The Best Bots You Need for Slack
So, one of the true powers of Slack, though, is not these basic functions because some of you are probably looking at us thinking, well, I could just use Skype for Business or I could use WeChat or one of these other chat or HipChat, which is also very similar actually, to Slack. That's true but the real power in Slack comes from their bots and their integrations that allow you to automate a lot of the functions. So, the reason that I love Slack particularly is that it becomes my central hub for communication. So, if I wanna search for pretty much anything having to do with my business or what we're working on, I'm gonna just go right to Slack. So, let's talk about the bots, first of all here. The first one is one of the most popular and it's the Giphy integration. And I always feel funny talking about this but people tend to really love this. In terms of team culture or giving a quick reaction to something, the way this works is with what's known as a slash command. So, in the chat bo...
x for Slack, you can write slash Giphy, G-I-P-H-Y, and then, any phrase you want. In this case, we wrote go team. And it will pop up with a random Giphy that matches that search. It's a really nice way to sort of break up the communication and people love it. It's just, I have to show this because people absolutely love the Giphy thing for building team culture and building engagement. But there's actually an entire Slack store, so what I wanna do is actually go through some of the categories of the bots that are available to you in Slack and show you how they work and how they integrate. So, this is the built-in Slack store. So, you can think of bots as almost like installing add-on software. So, you have your desktop computer and then you install QuickBooks or Word. So, in this case, you're adding on these bots. And what you'll notice, as we go through this, is that a lot of these are a lot of the tools that you might be using on a regular basis anyway, from video conferencing to social and communication tools to finances and even health. So, we'll start with the bots. And I'm just gonna give you sort of a sampling of what some of these can do, so you have an idea of how you can really super power Slack. So, the first one up there is called Poly. Poly allows you to do polls in Slack. Really, really simple and easy. You can say, for example, what does everybody want for lunch? And you can give six different choices and people can just click and it will tally up the votes. You can also use it for some more powerful stuff, like team engagement. So, you can actually set up Poly to do a monthly survey asking people, how happy are you at work? How likely are you to recommend this company to other people as a place that's great to work? How much do you trust your coworkers? Whatever. So, you can use that for surveying, which is hugely powerful for, not only team engagement, but just gathering information from people on the team. Geekbot is really cool. So, Slack would fall under the category of asynchronous communication and it's important to understand why we care about asynchronous communication. Whether you're dealing with a completely local group of people or you're working with a team that spans the entire globe, asynchronous communication makes it so that people are best able to communicate as well as receive, understand, and respond to that communication in a time that makes the most sense to them. So, synchronous communication would be something like a phone call or an in-person meeting. Whereas with the asynchronous, that would be something like email or Slack. So, somebody can write a message at two o'clock in the morning and they can go back to sleep and do whatever they want, and then, somebody else might see that message at nine in the morning and continue the conversation without really skipping a beat and provide that information. And then, that person might wake up, the original person, at like and they can respond as well. And nobody has to miss out on anything because they couldn't connect live. So, what Geekbot does is, it actually runs a stand up meeting for people who are working asynchronously. So, those of you who are familiar with Rockefeller practices or some other business practices, you might know what a stand up meeting is. A lot of you probably already do this in your business, where you have a 10 or 15 minute meeting every week or every day, in some cases, just to get on the same page and everybody goes over what they want. Oftentimes, they're done in person or synchronously. What Geekbot does is, it will actually do a round robin through whoever you want. It could be between two people on your team or it could be between a hundred people on your team. And it could just ask you two or three or four questions and then pool those answers. So, for example, my partner, my cofounder and I have a Geekbot stand up every day. Every morning, around 10 o'clock, it sends a message to both of us and it says, as a bot, it looks like your chatting with a person. So it says, what did you get done yesterday? And you respond, give it an answer, and tell you what you did. And then, it's like, great, what are you gonna do today? And you can respond and tell it. And then, it'll say, in our case, what obstacles are impeding your progress? And you can tell it. You know, I'm traveling or we're thinking about this, need to get a strategy meeting, whatever it might be. We both do that on our own schedule. So, I could do it at 10 in the morning and my partner might not get to it until four in the afternoon, doesn't matter. And it will aggregate those into one founder channel where we have had our, basically, meeting. And then, everybody's on the same page. So, it's just an incredible tool for allowing people to connect that way. Growbot is a really fun one, too. So, what Growbot does is it really promotes team support. So, with Growbot, somebody can write in a Slack channel and say, cheers to @Melissa, for example, from the last slide, for doing such great work with this client and helping me out at the last minute. And Growbot will automatically see that word cheers or props is another one, and it will give them a thumbs up or a point. So, we'll actually add up points for them and what it allows people to do is, they can give points to their coworkers. And you can keep track of those points and you can even give people rewards based on those points. So, it's just a really good way of doing, sort of, peer recognition and letting them know that you know that they did a good job and everybody else, because of that transparency. And then, Donut is the last one I'd like to mention, too 'cause we use that quite extensively. Donut Bot will, every Monday, randomly connect two people on the team with a direct message and it will say, hey, you two should meet. And it's almost like an icebreaker. Now, we love this because we have almost 200 people on our team, in 17 timezones. Most of whom will never meet in person. So, something like this can connect somebody who just started working with the company with somebody who's been with the company for over a year and give them a chance to actually connect and chat. Next thing under there is Social and Fun category. So, I already mentioned Giphy. Social media is really well-integrated into Slack. So, for example, the Twitter integration not only will display a tweet in the proper format, but it will actually allow you to retweet it and like it and interact with it, right from within Slack. So, this is where I'm starting to open up the possibilities for you, of how Slack can become that number one and main place of communication. So you're not constantly switching back and forth between email and this app and that app to find the information that you need. And to interact with it. Simple Poll is another polling one and HeyTaco! is actually very similar to Growbot, so in that one, you're giving people tacos instead of points.