Why should you care about social media?
Social media is a powerful tool to connect with your viewers and show them you give a damn. You can be discovered by new viewers, meet and banter with collaborators, and demonstrate your reach to potential sponsors.
First, a disclaimer. These are your social media channels, and you can do whatever you want with them. The risk and ownership belong to you. That said, we have some tricks to help you grow, make your posts carry weight, and appear more brand-friendly to companies.
Whether you broadcast solely for fun and friendship or you dream of being a superstar, we support you! If growth is part of your dream, chances are you should take social media seriously.
Where to start?
While you don’t have jump into every social media platform all at once, there are some important things to keep in mind as you’re getting started. We recommend getting comfortable with posting regular on 2-3 platforms before deciding whether to expand into different communities.
Develop a consistent brand voice. Whether you want to be family-friendly or a bit more mature, you should be consistent. If you usually curse up a storm, then one day switch to family-friendly and ban colorful language from your chat, your viewers will feel stifled. If you are usually family-friendly, then have a day where you play an M-rated game and start cursing, the viewers who let their children watch you will be shocked and may even feel betrayed.
This extends to your social media presence. Your social media content should amplify and supplement your livestream content. Different social media platforms should amplify and supplement each other. Don’t just repost your Instagram pictures to Twitter. Try to post unique content on all platforms – give people a reason to follow you!
- First, make sure you reserve your Mixer channel name on all social media. This is critical if you want viewers and fans to be able to find you across multiple platforms.
- If your name isn’t available, consider adding a prefix (like “I am”) or suffix (like “TV”) to your username. For example, if your channel name is “Pineapple,” you could make your Twitter handle “iamPineapple” or “PineappleTV.”
- Or do a combination of a prefix and suffix and make your social media name “ThePineappleShow.”
- There are lots of options – just make sure it is clear who you are. If your name is “Pineapple” on your channel, don’t make your Twitter handle “Strawberry.”
Next, encourage your viewers to follow! Have your Mixer chat bot post occasional messages about your Twitter and Instagram handles. Get creative with the messages! Instead of just saying “Follow me,” include a blurb about the type of content you put there. Take a moment during your stream to pull up one of your hilarious recent tweets and show it on screen. Tweet a photo from a convention you’re attending, and in the tweet tell everyone to go follow you on Instagram so they don’t miss all the stories from the event.
Best practices for Twitter
- Tweets: 1-5 per day
- Responses: As many as you want! The more, the better! When you directly reply @ someone, it does not appear in your followers feeds unless they happen to follow both you and the person you tweeted directly at.
If you’re worried you tweet too much, don’t! People follow you because they think you’re cool, funny, or interesting. Let them see and share what you’re up to. If you’re seriously worried you tweet too much, ask a broadcaster you admire or one of your moderators.
Yes, you should tweet when you go live, but you should do much more than that! If you only tweet when you go live, your feed won’t look like a welcoming and engaging place for viewers and industry folks to interact with you. Go-live tweets should make up no more than 50% of your feed – and the higher the ratio of other tweets, the better.
Consider engaging your followers by asking questions:
- “Hey everyone! I’m at the shoe store! What color should I buy? [red shoe photo] [blue shoe photo].”
Even if only one person responds, you can interact with them. Somebody down the line might realize: “Oh hey! They actually respond to their viewers!” which may inspire them to tweet at you. And if you go to analytics.twitter.com to see how your tweets have been performing, Twitter itself says tweets with images perform better.
“Call to Action” is a term used in marketing when the company/influencer encourages the target of the marketing to do something. In the video game entertainment sphere, we see it on YouTube videos, where the creator tells people to sub or give the video a thumbs up. We also see it in livestreams when the streamer encourages viewers to check out their affiliate links or follow them on social media. Twitter gives you the opportunity to have more subtle calls to action – subtle opportunities to interact and engage.
If you can’t respond to every tweet, you can acknowledge you saw it with a “Like.” This takes a millisecond to do and lets the person to feel seen. A simple like can mean the world to someone who is shy or new and trying to reach out for the first time.
