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4 Things to do Right Now to Kickstart Your New Game Dev Twitter/Instagram

Thought I’d make a quick post this week on a list of things you can do right now to kickstart your brand new social media account. I got the inspiration for this when someone in Devtalk+ was asking me for advice on their game dev / art Twitter that they hadn’t used for years so they were looking for a fresh start.

This guide is primarily for game dev and art accounts. However, other types of accounts can take some ideas and implement them as well. If you find any of these helpful or something I missed, please let me know!

Before we start… decide what your account will focus on. Will it be for your studio? Or promoting your graphic design to game devs? Or sharing your art to the world? This will make it much easier moving forward.

Note: for personal accounts (such as my own) they can have multiple aspects but can have 1 primary focus. For my personal account, I’ll RT fanart from anime and games I like and post about my chihuahua Leroy, but the primary focus is game development ideas and philosophies (i.e. not sharing my game dev progress but rather talking about game dev concepts like marketing).

1. Profile

It’s the most obvious but also one of the most important features- your icon, your bio, and your header! I’m constantly editing mine to keep it up to date and the best it can be.

My studio Twitter, currently averaging anywhere from 1-4 new followers a day
My personal Twitter
My studio Instagram- it’s a lot younger than my studio Twitter!

You want a clear profile image, good banner, descriptive bio, and a clean handle.

Profile Image

A clear profile image that best describes you or what you’re working on:

  • On Crystal Game Works I typically have it as the protagonist from my current game
  • On my personal I keep it between my two mascots, Mikomi and Rimia (Rimia is my current icon)

For game developers, I recommend an icon of your current game in development, perhaps the protagonist. If your game doesn’t really have a “main character” then a logo can be used.

For artists, I recommend your own art as your icon. While I am an artist, my personal Twitter isn’t just for my art, so I’ll sometimes have it be other people’s art (and credit them).

Banner

A banner if on Twitter, possibly with a logo:

  • On Crystal Game Works I used to have a banner of the key art for Asterism + the logo, but right now it’s a banner artwork of Enamored Risks, my most recent release
  • On my personal it’s a drawing I did, I typically make it an artwork of mine

Keep in mind that on Twitter your icon will cover some of your banner. You can be more descriptive like indie authors and have banners promoting your next launch with descriptive words. Or, you can go for a simpler banner that’s just your key art and a logo.

For artists, like the icon, I recommend you use your own art.

Bio

A descriptive but easy to digest bio:

  • On Crystal Game Works’ Twitter I have multiple points in my bio:
    • It’s female-owned
    • We make visual novels and RPGs
    • We focus on romance and otome games
    • A small list of our finished games
  • On my personal I use a more bullet-point style and go over:
    • My nickname, Miko
    • My pronouns
    • What I primarily do (I’m an anime artist, freelance marketer, and visual novel developer)
    • The company I own (including an @)
    • Credit for my icon

I’m not a big fan of the more classic bullet point style “Father. Developer. 34. Video game fan for life.” but it depends on your style. Ironically, my studio bio might read more personal than my personal bio! It’s 2 sentences with exclamation marks, and highlighting it’s female-ran makes it even more personal and potentially relatable.

Make sure you also add a link to the link field! A link to your website or portfolio is perfect. For both of my accounts I link to my websites for each.

Handle

A clean handle:

  • On Crystal Game Works I ran out of characters on Twitter and could only get @crystalgamework, but it still is quite clear. (Twitter, please, just give me 1 more letter!)
  • On my personal it’s simply my username, @MikomiKisomi.

While you might not be able to get the best handle in the world, try to make it as clean as you can. Underscores and other special characters can be fine but we’re not working with MySpace usernames from 2000 anymore.

Note about icons / banners: feel free to change them up with a new release or event! The Steam Game Festival started before I released this article so I changed the icon, banner, and username (not handle) for Crystal Game Works to reflect the Asterism demo being a part of it.

2. First Tweets / Posts

Before you get people looking at your account, you need to have stuff on it! Whether this is a brand new account or a dead one you’re refurbishing, make a few posts that are on brand for your new outlook. Here’s some ideas for your first few posts.

Game Studio accounts:

  • Introduce your studio and team members
  • Introduce your project(s)
  • Post concept art, programmings/writing snippets, works in progress things
  • Link any finished games, demos, devlogs, etc.
  • Post a screenshot of your current game(s)

Art accounts:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Post an image of your workspace / tools you use
  • Share your older art and a newer art
  • Post a piece you’re proud of
  • Post WIPs of a future art piece
  • Create a video/gif showing an art piece go from sketch -> finished

Personal accounts:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Talk about something you’re passionate about
  • Post an image (maybe your animal!)
  • Link an article you like
  • Introduce a project you’ve worked on or talk about what kind of projects you’d like to work on

Do something to fill the empty space on your page. If you’d like more ideas on things you can post, you can check out my article on social media post ideas.

3. Follow People

Finally, you’re ready to share your account to the world! So, let’s follow some people!

Follow people in the area you’re making the account for. For game dev studio accounts, follow other game dev studios in your field- if you make visual novels follow other visual novel devs, if you make platformers follow other platformer developers, etc. If you’re an artist, follow other smaller artists.

Note: don’t treat this like a follow-for-follow. Follow accounts you’re interested in and don’t expect to be followed back.

If you don’t know where to look… then look no further than hashtags! For visual novel development on Twitter we have #vndev and #vnlink. For general indie games you can look through #indiegame, #indiedev, #indiegamedev, #gamedev, and more.

Try to follow around 20-50 accounts in your first run. Twitter and Instagram both have daily follower limits but they change from time to time.

4. Engagement

Last but not least, it’s something you’ll find preached again and again- engage first if you want engagement. You’ve followed a group of people, so now interact with them!

It can be as simple as liking a post of theirs that you like, or commenting on a post.

You can also interact with people you’re not following but who are posting in the tags you searched through- on Instagram, the default search area is customized to show popular posts from tags you’re following and similar posts from people you’re following. If you’re on Discord, share you account around and ask for other people’s accounts.


Thank you guys for reading, hope this small article helped! If you want to read more of my marketing ramblings, here’s a few hand-picked articles:

Making Twitter Painless for Game Dev Marketing

Game Dev Social Media Calendar

Game Dev Social Media Post Ideas

If you have an idea for a future article, feel free to @ me on Twitter or request it in my marketing channel in Devtalk+, a community for visual novel and story-heavy developers. If you’d like to support me, consider sharing these articles around or wishlisting my games on Steam!

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0 to 100 Instagram Followers Speedrun

It started when my friend (who requests to be unnamed) posted this in my marketing channel.

This friend has about 1k followers on their main art Instagram. One day they decided to make a new side account and just posted old art to it with good tags. Over the course of around 15 hours, they went from 0 to 20 followers.

As a marketer (but an artist first and foremost) this intrigued me. At this time I was only on Instagram with my company’s account (@CrystalGameWorks), but I didn’t fully understand it. However, this made me want to try something…

I’ve been drawing for, come November, an entire decade. I have a lot of art finished. Sure, a lot of it isn’t great, but there’s a fair amount of pieces from the past few years that are serviceable. While some of the pieces might not look great to me, someone else might think it looks fine. So, I started digging them up and created a challenge for myself.

On May 6th, I decided to create an art Instagram for myself and upload once or twice every day until my birthday, May 30th, or until I reached 100 followers. How quickly could a new account reach 100 followers? What’s the best ways to increase engagement? How do you get people to even notice you? These questions and more will be, er, somewhat answered…

Click page 2 to continue!