Slack is a chat room for all your company employees. Do you know of Internet Relay Chat (IRC)? It’s similar to that, with all the options to create ‘channels’ for group discussions. You can add specific team members who you wish to include in the discussion.
What is Slack?Here's a detailed guide on how to use Slack to better communicate with your startup team. Click To Tweet
Normally, professionals use an e-mail kind of application which is based on offline communication. Slack is a wonderful alternative to those typical team meeting applications with limited options. With Slack, business owners and managers can communicate with employees in person or with a group of employees through ‘channels.’
Slack offers you a plan which is free forever. Group discussions are made easy with the web-based application. Invite specific people to talk about different ideas, work plan, etc. Slack bridges the gaps between the company workers and management, letting them work together as one team. It’s the best choice for startups who want a single application for company discussions.
Set up Slack
You can begin with setting up a free account on the Slack website. The account creator is the team administrator on Slack. Once you’re signed in, you will be able to access the settings. You can make any changes depending on how you wish the chat room to respond.
You must start with making changes to messaging restrictions. You can set who’s allowed to create ‘channels’ and send notifications. Also, set up which people get the privilege to alert everyone within the chat room. It’s okay to skip messaging restrictions if you’re dealing with a bunch of staff members as a startup.
‘Channel and Private Group management’ is a chief setting. Do you want your employees to create ‘channels?’ Probably not! So you must disable the setting and restrict this privilege to the team administrators.
After making the changes in settings, it’s time to start inviting your employees. There are two ways of inviting: 1) individually through emails 2) in bulk via the admin page. If you download the desktop application, you will be able to get desktop notifications. It helps members to stay-in-touch without having to keep a browser window opened. The mobile application for Android and iOS will help you get the best out of it.
Interesting Commands You Need to Know about Slack
Just like IRC, slack offers a variety of commands for different options. If you’re looking to find them in one place, you have reached at your destination. Below you will find out all about the most important Slack commands.
A channel is nothing more than a “room” for employees where they can communicate. You can create a channel for any specific discussion between specific employees. You can create multiple channels within your chat room.
You can type @channel and then the message to address everyone within the channel. This can get a little noisy if you’re dealing with a large number of people. You must restrict the @channel privilege to team administrators. This really helps when you need the attention of everyone.
@here is similar to @channel. This command only notifies the online members within a channel. Let’s suppose the team administrator wants a task done immediately. He/she would only want to address the people available on Slack at that particular moment. @here command is a great help in such situations.
This slash command allows members or allowed individuals to archive the current channel. You can do it by typing /archive in main chat room.
If you are stepping away from your desk, you can use this command to toggle “away” status. Others in your chat room will know that you aren’t available at the moment.
This command will hide the online images and videos. /collapse is useful if inappropriate photos and videos are shared in the current channel.
You can create a new channel with this command. Just type /join [channel name] and hit enter.
/Invite @user [channel]
Invite users available on your chat room to a particular channel. Let’s suppose you want you add your employee “George” to sales channel, you can type /invite @George [sales].
If you wish to talk in third person, you can use /me command. Let’s suppose you want to notify your team that you’re going out for lunch, simply type /me (your message). It will display your message with your name.
Only the allowed users can apply /mute command in a chat room. You can mute any channel by typing /mute on the main chat.
Your Next Move
Slack is a cool and awesome startup tool that has gained popularity with small businesses. It provides teams the opportunity to communicate effectively. It is also a great organization and collaboration tool for teams. Many successful companies including big names like AirBnb, Samsung, Pandora, and others are using it. Why not give it a try?