Slack is dominating its crusade against email. In fact, Slack has cut internal email use in half for businesses using the platform. But email isn’t the only industry Slack is turning on its head. Marketing as a whole is changing.

For my team, email has hit absolute zero internally, but the value we get from Slack goes far beyond team communication, private discussion, and business to business deals. We’ve automated huge portions of social media management, website analytics, design, KPI reporting, and even sales using Slack.

Since its launch in 2013, Slack has opened its doors to developers to create tools and resources that claim to automatically simplify, streamline, track, import, optimize, update, and [insert digital marketing buzzword] everything.

I’ve trimmed the fat from the long list of resources out there into a curated list of the best slack hacks for marketers. We’ll cover three sections:

  1. What is a slack hack?
  2. 9 Built-In Slack Hacks you’ll use every day (ESPECIALLY #5, I PROMISE IT’S WORTH THE SCROLL BAIT)
  3. 10 Advanced Slack Hacks for Marketers

What is a Slack Hack?

A Slack Hack is, according to my very official definition, anything that makes your coworkers say “Dang, how’d you do that?” More formally, a Slack Hack is anything that makes you more productive as a marketer, an employee, and a person. That may be a bit dramatic, but once you dig into this list, you’ll realize just how powerful a tool Slack really is.

There are 5 main categories of Slack Hacks:

  1. Slack Commands: Automated triggers and keyboard commands built into Slack, by Slack.
  2. Slackbot Customization: Commands and triggers used to customize  Slack’s native Slackbot.
  3. Slack Apps: Integration with 3rd Party Services you already use.
  4. Slack Triggers: Default and customizable commands to make your life easier.
  5. Slack Bots: Bots that automate existing processes and streamline information.

Slack Hack Basics: 9 Simple Hacks You Need to Know

Slack Commands

Just as Google’s many keyboard shortcuts can drastically improve your productivity working with Google Apps, Slack provides an easily accessible list of commands to help you move seamlessly within slack.

1. Access all commands with one simple keyboard command:

Mac: Command + /
PC: Ctrl + /

Shortcut for all Slack commands

2. /giphy & 4 hilarious gif commands

Slack is all aboard the .gif train, as all marketers and PPC advertisers should be. With about 1 minute of setup, you get a random gif generator right inside Slack that uses popular gif search library Giphy. Simply follow the installation tutorial below, and start a new message in Slack with /giphy {Search Term} and a random .gif will appear.

  1. Install via the Giphy application page
  2. Adjust Preview & Censor Rating (tutorial below)
  3. Enjoy!

BE FOREWARNEDeven if you provide very specific search terms, you may get some unexpected results:

Unexpected "field of dreams" gif

What I really wanted:
expected field of dreams gif

You can prevent this by turning on Giphy Preview in your Slack app settings & even setting the maximum content rating for the GIF library Giphy will pull from.

slack gif nsfw settingsSick of Giphy? You can hide and then show all gifs in a channel typing /collapse or /expand.

8 Most Important Easter Egg Slack Tricks Using Giphy

You’ve seen Inception, right? It’s time to go deeper: Slack Hacks within Slack Hacks.

  1. Take your gif game to the next level by animating a #DealWithIt meme right within slack. In the chat window, just type: /giphy #dealwithit paste-gif-or-image-URL-heredan pratt gif dealwithit
  2. Create a meme text caption on top of any gif by typing: /giphy #caption “your caption” GIPHY-SEARCH-TERM
  3. Or caption a gif with the current weather of any zip code by typing: /giphy #weather ENTER-YOUR-ZIPCODE-HERE
    new york weather gif
  4. This is Slack’s version of Google’s “I’m feeling lucky” feature. Choose the most popular gif result within slack by typing: /giphy #1 GIF-SEARCH-TERM
  5. Stuck on a tough decision? Use Giphy’s Magical 8 Ball hack to help you out. Just type: /giphy #8ball GIF-SEARCH-TERM
  6. If one gif isn’t good enough for you, try two. You can combine a gif with a sticker gif and get real crazy! Just type: /giphy #mashup sticker-search-term, giphy-search-term
  7. Make any gif replicate the dramatic gopher by typing: /giphy #enhance image-or-gif-url
  8. Convert your phrase into a gif text by typing: /giphy #echo INSERT-PHRASE-HERE

3. Set Reminders Using /remind

Slack can also act as your to-do list. Quickly set reminders for yourself, entire channels, or individuals to perform some actions at a specific date and time. Slack’s /remind command helps you:

  • Prioritize your day’s work
  • Remind coworkers of various tasks
  • Get going each morning with daily inspirational words
  • Remember to bring your basketball shoes to work every day

You can do so by typing: /remind [@someone or #channel] [what] [when]

4. Instant Channel Navigation – Command+K | Ctrl+K

Though this may seem a bit ridiculous, each moment you spend switching from keyboard to mouse is fractions of a second lost. Those fractions over a 40, 50, or 60 hour work week can add up.

