Slack started off as a messenger in 2013 with 16K active users in 2014. According to Business of Apps, by 2021, Slack has $902 million in revenue, $292 million in profit, and 12+ million users. Today, Slack is more than just a messenger. It is actively used by more than 750K organizations to do business, due to its convenience. For example, the slackbot feature handles routine tasks, and workspaces allow gathering teams to discuss work-related topics. Channels organize your conversations, it can be public to everyone in the company or invite-only (private). Meanwhile, the greatest Slack feature is the ability to build communities.
Unfortunately, although people who eagerly use Slack for team communication have a vague idea about Slack communities and which of them they should engage with. In this article, we’ll try to demonstrate that Slack communities are your go-to place to find clients, partners, advice, and help in your B2B business.
Slack communities. Benefits and limitations
The killer feature of Slack communities is that they are created by professionals and for professionals. In most cases, you need to get an invitation to join, so there are much fewer odd people there. It’s a tool to unite people around the world who share their knowledge and experience to help each other in professional and personal growth.
There are thousands of communities in total and the number keeps growing. The key reason for such popularity is convenience. Slack communities help companies bridge the gap between internal and external communications.
Initially, Slack was designed and used as a team messenger. Team members got used to Slack as an intra-team communication platform and, naturally, found it super convenient to create communities with fellow professionals outside their teams. The only thing they have to do is to switch workspaces on your Slack board.
- Priceless source of information. Slack communities are different from other communities, groups, and forums in their business orientation. Here, professionals discuss their needs and pains. Often, the needs of professionals equal business needs. That’s why Slack communities are a great source of information about your market and the place to fish for leads in B2B.
- Communication with users instantly. The instant chat feature promotes the free flow of thoughts and bouncing ideas between people, so you’re sure to get a response within a few minutes. If you want to grab the attention of every member of the channel, use the “@channel” command. This will send an alert to everyone.
- Getting inside industry knowledge. Many Slack communities hold sessions where experts volunteer some of their time to answer any questions the channel members have. It’s a great chance to get an up-close and personal look into the lives of industry experts. You don’t even have to actively participate to learn something new. If you don’t have any specific questions, just load up the channel at the specified time to read experts’ answers.
- With a free plan, you have access to 10,000 of the most recent messages in the community. It’s a drawback as the discussions that take place in a community are the most valuable assets. Every message that is unsearchable results in diminished value.
- It’s a challenge to find an open community. Most of them are available when you receive an invite. On the one hand, it means there are no odd people in this community, on the other hand, you waste time waiting for a week or more to get your request reviewed. Fortunately, there are ways to find open communities, as well. In our article, we’ve given you the places to search for open communities and offered the lists in which Slack communities have been gathered based on different interests, locations, and topics.
How to use Slack communities to grow your business
In this section, we’ll give you examples of how a number of Slack communities can cover a number of needs of one business.
The golden rule in using Slack communities: If you want to cover a number of needs of your business, participate in different communities. What does it mean?
- If you want to boost your skills or find a partner, go to a community dedicated to your line of business.
- If you want to make a great product or provide a service, go to the community with your target audience. There, you’ll find all about their pains and needs. For example, if you develop a service or a product for marketing, the place to meet your customers and get insights is marketing communities. If your target audience is people in sales — join sales communities. And so on. There’s a community for every business demand.
Examples of how different professionals can benefit from Slack communities
CEO and Founders
For instance, if you are a CEO of a startup specializing in tools for designers, you may find it helpful to join a community for CEOs and Founders, such as
- Startup Resources — a community of 2,000 entrepreneurs that keep each other updated on the best tools for your startup.
- Founders & Creators — a community with 200 members with a mission to help 10,000 early-stage tech startups and solo founders.
- Tech Masters — with over 3,000 members ,the community unites a diverse group of entrepreneurs, technologists, and developers around the world.
To find out about about your target audience and their needs, you can join a community for designers, for example:
- Designer Hangout — 6000+ UX designers and researchers around the world.
- Team Sketch — 2000 Sketch designers share their experience.
- UX Mastery — a community with 896 members where you can find out about UX careers and jobs.
These Slack communities help you to get to the core of needs and demands of designers, offer your product or service in a non-intrucive manner and answer their questions about what you want to offer.
If you are CEO, HR, Sales, or marketing professional, you may want to understand how things work in sales, marketing, HR, and development. Join corresponding communities.
Sales and marketing
Slack communities are a great tool to introduce and promote your sales and marketing activities (campaigns, webinars, podcasts) to attract new leads, boost user engagement by answering user’s questions, and track how people perceive your and your competitors’ brands by taking note of what people are talking about and how they feel about it.
- Online Geniuses — internet marketing community with 7306 members.
- Buffer — a global community for social media with 2332 members.
- Women in Sales — a community with 223 female members working in sales roles who want to learn from each other.
If you need to obtain advice, go to the HR and recruiting communities.
- #PeoplePeople — a community for HR, talent management, and recruiting. 2300 members.
- #Peoples — a community for operational people, HR people, and psychologists
- Slack Corporate Recruiter — Corporate Recruiter Slack Channel.
You can share experience in dedicated communities, and join the ones of professionals you are looking for (developer communities, for example). They are the right place to post job vacancies and find team leads or experienced developers who share their knowledge in the community.
For example, if you need to hire a developer, visit developers’ communities.
Such communities are a priceless source of information about software development in general, and a place to find a job.
- DevChat — a community of developers with 19,000 members discussing software development challenges in general.
- iOS Developers HQ — Community for iOS developers with 9,600 members.
- DevOps — Slack Channel dedicated to chatting and learning about DevOps with 22,451 members.
Freelance professionals in different fields can boost their skills in a community dedicated to their profession, but also search for particular jobs and clients.
- NomadList — a community of freelancers around the world.
- Work From Anywhere — a community for remote, independent, ans self-employed professionals.
- Freelance Lead – a community that helps freelancers find work.
Startups and product development
Communities allow you to generate ideas, share experience about product development and the needs of the target audience. A lot of dedicated communities have job posts. So it’s a great place to search for a professional to join your team or find an employer.
- Mind The Product — an international product community with 10,000 members.
- Startup Study Group — a growing community of 600+ members to help founders, startups, and investors.
- Product Manager HQ — 7000 members, 6000 companies present and 40 active chat to learn about product management.
Communication is the basis of growing your business. That’s what Slack communities are made for. It is a place that covers any business need (find leads, partners, advice, and help) if you find the right communities.