How Brands Can Grow with Discord Audiences

How Brands Can Grow with Discord Audiences
Ryan Grant
How Brands Can Grow with Discord Audiences

Technology continues to introduce more and more ways for us to communicate and stay connected and Discord is just another example of that. Discord is a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and instant messaging social platform where users have the ability to send private messages to friends or join “servers”. Originally designed for gaming, Discord can be used amongst a small group of friends, or a massive server of fans or customers for a particular subject; and Discord continues to grow year over year with an increase in usage amongst Americans 12+ by 7% between 2022 and 2023.

Discord presents an opportunity for brands to interact with and reward their most passionate fans. They can recruit and hire; they can share exciting promotions and news; they can get to know their fans and receive meaningful feedback.

StockX , for example, created a server on Discord which now houses 31,000+ members who join every day to chat about new finds, recent buys, and even show off their ‘Kicks of the Day’. Through Discord, Chipotle hosted a virtual career fair, using the opportunity to announce an increase in wages and also distribute applications to potential job seekers. Recently, Discord unveiled a suite of AI features including a ChatGPT component as well as a Conversation Summaries feature that work through OpenAI technology.These features will allow brands to access & extract even more valuable data from users.

Here are a few ways that Discord is used for differing types and sizes of audiences:

Discord is used heavily in the gaming space to build communities and help fans connect. Many Twitch streamers, YouTubers, other influencers and even some brands create their own servers and invite their fans to join. This allows the brand to alert fans when they post content, interact with their fans, and provides fans a place to interact and meet other people with similar interests. Streamers will sometimes hold events on a particular game they play and invite their fans to join and play.

Discord can also be used amongst co-workers/colleagues -- for quick voice chats to cover a quick question or collaboration, similar to Slack. Text channels and voice channels can be created for different projects and areas of focus.

During the socially distanced environment due to COVID, brands used Discord as a way to stay connected with their audiences in new and dynamic ways. Jack in the Box created a “Late Night” Discord server and that culminated in a virtual after-party following Comic-Con. Dubbed “Jack’s Late Night Discord”, the event featured a virtual concert and giveaways, and had over 7,000 members, with over 200 joining based on one Tweet.The brand recognized Discord’s fan devotion as an ideal way to activate after Comic-Con connected to its message around being the “go-to QSR for late-night munchies”.

Luxury brand Gucci created their own server in connection with an NFT project and is now home to 63,000 members. While usually very exclusive, Gucci managed to make their brand more accessible by building a huge audience in their Discord server. Their fans discuss Gucci products, collaborations, and their passion for fashion.

Brands looking to innovate by tapping into communities in authentic ways may want to experiment with Discord. Since Discord is a high-engagement platform, and its users expect a relationship, brands need to be careful with their approach and ensure they have proper levels of resources in place to see the pay-off.