To be honest, Slack is much more than a simple "communication" app. There are a tons of things and opportunities with Slack that we, as businesses, are missing out.
Recently I interviewed more than 50 experts from different industries on how are they using Slack daily except for the team communication.
And what I found was mind-blowing 🤯.
Literally, you can use Slack on 100s of different ways.
I just scratched the surface - but there are still a lot of things that rarely who knew about.
And here, I'm going to show you 16 different ways of using Slack that you probably didn't know about.
Except for team communication, Slack is also useful for other things (like automating customer support and lead generation for example).
If you use Slack on a smart way, you will be able to automate 95% of your processes and do more in less time.
So, let's see how experts from different industries are using Slack daily:
Use Slack to improve your team's morale and track their activities
There's nothing better than a great company culture mixed up with productive work.
Levi Olmstead - Manager of Content Distribution at G2 Crowd shared with me his ways of using Slack:
I use Slack for a number of things outside of just communicating with coworkers.
I have boards set up with digital marketing agencies and content marketing groups. We are able to get in touch on the fly, promote our new content, and stay in touch.
G2 integrates third-party apps with Slack to help us conduct internal surveys (TinyPulse), perform daily stand ups (Alice), alert us of new mentions or updates in other internal tools (Confluence, Asana, Trello) and more.
As you can see, Slack can be a great way to track your coworkers, stay up-to-date with everything that's going on and be more productive.
On the other hand, Allan Dib - Founder of Successwise and Author of "The 1-page Marketing Plan" book, motivates his team mates by celebrating wins and successes:
Slack's a lifesaver for my remote team. It helped to maximize their productivity infinitely. We use it to upload and share documents and videos. As soon as a piece of content is ready for review, it gets assigned to a team member through Slack. They can immediately access it without having to go through their inbox, which dramatically saves time.
The search feature allows us to locate a conversation that may contain important information quickly.
With the channels feature, we can post information that's only visible to the people who need to know. We created a WINS channel which allows the team to celebrate individual and group wins. This is essential to building team morale.
Culture is an important part of every business - and is there anything better than celebrating wins and successes with your employees?
No, there isn't!
Slack can also be a great tool for daily standups, reporting and metrics.
Nick Jordan, Executive Editor at Content Distribution shared with me his ways of using Slack to track employee's activity and keep them on track:
We use Slack for daily/weekly reporting & metrics. Every Monday my team receives an automated message with a request to report their weekly goals specific to their responsibilities/role.
For example, our content manager indicates how many writers she needs to hire each week. Then on Friday we ask the same questions to understand which responsibilities were completed, partially completed or not done.
Between Tuesday to Thursday we ask them to report what are their working on so we can reprioritize as needed. This helps identify bottle necks, consistent challenges, and allows us to get out in front of things & hood people accountable.
Just like Nick, people at Venngage are also using Slack for daily reporting and standup.
Rachel Cravit, Content Marketer at Venngage Infographic Maker shared with us her team's way of using Slack:
At Venngage, we’ve found Slack to be a particularly useful platform for organizing our daily stand ups. Each individual posts on their team’s respective stand up thread with a brief description of the projects they’re working on that day. It’s a great way to keep managers in the loop and only takes a few minutes, as opposed to a more traditional meeting, which could run a lot longer. We also share in our stand up thread if we’re facing any particular challenges or roadblocks. This gives our teammates the opportunity to chime in with recommendations and possible solutions. It’s a very collaborative approach.
Lisa Dietrich from Let's be Crazy is also using Slack for daily standups:
Apart from chatting, we're using Slack to conduct daily standups and to inform each other about yesterday's progress and today's priorities. To simplify this process, we use the Slack app “Standup Alice” which is available for free on the Slack marketplace.
It allows us to define questions that we’re being asked each day by the bot in Slack. After responding to the bot’s questions, they’re posted in a dedicated channel so that every team member can clearly see what all the others are currently working on and if they need help with anything. Our standard questions are:
1) What progress towards our goals did you achieve yesterday?
2) What progress towards our goals will you work on today?
3) Is there any help that could help you progress faster?
4) Anything else you want to discuss?
How many times you forgot about someone's birthday or vacation?
