One thing that is very important is being able to engage with your audience. Having that audience chat back with you is almost just as important, if not more. Some viewers will come into a channel and really like the streamer, but become bored if there is no one else to talk to in chat. Depending on the game and the type of streamer you are, there could be a limitation to how much you’re capable of reading and engaging in chat with a small amount of viewers. So, how do you get people to start engaging in your Twitch chat? There are actually many viable options and I will try my best to run through some for you. Feel free to also chime in on the comment section with your tips!
Streamer Engagement [What kind of Streamer are you?]
Depending on what type of game you play also plays a key role in the amount of time you will be able to devote towards engaging with your audience. If you play a game like Hearthstone, you can literally take questions, suggestions and chat between each move. This automatically gets your viewers chatting on a constant basis, which in turn automatically begins building your relationship with them. Now, what if you’re playing a game like League of Legends or World of Warcraft raiding, or something alike? What do you do then? You have a couple options. You can either choose to engage to audience in a different way, which would most likely be teaching them. If they have questions you can look over every once in a while and answer another question, and in the meantime commentate on your own gameplay and tell them why or why not you’re doing certain things. Another option would be to commentate but hold Q&A’s at the end of every game. If you’re going to devote time to Q&A’s after every game, it becomes essential that you make this known. This means that you should have a section under your stream that tells any new viewers exactly what will be taking place after the game or raid. For example, if I’m going to commentate but devote 5 minutes of time after towards viewer questions, I will make a graphic entitled “Q&A” and explain in detail how this will work. This will enforce engagement from you directly with your chat and also allow them to become more involved.
While you may not want to do giveaways to often, they are definitely a great way to get viewer interaction. This even goes for new viewers. At any given time you can run a giveaway promotion and let people know on both social media and in forums/reddit that this is taking place. All of a sudden you have a bunch of new viewers in the channel talking about how to enter and what they have to do to win. Sure, you might not want the interaction to be purely about that, but then it becomes your job to keep them engaged after. Once the giveaway is underway you may choose to use a specific plugin which enables them to have to type something in chat in order to be opted in. You can also make them Tweet a specific hashtag and your stream URL; both things will cause the viewer to engage on a personal level with you and grow that interaction further. Also, bringing in those new viewers and allowing them to chat with other new viewers allows you to kill two birds with one stone: interaction AND new viewership.
You may have read “fun spam” and been like “What the heck, I don’t want spam, I want engagement with my audience!!!!”. Well, fun spam is something that allows ALL your viewers to get involved. There are some viewers out there that are a little chat shy, and it’s your job to get them chatting. Sometimes you will find when your first starting that viewers will not even answer your initial “Hello!” when they enter your channel. That’s okay, do it anyway, and try to keep them there for some later engagement. An example of fun spam would be making it known to spam a specific term and/or Twitch emote. So let’s say you get a new follower or subscriber and you have it set to give you a pop-up notification (which I highly recommend), you will then say “Viewers let’s get some HYPE!!!”. All of a sudden the chat knows to spam a specific emote and #HYPE over and over. Viewers love this kind of thing, and you can customize it however and with whatever you want. This is just an example that some streamers take advantage of on a daily basis. Make it your own and own it!
On Stream Games
What kind of streamer are you? Are you more of an entertainer or a high level gamer? If you’re a high level gamer you will most likely want to take the route we discussed earlier. That would be teaching viewers, doing Q&A’s about the game, and also commentating your moves in-game. This will allow them to be engaged regardless of if they’re interacting or not, and then force them to interact when the time comes. Well, if you’re an entertainer this won’t automatically be the best move. Entertaining on the other hand WILL get you interaction. What is the theme you use on-stream? Are you a jokester? Can you come up with something fun to do with your stream at times? Any type of game you could use to your advantage to build a relationship and begin getting interaction is great. I will use an example we discussed with Brittany in our third episode of the ProGamerHub Podcast (you will most likely have to listen to get the full description). Brittany as a joke put up a Boyfriend Application for her viewers. She then began getting tons of them, both serious and funny; and when I say serious, I mean serious to be funny! So she decided to take it one step further. She made it a competition. After going through tons and tons of applications she narrowed it down to a number she could then use to interact with her stream. She then read all the remaining applications to her viewers and allowed them to vote on who should continue in the running for the top Boyfriend application. The viewers LOVED it. It was not only funny, but it got EVERYONE to engage and vote. Can you find something like this to use to your advantage? I’m sure you can.