You may or may not be familiar with Discord just yet, but we’re predicting that by the end of 2022 it will be THE social platform for brands and marketers across the globe. Discord does not have any algorithms or cheat codes and isn’t saturated with paid ads (say no more!). These are just a few reasons so many people - over 150 million per month to be exact - are actively engaging in this social platform.
Different from Facebook and Instagram, where marketers have had years of experience directly targeting and selling to consumers, Discord has one goal: creating a safe space for its users to connect with a like-minded community. Many brands have joined Discord to engage with their audience on a more personal level and give them a chance to provide feedback and build a loyal community. If you are a marketer or business owner and have never used or even heard of Discord, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with all of the tips you’ll need to implement a successful Discord strategy for your brand.
So, What Exactly IS Discord?
6 years ago, Discord came from the brains of Jason Citron and Stanislav Vishnevsky. Jason and Stan had both founded different social platforms based on their love of video game chat rooms. Their main goal when developing the Discord platform was to create a safe space for gamers to chat and connect. Stan and Jason came together to create a space where friends from all over the world could communicate quickly and safely together. From sharing video game tips, streaming while playing games or simply finding humans across the world interested in similar topics, Discord is all about community.
Since then, Discord has taken the internet by storm and has gathered the attention of many different groups of people, well beyond the gaming community. Because of its “be kind” mantra and chat-heavy content, Discord sets itself apart from other social platforms where sharing videos and photos can promote negative comparisons, unkind comments and a hostile environment. Consumers are craving a place to be social, while feeling safe, seen and respected, and that is Discord.
Discord Tips for Marketers:
- Maintain Your Server’s Environment: A Discord “server” is essentially your “channel”. Within each server, you can create dozens of rooms which are essentially sub-chat groups based on specific topics. You’ll hear the words server and room a lot through this post so just wanted to clear that up. If you have joined Discord servers in the past, you are well aware of the welcome wagon displayed on each server page upon entry. There is typically a list of rules, a welcome page, and a guide to navigate throughout the server. This is to ensure that you keep a healthy and happy environment throughout each text channel while your members are conversing with one another. The quickest way to see a decrease in your members is by letting foul language and bullying occur in your very own chat rooms. Cyberbullying is something the creators wanted to avoid completely when creating Discord but it is very important to monitor this yourself on any Discord server you are in charge of. Users of Discord often seek these conversations in their selected servers as a way to escape from reality for a while and boast about their love of video games, history, fashion, etc. Some example rules you can include in your servers “Rules” room are:
• No foul language
• No sexually explicit content
• No “trolling” other users
• No advertising or self-promotion of goods or services
- Promote your Discord Server on Social Media: While there is no cut-and-dry way to boost your server engagement cleanly and concisely, you can still give it some love on other social media platforms. There is a way to copy an “invitation link” directly to your server and set it so that it never expires. This is crucial because you do not want people to click on an expired link in your bio on other networks just to be taken to a broken page. Simply having the link to your Discord server in the bio of your social media profiles/Linktree is a great way to boost the member count on your server. When you have new rooms within your server or fun announcements to release, make an Instagram or Facebook story post about it as well with the link, directing people to your server. Social media is a great place to promote other social media accounts so don’t hesitate in throwing those Discord announcements out there as well. The goal with Discord is to always have people chatting and actively engaging with each other, so the more members the better! Start with your audiences on your existing channels before promoting to brand new followers.
- Host Discord Giveaways: If you are a brand looking to boost your engagement on Discord and increase the number of members you have, giveaways are another great way to get your audience excited about a new product or service release. Promoting a giveaway can be done on other social media platforms that direct users to join and participate in your Discord server. Encouraging members to share artwork, music, or memes that fit your brand can all be great ways to pick a winner during a giveaway. From there, you can watch your new and existing members begin to chat about their common interests and create more activity on your server. The key is to ensure the giveaway is on brand and gets your audience excited to engage with you on any online platform.
- Host Exclusive Events on Your Discord Server: Because of the ability to “stream” on Discord (voice channels or screen share) it’s a great place to host an exclusive virtual event. Being able to create virtual events for your members to take part in is a great way to boost your engagement. With the ability to live stream and send videos on Discord servers, members can easily participate in virtual events with each other. Karaoke nights are a fan favorite on Discord and a great way for your members to get to know each other on a personal level.
Keep in mind, the main goal of marketing on Discord is creating the best place for your audience to be. Live streaming and video messages are some of the coolest feature Discord offers and it can set the tone of your server for potential new members. Set up specific video nights where members can choose a theme and share experiences via video chat and promote it throughout your Discord server by posting in the other chat rooms about it. If you have a student-specific room on your server, you can host a group study session. If you’re a clothing brand, consider hosting an exclusive virtual try-on event of your newest collection. The opportunities for virtual events regardless of the industry you’re in are endless!
- Think Creatively: When Discord was first introduced, it was mainly designed for video game lovers to come and chat. With the emergence of Twitch and other streaming platforms, it has made it easier for people to communicate in general but when you think about it, people are not on these sites all the time. Twitch and YouTube are great but specifically for gamers, they are a place where you can watch your favorite gamers and games being played. Discord emerged as a place where people can constantly communicate with each other and not have to be watching or interacting with anything else while they are doing it. With that being said, there are so many Discord servers out there, you need to make sure your server is unique and exciting to your audience. Break the mold with your chat rooms and get creative on listing different categories for your users to chat about. This will keep your audience engaged and wanting more, creating a long-lasting and loyal relationship with your server. Announcing new rooms can be exciting for members but do not bombard them with too many options. Set up your server with creative ideas but ensure the foundation of those chat rooms before releasing more and more.
- Interact with your People: If you are a brand looking to create a community on Discord, the best thing you could do is interact with them. People join Discord to become a part of a community with their favorite brands and topics so how exciting would it be for them to interact one on one. Like we said previously, the best way to promote your server and gain members is by creating an authentic environment, and being able to personally chat with your audience is going to send your members into thriving conversations.
In a world where people, ideas, and news are moving at the speed of sound, take the time to connect with your audience and show them that you care about their opinions and experiences with your brand. Consider creating a room on your server called “Feedback” where your members could provide feedback regarding your services, products, etc. You could even take it one step further and make this a locked room for members of specific roles, further encouraging your members to stay active in the server and achieve a higher role. More on roles, next!
- Incentivize your Members: Creating roles within your server is a great way to keep people interested in interacting with you and the other members. You know the phrase, everyone loves a little healthy competition? Well, it applies to Discord just as much. When people join your server and see that there are certain roles they can achieve, it can drive them to become the most active member there. Not only based on activity, but they will keep the conversation topics at the highest level of quality. One of the best ways you can measure the success of your server is by the quality of the conversations being had. Members who keep on topic with your server and engage with other members frequently should be rewarded with a role. Roles can also help keep the peace by giving them certain permissions to kick out any member who is disrespectful. Consider adding roles as soon as possible if you want to see your server thrive.
Discord has taken off since 2015 and with no signs of slowing down, you must be prepared to take your brand to the next level of social media with Discord. L7 Creative is experienced in creating and implementing Discord strategies for brands and actively managing Discord communities. If you would like to learn more about our social media management offerings, give us a call at (760) 230-3209 today or visit l7creative.com/contact/.