Petra Odak, Marketing Executive at Better Proposals is using Slack to stay reminded about someone's activities:
When it comes to integrations, my favorite is the one with Bob. This app lets everyone know when someone is sick or on vacation, it keeps track of birthdays, anniversaries and other important company info. It’s a great tool if you don’t have a dedicated HR team, or you’re just forgetful like I am
Tomer Aharon, CEO of Poptin, shared with me how he use Slack:
At Poptin, we're using Leo to measure customer satisfaction. This helps us to keep company culture healthy and make it a place where everyone enjoys to work. It also helps me to manage my team as best as I can.
Use Slack to automate your Customer Support
Guillaume Moubeche is the young CEO of lemlist - email outreach tool, and he's using Slack on one very surprisingly way - to automate his customer support:
At Lemlist, we have people from France, Ukraine and Serbia - thus, as the remote team, Slack plays the significant role in our organization.
Except for day-to-day communication, we're also using Slack to automate different processes.
The most useful Slack app we're using is lemtalk - it allows us to receive and answer all of our customer support tickets from Slack - whether they came through Live Chat, SMS, Email or Facebook.
It saves our time, efforts and reduced response time.
The other apps we're using on a daily basis are Zapier, Notion and ProfitWell.
Use Slack to Onboard new clients
Zlatko from Tako Agency use Slack to onboard his new clients
When we onboard new clients, we have an integration inside of Zapier that does the following:
Our Project Manager creates an Asana project [CLIENT NAME], then Zapier will turn on behind the scenes. Zapier will create a Channel in Slack that is formatted the same as our Asana project for consistency. The last step is for Zapier create a shared google drive folder (same name as well) where we collect client information and assets. We don't do too much manual labor; this allows us to be more efficient and consistent with our workflow. All of our communication regarding a specific project is within a Slack channel that includes our relevant team members. It reduces clutter in terms of communication. Our motto: keep things organized, always.
For example, - we have a team of designers, developers, QA, and Project managers that all need to be in tune with the project(s) at hand. When things are assigned, or put into work through Asana, Slack sends a notification in the relevant project with the appropriate team members to make sure we handle everything promptly. One of my favorite automation is sharing documents in Google Drive. One of our team members shares something or comments on a document, it automatically shows up in my slack, and I can answer from slack! Makes this easy and super fast so that there is no downtime in collaboration.
Use Slack to create notes and reminders
If you didn't know, Slack is a great tool for notes and reminders.
By typing the /remind Slack command, you will be able to create different reminders for yourself and your teammates.
Dean McPherson, CTO at Paperform is a huge fan of Slack's reminder feature (and it turned out that it's a very productive for his team):
By setting reminders on the fly - with slack's built in "/remind" command, you can set a reminder for yourself or other team members from within Slack.
We use this in particular when we have a lot of low priority questions for a person, we can ask the question immediately, but ask it as a reminder for when we know the person we're messaging won't be doing *deep work*.
That way, it's handed over, but we're not distracting people with constant notifications while they're focussed.
This has an advantage over "Away mode", in that the person receiving the message won't see the messages at all until the specific time.
You see, there is no need to distract your team mates when they're doing something important! :)
On the other hand, Sarah Hancock, Content Marketing Manager at BestCompany is using Slack for her personall reminders:
I make notes and create reminders for myself within Slack using direct messages to myself. Since I use Slack heavily throughout the day anyway, it's a really convenient place to document ideas and thoughts I have as I have them, to-do tasks that come up, and information I'd like to be able to refer back to.
Since all my notes are right there in a Slack thread, they are in a central location and are quick and easy to access. Plus, I'm able to use the search functionality within Slack to easily find and jump to past information if necessary.
Use Slack to divide your processes into different channels
Slack can be extremely useful for its channel features. It allows you to divide your processes into different channels and keep everything organized and clean.
Julie Weldon, President of O.M.E. Gear organized her workspace in one very intriguing way:
Slack helps you easily segregate work discussions from the usual day to day chitchat. You can designate specific chatrooms that are focused on key topics so you can stay on top of discussion quickly, at a glance.
To keep everyone in the loop and minimize versioning issues, we use Slack in tandem with Gdocs. We have a dedicated chatroom just for documents where all updated and necessary links are easily accessible with a click.
To create clearer boundaries between work and play and establish clearer work/life balance between my team members. We have specific chat rooms for urgent matters—where anything that needs to be addressed within the day goes.”
