7 reasons why you want to reconsider building your community on Slack

Written by Yuya Takada, Founder & CEO at Commune

We love slack as an internal communication infrastructure

Shoutout to Slack. I must say we love Slack as we use it for our internal communication.

Slack enables us to collaborate with teammates across the globe frictionlessly.


No matter how much we like Slack for internal communication, I have to address that Slack is not the best place to run a customer community.

Dozens of our customers who have replaced Slack with Commune for their community regret the decisions they made in the first place.

Here are 7 reasons why you want to reconsider building your community on Slack.

1. Not every customer is using Slack

Community principle 101: You should choose the place to set up your community in a customer-oriented way.

Chances are high that you are considering building a community on Slack because you use Slack for your company-internal communication.

You may be using Slack, but do 100% of your customers use it too?

Some of your customers may not be familiar with the platform.

If some of your customers are not currently using Slack, your community shouldn’t necessarily be on the platform.


Slack v.s. Teams: Daily Active Users (source)

2. Community ≠ Chat room

Community is not about providing a place to chat.

One of the biggest KSFs(key success factors) to improve community engagement is to develop as many reasons why customers come to the community as possible.

Examples: registering for an event, watching an archived webinar, completing e-learning courses,…etc.

Slack can only provide a place to chat, which limits the reasons why end users visit your community.

This makes end-users come to the community only when they have something to ask, or when they have some commercial purpose. Your community ends up being a place with a lot of unanswered questions and self-promoting comments.

3. One-size fits all UX

Your community should cater to various users with various needs.

Beginners should be able to see the intro to the community when they visit a community for the first time, while loyal users would want to check a niche update of your product or unanswered questions.

Also, you might want to show different content to premium and free users.

You can force team members to look for content they are interested in if it’s an internal community, but it doesn’t work for customer communities.

One-size-fits-all UX prevents users from having personally optimized UX, which leads to a limited user retention rate.

Needless to say, you can’t integrate customer data in your CRM into the community if you use Slack.

4. Unable to show preview to users before joining the community

You don’t want to jump into a black box that you can’t tell what’s inside.

Communities on Slack are a complete black box for potential users. Being unable to see content before joining the community makes it difficult for them to get interested in it. Moreover, you can’t utilize content in the community for marketing purposes.

5. No analytics -> No improvements

You should improve your community by analyzing active rate, action rate, popular content, user retention rate, and more to maximize the outcome of the community, but Slack doesn’t give you any insights.

No analytics, no improvements. You’ll realize there’s no clue to improve community engagement soon after launching a community on Slack.

6. No incentives/gamification

Everybody likes games, especially when you join a community of a service that you aren’t a passionate loyal user of.

Too many incentives/gamification harm the community’s health, but a bit of spice helps beginners/casual users to visit the community again and be active.

Slack doesn’t offer you any incentives/gamification that you find difficult to retain casual users.


7. It costs too much or you lose all the content

Slack costs you $7 per active user. If you have 10,000 users in your community and only 10% of them are active, the community costs you $7,000 every month.

Of course, you can use Slack for free, but you’ll lose all the content after 90 days. 

You’ll miss one of the huge benefits of a community; cumulative UGC (user-generated content). 

Slack’s pricing as of Dec. 2022

Commune solves all those problems

Commune is a leader of community platforms for customer success teams that supports hundreds of customers to unlock the power of community. 

You can customize not only the design of a community but also the way your customers join (e.g. using the login feature of your service) as well as the openness(=how closed it is) of your community.

Besides the chat room, Commune comes with the Knowledge base, User training, Event management, Gamification, and Points/Badges…all in one place.

Don’t miss our unique advantages such as a no-code admin dashboard, Community analytics, Customer-status based community experience control, and Communication workflow to automate customer communication.