So you’ve decided you want to be a Magic: The Gathering content creator—yay! But figuring out how to use social media and the various video platforms to help build your community can be difficult. You have the content down, but what about the context? One important tip is to post content to each platform natively and intentionally. This means creating content that’s not just unique and engaging, but tailored for the specific platform you’re using. Different social media platforms may attract different audiences or serve different purposes, and your content should be crafted to appeal to those communities.
“You have to think about each different social media platform as a different content platform.” —Sean Plott (aka Day9)
Magic content can be found in every medium and on every social platform available. We will be covering just the few big ones in this guide, focusing on video content and community building, but the tips and philosophies should help you make the most of any platform you want to try.
Twitch, Mixer, and YouTube Live may be great platforms to get eyes on your content while simultaneously building your community. Livestreaming services are generally geared toward long-form gameplay and chat interactions. We’ve found the key to getting more viewers is two-fold: interesting content and a consistent channel. “Content” in this case means both the game being played and the person playing the game. Since these platforms have tons of active broadcasters—Twitch, for example, averages more than 3.4 million—you want to make it easy for your viewers to find you, and you also need to capture their attention enough to stick around.
I stream on Twitch and upload videos daily on YouTube. Promotion of both platforms is done via Twitter, Discord, and Instagram. They all work really well together and help drive followers from one platform to engage on another. —AliasV
Now for some specifics. The data we have suggests there is no single “best time” to stream; streamers have found success streaming between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday. Weekends without major competing events are also great opportunities to gain an audience.
As you’re getting started, we suggest you track what times you’re streaming and how many viewers you get each time to figure out what schedule might be optimal for you.
My primary content platform is livestreaming on Twitch.tv with some additional content produced and hosted on YouTube. When making a YouTube video from my existing Twitch content, I look to remove two-way conversations that were based on chat interaction, and dead air where I may have been taking a break or thinking about my moves in the game while nothing happens on-screen. When making a YouTube video from scratch, I try to work off a loose script with multiple improvised takes that can be edited together. —Amyzonian
Our review shows that most Magic streamers average around 16 streams a month, while those with 100-plus concurrent viewers (at the high end of the viewership spectrum) stream more like 25 times per month. The average high-viewership Magic streamer is live for about 3 hours 20 minutes per session, resulting in about 108 hours of total content per month.
Though all streaming platforms are essentially video-delivery platforms, they may vary in functionality or audience, and you should take that into account when creating content for one or the other.
Some streamers use the same content on two platforms, with some modifications for their viewers.
VIDEO ON DEMAND
Sites like YouTube, Vimeo, and Twitch also serve as platforms for housing on-demand video (VOD) content, allowing fans to watch whenever they want. The convenience of on-demand content has quickly made these sites among the most popular—and crowded—platforms on the internet. Sometimes people get the impression that they will make it as a YouTube star just so long as they are putting the content out there. But with approximately 500 hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute, it is easy for your content to fall between the video on-demand cracks. You can combat that by both optimizing your content for these types of platforms and learning the optimal times to upload it!
Taking YouTube as an example, our research indicates that Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday are the most successful days to upload Magic-related videos. A spike in viewership tends to happen around 4 p.m. PT, so posting a video shortly before then can increase your chances of people seeing it right away.
VOD platforms might be crowded with content, but they also draw a ton of viewers!
One of the best ways to get your videos noticed is to make use of the tag functionality offered by these sites.
BUILDING A COMMUNITY
Building your Magic community can be done using many different platforms such as Discord, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The relationships you develop there can be invaluable, and sometimes in surprising ways.
I try to respond to messages/comments directed toward me on YouTube, Twitter, and Discord within a few hours. I occasionally (usually not more than once per day) post about my day-to-day life or interests and post the occasional cat photo or selfie. I find that too many personal posts [clutters up] a feed, [but having] no personal posts can make you or your page seem impersonal or like you're not the actual person running it. —Amyzonian
I’ve found that the best way to keep my community informed is through being on all social media platforms. I used to not like being on a ton of social media platforms, but being able to use all platforms only strengthens your reach and connection with your community. You can go one step further than that and make a Discord server, as Discord is huge and a nice way to fill in people on random day-to-day things and allows you to still interact with your community while not on stream. —TheAsianAvenger
I’m quite interactive. I enjoy talking to my chat, asking them questions, telling them about my other platforms and inviting them to the Discord. If I have giveaways on the go, I’ll share those, and they can engage with it as they see fit. —AliasV
Magic has a large, active, diverse community on many different platforms. Many of our most popular content creators have built great followings around their Twitter accounts, for example, because of the connections it allows them to make. Community building requires frequent use and interaction with your fans.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to other streamers to network, but it will be most effective to try to work with people with similar-size channels. Trying to collaborate or network with people with much larger or smaller channels than your own makes for a major discrepancy between the benefits each creator gets. A good rule of thumb is to stick to groups with a subscriber count/viewership within a factor of five of your own. There are plenty of exceptions to this, like collaborating cross-platform, someone you have an outside connection with or have a good relationship with, or someone you regularly play games with that you’re looking to include in your content. —Amyzonian
CREATE THE CONTENT AND COMMUNITY YOU WANT
No matter what kind of content you’re creating or what platform(s) you’re posting it to, be yourself and help foster an environment people want to spend time in. Don’t forget that Magic is a game, and the most important thing is to enjoy yourself.
This one seems obvious, but have fun. Your content is an extension of you and can be whatever your imagination wants it to be. Don’t worry about failing or low numbers. Just keep working on it and even if your video is you losing all your games, at least you lost doing whatever you wanted to do! —TheAsianAvenger
Good luck, have fun!
P.S. Our friends in the Legal department want us to remind you that this Platform Strategy Guide (PSG) is intended only as guidance (it’s right there in the name—guide) and does not promise or guarantee you success—monetary or otherwise—streaming Magic. We believe in you, but we can’t make any promises.
P.P.S. All social media platforms referenced in this PSG are developed by third parties and are not affiliated with Wizards. Each has its own content and community rules you should familiarize yourself with and follow.