Command + K for Macs or Control + K for Windows allows you to navigate to other channels, direct messages, and areas of Slack.

If you have notifications on various channels, Command + K Enter will take you to the oldest notification. Shoutout to Dev Basu for this one.

Slackbot Customization

 5. Program Slackbot to Become a Wizard and Answer Company FAQ’s

Let’s face it, sometimes our co-workers never learn certain things, like what are our brand’s color swatches?

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 1.01.37 PM Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 1.01.17 PM AdHawk Green hex code

So, I went to Setting >  Customize Slack > Slackbot to create a new triggered response every time a [keyword] appears. Be sure to use fairly unique phrases as keywords. You don’t want Slackbot triggers to be distracting to you and your team. Here’s how I conquered the company color problem:

slackbot customization


hex colors in slack


I sure can, Todd, because it’s super easy and makes me look like a wizard.

slackbot commands


Want to hack your paid ads? Learn more


Key Settings & Features

6. Custom Emojis

Slack ❤️’s Emojis. You can use them to react to messages, comment on files, and even as an effective marketing tactic. Most important, Slack lets you upload your own custom emoji.

custom slack emojis

To create your own, simply:

  1. Click your team in the upper left hand
  2. Click Customize Slack
  3. Download a Slackmoji or upload a square Image no larger than 128px/128px
  4. Type :[Emoji Name]: in your message

adhawk emoji

7. Text Formatting

slack text commands

8. Favorite Messages

favorite messages in slack

Why it’s important: your Favorite Messages tab to keep track of answers to recurring questions, as a to-do list, or to hold onto key company milestones. If you’re using the free version of Slack, favorite messages will be kept forever.

9. Message Settings

Edit, Delete, Save For Later, Add an emoji reaction, or pin your message to the channel:

How: Next to each message sent and received, you are given the following options:

  •  Your sent messages:

edit slack messages

  • Received messages:

incoming message settings in slackThe message setting menus provide a number of options to change, remove, or highlight a certain message. These are key features for making sure that you communicate effectively in slack.

The 10 Best Advanced Slack Hacks for Marketers

1. Track Social Mentions & Competitor Activity Across Platforms – Notify

notify for slack

Type: App install

Each social media platform provides a fresh opportunity to engage with a new audience, build a community around your company, distribute content, and provide customer support.

In fact, we find Twitter and other platforms to be the most important customer success tool we have in our arsenal as marketers.

Thankfully, apps like Hootsuite and Buffer allow us to share content across platforms. But managing things like mentions, customer service requests, article shares, forum opportunities, and competitor activity is a full-time job.

That’s where Notify comes in. Not only will it track direct mentions of your brand, like an @AdHawk mention or reply on Twitter, it will find any use of your keywords across channels, making sure nothing falls through the cracks. Here’s a quick snapshot of our feed:

adhawk notify streamOther services include:

  • Reddit mentions
  • Track competitor keywords
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Product Hunt
  • Google
  • YouTube
  • Forum mentions (coming soon)
  • Vimeo (coming soon)
  • Medium (coming soon)
  • News (coming soon)
  • Facebook Pages & Groups (coming soon)

2. Automate Your Website Analytics via Statsbot

Automate your Google Analytics reporting with the Statsbot Slack Bot. In about 30 seconds, you can be up-and-running with real-time analytics reporting with Slack.

Statsbot has three main capabilities:

  1. Metric reporting – Sessions, Users, Conversions, Conversion Rate, Bounce Rate, New Users, etc. for any time frame
  2. Reports – generate a site overview at any point
  3. Alerts – create custom events for when a certain number of conversions or users are reached during a specific time frame. This is awesome for benchmarking goals: 

statsbot for performance benchmarks

Statsbot provides the most value to us by answering momentary questions like how many users we had yesterday and where they came from. This keeps us from getting sucked into Google Analytics multiple times a day, allowing us to focus on Marketing first, then measuring. Set up here.

3. Reward Co-Workers, Build Culture & Inspire Friendly Competition via GrowbotPlusPlus, Props

plusplus for slackGrowbot tallies Kudos, PlusPlus tallies points, and you can probably guess what Props gives. All three take a lighthearted approach to giving recognition to team members on a job well done and track historical performance. Naturally, this type of scoreboard will create some competition (in fact, Props can broadcast the shoutout on network televisions). Keep it friendly! Otherwise, these bots can do more harm than good for team morale.

growbot slack botprops slack bot

4. Be a Hero to Your Sales Team – MadKudu Slack Hack

Your team already knows you’re a hero from Basic Hack #5 above. But to solidify your seat at the Slack Throne, you’ll want to use this slack hack to generate a notification for your sales team each time you receive a hot lead.

