By now we are all more than familiar with Mixer shutting its doors on July 22nd and besides really big partnered Mixer streamers, every streamer and their audience moved over to Twitch to continue their streaming journey. The phenomenon that we see with the Mixer streamers flooding to Twitch is them completely dominating the game. They are not taking on Twitch’s largest streamers, but they are way ahead of the curve compared to new streamers on Twitch. You might say, this is obvious, they have an audience and they brought it over, they are not starting from zero, and while this is true, Mixer streamers are extremely good at networking. Networking can make the difference between being seen on the platform and drowning in the pool of millions of Twitch streamers.
In order to understand how these streamers learned to network and their network strategies, we need to take a closer look at how Mixer as a platform operated. Mixer was a really small streaming platform compared to Twitch, YouTube or Facebook Gaming. Besides the platform being small, it almost had more streamers on the platform than viewers. In order to grow your viewership on Mixer, you needed to go out of your way and get to know other streamers in your category. With the little viewership there was on Mixer, networking was crucial, to receive support from other streamers that you are sharing an audience with. There was not enough cake to go around on Mixer and for everyone to have a piece. Mixer streamers became really good at jumping into other streams, engaging with the streamer and really getting to know them, without spamming their links or asking for something in return. Mixer in itself was a very tight and positive platform where people supported each other as much as possible and grew together. It was not about getting more viewers than one another and pushing each other down the game category, but more supporting each other and all together making it to the top. It was about making friends and really enjoying streaming without competing with each other. This mindset is the most valuable thing that Mixer streamers took with them when they moved to Twitch. The tight network and friendships are what makes Mixer streamers stay ahead of the curve, and come to Twitch and dominating. No Mixer streamer is going to take on Twitch’s largest streamers within the next few years, but it is very possible that within the next year or two, Mixer streamers will be right up there with the big ones. So how did these streamers accomplish such a tight network and positive supporting community?
The key lies in honest networking, honest being the key. A lot of streamers that are just starting out are looking at networking the wrong way. They are going into other streams with the expectation of getting something in return. This mindset often leads nowhere. What made Mixer streamers so successful is their honesty. They spent a lot of time on the platform getting to know each other, even moderating for each other’s streams without asking anything in return. Going into this almost relationship with the mindset of what can I get out of this, often leads to dishonesty. Mixer streamers have very early realised that working together rather than working against each other yields greater results. Streamers in the same category often took turns streaming and moderating for each other, sharing their audience and giving each other feedback.
Networking on Twitch is different from networking on Mixer, but the principle remains the same. After deciding which games you like to play, spend some time in your game category browsing through streamers similar to your size and get to know them. The key, again, is to honestly engage in their streams and not expect anything in return. If you become a regular in their stream, they will notice, at some point check out your stream and maybe one day you guys will do a collaboration and share your audience with each other. Mixer streamers bring this over with them to Twitch. They support each other, moderate for each other, and host or raid each other and are able to achieve Twitch Affiliate in the shortest amount of time possible, one week. This initial boost, helps them to land in recommended pages, rank higher in their follower’s list of streamers, and has led to some Mixer Streamers even reaching Twitch partnership within just two weeks of being on the platform. When you are starting from zero, networking takes time. It takes time to build a connection with other streamers, become part of their community and then receive their support. On the other side, networking helps you achieve your goals a lot faster than grinding out the streams does. When you are starting out, you are so far down the game category, that no one will ever find you, and that is a guarantee. Besides bringing viewers over from other platforms, you need to become part of the game community. A good example is to imagine you are going to a party and you do not know anyone there. Simply being there will not result in people actually interacting with you, the occasional drunk guy will bump into you but that is it. If you want to be invited back to other parties you need to go out of your way and make friends and contact, build a network. No one becomes a popular kid by simply showing up to the party.
Besides networking on the platform, you should also be networking on all other platforms. Comment underneath other streamers posts, engage with their stories and build a relationship. Lastly you want to make sure that you do not come across as spammy or annoying, therefore pick a few streamers you really like and would like to build a connection with. Following a hashtag on Instagram and spamming every single picture that pops up with the same generic message, will yield absolutely zero results.