How to Build a Discord Community

How to Build a Discord Community
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Starting your first a Discord server is easy.

But it takes time and effort to make it truly thrive.

In this article, we’ll provide you with the steps to set up your Discord server as well as some tips on how to make it an active platform that your members actually benefit from.

Follow along to get started…

Why Should You Use Discord?

If you are a brand or business, a Discord community can be a powerful tool for sustaining a long-term relationship with new customers and existing supporters of your brand. It’s a great platform for sharing ideas with one another where you can thoroughly understand the suggestions of your members. This in turn can help determine what your business should be doing next. So consider it as another channel for your brand to better understand the pain points and behaviour of your customers.

There are several steps you need to take in order to build a Discord community server. But before that, we’ll walk you through some considerations to think about when deciding whether or not Discord is the right platform for your brand.

Is Discord for You?

If you’ve never tried Discord, it may be a little difficult to gauge how well it may or may not work for you.

So here’s a quick rundown of the platform.

Discord is a communication platform that was originally most utilised by gamers, allowing members access to voice channels (for voice chat), sharing photos and videos, and joining other communities or channels with friends or people they don’t know.

Though gamers still use it today, it has been growing in popularity since it is an easy platform to use. Many brands are already using Discord to build their own community, replacing traditional forums, messaging apps and other online community-centric platforms.

Essentially this is what it looks like:

An example of a rules channel from Discord's article, "Best Practices for Starting a Great Community on Discord"
An example of a rules channel from Discord’s article, “Best Practices for Starting a Great Community on Discord”

On the left side, you’ll see various channels. Each Discord server’s channels serve as specific sections to discuss particular topics. That way, the conversations around particular themes don’t get lost in a sea of a single channel that is filled with other ongoing discussions. On the right side, you’ll see the members of the server and their roles.

Now, to view each of the accessible channels, simply click on one of them and you’ll see the selected channel pop up in the centre. Because the Read Me channel is selected, we can see the rules of the Discord server that community members need to follow.

Hopefully, you now have an idea as to how Discord could be a suitable platform for brands that want to strengthen their ties with their communities, but at the same time, it may not be the right option for every business.

We’ve listed a few questions as well as a breakdown for each to help you determine if Discord is for your brand or business:

  • What type of community do you want to create?

Think about what kind of community you want to build and keep in mind who your target audience is. If you have more than one audience you can consider creating a new server to establish multiple community servers for each of your audiences. However, it’s better to identify if those audiences can be under one server where they have a dedicated channel that is private.

By identifying how to go about your channels and servers according to your audiences, you can then decide which areas to focus on, such as your voice channels or channels dedicated to specific purposes like a progress channel for aquarium building where community discussions can take place.

It is also important to consider how active you want the community to be – do you want to host regular giveaways, or do you expect people to use the community on an as-needed basis?

We believe that Discord is best for closed communities with a specific purpose whose members remain active in terms of participation. If you’re looking to build a general community with many users, consider other platforms like Facebook or Reddit instead, where participation is a little more random and sporadic.

  • Do you have the time and resources to engage with your community regularly?

Discord is a social platform that relies heavily on interaction and engagement between members. If you don’t have the time to respond to messages and conversations, Discord may not be for you.

  • Do you want your community to be public or closed?

Discord allows you to set up both public and private servers, so you can decide how open your community should be. Public servers can be easily accessible for anyone to join but require more moderation. Private servers allow for a more closed but interactive experience, though a user can only be part of the server via an invite from the server admins or the server owner.

  • How large do you want your community to be?

If you’re looking to build a large community with thousands of members, you can still use Discord but you’ll need to take note of the Server Member Cap Increase Request which you can read about here.

Ultimately, only you can decide whether Discord will work for your business. Consider your goals and needs carefully before making a decision. If you think Discord could be a good fit, go ahead and give it a try!

Steps to Building a Discord Community

Step 1: Enable Your Community Server

Click your server’s name with the drop-down arrow at the top and click Server Settings.

Server settings on Discord

Scroll down until you see the Enable Community section then click Get Started. You’ll then be presented with settings to configure to your preferences.

Enable community and get started

Step 2: Set Up Your Server

On the leftmost side, click the green plus sign button.

