As a new streamer, the most frustrating thing is using your time and effort to plan a stream and to stream often, only to have no views or followers. When that happens, it can be tempting to entice “lurkers” or fellow streamers by indulging in a follow-for-follow strategy, in the hopes of gaining momentum. But does this work? Most likely not. Here’s why.
Debunking A Twitch Follow for Follow Strategy
Before you embark on your Twitch follow-for-follow strategy, consider the following:
Who Is Watching You?
When you’re asking someone to follow you, who are you requesting a follow from? Yes, people on the internet are nameless and faceless, but according to the Twitch algorithm, they fall into a distinct demographic.
Before you request a follow from someone, you want to be sure they’re in your target demographic. Having a group of similar followers is going to be most effective at ensuring you grow your audience through recommendations and produce a harmonious Twitch community.
Who Is Following You?
How many of the people following you want to engage with your content: watch, participate, share, etc. If most of your audience is following to boost their numbers, then they’re less likely to watch, share, or participate.
You don’t want this sort of follower. Because by not engaging with your content in any other way than following, they’re essentially showing Twitch that your content isn’t worth watching.
What Are Your Promotional Strategies?
The last thing you want to become is a spammer. People despise those who relentlessly try to get attention for their smaller stream.
Although there aren’t that many free methods to increase followers on Twitch, there are a few you can try.
Begin by posting clips to Reddit, TikTok, and Instagram.
Limit these clips to the most exciting parts of your stream. Ideally, these clips should be between 30-seconds and 60-seconds.
When you’re creating those clips, always watermark them with your Twitch username, so people know who to follow and can’t steal your work.
When you consider that someone who is following because they’re a part of a follow-for-follow strategy won’t engage with your content beyond that, it isn’t hard to understand how they are more detrimental to your growth.
What Works Better Than A Follow For Follow Strategy
Creating Engaging Content
Engaging content means streaming the best games, maintaining a conversation with your audience – even if no one is watching – and keeping your energy up.
Streaming is itself a strategy game, so if you want to increase your followers on Twitch, strategy should be at the forefront of your mind.
To improve how engaging you are on streams, you can research your peers (other gamers) and find out what sort of content they enjoy, you can also reverse engineer some of your favorite streamers content by creating a similar setup or creating similar catchphrases and mannerisms.
Finally, remember that people aren’t only watching a stream to see someone win at Fall Guys or outsmart their friends in Among Us. They’re watching a stream because the streamer is entertaining.
Therefore, when you start your stream, turn up your personality for the camera, even if it seems awkward or disingenuous on your end.
Streaming During “Off-Peak Hours”
Most popular streamers stream at times that are most convenient for them, that’s most likely late afternoon and the evening. While there will be more viewers at that time as well, they have a variety of streamers to watch. To help gain momentum, start testing streaming at different times and on different days. Then continue to stream on the days when you received the most views and the highest conversions.
To effectively test when is the best time to stream, you need to do it for more than one week, to conclude if the day makes a difference.
Decide on three times to stream: off-peak, mid-peak, and on-peak.
Then stream at these times every day for the next two weeks. When you compare your stats over those two weeks, find the day or days that have seen the largest increase in views and then stream on those days only. You can continue to test time until you’ve discovered the time where you get the most viewers and highest conversions.
Consistency is paramount. Because if you continue to go live at the same time each week, any previous week’s viewers will know to tune in. This means that even if you don’t have many followers, lurkers might come back at the same time and can eventually convert to followers.
But being consistent in the first stages also shows your small audience that you’re dedicated to streaming.
Because there are so many streamers on Twitch, people can always follow and view another creator’s content. You want to give them an incentive to follow you. The best incentive is to be a reliable resource for entertainment. The only way to do that is to stream consistently.
Keeping Streams Short
Keeping streams short works in many ways, one of them being that you only have to maintain your high levels of energy for a short period. Another aspect is that you can reserve your content for other times.
Scarcity is also far more effective at compelling people to watch and follow than an oversupply of content.
If you’re engaging in a Twitch follow-for-follow strategy, consider how you plan to scale this type of strategy and if your current followers are helping you expand by recommending your stream to others? If the plan is doing nothing more than bulking your numbers, it’s ineffective, so stop.