Use Slack as the bookmark and knowledge base
Tihana Drumev, Senior Content Marketing Executive at Best Response Media doesn't use bookmarks at all. Instead, she is using Slack for keeping all important things on one place:
With Slack, I stopped using bookmarks. I just message myself a useful link. And there they are, my knowledge base, all in one in a message to myself.
Use Slack as the communication channel with your clients, partners and customers
Yap, you read it right.
Slack doesn't need to be just a communication channel with your team.
I saw a various examples of companies (and agencies) that are automating their workflows with Slack by constantly communicating with their clients over there.
It saves time and takes emails out of the game.
Georgi Todorov from GetVoIP shared with how are they using Slack to communicate with their clients and partners:
One of the best functions that Slack has is the private channels. I set up private channels with my partners, and my VA is also there in the private channels where we can all communicate effectively.
On the other hand, Alex Panagis - Founder of Scale Math, also uses the Slack for client communication and communities as well:
The truth is that Slack isn’t just a tool for communication to be used by distributed teams. The entire Scale Math Pro membership, as well as a number of other communities, use Slack simply because it’s such a great way to communicate and keep in touch. Teams that still use email for internal communication are really missing out and with the help of Slack’s paid account functionality (such as single channel guests) even makes it suitable to use with clients that you want to communicate with very frequently.
Bret Downes, SEO Specialist at DFY Links, is using Slack and its emojis for communicating and collaborating with his partners:
Most of our channels are between the employees with one or two for outside contractors, such as designers and developers. If there is pertinent information in our private groups that the developer needs to know, we use the specific emoji reactions which instantly copies the selected message/s over to the specified channel. Saves a lot of time and keeps privacy levels high.
On the other side, Hana Bednarova, Digital PR director at Bednar Communications outsorced her entire communication inside Slack:
At our agency, we use Slack for all our communication with clients. From quick questions to sharing documents such as reports. It's great for our clients as all documents that we share between each other are there. All conversation can be tracked back and referred to.
As Slack notifies you with all new messages, it's also easy to track any urgent questions and allocate tasks to a relevant team member
Use Slack to join different communities
Slack is a great way to join different communities, meet new people, create relationships and find new customers as well.
Luis Camacho, CEO at Fantom Agency shared with me his experience:
I join Slack communities/groups of personal growth & development to learn from other people in the same industry, servicing similar clients - this also sometimes comes with partnership opportunities were we can help one another.
Use Slack to automate different processes
As we already talked, Slack is a great platform for automating different processes in different department.
For example, we already saw how Guillaume Moubeche is automating Customer Support with lemtalk inside Slack, but that's just one thing.
There are 100s of different processes that can be automated inside Slack.
Here are some of them.
Aiza Coronado, Senior Marketing Engineer at EmailMeForm shared with me her processes:
Slack helps keep our whole team updated about what's going on — without the need to type the announcements.
This saves us some time going around and letting everyone know what we just did. We let the apps do it on our behalf:
- Google Calendar to remind concerned parties of the upcoming meetings, sales calls, and release schedules
- DeployBot lets everyone know who pushed which code to LIVE
- DataDog alerts us of any operations data that's not within the expected levels.
Of course, these notifications only happen in the appropriate channels (ie., Only Marketing gets the blog notifications, while Engineering gets the code commit updates).
That way, only the concerned team members see the notifications. No need to bug a team member if he has nothing to do with it
Michael Scott, Co-founder of The One Question shared with me his secrets of using Slack for process automation:
We are huge fans of slack and have the whole team on it. We use it for all internal communications and we linked it with Zoom for web meetings. We have integrated everything into it, such as Standups, Development, HubSpot, Google Docs, Stripe and many other tools. Basically it’s the place to go to find out what is happening.
My biggest tip is to use Zapier with it and connect in as much as you can as then your results and outputs are discussed much more in real time. Slack is the essential product in a modern SaaS company I would say.
On the other hand, Matt Larner, Managing Director at ClickSend use Slack to automate feedback collection, helpdesk articles, lead generation and so much more:
Absolutely, Slack is far more than just team chat! We have a few Slack integrations that keep the business running.
