The past few months have been unprecedented in many ways, and we have yet to see the lasting impact COVID-19 will have on the country’s economy and general approach to life and well-being. The pandemic has affected daily life in countless ways, pushing us to congregate virtually and support each other through video and online chats. In light of these changing circumstances, the advertising world has pivoted quickly and is continuously helping brands connect with their consumers virtually through unique shared experiences and communication channels. One platform that promises instant connection and valuable networking is Slack, a business communication platform that helps companies optimize their workflow by offering fast and intuitive messaging. We recently launched a Slack platform for the Entreprenista community, and wanted to share our key learnings and best practices for building and maintaining an engaged audience.
Think about how you want to translate your brand values into your new Slack platform. If your audience counts on you for original food recipe content, imagine different ways to provide a similar experience through this channel. This can include having separate channels for ingredient stories, quick and easy recipes, themed multi-course meals (such as “Date Night,” or “Taco Tuesday”), and a channel for your audience to share their own creations.
Experiment with a smaller focus group at first, and determine which channels or features will interest your audience most. Ask your test group for feedback on what is and isn’t working and stay open to any suggestions concerning how to enhance the overall Slack experience. They will be the ones using it after all, so you want to make sure they find value in the platform and treat it as a content destination.
Plan how you want to promote your Slack channels, and draft language that describes exactly what your audience is signing up for when they join your community. When launching the Entreprenista Slack channels, we chose to send personalized emails with signup links to each member of our community, including all episode guests and female founder features. This gave us the opportunity to answer individual questions and provide additional information when needed. It’s also a great way to remind your community you are thinking of them, and are excited to connect further on a new platform!
Establish moderators ahead of time who will keep the content exchanged on the channel aligned with the brand’s mission and values, provide assistance with any technical issues, and kick start new conversations on group threads. Slack communities are an easy and intimate way to connect with like-minded individuals and feel virtually surrounded during challenging times such as the present. Given how quickly content can be shared and spread on Slack channels, it is important to designate moderators in advance who have a thorough understanding of your brand’s mission and values, and who will keep the ship steering in the right direction.
Have fun! Slack is an intuitive and powerful tool to stay connected with your community during times when it’s not possible to congregate in person. Stay nimble with your strategy and carve out time to step back and determine which channels are working best for your community. If your audience feels like their wishes and needs are being heard and addressed, they will feel valued and, in turn, become more engaged with the platform.
As we continue to build out and grow our Entreprenista Slack channels, we look forward to sharing key insights and takeaways on how to nurture your community and build engagement. Do you have an experience using Slack you wish to share? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s start a conversation!