7 Effective Tips for Gaining More Followers on Twitch

Hard work and good strategy pay off

Teenage boy playing a Sony PlayStation video game wearing a white and blue headset
Gamers of all ages are streaming video games on Twitch. Caiaimage/Tom Merton / Caiaimage

Twitch has become the most popular place online to stream content. The third quarter of 2017 saw about 25,000 concurrent streamers and about 737,000 concurrent viewers. That's a double-edged sword, to be sure: Your potential audience is enormous, but so is the competition. Simply put, you have to stand out from the crowd to build an audience. Here are seven easy-to-follow, practical tips for getting more followers on Twitch.

Use Social Media

New streamers on Twitch often overlook the power of social media in building their brands. Many successful streamers use apps such as Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat to keep their fans up to date and connect with their fans on a more personal level. One of the biggest benefits of social media is that it can expose you to potential new followers who wouldn't have discovered you otherwise.

Tip: While it can be tempting to use social media purely as a notification service for your new streams, people will be more likely to respond to those who use their accounts authentically. Don't fill your Twitter feed with automated Twitch stream notifications. Do tweet about your life and the game news that interests you. Post photos of your game collection, controllers, and computer setup. When announcing a new stream, make the post unique, and specify what you'll be doing on the stream.

Go to Meetups and Events

Connecting with followers and fans online can be effective, but not much beats meeting people in person. Numerous video game and streaming events are held throughout the year in almost every major city around the world, and they can be great places to meet other streamers, exchange tips, make new friends, and gain followers.

Some of the best to attend are Twitch Con, PAX, MineCon, and Supanova. Numerous groups on Twitter and Facebook meet up in smaller towns and cities, too.

Tip: Create some business cards to give to people you meet at events. Cards should display your real name, your Twitch channel name, and the handles of any other social media accounts you want people to follow you on. Most people will want this information anyway, and having it already written down on a card will save a lot of time.

Watch Other Streamers

Meet other Twitch streamers (and have them follow you) by watching other streams and being active in their chats. If you seem like an interesting person, other viewers may check out your channel and follow you. If you manage to build up a real friendship with another streamer, he or she could even plug your channel or host you, which would give you massive exposure.

Tip: The key to this strategy is to be genuine. Avoid shameless promotion and requests for others to follow your channel. Have real conversations with other viewers and the host, and let them check out your channel on their own.

Invest in a Good Twitch Layout

Spending the time and effort to design a quality graphical layout for your stream will attract more viewers to it in the Twitch search results and will communicate dedication and professionalism to those watching.

A good layout should include a webcam in the upper left or right corner, a chat box for those watching in fullscreen, and your social media usernames either in a list or rotating slideshow. Adding special widgets that display the latest followers and hosts also will encourage action from viewers.

Tip: No graphics experience? No problem. A variety of free options such as TipeeeStream offer simple web-based platforms for creating Twitch layouts, special alerts, and widgets.

Be Strategic With Your Games

Be strategic when choosing a video game to stream. Playing an old or unpopular game will likely result in no one watching.

Playing one of the most popular ones could leave you competing for attention against a hundred or so other streamers. For best results, browse Twitch and look for games that have between 10 and 20 streamers streaming. A game in this category will rank higher in Twitch search results, but you won't be lost in the number of streams being displayed.

Tip: Twitch streams that use a webcam almost always get more viewers than those without, so turn that camera on. Something else to keep in mind is spoken languages: Some video games attract a large number of non-English-speaking streamers, which leaves many English-speaking viewers looking for a streamer who speaks their language. If you're playing one of these games, make sure to include "English" or "ENG" in your stream title to attract these people.

Stream—a Lot

Set aside several hours a day to broadcast. Very few people will discover your stream if you're online for only an hour a day. Streaming for at least three hours will help you acquire viewers, which will result in higher rankings in Twitch search results and greater exposure to even more viewers. It's no coincidence that the more successful Twitch streamers are online for five to 10 hours a day, sometimes even more. You don't need to stream this much when starting out, but the more you do, the faster you'll build a following.

Tip: Implement a "Standing By" or countdown screen that you can stream for around 30 minutes before you actually begin playing your game and/or turn your webcam on.

This can attract viewers to your stream while you get things ready behind the scenes and will result in an attentive audience right from the get-go.

Stream on Other Sites

Through free services like Restream, simulcasting your Twitch stream to other sites such as Mixer or YouTube has never been easier. What's more, doing so can be a great way to reach a larger audience whom you can ask to follow you back on Twitch. The best thing about this strategy is that it requires no additional work after the initial setup.

Tip: Make sure your onscreen graphical layout contains your Twitch channel name so those watching you on other streaming sites will know how to find you. This also will save you from having to verbally ask viewers to follow you during the stream.

Becoming successful on Twitch can be hard work, but with these strategies, gaining more followers should now be a whole lot easier. Good luck!

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