Slack holds more power than you can imagine. No, I’m not referring to the Giphy feature or emojifing your profile pic. The Slack team managed to develop a tool that connects a group of people in the easiest and most pleasant way possible. And in our cluttered messaging apps world, this is gold.
For those of you who haven’t joined it yet, Slack is the WhatsApp for teams. One of its benefits is the integrations to dozens of services, like Zapier, Mailchimp, Trello and many others. Over 2 million people are currently using this messaging service every day, and not so long ago Inc. Magazine chose it as 2015 company of the year.
As Aaron Agius stated, Slack is one of the must-have tools in your arsenal for 2016. Aside from the clean interface, ease of use and endless integrations, Slack offers one additional opportunity for its users – being active in open communities.
What is a Slack Community?
A Slack community is a group of Slack users that are gathered around a specific topic. For instance, there are Slack communities for marketers, entrepreneurs, designers and developers. There are also communities for a specific location, like a NYC Slack community.
The community acts just like your team’s Slack chat. The discussions are organised in different channels. For example, in a marketing group, there will be channels for inbound marketing, social media, AMAs etc. A member can chat in a channel of many members, or communicate directly with one of the members only.
Why Should You Join a Slack Community?
There are communities everywhere: on Facebook, Linkedin, Reddit, GrowthHackers, Blab, you name it. Why do you need to join another community?
For the immediate response by great people.
Slack offers the benefits of a community with real-time response. In the thriving communities, the chat is honest and useful. You can ask any question, recommend a good reading or share your experience and get a helpful feedback.
The communities are a great place to find like-minded marketers who encounter the same issues like you, and share their solutions.
The downside? You’ll add yourself another time-consuming platform to attend, with a must-check notifications.
Thousands of marketers are already there, so you can not afford yourself not to even try it and see what the fuss is all about.
Before we dive into the recommended marketing communities, here are some recommended Slack manners:
When invited into the community, briefly introduce yourself in the general channel.
Read before you write
Make sure you get the channel’s vibe before you participate.
Unless genuinely contributing to the conversation, don’t self-promote.
People share honest questions and there’s no need to be rude or arrogant with your feedback. Be nice, it’s super easy.
Write where you’re supposed to
Before posting your thoughts, make sure you’ve found the best channel for it.
Recommended Slack Communities for Marketers
Recommended channel: #good_finds
What is it: Online Geniuses is the biggest marketing community on Slack. It’s the right place to ask how to ignite your Snapchat marketing strategy, talk about trends and effectively network.
David Markovich / Online Geniuses
The Slack consultant and organizer of Online Geniuses, share his tips for making the most out of the successful community:
Make an introduction with encouraging people to reach out to you.
Share your location and say you’re always up for meeting.
The fun channel: #Bookclub
What is it: A super active community, who covers everything social and also operate location-centered channels, like the area-London or area-Singapore for local members.
Surprising channel: #twincities – a channel for the Twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota.
What is it: The Slack group of the international product community. Members talk about growth and data-driven product management.
Chris Massey / Mind the Product
Massey, product marketer and community builder, share his insights:
“If you’re trying to grow a Slack community, the key thing is to be present as much as possible, and help the community find it’s own shape and patterns. Slack is incredibly flexible, and you’ll find that some patterns of behaviour will emerge without you having any control over them, and that’s okay!
Be present, connect with your community, and gently work with them to help shape a space that people want to be part of.”
Channel of Opportunities: #CareerAdvice
What is it: The beloved Inbound.org community expanded its boundaries and manages a highly active Slack group. The conversations are about content, SEO, tools and many other inbound issues.
Mary Green / Inbound.org
Precious tips from Mary Green, the mover and shaker of the Inbound.org community, for growing and nurturing a community:
“Growing a community is like growing anything else, a lot of time is necessary to push the boulder up the mountain, once it reaches the top, it rolls down quite easily.
