TL;DR: Part 2 of our series dives into the current state of Discord, highlighting its unique features like high engagement rates, many-to-many relationship models, and customization options. Whether you're a big brand or an independent artist, Discord offers a plethora of opportunities for community-building and monetization. Understanding and leveraging these features can help you build a loyal and engaged Gen-Z audience.
You can read part 1 where we talk about Discord as a platform vs the rest of the social media.
Welcome to Part 2 of our series on what brands need to know about Discord and Gen-Z. In the first installment, we explored why Discord has become a haven for Gen-Z and what this younger generation is seeking in their interactions with brands. Now, it's time to delve into the current state of Discord as a platform. We'll examine how it has evolved and what unique features it offers for community engagement. More importantly, we'll provide actionable strategies that your brand can implement to effectively leverage Discord's capabilities. So, let's get started on how you can turn Discord into a powerful tool for connecting with the Gen-Z audience.
Many to many relationship
One of the unique aspects of Discord is its many-to-many relationship model, a stark contrast to the one-to-many model seen on platforms like Twitter and Instagram. Think of it like Twitch, where the community you're part of significantly influences your experience. On Discord, your relationship with fellow members can be just as important as your relationship with the brand or content creator. This dynamic creates a rich, multi-layered community where interactions are more meaningful and engagement is high.
Super fans, or those who are deeply committed to a particular community, can spend an astonishing 14-16 hours a day on Discord. These individuals are not just passive consumers; they're active participants who contribute to discussions, share content, and even help moderate channels. While this level of engagement is incredible, it also borders on addictive behavior. Brands need to be mindful of this as they strategize on how to engage with their community without encouraging unhealthy habits.
Current state of Discord
Discord operates on an incredibly flexible model that allows for a long tail of niche communities. Unlike other social platforms that offer limited customization, Discord lets you tailor your space to fit the specific needs and interests of your community. You can create different channels for various topics, integrate AI bots for automated tasks, and even set up roles to manage permissions. This flexibility makes it an ideal platform for brands looking to create a unique, engaging environment for their audience.
Another key feature of Discord is its reliance on volunteer moderators and community managers. These individuals are the backbone of any successful Discord community, spending an average of 5 hours per day on the platform, with 3 of those hours being active engagement. They help maintain the community's culture, enforce rules, and facilitate discussions. For brands, this means that a well-managed Discord server can essentially run itself, provided you have a dedicated team of moderators.
When it comes to engagement metrics, Discord outperforms many other platforms. The conversion rate for top communities on calls to action is astonishingly high, ranging from 30-50%. This indicates that Discord users are not just passive members but are actively engaged and willing to take action when prompted. Brands can leverage this high conversion rate to drive specific behaviors, whether it's participating in a poll, signing up for a newsletter, or making a purchase.
Lastly, let's talk about communication within Discord. The average words per message on Discord stand at about 15, compared to just 6 on other platforms. This suggests that users are more inclined to have deeper, more meaningful conversations. Additionally, superfans, who are the most engaged members, check in 4-5 days within the week, further emphasizing the platform's high engagement levels. For brands, this means an opportunity to have more nuanced and impactful conversations with their audience, something that's increasingly rare in today's fast-paced social media landscape.
How can brands build loyalty on Discord?
For big brands and popular creators, Discord offers a unique opportunity to take advantage of its long-tail nature. Instead of focusing solely on building one massive community, consider creating multiple smaller, more intimate communities centered around various aspects of your brand or content. This could be as specific as a channel for a particular product line or as broad as a space for fans of a certain genre you work in. The key is to do this systematically, ensuring each community is well-moderated and offers value to its members. This approach allows you to cater to the diverse interests of your audience while still maintaining a cohesive brand presence.
Independent artists looking to monetize their communities can also find value in Discord. On average, it takes about 3-6 months to reach a point of monetization, with an average commitment of around 4 hours per week. While the conversion rate for independent artists may hover around 0.3%, the highly engaged nature of Discord communities means that even a small percentage can translate into a loyal customer base. Artists can offer exclusive content, early access to new work, or even personalized experiences to incentivize membership and drive conversions.
In wrapping up this two-part series, it's clear that Discord offers an unparalleled platform for brands and creators to engage with the Gen-Z audience. Its unique many-to-many relationship model, high engagement metrics, and incredible flexibility make it a fertile ground for building meaningful, long-lasting relationships. Whether you're a big brand aiming to create multiple niche communities or an independent artist working towards monetization, Discord provides the tools and environment to make it happen. As we've seen, the key to success lies in understanding the platform's unique features and leveraging them effectively to meet the specific needs and desires of your audience. So, if you're looking to connect with Gen-Z or simply want to build a more engaged community, Discord is a platform you can't afford to ignore.