17th December 2018 DigitalWorkplace By

How Yammer works and 5 ways to use it at your company

Yammer is Microsoft’s answer to the enterprise social network. Launched 10 years ago, it has been a consistent player in the field but in recent years has lagged behind in terms of development and positioning. As part of the wider o365 development stack, Yammer has often battled for airtime with SharePoint and the newest offering Microsoft Teams. But with spotlight customers such as Rolls Royce, Air France, and KFC, and a focus on the digital workplace, Yammer has a renewed focus once again.

How does Yammer work?

The backbone of Yammer is the central newsfeed, a similarset up to commercial social media tools. Accessed only through enterprise domains, by using a company email address or single sign-on, people can post updates, share files and have conversations through threaded comments. Posts and comments can be liked and shared, and topics added to posts through hashtags. All pretty standard, right?

Groups form the basic structure of Yammer, allowing people to interact in public groups over shared interests, or private groups to get work done within a small team. Integrations with the wider o365 suite allow for easy sharing of files from SharePoint and OneDrive, and click-to-call with Skype for Business.

How to use Yammer

1. Get your message out there

Microsoft positions Yammer as the “outer loop”, those people who you don’t work with on a daily basis, not terminology you want to use with your people, but helpful in understanding how to use it. New product launches and projects can easily be communicated with updates, files, and videos to everyone who needs to know. Use groups to attract the right audience and keep people updated.

Internal marketing is just as important as marketing to your customers. Full campaigns and messaging can easily be delivered through Yammer’s social features to get people talking about a new product or initiative.

2. Use #hashtags

Group together conversations and make them easier to find in future, preserving your company’s knowledge. Just like we use hashtags on social media, Yammer turns these into topics that can be used to engage the conversations in the wider platform.

It doesn’t just need to be for projects or launches, hashtags can be used to engage your people and get them sharing. A sure-fire way to kick off engagement. #MotivationMonday to get people sharing what they are working on for the week, or #FollowFriday to encourage people to follow key players around your company and highlight the great things they are doing. It’s a fun and simple way to use your network.

3. Recognise your colleagues

Yammer’s native “Praise” built into the post functionality gives you a quick and easy way to shout out your colleagues or team for their great work. Do this in groups, or even the wider company, with a personalised message to recognise them for their hard work on a project. You can even add in files and GIFs to bring the post to life. The positivity spreads like wildfire and once one person has done it, others will feel comfortable calling it out across your Yammer community.

4. Capture and share ideas

The beauty of enterprise social networks is being able to share an idea with anyone in the company or crowdsource solutions to your problems quickly. The social elements mean that anyone, no matter if they are a sales assistant or a director, can input their opinions, thoughts, and ideas. “YamJams” are quick ways to do Q&A’s to capture the thoughts of a group of people on a really specific topic, have a look at the guide on how to start your own.

5. Collaborate externally

Yammer is not only for collaborating with your people it also allows you to work with partners, suppliers, and even customers. Private, external groups allow you to set up a group and invite those external people in. They can only see the information in that group and nothing else, so your company information is still safe. And you can keep your mailbox clear, make decisions faster and build better relationships all by using the same tools you would internally.

Bonus: Integrate it with your Office suite

We hear over and over again that people are overwhelmed by the raft of tools and applications available to them. They often don’t know how to use them, where they can get value, or how they work together. Often that means most technology simply isn’t touched. Integrating Yammer throughout your Office suite and clearly communicating when and how they should use what tool will elevate your adoption efforts. We’ve delved into when to use Microsoft teams and when to use Yammer already.

Want to make your o365 suite sweeter? Let’s talk.

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