How To Manage Your Discord Community as an Indie Game Dev
05/11/2021 Written by The Game Marketer
Setting up Your Discord Community
Community management is an often overlooked aspect of marketing a video game. Platforms like Discord offer a key alternative to other social media, offering users a more personal way to engage with your game and indeed with yourselves, as the developers. Discord offers a ‘direct line’ to the developers, so a lot of players prefer to be involved in a games’ Discord than to follow them on social media. To set up a successful Discord server you must think about 3 things primarily:
First, think about the overall user experience on your server, so making all of your channels and categories very clear (not having too many and therefore making things cluttered!), and spending time looking at the roles and permissions in your server.
Then you must think about how to get users into your Discord. If you have existing social channels, sending messages out there to drive people to your Discord is a good start (and perhaps including the Discord link in your bio) and depending on how far along its timeline it is, including the Discord within your game itself is another great way to drive members (this can be particularly effective for mobile games). Hosting a giveaway where entrants have to join your Discord to enter may also be a great way to boost members in your Discord.
The third thing to think about is how you might encourage and boost engagement within your Discord. One way to do this is to think carefully about your posting strategy, the type of content that gets posted. So, asking questions to your users, answering any questions that get asked and interacting with users. Another interesting thing to think about is to use a bot within your Discord to implement a levelling system. You can set up a levelling system to be a reward-based system (for example every 5 levels a user might unlock a new reward, like access to a teaser trailer in a private channel or some in-game content). This would encourage people to post and interact more in your Discord.
How to Speak to Your Discord Community
Now that you have your community management tools in place it is important to think about how you might speak to your community. This means establishing a tone of voice, a style of communicating, a perhaps a posting schedule. Having consistency can be key to keeping people engaged and informed about your game. The one place that your tone of voice might change slightly is from social media to a community management platform like Discord. On social media you are talking to your community as a whole, making announcements, posting images and trailers for your game, and so on. Whereas when looking at Discord, it is a far more personal feel. Although you may still have an announcements channel in your Discord, you will also have general chat channels and must establish a more relaxed and personal approach to the tone of voice you use.
It is important that in the early of stages of your Discord, you are very active and interactive with your users. This will encourage more people to interact and keep your members engaged. However, as your community grows, the idea will be to make your Discord more of a self-sustaining being. Once your community has grown a lot you can start to entrust prolific posters with admin and moderator roles, and you can slowly take a step back from constant posting within the Discord and start to focus on community management from a strategic point of view as opposed to a hands-on, daily posting point of view. A lot of this will also correlate to the timeline of your game. Of course, whilst your game is still in its early stages, posting in your community management platforms will be very important, making sure your members are up to date with the latest news on your game, allowing your community to provide feedback when alpha or beta testing, and so on. Whereas once your game has hit full release, it will be less important to keep on banging the drum and instead think of ways to help your community sustain the level of engagement you have reached.
Maintaining Your Discord Community
By looking at your community management strategy through the 3 lenses of, setting up your platforms with the user experience at the forefront of your mind, growing your community and then encouraging engagement from your community, you can start to build out an effective and successful community management plan. By carrying out these practices you can harness the full capabilities of your community management platform as a tool to market and help to bring success to your game.
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