In a world that’s becoming increasingly digital and online, you may have noticed a shift in the way we communicate. For instance, digital communications are no longer a novelty; they’re a requirement in the workplace.
While you may use a smartphone and technology such as email and chat rooms, it may be difficult to keep up with everything that’s available. For example, there’s something called Slack, which many workplaces use.
At first glance, it may appear to be a simple chatroom, but in reality, it’s so much more than that. In this article, we’ll tell you all about Slack communities. So read on to find out more!
What Is Slack?
Slack is a workplace collaboration tool. At its core, it’s a chatroom where people can talk with one another instantly. You can set up different groups for various purposes; for instance, you can have one for random “water cooler” talk, while others can be for specific teams.
You also have the option to send direct messages to members. So if there are private matters you need to discuss, you can do it discreetly with this option. Or you can create a private channel that’s invite-only to keep information secure and protected.
In addition to being a chatroom, as we’ve said, it’s a collaboration tool. Not only can you chat instantly with one another, but you can attach files as well. This means you can upload Word documents, graphics, and more through either your computer or your Google Drive account.
One of the best features of Slack is Slackbot. This is AI that can be programmed to handle mundane tasks so humans don’t have to bother.
For example, if you have a handbook that needs to be referred to, you can program the Slackbot to link it whenever someone types in “handbook.” That way, it’s always one command away.
You can also message Slackbot on your own. Using a new program or app can be confusing, and you don’t want to bother your colleagues with your endless questions.
Slackbot is programmed to send you a few initial introduction messages as soon as you join a Slack workspace. It’ll give you a few options to read from, or you can type in your questions.
Slackbot may also inform you of all the channels available in a workspace. This can be beneficial if you aren’t too sure which ones are relevant to you, as you can view a list from Slackbot.
What Are Slack Communities?
Slack communities are digital congregations which are very similar to Facebook groups. However, as you may know, Facebook groups don’t have the option for instantaneous communication. You also can’t attach files from your computer or Google Drive.
If you’re not a fan of social media but still want to keep up with your industry, joining a Slack community can be a great idea. These communities are excellent for providing you with up-to-date information.
What Are the Benefits of Slack Communities?
Maybe you’re not completely sold on the idea of Slack communities. That’s ok; we’re here to show you what opportunities are available when you join these workspaces.
Instantly Communicate With the Masses
Because of its very nature, Slack communities guarantee high engagement. The instant chat feature facilitates free flow of thoughts, which means if you want to bounce ideas off of people, you’re sure to get a response within a few minutes.
Workspaces may have hundreds of people in them, so you can chat with people all over the world at any given time. You’ll be able to gather thoughts and opinions of people in a matter of minutes, whereas a traditional survey would take days, maybe even weeks to complete.
You can even grab the attention of every member of the channel you’re in by using the “@channel” command. This will send an alert (either push notification by phone or email) to everyone, letting them know you have something important to ask or tell them.
Utilize Visual Collaboration Features
While digital communications are much more convenient (and efficient) than phone calls and handwritten letters, they’re not without their downsides. For example, how many times have you had a frustrating back-and-forth with a colleague because they didn’t understand exactly what you were talking about?
In these times, you probably wish you could share your screen with them; that’d resolve the confusion in an instant. With Slack, that’s a possibility!
One way to share your screen is to create a GIF of your screen, such as you clicking on a particular folder or file. Then, all you have to do is drop it into chat and they’ll see exactly what you’re talking about.
Another way to do this is to record your screen. There are several integrations that allow you to do this easily with a little popout toolbar. Just click “record,” get what you’re trying to do on screen, hit “stop,” then upload the clip onto Slack, all without having to leave the program.
Get Inside Industry Knowledge
In many Slack communities, they may hold AMA sessions (“AMA” stands for “ask me anything”). In these sessions, experts volunteer some of their time to answer any questions the channel members have.
This gives you an up-close and personal look into the lives of industry experts. Whether you’re looking to grow in your career or you’re gathering information on how your competition operates, these AMA sessions can offer you excellent insight.
What’s great about these AMA sessions is you don’t have to actively participate to learn something new. While you can come prepared with questions and hope yours get answered, you can also just load up the channel at the specified time and just sit back and relax as other people pick the brains of industry experts.
Get Opinions Instantly Through Polls
With so many people participating in Slack communities, this is a fantastic opportunity to gain some insight into how people feel about certain topics in your industry.
While you can always pose an open-ended question, a much more effective way to get results is to poll people. There are two ways you can do this.
The easier way is to ask your question, then ask people to react with different emojis to represent their responses. You can then count them up at the end of the day, record and display your data the way you prefer.
Or you can utilize the Slack integrations. There are several available for polls, so take a look around to see which one you like.
With these integrations, you can create a poll that is then shared with the channel. The members choose their answers, and the poll will send you the results in a neat table or graph.
Enjoy Integration With Many Other Apps
Slack has over 60 apps you can add to their platform to streamline your workflow. What’s even more awesome about Slack is not only can you choose from prebuilt integrations, but you can build your own as well.
With this feature, this means the possibilities are endless when it comes to integrating your work platforms with Slack. You’ll be able to monitor as many apps as you want from one convenient platform.
For instance, you can use the Twitter integration so Slack notifies you whenever someone Tweets about your company or industry. Once you get a notification, all you have to do is load up Slack and take a look at the message, which is embedded in the notification.
This allows you to have a better grasp on the pulse of your industry and ensures you don’t miss out on key moments.
Join a Slack Community Today
As you can see, Slack communities offer wonderful benefits to all its members. Its main advantage is you get to interact with a large community of professionals in your industry.
Not only can you get advice instantaneously, but you can also find other like-minded individuals to collaborate with. And the best thing is you won’t have to leave Slack to put together a workflow, as Slack is able to integrate with a ton of other apps for maximum efficiency.
With all the benefits Slack communities offer, it’s a smart idea to at least give it a try to see if it’s for you. The program itself is free, as are the majority of Slack communities, so you’ve got nothing to lose!
If you’d like to join a large online Slack community for marketers, then sign up for Online Geniuses today! We have multiple membership plans to suit individual needs.