If you hadn’t heard of gaming-centric chat platform Discord before March, you’ve probably heard of it now. Back when schools started closing, Discord was one of the first instant messaging apps to step up, removing server limits and streaming restrictions in an effort to ease the transition to online learning.
What was once reserved for streamers, gamers, and those who already participated in online communities quickly become a hub for everyone from book clubs to biology classes to gather, meet, and communicate in a time when social interaction was severely limited. Within those communities, it quickly became obvious that the platform has a lot to offer beyond sending instant messages.
But why should businesses, streamers, and online content creators care? As customers become more and more tech savvy, there is a certain level of pressure on you to keep up with popular demand. While not all industries can benefit from the features that Discord has to offer for anyone looking for strategies to stay in touch with their audience in accessible, interactive, and exciting ways.
You Can Curate the Community
Like most chat apps, Discord offers the ability to create private servers, where the only people who have access are those that have been invited to join. For streamers and small businesses alike, that opens up a world of opportunities to foster community engagement, create interactive incentives, and offer your most loyal followers the chance to share their passion with others of the same ilk.
For example, many users on Patreon offer Discord access and special roles according to the particular tier that a user subscribes to. If you are a game designer who uses Patreon as a means of marketing, you can use your linked Discord server to pre-release new material, ask for opinions on upcoming content, or simply do a Q&A session with a particular group of subscribers.
You can also use Discord roles as a means to encourage more active engagement. When a user is assigned a role, they are given special permissions, access to particular emojis, and their name changes colors to reflect their status. Creating desirable role rewards can bump low-tier subscribers up if you make them worth the few extra dollars every month.
Address Questions, Comments, and Conversations Directly
Obviously, Discord is first and foremost a means to communicate with others. Instant messaging is unique from forums, social media posts, and emails in that it warrants fast, short responses, which is oftentimes what both businesses and the customers are looking for.
Consider creating a Discord server as your customer service hub. You can create a server with a FAQ page, video tutorials, and instructions on how to contact an expert if the answer can’t be found right away. Then, customers will be able to direct message, or DM, your service team without dealing with tracking down an email contact or waiting on the phone.
Problems can be solved faster and without the need to send multiple emails to get the the root of the issue. With Discord, it’s easy to send pictures, videos, and documents through your DM, letting you work through issues faster and get back to creating happy customers.
Create Mods from Within the Company and the Community
One of the things that Discord does best is provide a robust number of options for limiting or empowering certain members and member roles. If you stream on Twitch or run a booming social media account, you understand how important it is to have a crack team of mods on board to help limit some of the inevitable inappropriate, aggressive, or offensive content that can leak into any community.
Bringing in mods from both the company and the community works in everyone’s favor. The community can bring their concerns about particular posts or messages to their mods, who can then communicate with the company-based mods. This creates a division of labor that is absolutely necessary in an open forum. Whereas individual mods might have different ideas of what’s acceptable and what’s not, a team of mods simply summarizing and sharing issues with a company mod who closely understands the community standards is more likely to create an impartial and fair moderation system.
Interested in Knowing More?
Ready to take the plunge and open up a brand new, exciting avenue for your audience to keep in touch? Next week, we’ll walk you through the process of creating a new server, choosing channels, adding bots, assigning roles, and other important features of Discord that could change the face of how you interact with your followers. We’ll see you then!