Why it’s Hard to Grow a Community

Why it’s Hard to Grow a Community

Growing an online community at first may seem like an easy thing to do, but it isn’t, compared to Twitter or Instagram. A community isn’t an audience, and there is a difference. An audience is much easier to grow compared to a community, you can’t just shove a bunch of paid marketing into a community and expect it to grow, it requires care and enrichment from you and your staff team.

Why is it hard to grow a Discord Server?

There are quite a few reasons why it is hard to grow a Discord Server.

  1. 100 Server Limit — The 100 server limit for free users or the 200 server limit for Nitro Subscribers is a large barrier in growing a Discord Server. As members fill up their server limit, they have to prioritize the communities that they are in and participate in to save their server list space. This is also a struggle for community owners as if they don’t keep their community engaged then they will get bored of the community and move on. On a platform like Instagram, there is no limit to the number of people you can follow and Instagram doesn’t make it easy to leave a community.
  2. Easy to leave a server — It takes three clicks to leave a Discord Server. This means that it takes close to no effort at all to leave a Discord Server and everyone knows how to do it. Compare that to an app like Instagram, it’s a lot harder to unfollow and they don’t make it as clear to do. In general, as well, people don’t unfollow accounts due to the consistent feed of different accounts, don’t like a post? Keep scrolling down.
  3. Consistent Notifications — Being in a Discord Server means you are at the mercy of the community in terms of notifications. Sure you can disable them, but by default, a server can get your attention a lot better than a YouTube channel for example. Once they have your attention they can either make or break it. A lot of the time when staff ping everyone with an announcement people leave as they forgot that they were in that server, aren’t interested or are upset that they were pinged.
  4. Consistent Focus — Being in a Discord Server also means that they have your full attention when they join. A lot of members will leave within the first 5 minutes if they cannot work their way around the server or don’t feel like they’re going to enjoy the community. Compare that to a Twitter account, people follow then forget about it.

These 4 reasons cause online communities to be a lot harder to grow than regular social media accounts and it shows why you cannot throw money at them.

How does Discord compare to an app like Instagram?

Discord and Instagram have a lot in common, except that it is an author speaking to an audience. Let’s look at some key stats.

  • 7,000,000 servers on Discord
  • 1,000,000,000 members on Instagram
  • 20ish Servers with over 500,000 members
  • 3,000,000 Instagram accounts with over 500,000 followers

As can be seen from these statistics, the % of Instagram accounts with over 500,000 followers is around 0.003% whereas on Discord it’s approximately 0.0000029%. This shows the stark contrast between the number of servers and Instagram accounts that have more than 500,000 members/followers and shows that it is a lot harder to grow and maintain an online community.

Overall, Communities need marketing, but also nurturing from the staff team. You can add as many people as you want to your community, but to keep them, they need to be engaged.