Having a great Discord server is must if you wish to create, grow, or connect with your already established community.
What is Discord?
Discord is an app popular among gamers which is used primarily for voice and text chat.
Communities and individuals can set up their own servers and divide their servers into different voice and text chat rooms. Users can login into Discord from a desktop, app on their phone, or even from the web.
Because of its multi platform versatility it is a natural fit for gamers and anyone wishing to stay in touch with their community.
What makes a great discord server?
I have set up and run many discord servers. Some successful, some less so.
In my experience there are ultimately three things that make a great discord server.
- A Focus on Conversation – A place people feel they can easily discuss a variety of topics.
- Clarity of Purpose – Everyone understands the specific purpose of your server.
- Simplicity – Successful servers don’t add too many features.
A Focus On Conversation
The strength of discord is in its ability to allow users to easily converse with one another. Most great discord servers make this their primary goal.
To ensure that this happens and that your server can become one that blossoms into something special you are going to need to be the one encouraging and focusing on discussions. Especially at first.
This is important. As the server owner you set the culture. If you set a culture of openness and respectful dialogue your server will flourish with conversation.
Not everyone talks, or feels comfortable talking when they enter a server.
A great place to start is to make sure you greet everyone as they enter your server. Welcome them to the server and make them instantly feel like they’re apart of your community.
Be engaging with your community. Ask questions, lead discussions and do whatever you can to get others talking. The more users regularly talk the more active and engaged your server will become.
When others start coming into your discord and see that it’s a place for great conversation they will be encouraged to participate and will make your server their new Discord home.
Clarity of Purpose
The second thing that makes a great discord is working hard to make sure people know what your server is about. What is its purpose?
Is your discord centered around your stream, your YouTube channel or maybe even your favorite game?
Is the purpose of your channel to share clips with your friends, foster community or to set up play sessions?
Having a specific and easily identifiable purpose will make it easy to both recruit new members to your server and also make it more likely your server is active and engaged.
An active and engaged server is a great server.
This is where a lot of servers go wrong. One of the great things about Discord is the amount of options you have to customize your server. From bots to channels, you can customize your server any way you want.
Channels are chat rooms within an individual server. These channels are usually separated by different topics, events or purposes.
The purpose of channels is to keep specific content within the corresponding channel.
The trick here is not to get carried away. Remember the more channels you add the more segmented your conversations become.
There is nothing wrong with adding channels to your discord, just make sure there is a need for it and that it doesn’t create a situation where nobody is talking because everyone is in different channels.
Bots are third party add-ons that can provide various functions ranging from playing music to sending memes.
Bots are great tools when used correctly. I like to use bots to assist me in managing discord, such as auto adding member roles, or preventing the use of swear words or spam.
Bots have other features like games and server currencies etc. These things can be fun additions to a server, however, I would be careful that these bot features don’t take over your server.
I’ve been in a lot of servers where the only conversations happening is the bot notifications. When this happens it takes away from the conversation and discourages real interaction.
Again, bots can be a fun and great addition to a server, just make sure you’re not going overboard with them and that you’re bot meets your server’s purpose.
As you focus on conversation your server will become active and engaged. Having a clear purpose for your server will help keep everyone on the same page and having appropriate bots in chat help add additional fun and functionality.
Discord is currently one of the best tools we have to connect on a deeper level as gamers. It’s a great tool capable of helping you build an amazing community, especially if done correctly.