The green plus sign button on a Discord server

Next, select whether you’ll Start from a template or Create My Own. Note that the difference between the two is that if you use a template, it will automatically create channels related to the template selected.

Creating a Discord server has two options which are Create My Own or Start from a Template

Step 3: Add Your Server Name and Upload a Photo

In this step, simply add the server name and the appropriate photo that will represent your brand’s own community.

Server name example when creating a Discord server is Melbourne Digital Creators and Artists

Step 4: Set Up Your Channels

As mentioned previously, Discord channels are located on the left side with a “#” symbol before each channel name as shown below.

The "Create Channel" button for creating a Discord channel

To add more channels simply click your server’s name with the drop-down arrow, then click Create Channel and select your preferred channel type. Add your channel name and choose whether you’ll want to make the channel you’re creating to be a private group or not.

Discord channel type options, channel name portion and the option for a channel to be set in private

Step 5: Set Up Your Server Rules

To set up your server rules, click on the Membership Screening section which is found under Server Settings. Next, click Set up Membership Screening and then click on Get Started under the Add a Question section. A pop-up for you to add your own rule will show up. To add more rules, simply click the Add a Rule button.

Rules section in a Discord server

Step 6: Assign the Roles

Assigning roles will help you later on as your community grows especially in the area of moderation. You’ll want to assign moderators who will not only be dedicated community managers but more importantly will think about the best interest of your members.

If you’re starting with a few individuals you already know and have added to your community you can already assign them to specific roles. To do this, head over to the Server Settings and click Roles, then click Create Role. Enter the role name you wish to create, if that’s a moderator, add that. Next, add the role colour and role icon. If you scroll down, you will see the options to display role members separately from online members and allow anyone to mention this role. Simply toggle the buttons to switch from which one of the two options to implement. The same goes for the Permissions section, where a list of permission options will be presented to you, with each having a corresponding guide as to what it means.

Roles section in a Discord community

Step 7: Invite People to Join Your Community

Finally, you’ll need to add individuals to join your server by inviting them. You can either send an invite link to an existing group chat or share it online on your social media platforms. You can find your invite link, by clicking on the drop-down arrow of your server’s name, then click Invite People, and copy the link presented to you.

Tips to Ensure an Active Discord Community

Maintain Your Community

Once you’ve set up your Discord server and created all the necessary channels, it’s important to maintain your community. This means maintaining a regular posting schedule, moderating discussions, and keeping an eye on the chat logs. By doing this, you’ll help ensure that your community remains active and fun for everyone involved. Additionally, you may want to consider hosting regular contests or giveaways to attract new users and keep your existing members anticipated for more.

Going beyond simply moderating discussions, it’s important to be active and responsive to any questions or concerns of your community members. This means responding quickly to user comments and queries, engaging in discussions, and creating opportunities for users to connect with one another. You can check your server insights to determine the overall health of your server.

Promote Your Discord Server

We mentioned earlier that you can invite people to your Discord community via the use of social media. Leveraging this, you can use Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to host regular contests and giveaways, where part of the mechanics is to join the Discord community, as a way to attract more users to check out your server.

There are a variety of tactics that you can use, feel free to explore and mix different approaches. You can even leave your community’s Discord invite link in online forums as a means to promote your community.

Listen to Your Members

When it comes to running a successful Discord community, listening to your members is key. After all, they’re your customers and supporters who are going to be actively participating in your server. So it’s important to take their suggestions into account.

Do they prefer maximising Discord’s audio and video capabilities via voice and video chatting? What kind of content is best to share with your community? By learning what kind of content your existing community members want to consume and how to discuss things, you can establish not only an engaged community but also drive more potential members to join. As you are providing them with relevant content worth their time.

If you’re running a server that’s based around a certain topic or hobby, make sure that your members receive regular updates.

Conclusion

Discord is a great platform for communities of all sizes. Although, community building takes time, effort, and a bit of creativity. But by following the tips we’ve outlined in this guide, you’ll be able to set up your server quickly and easily while also ensuring that you get started on the right foot.

A strong community can provide valuable feedback, help promote your products, and even contribute to your bottom line. And building a Discord community can help foster these important relationships that are valuable to your brand.

If you’re looking to build a Discord community or need help with managing an existing one, contact us today!