Since its release in 2013, Slack – a cloud-based team collaboration platform – has found enormous success due to its ability to increase efficiency and improve overall organization. Yet at first glance, Slack seems to be nothing beyond a slick instant messaging platform with a few useful tools. While I can understand this assumption, Slack’s power and usefulness for higher education marketers becomes far more apparent the more that marketers explore and utilize the platform. Having used Slack for over a year, we have uncovered plenty of tips and tricks. Below we have listed a few of our favorites that will be sure to simplify the life of even the busiest higher education marketer.
Setting Reminders to Stay Organized
Whether it’s following up with PR contacts or optimizing Google Adwords, there are myriad tasks that fill a higher education marketer’s work week. To remain organized, it becomes essential to set up reminders to make sure that even the smallest tasks get complete. In efforts to establish a reminder system, many often seek a new platform or application; yet, using another service on top of the multiple apps used already has the potential to decrease overall efficiency. Keeping reminders within a platform you already use will simplify the process and increase efficiency both short and long term.
Considering this, I highly recommend using Slack’s internal reminder system. With this, you can not only set up reminders for yourself, but also for other team members and entire channels.
There are countless examples of where Slack’s reminders have saved me from overlooking a task, so if you are looking to stay organized, I would definitely explore this further.
Slack channels are essentially forums to discuss a specific topic, similar to a subreddit on Reddit. For example, at Circa Interactive, we have a channel devoted entirely to PR, Infographics, and even one for music that we use to share ideas, articles, or tasks with other team members.
Yet, these basic set-ups are only the tip of the iceberg for the capabilities that Slack channels offer. A simple step further is creating a channel that automates breaking news so you don’t have to continuously keep checking your various news sources.
It seems every week we are finding a new way to leverage Slack channels, so start testing these out and configure them to fit your needs.
Utilize the Slack Community
Traditionally, marketers seeking to communicate with peers or potential audiences may rely on social platforms like Twitter or Reddit. But now there is a new alternative: Slack communities. Much like traditional social forums, Slack communities provide the opportunity to speak with those who share a similar interest. For example, there is a Slack community devoted entirely to marketing, and upon joining this community, I can speak with industry peers to get instant feedback on anything from outreach ideas to best practices for following up. There are tons of different communities, ranging from professional topics to hobbies and interests, so I recommend exploring the communities and finding the groups that meet your needs.
Integrate Platforms and Services
When integrating apps, there are two platforms that we turn to: Zapier and Slack’s internal integration system. Whether it’s an organizational tool like Google Calendars or a social media service like Twitter, Slack allows you to fully integrate anything you need into one easy to navigate platform. For example, it’s to waste time in the morning sifting through a Twitter timeline in efforts to stay up-to-date on industry related news. Yet any higher education marketer knows that time is of the essence, and navigating through Twitter’s timeline doesn’t always make for effective time management.
To help solve this problem, you can integrate your favorite Twitter account(s) into Slack. This way, you don’t have to waste time sifting through tweets that might not even be relevant to what you are looking for. I recommend generating a list of a few industries thought leaders that you like and devoting an entire channel just to their tweets. This way, you have the option to not only choose when you check Twitter, but also whose tweets you will be checking.
By incorporating some of these tips, you can be sure to simplify your life and increase overall efficiency. But remember, Slack is continuously expanding, so don’t forget to explore Slack on your own and uncover some of their lesser known features and new additions.
Tyler Putz is a retired division two college basketball player and a recent graduate from the University of Iowa. His creativity, as well as passion for entrepreneurship and the expansion of technology and communication, helps Circa to continue to stay on the cusp of new technologies and trends influencing future generations of students.