Hey there, you are reading this one because perhaps the buzz about slack has already come to you and you want to navigate through the complexities of this much-hyped concept of a business messaging tool called slack. Also, if you feel perplexed or a bit lost when it comes to choosing slack for creating an online community?
Don’t get in a fluster! In this blog, we will provide you with complete insight that will help you to decide whether you should choose slack or any other community platform.
Slack is basically a chat room for the whole company, curated for teams that work in different or multiple locations. In addition to private messages, its workspace allows you to enable communication "channels" that can be organized by client, team, or any other way your organization sees fit to separate conversations. Here you can upload and share files with others, also it can be integrated with a host of other apps, so you can manage your entire workflow through one platform by syncing them together.
Slack was primarily developed to enable workforce communication, not community management. This means it has a dearth of some specialized functionalities that a pure community tool possesses. Like moderation, gamification, advanced customization, and other features which are indispensable for community builders.
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Slack is a well-known name among community builders. It isn’t the best option for every community builder, but offers a few benefits that could make it the best option for many of them.
As already mentioned, It’s a part of the daily workflow for professionals. That means there’s a high possibility that the members you want in your community are already aware of the platform or using it. It currently has 12+ million daily active users. A good number of people whom you want to invite probably already have the app downloaded and understand the channel’s interface and features.
Slack’s free version provides all the basic features that a community builder requires initially. For example channels, real-time messaging and threads. The fact is you don’t need to spend even a cent on creating your first community. This makes it impeccable for the community builders looking to experiment without risking a single penny. Also, there is no limit on the number of members you can have in your community.
In slack, you can organize discussions about different topics in your subgroup using channels. This makes it easy for members to just follow the conversations relevant to them. You can send direct messages to communicate with other members, or you can also do a one–on–one video call.
WRONG! keep reading….
Slack mustn’t be the only tool you consider when choosing a platform for building your community.
As we all know, it was primarily developed to enable workforce communication, not community management. This means it falls short in some specialized functionalities that a pure community tool possesses. This can be troublesome for those who want some advanced community features. Thus, it cannot be regarded as a one fit solution for all your needs.
Here are some limitations you should be aware of before choosing slack for building your online community.
If you want to build a community comprised of a few members and have a tight community tools budget, then slack is a good choice. But if you want to build a community with a great number of members, then it will become problematic for you.
Slack caps your community at 10,000 messages, which means only your most recent 10,000 messages are searchable. This is a significant concern as the discussions that take place in a community are one of its most valuable assets. The more a community grows, the more people interact and the tougher it becomes to keep a track
No doubt, its freemium plan is potent for a small community, but, at some point, if you require the features of the paid version, the cost is high. It’s not the most expensive one out there, but certainly not the cheapest either. There are many community tools available in the market that are offering more advanced features than this like- UUKI.
Slack charges a minimum of $6.67 per user per month to tap into features like unlimited searchable messages and group calls.
For numerous professionals, this is one of the prime features. Slack doesn’t have an option that can make your community more discoverable. SEO of your community is advantageous for many reasons – it helps in driving new membership, improves the findability of your community, converts customers etc. These days platforms like Twitter & Facebook offer search functions for people looking for groups, pages, and communities, slack doesn’t offer this feature. Its conversations don’t show up in search engine results. If growth is more important to you than privacy, Slack isn’t your best fit.
Another drawback of using slack for your community is the customization. Slack doesn't provide you with a way to make your community (Brand) stand out or customize the layout of the community to fit your needs. All its communities look alike and are covered with the Slack branding. Where community tools like our’ UUKI provide many customization options like, you can add a brand logo to your community, add a favicon, add a cover image, customize the design of the community, host your community on your domain.
All these features raise your community from being an ordinary group to a might community.
As aforementioned, we have shared some major reasons to steer clear of slack for building your community, but they aren’t the only ones. There are several other features that are missing when we compare it to a dedicated community platform. This isn’t a hit piece on Slack, it’s just a side issue of the fact that Slack is meant for workforce communication, not for building big communities.
Missing features include:
1- Lack of gamification.
2- No moderation tool.
3- Limited profiles.
4- No activity feed.
Again, we are not defaming slack. It’s a remarkable tool and can be good for some communities. But it’s a bit risky for us to talk about the pros of any platform without discussing the cons. Choosing a community platform is about making the right choice for your community and company. Thus, you should check on your requirements and budget and then can decide whether to go for slack or not.