How to keep viewers engaged on Twitch

Last Updated on 08/26/2021 by Dean

Are you struggling to keep your viewers engaged on Twitch? Do you notice you don’t talk much while livestreaming? Maybe you feel weird about talking to an empty chat? Or you simply can’t figure out what you could possibly talk about…?

Here are 10 tips to keep viewers engaged on Twitch.

🚀 This article is part of our Grow on Twitch series.

1. Develop an online persona

sykkuno's Twitch personality is a shy animeboy
Shy animeboy Sykkuno

Think about the streamers that you like, what do they have in common? Right! Each of them is hella entertaining! But how…? Well, they likely have some kind of persona right?

What is Twitch without the Noisy Ninja, the controversial xQc and shy-animeboy Sykkuno?

Each of these streamers has developed an online persona. While these are influenced by their real-life personalities, they are often heightened for entertainment purposes.

Now I’m not saying you should go over the top or start copying someone else, but you can draw inspiration from other streamers and start developing your own online persona.

2. Watch other streamers

engage with your Twitch viewers by watching other Twitch streamers and learn from them
Hafu streaming on Twitch

The best writers in the world, are obsessed with reading. The best musicians in the world, are obsessed with music…

You cannot possibly become a good streamer, if you’re not watching other streamers.

Unless you have some kind of an entertainment background, you’ll have a very hard time engaging with a live audience.

By watching other streamers, your brain will slowly start taking things from them.

If you aren’t already watching streamers, you need to start NOW. Make it a daily habbit. If you’re strapped for time you can keep it to just 30 minutes a day but you really should be learning from other streamers.

Pay attention to how they keep their chat engaged, pay attention to their online persona, draw inspiration from them.

TIP: don’t limit yourself to one streamer. You can only learn so much from one streamer, increase your exposure and watch a variety of streamers.

3. Talk to your chat!

Don’t ignore your chat. Even if they may not be talking to you or replying to your questions, talk to them!

Even if no one is watching, talk, talk talk! Every now and then someone will come in and if they don’t hear you talk, they will leave.

Make them feel included. Soon enough, some one will start replying and get the ball rolling.

Don’t be afraid of how you’ll look. Talking to no one is better than not talking at all.

TIP: talk about your day or your week. Tell a story about something that happened to you. Talk about the game you’re playing. (talk about the graphics, upcoming news/updates, etc) Shoot a question to your chat every now and then.

4. Avoid playing ‘slow’ games

Now this will depend on the streamer, for some streamers thrive during slow games, but if you find it difficult to entertain your audience non-stop, you should avoid the slower type of games.

With slower games, I mostly mean single-player and simulator games, but generally any type of game that will have slow moments.

Some streamers find these types of games easier as the slow moments give them time to engage with chat, but if you’re not going to talk, this can be an incredibly boring watch.

Ask yourself this: can I keep talking on stream, even if no one is responding? If the answer is yes, play slow games, if the answer is no, avoid them at all costs.

If you have a hard time talking with chat, it’s always best to play games where the viewers are otherwise engaged. For example, you can solo queue multiplayer games such as Valorant and try to poke fun with the random people in the lobby.

Or you can play with friends, which brings me to my next point…

5. Play with friends

play with friends to engage with your twitch viewers
OTV & Friends playing Valorant

One of the biggest hacks on Twitch is to play video games with friends.

Becoming a streamer can be difficult to start, you have to keep your viewers engaged and that is no small feat. But streaming with friends is like streaming on EASY MODE.

Think about it: do you have to keep your viewers engaged when you’re streaming with friends? Nope! You can focus on fun interactions with your friends and your stream will love to just sit back and watch you go.

Of course, this only works if both you and your friends are entertaining. No one wants to watch 5 friends play a game without conversation, jokes, banter, and so on.

So you will have to put in some effort (and you’ll have to tell your friends to go along with it) but nonetheless playing with friends will make streaming a lot easier.

TIP: Join Twitch communities and make friends with other streamers, these people are in the same boat as you and will try their best to keep it entertaining.

6. Play social deduction games

play social deduction games to keep your twitch viewers engaged
Toast playing Among us with friends

This one should come as no surprise, viewers love watching social deduction games, we saw it when Among Us became popular and EVERYONE started streaming it.

Why? Because it brought in TONS of viewers. Streamers such as Sykkuno, Valkyrae, Disguised Toast, and many others BLEW up by streaming Among Us.

These type of games make for very fun interactions amongst friends which viewers love to watch.

Because social deduction lobbies require quite a bit of people (e.g. 10 in Among Us) this can be a great way to start playing with other streamers as well and this will increase your exposure!

7. Play Jackbox games

play jackbox games such as gartic phone with friends to entertain your viewers
OTV & Friends play Gartic Phone

Aside from social deduction games, Jackbox games are extremely popular as well. Think about Gartic Phone, for example, this game is blowing up on Twitch right now!

And why shouldn’t it? Who doesn’t love a good guessing game amongst friends?

8. Mix it up!

mix it up to entertain your Twitch viewers
Ludwig Bottled Water Challenge

Don’t be afraid to mix it up once in a while. Don’t just play the same games over and over and don’t just run a stream in the same format every day.

Every now and then you should do something creative and fun to make yourself stand out from the crowd. After all, there are millions of streamers on Twitch that you are competing with.

You could cosplay on stream, you could invite viewers to play with you, you could take your viewers on and tour of your home town, you could do a challenge with friends, the possibilites are endless!

9. Have an inviting facecam

Facecam’s are one of the most important elements of a Twitch stream.

Big streamers can get away with messy backgrounds, unmade beds, bad lighting and so forth, a small streamer however, can not.

Make sure your facecam looks inviting, make sure your background is clean and your room is well-lit (please don’t be a basement streamer).

Viewers are here to watch you. The video game is part of it, but they want to look at your face when you’re talking.

TIP: Try to put some effort into your background, make it tell a story. Your story.

10. Don’t do any of these…

The following are some big NO-NO’s on Twitch.

  • Don’t look at your phone! EW! No one wants to see you scroll social media! TURN IT OFF.
  • Don’t leave your seat for too long. No one likes to watch an empty chair, if you must go to the toilet, do it quickly.
  • Don’t ever go a minute without talking. You are NOT special (at least, not yet) no one wants to watch you play video games without talking.
  • Don’t ever stream while in a bad mood. If it’s not your day, don’t start streaming, viewers will notice.
  • Don’t expect the chat to keep YOU engaged. You are the streamer, YOU are supposed to be the entertainer.
  • Don’t call out lurkers. Many viewers will just watch your stream and never say anything, that’s part of being a streamer, some people simply like to have you on in the background. Don’t call these people out, embrace them!

Take your time!

Hopefully, you can take home some of these tips to make your Twitch stream more engaging and entertaining to watch.

To finish off this article, I want to tell you to take your time. Nothing happens overnight. Nobody learns how to become an entertainer right away, it takes time. Weeks, months, maybe even years.

Take your time with it. Keep a consistent schedule and stick to it, learn and draw inspiration from other streamers, try new things and mix it up.

Don’t be afraid to fail. Every mistake is a lesson, keep working on it and keep improving.

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