Ingredients: Clearbit’s API, Slack, a little elbow grease, and some coding know-how.

Secret Recipe: Found HERE

Key Results: Hit your Sales reps over the head with qualified leads.
Automatically qualify leads based on customizable metrics like company size, lead’s role, more.
Miss fewer good leads who use a non-work email account.

5. Instantly schedule meetings that work for everyone’s calendar via Meekan for Slack

Meekan matches everyone’s calendars and quickly finds common free times. Simply add Meekan robot to a channel and ask for a new meeting. Meekan also handles rescheduling, conflicts, and calendar reminders all within Slack. Talk about a super-powered slack hack.meekan demo gif

Meekan will even find flights for you. Yeah. It’s great and well deservant of a spot on Paula DuPont’s post about the best Meeting Scheduler Apps and Tools.

6. Streamline Team Standups in Slack via howdy.ai

howdy.ai slackbot

In addition to fully customizable, or “trainable”, bots in slack, Howdy.ai provides a number of awesome features to streamline standups and team processes like lunch orders and team brainstorming.

In a recent article, Ben Brown walks you through how his team saves 13 minutes per day using Howdy Slackbot to manage stand-up meetings. Highly recommended.

He’s also full of great Slack Hacks on Twitter @BenBrown

Honorable Mention: StandupBot

7. Celebrate Every Sale in Stripe #Make it Rain!

From developer Trevor Fitzgerald comes a stupidly simple and infinitely entertaining integration to keep your team on full throttle. You can follow him on Twitter and Github.

Even if you’re not using Stripe, here are all the #MakeItRain gifs this bot uses

Make it Rain Gif

8. Schedule a Video Chat with a Single Command via Google Hangouts

The title says it all. A short and sweet two-step slack hack.

  • Step 1: Configure Google Hangouts with your Slack channel here
  • Step 2: type /hangout

That’s it.

9. Generate Free, Hi-Res Stock Images via SlashPhoto

good photos

Need a beautiful hi-res stock image on the fly? Integrate Slack with Unsplash stock image site with /Slash Photo.

  • Step 1: Integrate Slash Photo
  • Step 2: type /photo
  • Step 3: there isn’t a step three, it’s that simple.

Need more options for free stock images? Here are our favorite sites.

10. Not the Slackbot integration you Deserve, but the Slackbot integration you Need – Zapier

zapier slack banner

Is your favorite service or application stuck in 2015 and not integrated with Slack?

Have no fear, Zapier is here!

Not only can Zapier communicate with Slack on behalf of almost all your favorite apps (500 apps), it provides a number of custom “zaps” or communication recipes that can handle a wide range of tasks. It’s worth poking around with their multi-step Zaps to see what Zapier can do to give your Slack channel a facelift.

Matthew Guay, Marketer at Zapier, recommends using the Zapier’s scheduling tool to control app updates to a certain time of day – so you’re not getting dinged and pinged by Slack’s abrasive KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK whenever your apps do something.

Other popular integrations:

Are there other services that you and your business live by? There’s probably a Slack integration for that. Slack integrates with crucial components of your day to day like:

Asana
Box
Dropbox
Google Drive
Google Calendar
LaunchKit
MailChimp
Skype
Stripe
Twitter
Trello
Wishpond
Yo


Looking for more hacks? Learn how to put advertising optimization on autopilot


That’s it!

Which SlackHack was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below or tweet at us @AdHawk! We read every Tweet.

2 responses to “The Best Slack Hacks for Marketers

  1. Pingback: Slack Hacks for even more awesomeness - Paul Jacobson
  2. I’m using Slack for over a year now and it’s great. We use integrations with Trello, and other task management and productivity tools. If I have a problem with Slack it’s all about the tons of content shared by my team on a daily basis. A lot of links with interesting content but no time to read it all, and eventually it gets lost on channel.

    Having that in mind we’ve created Catch Up, a powerful integration with Slack that will store you the must read content shared by all your team. It’s not only a link aggregator as it uses Machine Learning algorithms to serve the relevant content to each user, taking into consideration their favorite type of articles and their relationship with the person who shared a specif link.

    It also comes with a bot that will give you, in context, the top articles you’ve missed. The bot is also able to store links on command and to serve you the top or new content based on your questions.

    We’ve just rolled this out and it would be great to have your feedback on it.

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About the Author

Marketing and Growth Director at AdHawk. Helping business find confidence and success online, one hefty article at a time.