If the pandemic has taught esports marketers anything, it’s that they shouldn’t sleep on Twitter.
Just as stay-at-home orders were put in place around the country, Twitter saw a significant spike in gaming conversations. In the second half of March, there was a 71% increase in conversation volume and a 38% increase in unique authors compared to the first half of the month. In the U.S. alone, there was an 89% spike in conversation with a 50% increase in unique authors over that same time period.
The esports and gaming conversation on Twitter is more than just competition highlights and game previews. High-profile players, teams, and companies use the platform to connect and interact with their fans.
But some are more successful than others. How do some brands quickly build loyal communities of engaged fans while others keep posting but see no results?
Here are four tips for helping your esports or gaming company jumpstart your Twitter interaction and help build a close-knit online community.
1) Share content that matters to your audience
When creating content for Twitter, the key is combining consistency with authenticity. Don’t just post content for the sake of posting. Make sure any content you create makes sense for your goals, your brand, and your audience.
Fortnite does a great job at this. Ahead of Star Wars Day on May 4, they promoted a new bundle of Star Wars-related items available for in-game purchase. The tweet received over 800 retweets, 12,000 likes, and 345,000 video views.
If you’re not gaining traction, take a deeper look at who you’re trying to reach and evaluate how they prefer to engage. You might have to shift your tone or change up the type of content you’re posting.
Not sure what content resonates best with your target audiences? Here’s a great way to find out – create a list of the groups you’re trying to reach, find users who fit those molds online, and see what kind of posts they’re engaging with.
There is a great disturbance in the Force.
Get the Dark Side Emote along with the Starfighters and the Order and Peace Bundles, available in the Item Shop! pic.twitter.com/6ACnBKhCBS
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) May 3, 2020
2) Monitor what works – and what doesn’t – in your space
Monitoring is something that all companies should be doing. Look at the competitors in your space. Look at influencers that you admire. Take the time to research what kind of content they create and take notice of how people respond. See what’s resonating and what isn’t and use that information to inform your strategy.
Create lists of competitors, partner organizations, and influencers to monitor closely, looking for opportunities to engage and interact when appropriate. Learn from their most successful posts and apply it to the way you create and disseminate your own content.
On the other hand, take note of what content falls flat, think about why it didn’t work, and don’t repeat the same missteps.
3) Create content that starts a conversation
Every brand must realize that for any social media platform, the entire purpose is to, you know, be social. If your goal is to build a community, you can’t expect to be successful if your Twitter handle just serves as an RSS feed, posting news announcements and never following up with people who take the time to engage with you.
When you create content, make sure that the entire purpose is to get a conversation started and then engage with your audience.
The type of content you create depends on what kind of brand you are and the audience you are trying to reach. Most esports and gaming audiences skew younger. For much of this demographic, make sure your content is a little more culturally aware, and that you have more of a laid-back voice. Memes and short-form videos with some humor are types of content that generally resonate well with this audience.
FaZe Clan has mastered this tactic on their Twitter account. By tapping into popular memes and including open-ended questions for their followers to reply to, they’re able to leverage online trends and increase engagement in a relatable and culturally relevant way.
In addition to short-form video, compelling Twitter threads can be a good option for a product release or major announcement. Unveil one surprise after another. Interact with replies. Tell a story.
4) Tap into partner audiences
A “co-branding” strategy is a great way to enhance engagement and boost your number of followers by getting in front of another brand’s existing audience.
For example, if you’re planning on participating in the virtual Summer Game Fest, follow other companies and influencers who have a presence there and interact with them on Twitter about the event. Leverage conference hashtags and tag the conference itself whenever possible.
If you’ve done your homework by defining your goals, getting to know your audience, and understanding what kind of content resonates with them, you have the tools you need to start the conversations that build a following. Be engaging. Be authentic. Tell a story. Interact with other brands when it makes sense. Introduce yourself to new audiences.
In the end, you’ll form your own online community.