The difference with online communities is that you really have to focus on building relationships, and talking to people. Honestly make them feel good, help them, tell them about things you think would be useful for them. Spend time looking at their problems and help them make connections with others in the community.”
Channel you wouldn’t find elsewhere: #dutch-speakers
What is it: A community of conversion optimizers and data-driven marketing geeks. Many channels help matching members by their location, such as the channels for people from North America, Australia, Belgium, Brazil and many other countries.
The go-hustle channel: #humblebrag
What is it: A place that gathers around growth, product and customer marketers. Powered by Drift, the community offers real-time answers by a friendly group members.
Amanda Tessier / Product Marketing
Not-to-miss tips from Drift’s Amanda Tessier on how to get the most of a Slack community:
Set a profile picture of yourselfYou’d be amazed how many people never upload an image or select one of a pet. Using a relevant photo makes it easier to recognize and remember who you are behind the profile.
In the groups I’ve joined, there’s usually a channel for this. Utilize it – sometimes people know your company or have held a similar position to you and want to share ideas.
Review the channels and join them
Often people stay in the channels they were automatically added to upon invitation. You’ll find more interesting content in the other areas that might not be shared in the main channels. You can find these by clicking “CHANNELS” on the left sidebar beneath the team name.
This means sharing content, answering questions, and asking for input. Often people are cautious about speaking up. Conversation gets going when a few people start sharing content and lending their expertise.
Channel to learn your next hack: #growth
What is it: Definitely the group with the most creative name. Growmance is a community of growth marketers who are not afraid to ask for a honest feedback from the group members about anything. You can run your pdf or email template here and refine it till it’s absolutely perfect.
Ondrej Kubala / Growmance
Ondrej Kubala, the growth hacker behind Growmance, shares his tips for getting the most out of the community:
You shouldn’t be afraid to ask. This is how you actually get to know new people.
If you know how to help others, go ahead and help them.
Stay away from self-promotion. Post it to channels that are used for this kind of things.
8. Grey Fedora
Too-cool-for-school channel: #hipsters
What is it: You can tell by the name that this community is something different. The Grey Fedora is a “community of Hustlers, Hackers, and Hipsters aiming to connect and reach their ultimate goals”. Just try it.
Bonus: Recommended Communities by Readers
The channel for building your own community: #tribebuilding
What is it: Share tribe-building strategies, experiences and resources with fellow entrepreneurs, marketers, and other creatives.
10. Marketers Chat
Where to find tools for problems you didn’t know you had: #tools
What is it: A real-time Slack chat community for affiliate and internet marketers.
Where Can You Find Slack Communities
If you are looking for communities other than marketing, here a some resources to expand your search and keep you updated:
Hamster Pad: a directory of slack chats
Slofile: Public Slack community database.
Angela Cois’ comprehensive list of Slack communities
Reddit Slack Hangouts: A subreddit for Slack communities.
Chats.Directory: A curated list of Slack groups sorted by topics.
Chit Chats: a ranking site of Slack groups.
Can I Start My Own Community?
Sure, anyone can start a new community. Just create one with the sign-up option on Slack’s homepage. After you pick the community’s name and your username you are ready to go. Before inviting new members it’s better to set an automated welcoming message with community guidelines.
Jump Start your Slack Community with Influencers
A community needs a massive push at the beginning. Here are the recommended first steps for creating the initial ripple:
1. Pick a topic that isn’t talked about in other Slack groups.
2. Invite influencers who are immersed in the topic. They would be your precious early adopters.
3. Start a conversation at least once a weekday.
4. Tag them when needed.
5. Tell people about your community with the help of the influencers’ social power. AMAs, where they invite people to ask them anything on your community, is a good start.
Not sure how to reach out to influencers? Here’s a quick guide to get you started.
What is your favourite Slack community?
Are you active in a Slack community? What’s your favourite one? Did we miss any interesting marketing community? Got any useful Slack hack? Please share the joy with us!