Since I have started freelancing, I have been a member of several remote teams. Part of working on a mostly remote team is using communications resources to keep everyone on the same page. Depending on team size, some people can get away with using texts, email, and phone calls. For larger teams and more complicated projects, messaging applications may be deemed necessary.
Of those applications, I have used Slack and Google Hangouts.
I much prefer Slack.
Here are my reasons:
1. You can keep everyone in the loop without annoying them with notifications.
With Google Hangouts, I was either constantly getting bombarded with notifications when I did not have the time to read them, or I turned the notifications off and missed everything, leading me to forget about the existence of the channel.
In contrast, with Slack, you can choose to not tag anyone in the main channel, so that people can catch up on the conversation at their own pace. If there is an urgent matter for everyone to see, you can tag the whole channel with "@channel", or you can tag certain individuals with "@(name)".
The best part about Slack's notifications- they are customizable. If you think Joe and Susan are abusing the @channel tag, then you can opt to not see that tag, and only see your own individual tags. Pretty cool!
2. More features available.
While I think neither platform has a bad user interface, I find Google Hangouts' to be more like texts. I like the fact that I can get a quick summary of any threads I am involved in when I open up Slack, which Google Hangouts does not offer. Additionally, since Slack is just an app, there is no difference in the application on my phone versus on the computer. Slack also very easily integrates into Google Docs and Dropbox, which is huge for business use. These functions make remote communication 100% easier, since visuals are key.
3. Most importantly, Slack is not connected to your email account.
I much prefer having a separation of different aspects of work.
With Google Hangouts, every time I checked my work email on the computer, a hangouts chat would pop up. This frustrated me because, since the chats were so active, I made sure to find time every couple of days to read through the messages and make sure I did not miss anything critical. With Slack, I do not have to worry about that. I can check my work email with ease, and catch up on any unread (non-tagged) messages at my leisure.
As I continue to work on remote teams, I look forward to seeing what other features these communication applications will offer. For now, I will be sure to keep checking my Slack and Google Hangouts messages at regular intervals.
After doing some research, I am a huge fan of using Later for Social Media Management.
Disclaimer: My favorite platform is Instagram, so this absolutely influenced my preferences. Additionally, I only personally tried Later and Sprout Social, but the contrast was there.
Currently, I handle the social media accounts for one of my clients, and, while we are still fine-tuning a strategy to keep our audience engaged, having Later as a platform has proven to be super helpful for seeing the layout of our Instagram and other social media pages visually.
My Experience Using the Free Version
I absolutely loved the free version of this platform, and even recommended against paying for extra services (sorry, Later team!) for my client.
My experience using the paid version
My client chose to go with the $19 a month "premium" plan, which includes extra analytics, and took away some of the pain points from above. This also includes a "best time to post" feature as well as a linkin.bio account, which helps to manage multiple links.
Overall, I am still unsure if I would pay to use a more premium feature. For very small businesses and individuals, the free version is totally fine. For larger businesses, the price is probably worth any extra features. I would absolutely recommend trying the free version out and seeing if it works for your purposes, and, by all means, support Later if you can!