Our Sales and Support Teams have a few channels to manage leads and customers:
- a new leads channel which is integrated with our signup forms
- integrations with Autopilot and Delighted for updates on dormant customers or NPS feedback received
- a channel which flags high risk customer payments
- integration with HelpDocs to alert the team when there's new feedback on help articles
- a channel for all live chat support conversations, so that we have a searchable record in one convenient place
- approvals channel: if a client wants to send a message that may contravene spam laws, it may get picked up for approval and drop into the approvals channel.
We also use the Jira integration for our tech teams to manage projects and bug fixes; we have about twenty Jira channels, one with all change history so that it's all in one place, then also individual channels for major projects, to ensure the relevant personnel have a forum to discuss projects.
In the marketing team, we have added Opteo to give suggestions on how to optimise our ad spend in Google Ads.
Max Benz from Suitapp is using Slack for IFTTT processes:
Slack can be integrated with a lot of tools. Slack has its own bot marketplace but you can also use integration enablement software like Zapier to connect Slack with your favorite tools. If you don’t have a huge budget to afford a bigger Zapier account at the moment but still would like to integrate Slack with other tools let me tell you about IFTTT.
Basically, it’s working like Zapier. Using IFTTT recipes, you can automate your Slack experience. For example, I’m using IFTTT for automatically creating Asana tasks for starred Slack messages.
The good thing about IFTTT is that you can use it for free. If you want to get fancy, you can even connect your smart devices via IFTTT. For example, you could set up a IFTTT recipe that automatically creates a Slack message in your “hello and goodbye” channel if you say “Alexa time to work” to your Amazon Alexa device.
Use Slack to track different notifications
Notifications helps you to stay up-to-date with everything that's going around. It will save your time and let you be notified about all important things:
Ryan Watson, Performance Marketing Manager at Inzpire.me share with me his story:
We use slack to notify us when a new user signs up to a free trial on our platform. It makes it much quicker for our growth manager to be there to help on-board the user.
Josh Matteson, Online Marketing Manager at Lula is using a couple of tools for smooth Slack experience:
We use Opteo for tracking AdWords and Jira for tracking project progress. You can also integrate your outlook calendar, so people know when you are a in a meeting without having to ask. It automates that type of information for the entire team by displaying when you are available based on your calendar.
Take advantage of the Slack statuses
Slack statuses can be a great way to keep in mind who's working on what and who's available at the moment:
Aditya Sheth, Content Marketer at Venngage Infographic Maker also shared how his team uses Slack:
At Venngage, we value work life balance and boundaries a lot. To further emphasize this within our team, we recently started using Slack’s custom statuses.
Every time someone is sick, offline for whatsoever reason, vacationing, working remotely or even just trying to focus on an important task (and not get distracted while doing so), we utilize these custom statuses to make sure everyone respects their colleagues time and life outside work.
So far, it’s worked really well for us as a team and we plan to make this a staple in how our team communicates over Slack.
Use Slack to keep an eye on your security
Security is an important thing for every IT and cloud business.
I'll be honest with you.
Before Oliver Berger, CEO at GorillaStack shared me his way of using Slack for security, I didn't had any idea that it can be done inside Slack.
We use slack to monitor our infrastructure and our whole development lifecycle. One of the key use cases is to monitor security threats inside our cloud.
Using our own software we receive alerts within 6 seconds of an event taking place that looks suspicious in our cloud environment.
When the threat is reported we can drill down from within Slack to see contemporaneous information (in the form of metadata) about the event itself and then determine whether or not it needs remediation.
If it needs remediation we then allocate that alarm to a particular user who is tasked with investigating and fixing the issue.
Use Slack to find a Job or employee
If you're looking for the new job opportunity, new clients or if you're working in the HR department, you're going to love this!
Noelle Johnson, CEO at MyInterviewBuddy use Slack as the "HR platform" and compares it with LinkedIn:
Slack is an excellent place to expand your network and look for jobs. There are thousands of public Slack communities people can join for their own professional needs and connect with people in their field to collaborate, get the guidance, share wins and a lot more.
In this public communities, you can post a job description or your resume, get feedback from someone on the other side of the world who knows your field, collaborate on a project and even find a mentor.
These communities have the networking capabilities of LinkedIn but with the advance of being niched down by industry and field.
Use Slack to gather employee's feedback
Employee's feedback is important because the employees are those who are helping you to meet your goals.
And Slack is a great tool to supercharge that.