Keep an eye on how many people you follow, versus how many people follow you. While it is okay to follow anyone whose tweets you enjoy, avoid engaging in “follow-for-follow.” You want your feed to be curated according to content you actually enjoy seeing, and you want to keep a noticeable follower-to-following ratio (you want more followers than following). You could even consider putting an approximate limit on the number of accounts you want to follow, and periodically go through and unfollow accounts you never interact with or that haven’t tweeted in months.
Try to limit negative or angry-sounding tweets, as you never know who is looking through your feed. Read through your tweets from the past few months, and take note of how many are positive, how many are negative, and how many are neutral. Even a tiny percentage of negative tweets can tip the balance when the person reading them is deciding whether to work with you.
This applies to rants. If you need to vent, choose your rants wisely – it’s okay to share your thoughts online, but you don’t want to come across as judgmental or drama-seeking. It could have the potential to make you look difficult to work with.
Never air your (or others’) dirty laundry on social media. As much as you might want to get something off your chest, do it in private or, better yet, mute/block and ignore. As fast as you can build your following, you can lose and alienate them.
Best practices for Instagram
- Posts: 7+ per week
- Stories: 2-4 per day (5+ if you’re at an event)
Feel free to post frequently, but don’t just post for the sake of posting. Instagram’s non-linear timeline means that you have no idea when a new post will surface on a viewer’s timeline, or if they’ll see it at all. Posting more frequently increases the possibility of followers seeing it! This knowledge is powerful, but you don’t want to commit yourself to a rigorous posting schedule that will be stressful or difficult to keep up. As with many platforms, consistency is key. It is better to post four times a week, every week, than it is to post five times every day for a week, then stop uploading for a month.
Hashtags are incredibly valuable to help you get discovered through Instagram itself. Research shows that the number of interactions on a post grow with each hashtag, up through five hashtags. Then interactions start to decrease with each subsequent hashtag you add. Choose your hashtags carefully, and don’t use more than five! There are lots of cool hashtags for streams, games, creative content, and any lifestyle-type posts you share with your fans.
You can also use your Instagram story to showcase when you share a new post!
- Go to your new Instagram post
- Click the “share” button below the image (it looks like a paper airplane or little arrow pointing up and to the right)
- Select “Add post to your story”
- From here, you can add gifs to conceal parts of the image, scribble with marker, or highlight. You want to encourage story viewers to click through and see the full post, so go wild!
While you don’t want to spam your IG story 20 times in a day, it can be incredibly valuable to post a story at least a few times every day to keep your name fresh in your followers’ minds.
The average Instagram user follows hundreds of accounts. A still photo will display for five seconds, and a video can last up to 15 seconds. If just one-third of the, say, 500 accounts a fan follows posts stories in a day, it can turn into a sizeable investment of time for them to watch all the stories. If the bars at the top of your story (indicating how many stories you’ve shared in the last 24 hours) shrink to dots, people are more likely to skip through them quickly, or swipe past your story entirely.
What should you do stories about? Go crazy! Share a video of yourself dancing in the grocery store, a photo of your pet being adorable, or a boomerang of yourself working out. People love seeing their favorite streamers living everyday life. And don’t forget to post a story when you go live on Mixer!
Of course, rules are made to be broken. If you’re exploring somewhere cool or attending a gaming event it makes sense to post more stories!
We recommend that you do not use a traditional Instagram post to notify viewers when you go live. Instead, use an Instagram story so people are notified and see it when you post it, not two days later in Instagram’s non-linear timeline.
Key performance indicators
Earlier, we mentioned analytics.twitter.com. You should be keeping an eye on your average monthly impressions, mentions, and other notable statistics. You can also track how many people follow you on Instagram, view your stories, and like your posts.
Take these data points and incorporate them into your onesheet. This can help make pitches to potential sponsors much more compelling. For information on what a onesheet is and how to use it, check out our article on working with sponsors!
What about other platforms?
When you hear about a new social media site or app, we recommend you create an account to reserve your username, in case you want to use it down the line. But be careful – watch out for apps that may be phishing scams.
In closing, we want you to remember that it makes sense to go where your community is. Go where you can cultivate connection and growth.