How 6 Marketing Leaders Use Slack Shared Channels
As a member of a fair few marketing workspaces on Slack, I recently asked for member’s experiences using Slack shared channels when dealing with people in other organizations — and what happens when the other party refuses to use Slack.
From using a shared channel per client to resorting to email, each of these six marketing leaders shares insights.
How does your marketing team use Slack shared channels to collaborate with external parties?
Bridget Deutz is the Chief Marketing Strategist at Greenline Marketing.
Greenline Marketing uses Slack with all aspects of their business.
“We use it internally with our team to streamline communication. We use it with vendors and contractors for efficient questions/answers and file sharing. Also, we use it with clients too. It helps keep projects moving and communication flowing and trackable.”
Malte Scholz is the Managing Director at airfocus. They use Slack shared channels to communicate with freelancers and external contractors by inviting them as channel guests.
“We already use it internally so it only makes sense to invite our regular freelancers as well. They don’t have full access — just to certain channels.”
Nadia Shevelieva is the CMO at crowdy.ai who use Slack to communicate with a marketing agency that they hired for PR purposes.
“We have a separate channel just for them and we invited each of the team members there as guests.”
Cassandra Jowett is the Senior Director of Marketing at PathFactory whose marketing team uses a Slack shared channel to communicate with a freelance web developer on an ongoing basis.
In the past, PathFactory also joined the Slack workspace of an agency they worked with for a few long-term engagements.
Dennis Shiao is a Freelance Marketing Consultant and uses Slack with multiple clients.
“They create an account for me and request that I use it. Email is still used with all of these clients — and the degree to which they use email vs Slack varies.
I’m not “in” their Slack instances all the time so I have email notifications turned on to alert me about new messages.”
Hayley Rogers is a Social Media & PR Exec at Voxbone where she uses Slack shared channels to communicate with external agencies, freelancers, and their remote workforce.
“Having dedicated channels with our agencies is invaluable. It removes the need for me to send mass emails and everyone can chat in one place and feedback their ideas instantly and in separate threads (GIF and emoji reactions welcome). It’s a great way for us to avoid working in silos.”
If you don’t already use Slack shared channels, check out what they can do in this video:
What happens when the external party doesn’t use or doesn’t want to use Slack?
Bridget at Greenline Marketing said that in a perfect world, external contacts try Slack — or at least set it up and turn on email notifications to stay in the loop.
However, it’s not a formal requirement for external partners.
Instead, they resort to text, email, and phone.
Malte at airfocus says external parties they communicate with must use Slack.
“We don’t resort to other channels like email. They must use Slack to stay in the loop for project details and deadlines. In essence, if they don’t use Slack, they can’t do the task at hand.”
Nadia at crowdy.ai said that this hasn’t happened with her company.
“Most companies we work with use Slack and they join immediately after we invite them.”
Dennis says that if a client of his doesn’t have or doesn’t want to use Slack, they rely on email. He believes email is still an effective communications channel.
Hayley at Voxbone says they use lots of other tools like Zoom that make working with external teams simple and instant.
She goes onto mention that in a world where we want everything yesterday, tools like Slack make answering quick questions instant.
However, Hayley also points out the downside of using tools other than Slack…
“If an external party doesn’t want to use Slack, it means we are switching between multiple apps. It works, but it’s not as seamless as it could be.”
You may also like: Slack vs Email — Talking to Your Customers
How efficient would your marketing team be if you could stay in Slack and message anyone?
Bridget at Greenline Marketing said that because a lot of her team uses Slack now, it would be great to have all parties there!
She added that it would improve efficiency, openness, and momentum.
Malte at airfocus agrees and points out how much time would be saved.
“We would be more productive because we wouldn’t have to waste time getting people to sign up for Slack. Moreover, we would never have to communicate using any other channel like email or Skype.”
Nadia at crowdy.ai warmed up to the idea of being able to chat with her customers within Slack.
“It would be great to find a way to communicate with our customers through Slack too. We have to use our website chatbox to get in touch with them, which is not that convenient when you don’t have a dedicated customer support team.”
Cassandra at PathFactory says she’s a Slack power user.
“I’m currently in 20+ Slacks so I love using Slack more than most. That’s not how most companies are set up, though. I communicate via email or project management tools like Asana and Monday.com with most other parties.”
Dennis says he would find it attractive to consolidate messaging apps (across multiple clients) in one place.
“I have one client that uses Microsoft Teams, which I need to check in on daily. If I could access all of my clients’ messaging systems from a single app, that would save me time from going in and out of each individual system.”
Hayley at Voxbone neatly wraps up what everybody in this post alluded to:
“It would speed up wait times because we wouldn’t need to flick through apps.”
Slack shared channels help companies bridge the gap between internal and external communications.
There is no doubt.
Based on the responses above, there does seem to be a caveat.
I’ve rewritten my conclusion based on this…
Slack shared channels help companies bridge the gap between internal and external communications when both parties use Slack.
But there is some rather good news about this caveat…
When you use Slack but your marketing agency, freelancer, or remote developer doesn’t use (or doesn’t want to use Slack), you no longer need to resort to email or using their platform of choice.
Mio is creating federation Slack with platforms like Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex Teams.
This means you (and the rest of your team) can stay in Slack — and your agency/freelancer / literally anybody can stay in their platform of choice.
Mio receives your message from Slack and translates it into the native language of Microsoft Teams or Webex Teams.
And it’s not just messages that are supported! GIFs, emojis, channels, DMs, and message edits/deletes are all supported.