According to Jennilyn Adefuin, People & Culture Specialist at CaniRank, you can automate your employee feedback inside Slack:
We use Officevibe's bot, Leo, and it sends out a biweekly feedback survey to all of your employees. It's completely anonymous, you can choose how often it sends surveys, you can create custom polls, and it's an easy way to gauge overall employee satisfaction!
Upper management can then log in to Officevibe to respond to any concerns. Our team still holds annual performance reviews, but this bot is a nice way to see how our team is doing on a consistent basis and can help us spot any potential red flags
Use Slack for Video Conferences
If you're already using Slack for client, partner and employee communication, than why wouldn't you use it for video meetings as well?
Ron Humes, VP of Operations at Post Modern Marketing shared with me his experience:
With offices across the country and employees at various locations, our weekly in-person meetings became nearly impossible.
Slack allows our company to host or participate in a Video Conference meeting with multiple attendees.
By simply creating a Channel for the desired participants, we can schedule and easily manage our video conference.
The video conference can be shared between 2 and 15 individual contacts. One conference room in our Sacramento office containing a dozen people counts as just one contact, so the number of participants can be much greater than 15.
In addition, the Slack conference tool allows screen sharing during the call. We now use the Slack Conference Call feature for every Monday meeting between various Regions.
Use Slack to Transfer Data
Yap, Slack can be called "the new Dropbox" as well.
I'm really surprised how many use cases Slack has - and this one is one of the most surprising ones!
Krinal Mehta, Digital Marketing Manager at Search Engine People Inc. is using Slack for data transfer every single day:
I use slack to transfer data between my phone and PC.
The flow could be as simple as:
URL from Gmail app on the phone, opens in chrome, share URL via Slack to personal, click on the URL on PC, boom. Same goes true for documents, screenshots, images, etc.
This is such a time saver where corporate IT policies restrict using WhatsApp web on PC and USB connections to phone are also restricted.
Side note, this is also a potential data security loophole that most organization using Slack tend to ignore. (Also works vice versa - from PC to phone).
And trust me when I say with 200k+ messages of experience Slack's connectivity between phone and PC blows WhatsApp's web connectivity with the phone out of the water. You need tech you can rely upon.
Use Slack to track your Sales
Sales are important part of every business, and making sure that your sales processes are running smoothly is essential.
Fortunately, Slack made that easy for us.
Vito, Co-founder at Vaetas shared with me his Sales process inside Slack:
We tied our sales conversions into a Slack channel. Our sales transactions are published in real-time on a Slack channel and broadcast to the management team. We also use this to track trial to paid membership conversions and unsubscribes.
Aazar Ali Shad, Head of Growth at Userpilot is using Slack to track his signups, unsubscribes and demos:
At Userpilot, we're usually using Slack to track trial signups, scheduled demos and people who churned. This helps us to say up-to-date with everything that's going on.
On the other hand, Sathish, CEO of Limecall, is using Slack to track sales calls:
Besides various channels for each particular projects and departments, we're also using Slack to track lead scoring, missed calls and lead opportunities.
On the other hand, Jakub Kliszczak, Marketing Specialist at CrazyCall is using Slack for sales automation as well:
Besides standard chatting with coworkers, I and my other coworkers use Slack integrations to get notified about important actions regarding our product and customers.
Namely, we have channels that are dedicated to showing new customers, payments, spam reports, and many other things.
Thanks to such automation our sales reps and customer service agents get instant notifications when trigger-actions happen and thus they can react on time.
What's more, our department can contact through those automated channels (for example, spam reports created by customer service reps are important to devs) which excludes the need for direct messaging.
Use Slack to generate leads in real-time
Yap, surprisingly, lead-generation is another great Slack's use case.
Ilya Azovstev, Head of Growth at lempod is using Slack to generate warm leads in real-time on its website:
Except for day-to-day communication with my teammates, I'm also using it to generate leads on my website in real-time.
I'm using lemtalk live chat Slack App.
It enables me to build automatic messages that will trigger website visitor's attention and engage meaningful conversation with them.
I'm receiving and answering all of my live chat messages directly from Slack - this helps me to focus on my work while generating leads in the same time.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, Slack has the 100s of different use cases. It's a great tool that enables us to do too much things inside it.
How are you using Slack except for team communication?
If you're encouraged to automate some processes in Slack right now, we prepared for you an ultimate infographic with different Slack workflow automation processes.
Make sure to check it out!