How to protect your Discord community and safeguard the value of superfans

Written by Aidan Wilson

There'll always be bad actors on any platform looking for loopholes they can exploit. Sadly, that means that even a happy community of like-minded superfans can attract someone looking to spoil the fun. Fortunately, there are a number of security tools and mitigation strategies that a smart brand can use to minimise risks while still scoring the value of a superfan community.

It's important to remember that there's always a risk in any online interaction. But that shouldn't stop any music artist, sports team, podcast creator or brand gathering their superfans to drive tangible monetisation and marketing value.

With some smart thinking, guidance from experienced community managers and effective use of the tools available, it's more than possible to reduce the risks and manage the damage.

The case of the leaked music

Let's take a look at the example of one Discord community owner we work with here at Levellr. The community was dedicated to a music artist who shared exclusive new music with superfans - a proven engagement strategy which inspires the community to spread the word, stream the artist's other tunes, and get ready to spend money on the upcoming release.

Unfortunately, a community user was leaking the new music.

But the culprit was quickly found and the situation dealt with. Trained moderators spotted something going on and flagged the user to the community owner. When a member violates the clearly-communicated rules of the community, the owner simply looks them up in the membership dashboard to find their details. Armed with that information, the community owner was then able to contact the user who committed the breach, and took legal action against them.

The artist and their team may have had concerns about security. But they knew that a happy community drives too much value to ignore.

Mitigation strategies

Here are some security strategies that safeguard your brand and your data while still giving you all the benefits of a fan community:

Plan ahead

Before posting any content, think about what impact it would have if something went wrong. For example, if a new single was leaked and ended up on pirate sites, would it have a material impact on streaming revenue when the song was officially released? If the wider public became aware of a post or conversation that was meant to remain within the community, how might they react? A quick risk assessment will help you decide on an appropriate mitigation strategy. And a pre-planned response that you can launch quickly will help you contain any fallout.

Reduce the risks

If you're concerned, you can reduce the risks or mitigate the damage of a security breach. For example, when releasing a new song or video, try releasing a snippet rather than the whole thing. A smart mitigation strategy will help reduce any impact on real KPIs.

Control the narrative

A security breach is an understandable concern. But if the worst happens, think about how your brand can turn it to your advantage. When you have a robust predefined response, you can swing into action and reassure the community and wider world that you're addressing the problem. Swift and sensitive communication goes a long way to maintaining trust among your fans - play it right, and they may even trust your brand more.

Some security breaches may even give you a chance to flip a negative to a positive. If something gets leaked, your mitigation strategy should minimise impact on the brand's revenue. But it will show other fans that the Discord community is the place to hear new music and access exclusives.

Start with your mods

Members of the community are sensitive to what's going on in the community, and that makes them an ideal resource for community owners. Moderators recruited from the community are your eyes and ears among their fellow fans, as they're able to spot unusual activity inside the community or are aware of leaks in other spaces outside the community.

Levellr turns superfans into supermods by training them to spot problems, defuse conflict and report potential issues. Mods are an effective early warning system to catch potential security issues before they blow up, and are ideally placed to help you tackle any problems.

Use the tools

Discord comes with tools that help you guide and protect your community, and keep your data safe for the intended audience. For example, Discord allows you to assign roles to members, based on factors like their location, interests or activity. You can use these roles as a layer of verification.

So when releasing an exclusive ticket sale to the community, you could ensure genuine fans get their hands on tickets instead of touts by making it available to members who have posted a certain number of times, or who have linked their Spotify accounts and streamed a certain number of songs. That stops scalpers in their tracks as you prevent them simply signing up to your community to grab tickets.

Level up your security with Levellr

When you sign up with Levellr, our tools turbocharge all aspects of your experience. That includes extra layers of safety, from moderator training to security controls. And our team of community managers have years of experience protecting communities and brands from all kinds of problems.

We work with a range of clients in multiple industries and sectors, from music artists like Conan Grey and Fall Out Boy to global brands like Starbucks. We've helped them drive tangible marketing ROI and monetisation value through meaningful emotion connection with fans, in a protected environment where your brand and your members can feel safe.

Contact Levellr today to find out how you can found a safe, secure and exciting community that creates huge value for your brand.

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