One thing we’re constantly trying to do at Troops is surround ourselves with  people we want to learn from.

In fact, as part of our interview process, we specifically ask people what they can teach us.

In collaboration with slash-hypen, we got a group of people at the forefront of the “Slack Movement” together at Troops’ HQ in NYC’s Union Square.  

how to use slack

The goal of this Salon was to talk about how to use Slack across different types of organizations, as well as discuss important questions companies using or evaluating Slack are trying to answer.

In this post, we thought we’d share a few takeaways and answers to questions that might be relevant to your team.

How do I position Slack to higher-ups in our organization?

Maybe you’re like many people who’ve heard about the awesomeness that is Slack, but haven’t been able to get the leaders at your company to buy into trying it.

“Do we really need another group chat? We have Gchat?”

Perhaps the reason you’re having trouble getting buy-in is because you’re positioning Slack like a faster horse instead of something entirely new like a Model-T.

how to use slack

A better chat client isn’t that compelling to old-school executives. Also, pricing parody against other tools that let you do things like create presentations or email marketing can be an uphill battle when whatever you’re using for chat is free forever.

Next time Slack comes up, try talking about Slack as a way to create a more transparent, productive organization instead of an enterprise messaging app or group communication tool.

At the core of transparency & productivity is access to information. [Click to tweet!]

Most companies have multiple teams working out of many different pieces of software to execute and document their workflow. Wouldn’t it be nice to have all the signals and statuses from those systems centralized in one place automatically instead of requiring people to log into discreet applications all day?

You can’t do that with a “chat app.”

This is why we think of Slack as an operating system for your business; chat just happens to be one of the many things you can do with it.

How can I drive adoption of Slack?

Let’s face it...most of the time people are facing Slack adoption issues, it isn’t because their teammates  don’t know how to use Slack. More often than not, it’s because people don’t want to change behaviors. We talked about this in a prior post about how to get your sales team using Slack.

One way to drive adoption that was brought up is by building useful Slack applications unique to your organization.

A simple example of this is the New York Times Blossom bot which helps employees decide which stories to share on social media based upon how likely they are to do well.

As far as I know, this real-time sharing intelligence functionality is only available to NYT employees using the Blossom bot. Siloing this highly valuable function to Slack encouraged employees to get into the habit of using Slack.

At Troops, we’re constantly thinking about this within the context of Saleswhat can we give people that is so valuable that they’d be willing to learn how to use Slack and make it part of their daily workflow?

But instead of asking companies to use internal development resources to build custom workflows within Slack, we’re making it really easy to create these type of interactions from a simple dashboard.

Sound sweet? Sign up for early beta access below:

how to use slack

How can I limit the noise?

We’ve consistently heard from some teams that “Slack is too noisy.”

This is kind of like when someone goes skiing and comes off the mountain after 2 runs because it’s too cold.

Is it that cold or did you just dress poorly?

how to use slack

Ultimately your results and ability to effectively use a system is correlated to how well you use it. The same holds true for Slack.

One way to limit noise is instill Slack etiquette, or a guiding set of golden rules. Clarifying the type of communication and notifications that should be directed to Slack greatly decreases the onset of Slack anarchy.

how to use slack

As one leader described, the process of creating a golden rule around when to communicate with someone turned Slack from a sometimes noisy product into the indispensable glue that connects their business internally.

Their golden rule!?!?!?

Only send someone a message when you know exactly what you need from them.

Makes good sense if you ask me.

Other suggestions for improving the signal to noise are turning off notifications that aren’t relevant, creating notification only channels, leveraging highlight word notifications, and putting a cat Giphy quota on your engineering team of once a day


These are a few things we learned when we asked experts to how to use Slack to maximize efficiency.

What best practices has your team adopted to get the most out of the platform? Let us know below in the comments.


Scott Britton

Written by Scott Britton

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