Owning and growing a successful Discord server can be both rewarding and challenging. It requires dedication, creativity, and a solid understanding of what makes a thriving community.
What makes it so difficult?
Growing a Discord server, especially as a beginner, can be quite a challenging and lengthy process. Unlike social media platforms with built-in algorithms that help promote content organically, Discord doesn't have such a feature. On platforms such as Instagram or Twitter, well-performing posts can gain visibility through likes, shares, or trending hashtags. However, Discord operates differently, relying heavily on word-of-mouth, server invites, and external promotion.
In this article, we'll go over crucial techniques and suggestions for building a prospering Discord server that draws in active users and promotes a friendly and welcoming environment.
Lack of Defined Purpose and Identity
One of the main reasons why some Discord servers struggle to grow is due to a lack of a well-defined purpose and identity. Without a clear focus, potential members might not fully understand what your server offers or why they should join. This confusion can prevent people from sticking around and engaging with your community.
In simpler terms, having a clear purpose and a unique identity for your Discord server is crucial. It helps you attract the right audience and creates a strong sense of community among like-minded individuals. So, don't be just another generic server; stand out by offering something special and appealing to potential members.
To improve your Discord server, start by doing some research on server listing websites to see if others have similar ideas. Get specific and focus on a unique topic or theme to make your server more interesting. It helps if the topic or theme you choose is one that you personally find interesting. If the topic is one that you're passionate about, you will naturally find yourself engaging in discussions in your own server, and this can encourage other users in the server to do the same. Stand out by offering special features, activities, or content that other servers don't have, giving people a reason to join. Avoid being generic and create a server with a clear purpose and direction to attract more members and make your community exciting and distinct.
Poor Engagement and Management
For your Discord server to be successful, both moderators and members need to stay active and engaged. If there isn't proper management, things can get messy and toxic, scaring off potential new members. When there's not enough interaction, new members might feel ignored and unwelcome, so they'll leave the server quickly.
Consequently, the server might be seen as getting boring, and therefore members may stop talking and subsequently engage less than they used to. Or perhaps worse, your server might be on a fast-track, one-way ticket to their less-active Folder.
To improve your Discord server, set clear rules for respect, encourage active participation, and choose reliable moderators. Create engaging events and discussions, stay updated with announcements, and warmly welcome new members. Listen to feedback and make changes accordingly, address toxic behaviour promptly, promote collaboration, and use social media for outreach. With these steps, your Discord server will become a thriving and friendly community.
Ineffective Marketing and Promotion
Even the most well-structured and engaging Discord server won't grow if people aren't aware of its existence. Effective marketing and promotion play a crucial role in attracting new members. Simply creating a server and hoping it will gain traction on its own rarely leads to success, due to Discord's lack of an algorithm like other social media platforms, as mentioned above.
To overcome this, make use of social media platforms, collaborate with similar communities, and invest your time in online forums. Setup a website or landing page to exhibit your server, promote recommendations through word-of-mouth, and provide special rewards to current members who bring in new ones. Organize giveaways, invite influencers, and regularly update the server with new content. With perseverance, imagination, and time, your Discord server will flourish into a prospering community.
Server listing sites - like Disboard and Top.gg - are an excellent way to promote your server and gain new members, especially for smaller servers. When listing your server on these platforms, make sure you have an appealing description that effectively communicates what your server is about.
These are some of the practices you can implement:
- Write a short, engaging description of your server's purpose and features.
- Use eye-catching graphics or a server theme to attract attention.
- Use bot bumping: Some listing sites allow bots to bump your server, bringing it back to the top of the listings.
Social media can also be an great option. You can create dedicated accounts or posts to share exciting content, event updates, or highlights from the community. By engaging with followers and participating in relevant discussions, server owners can generate interest and attract potential members.
How Not to Grow a Server
Although we covered certain aspects regarding server expansion, it is more important to be aware of the "don'ts". There are several questionable practices that can actually negatively hinder your server's growth and they're methods that can potentially even lead to your community gaining a negative reputation amongst members.
- DM Advertising
While promoting your server is essential, never resort to direct message (DM) advertising. Sending unsolicited server invitations through DMs can be seen as spam and may lead to your server being reported or even banned. Moreover, DM advertising is generally ineffective, as most people do not appreciate unsolicited messages.
Excessive and repetitive posting within Discord servers or across multiple servers with the same content is spamming. This can annoy other members and create a negative image of your server. People are more likely to appreciate meaningful interactions rather than being bombarded with constant spam.
- Excessive Ping Usage
Using @everyone or @here notifications excessively within your server can irritate members and may lead to them muting or leaving the server. Reserve these notifications for essential announcements or events to maintain a respectful and considerate environment. Considerate implementing self-assignable ping roles - such as @Announcements, @Events, @Giveaways to name a few - so that members feel in control of what they'll be receiving notifications for, and that all the notifications they do get are relevant to them.
- Copying Other Servers
Creating a server that is a mere replica of an existing popular server can be unoriginal and unappealing. People are more likely to join a unique and distinct community rather than a duplicate of something they've already seen.
In conclusion, growing a Discord server is a journey that requires patience, dedication, and creativity. Rather than solely focusing on member count, prioritize creating a fun and enjoyable environment for your community. Remember, on Discord, the main goal is to build connections and friendships. By following the strategies in this article, you can create a thriving Discord server that stands out and brings people together in a friendly and engaging atmosphere.