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Slack is years old, but is suddenly blowing up – why?

Slack has been around for a while, but they’re suddenly all over the place. Why? Should you get in on the Slack madness? Probably…



Slack is blowing up; but why?

If you’re a regular American Genius reader, you’ve probably noticed that we often profile new platforms and apps that we think might be useful for small businesses, but which are still in beta form. We’re impressed by the inspired ideas behind these new platforms and technologies, but when they’re still in beta, it’s impossible predict whether or not they will be smashing successes, or will be consigned to the dustbins of the internet.

Slack, which we covered in 2013 back when it was in beta, is a collaboration app that has not only officially launched since our first article, but has recently blown up in popularity. Within one year, Slack has generated over 500,000 active users, with that number doubling twice in the past six months.

Slack is a platform for real time workplace communication through open forums, invite-only groups, and private messaging. Many companies, such as eBay, Urban Outfitters, and BuzzFeed, use Slack to encourage communication and collaboration between employees.

Slack is proving to be a useful marketing tool

But Slack may also prove to be a very useful marketing tool, according to the experts at Buffer Social. That’s because you can create groups organized around certain topics and interests, which will help you to create targeted audiences for your products and services, and will help you build strong relationships with potential customers.

Slack is gaining new members every day, but is also new enough that there is less competition for members and attention than on existing sites like LinkedIn. Engagement is also high on Slack because chats take place in real time. Communication happens quickly, and users stay engaged in conversation, rather than waiting around for messages.

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How you can get in on the Slack madness

To use Slack for marketing, start a group with a theme relating to the product or service your company provides, and choose a simple but engaging name. Slack is easy to use, and free, so you can get your group live and online in no time. Invite members to join your group, starting with 20 to 30 “influencers” – people you know will invite others along as well. Share you Slack group on your other social media sites, and list the group in Slack’s community directory.

Make sure to include links to your website, as well as other resources, blog posts, or relevant infographics. Relate discussions to opportunities to engage with your business, but also be sure only to “promote your organization when it makes sense.” Don’t overload casual conversations with promotional references. Target your marketing where it will count the most.

Also, be sure to set a policy discouraging harassment and profanity, and to moderate the group to make sure conversations are staying positive and are free from obscenities.

You can measure the effectiveness of your Slack group for marketing purposes by tracking the number of new members, messages they are sending, the average number of people online in your group, and the numbers of uploads, referrals, and clicks to your website links. You can even use member’s email addresses to figure out whether or not Slack users are turning into customers who will buy your products.

Slack is the next up-and-coming way to market through groups. Try it out, and let us know if you are finding it helpful for your business.

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Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.



  1. Gabe Sanders

    August 29, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    Thank you for this information. I will try it out.

  2. Pingback: Birdly: Manage your business expenses from right inside Slack - The American Genius

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