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One of the biggest challenges people face when streaming on Twitch is the ability to keep their chat engaged. When you just start out, it is demoralizing to see such a low viewer count. But what tends to happen is you get a few loyal viewers turning up time and time again, and they start chatting. They chat with one another, which encourages more people to chat as well. It’s nice to see messages in the chat as you feel like people are interested in what you’re streaming.

Don’t get me wrong, lurkers are an important aspect of growing a Twitch community as well. You rely on people lurking in your stream or putting you on while they do something else, ensuring your viewer count stays up. Still, there’s nothing more frustrating than when your chat dries up and people don’t seem interested in your stream anymore. This doesn’t always coincide with a drop in viewing figures, but it can.

On that note, let’s think about some of the best ways you can keep your Twitch chat engaged and typing away while you game:

Talk to them

A lot of streamers slip into the habit of being overly focused on the game or chatting to friends in a Discord call rather than looking at the chat. Some streamers will miss messages from people, which discourages them from chatting again. If you are engaged with your chat and speak to people, asking them how they are, then it makes a huge difference. You’re inviting answers and sparking a conversation.

Also, addressing people personally can make a substantial difference as well. If you have a small viewer count, you should try your best to remember people that have been here before and start calling them by name. The direct address will make them feel special, encouraging them to reply to your messages.

Introduce fun channel point redemptions

When people watch your stream, they earn channel points that they can use to redeem certain things. You get to choose what these redemptions are, and they’re an excellent excuse to get people chatting and ensure there’s maximum engagement in your Twitch chat.

The key is to have point redemptions that actively get your chat involved in something. For example, some streamers have a channel point reward that means you have to hire a celebrity to say a particular message and send it to you via video. A lot of people will pick voice actors from their favorite games, but the trick is that your chat decides what the message will be. This forces people to start sending their suggestions, getting everyone talking.

Another idea is to have a voice impression redemption, and people get to talk and vote on what impression you do. Or, you could have an outfit change redemption, and so on. Good channel point redemptions keep your viewers engaged and can inspire more people to start chatting.

Play chat-focused games

There are plenty of games on Twitch that are designed to be played with your chat. Things like Gartic on Stream and Marbles are excellent examples of this. Here, the games link to your Twitch channel, so the things your chat type will connect to the game. For Marbles, your chat has to type in a command to enter the game, where there will be a marble that races all the other marbles in chat. Stick a prize for the winner and you suddenly have lots of lurkers coming out of hiding typing in chat. Also, the competitive nature means people start talking more and getting hyped about the races.

Gartic on Stream is even better as your chat has to do things like type the answers in for questions or guess what someone is drawing. It brings your community together as more people are getting involved, your chat is popping off, and it just feels so good to see so many people engaged in your content.

Create a Discord server

Finally, creating a Discord server and encouraging people to join helps with the Twitch chat engagement. The idea is that you create a community place where people can talk to one another and play games. You could host game nights for your viewers, bringing people closer together. Then, when you stream, viewers might start talking more as they are talking amongst friends and feel more comfortable and more part of a community.

Give these ideas a try if you are struggling to maintain viewership and chat engagement on Twitch. They will help you gain new viewers, maintain the ones you currently have, and encourage more people to type in the chat.