Is Discord social media? There isn’t a consensus about the answer to this question. However, Discord has some features that resemble social media platforms and it can be used to quickly grow a community. Let’s explore what Discord has to offer and how you can leverage its social media features.
How Does a Discord Server Work?
A Discord server is a dedicated space within Discord that gathers people around a shared interest. Discord has many features, but it primarily serves as a messaging app for people to chat in groups in real-time. On the other hand, Discord servers can be private or public. The main difference is that public servers are open to anyone (meaning anyone can read the conversations and join) while private servers require an invitation to join.
When you create a Discord server, you become a server owner. This means you have all the rights on the server and the permissions to modify any part of it. However, you can transfer the ownership of a Discord server if you no longer want to be the owner but don’t want to delete the server.
How Do Discord Roles Work?
Additionally, server owners are able to create roles and add people to them as they wish. Roles grant diverse users different permissions. For example, moderators will have fewer permissions than server owners, but more permissions than regular members. You can create as many roles as you want, name them whatever you want, and assign them different permissions.
Some communities, for example, use reaction roles for people to get roles according to their interests and careers. These roles are usually only for aesthetic and group recognition purposes. They allow users to change their name color and visually recognize like-minded people within a server.
How Do Channels and Categories Work?
Channels are dedicated spaces within a server where people go to discuss a specific topic. This allows server members to discuss individual topics in different channels, organizing the discussions and keeping the server tidy. There are several types of channels, like text channels, voice channels (where members speak with their microphones instead of chatting), stage channels (for virtual events), and forum channels.
On the other hand, you can move channels to organize them into different categories. Categories group channels according to shared topics for members to easily find the channels they are looking for.
For example, many Discord servers have a ‘Welcome’ category that groups channels like #rules, #welcome, and #introductions. A ‘Community’ category is also common, with channels like #announcements, #upcoming-events, and #help-and-support. Besides, you can create more specific categories according to your server’s topic.
A Discord server can have up to 50 categories and 500 channels. However, most servers have much less than that, since too many channels end up becoming confusing for members.
Is Discord a Social Media Platform?
There is no consensus on whether or not is Discord social media. While the app appears to be more like a private messaging platform, it also has some social media features that resemble social media.
According to Investopedia, this is the definition of social media:
Although Discord doesn’t have a feed like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms, it does gather people around common interests and promotes the sharing of information and ideas between them.
Additionally, Discord isn’t only a messaging platform like WhatsApp, since the conversations you have on the platform are not private (except for direct messages). Discussions in channels can be viewed by other members of the server or by anyone if the server is public.
Moreover, with announcement channels, you can follow other servers’ updates without necessarily joining the server, more or less like following someone on Instagram or Twitter to view their feed’s updates.
So, is Discord social media? I’ll argue that although Discord is not like standard social media platforms, it can certainly be used as one: a place to interact with like-minded people and share your thoughts and ideas.
How Take Advantage of Discord Social Media Features
Discord is very powerful for building communities that gather people around shared interests. Starting your own Discord server is easy and allows you to build a community of engaged individuals who are passionate about a specific topic.
Additionally, Discord servers offer several monetization opportunities, such as granting Patron supporters access to private spaces and offering monthly subscriptions in exchange for perks. Another way to reward the more committed members is to create a role system that ensures special roles and recognition to more active members, such as these:
But if you’re looking to grow your community before you can start monetizing the server, there are also many tactics to make your new server popular by leveraging Discord’s social media features.
On the one hand, you can create an announcements channel. This allows members from other servers to follow your announcements channel and get updates on their own server, which will help you reach more people. In addition to this, make sure to develop a good environment by creating a variety of channels and organizing them into relevant categories. This will promote members’ discussions and ideas exchange.
On the other hand, hosting events is a surefire way to keep members engaged and active in the community. You can organize giveaways and contests with the help of diverse bots. You can also leverage stage channels to stream events like AMAs, interviews with experts, workshops, social/fun events, and more, depending on your server’s main focus and audience. The Scheduled Events feature makes it easy for users to sign up for an event and sends them a reminder before it starts.
Lastly, make sure to leverage the Server Insights feature (only available for community servers with 500+ members). This feature allows you to know your community on a deeper level by keeping track of key performance indicators. These include engagement ratio, audience data, retention, statistics for your announcements channel and welcome screen, and more.
If you’re looking to grow a community, make sure your onboarding strategy is in check to increase new members’ retention. Here are the steps to welcome new members within an online community!