll be kissing the days of dead chat streams goodbye!