Community Managers & Data: Why it’s important to look at Yammer user behaviour
Published May 02 2019 12:00 PM 15.7K Views
Senior Member

Since our Yammer network has been revitalised, I’ve been getting lots of lovely endorphins from looking at Yammer usage charts that have a pretty clear line of increase since the back end of last year.


Success, right? Trouble with me is, I’m nosier (and have more ulterior motives) than that…


By saving snapshots of Yammer user detail (you can get this from the 365 Admin Centre) at the beginning of each month, I started doing some more in-depth analysis of user behaviour.


Here’s one example of what I looked for and how it led me to some really useful insights to help improve our Yammer network moving forward…


What I looked for:

People who made the biggest increase in the number of posts they read from one month to the next.


Why I looked at this:


Getting lots of people posting on Yammer is one thing, but it takes a certain level of bravery in a network where ‘sharing’ is still an emerging cultural trait, so I’m not expecting everyone to suddenly start posting lots in the first 3 months. Plus, what good is all this posted content if nobody’s reading it! Reading and consuming the content is in my mind a really important part of an active community, but possibly goes under the radar.

What I did:


Once I had this list of people, I sent the top 20 a personalised email (with their name on and everything) to say “hey, you read a lot more Yammer posts last month!”, giving them the actual numbers for their read count. I also directed them to a form I’d put together to find out more about why they decided to read more posts than usual.

What I found and how it can help our network grow:

There were a few things that surprised me here with the responses to the form:


  • The top answer to this question: “What prompted you to read more Yammer posts?” (where I offered multiple choice) was: “People were talking about Yammer and I wanted to get involved.”
    • How this can help: I’ve heard about how important it is to create a ‘Yammer buzz’, but now I see it much clearer (on a bar chart, in fact). Getting people talking about Yammer does impact on getting more users more engaged. I can use this to encourage our Yammer Champions to keep shouting loudly about it, so that this doesn’t wear off.

  • When asked to rate the usefulness of content they were reading, users gave an average of 3.7 out of 5 stars
    • How this can help: I’m glad to know that we don’t have a network full of drivel for a start. I can use this as a benchmark moving forward and try to get the star rating increased. I don’t think the score is bad though, so I can also use it in cases where the value of Yammer is ever called into question. 

  • Users were happy to provide particular examples of where reading Yammer content had benefitted them
    • How this can help: I’ve now got some real-world anecdotes that I can share with other users who are less engaged in the network to show that Yammer brings benefit in real-life situations.

  • Users gave a net promoter score of 70 for being likely to read more Yammer posts in future
    • How this can help: If these users are true to their word and carry on reading lots, I reckon there’s potential to turn some of their hands to posting on Yammer more in future too.

  • When asked a multiple-choice question about what types of posts they would prioritise reading, the top answer was the subject of our key business strategy priority. (With no prompting at all!)
    • How this can help: This will be really powerful to take back to the management team to show them how on-board people are across the business with our key priorities, and again gives weight to the ‘value of Yammer’ conversation.

  • When asked what advice they would give to people posting on Yammer, users gave a range of responses, including “Not everything has to be so technical”. (We have a large number tech-focussed employees so tech-speak is prevalent in our Yammer network)
    • How this can help: I’ve got a list of people who consistently fall into the top 20 posters on Yammer over the last couple of months. As they’re already in the habit of posting a lot, I can give them this guidance to help make their posts more effective and relevant to our internal audience. I can also use it as guidance for anyone who hasn’t been brave enough to post very much so far but would like to post more, to give them a starter for 10 on ideas and approaches.

  • Outside of the form responses… people were anecdotally chuffed (weird British word for happy) that they’d been targeted by my emails. Some even told me they felt a sense of achievement for being in the top 20 list.
    • How this can help: Everyone likes a bit of kudos – hopefully being recognised for taking an active role in the Yammer community will encourage them to keep engaging. 

That’s just one example of how a little bit of insight has led to a lot more, and given rise to ideas and practical ‘to-dos’ to help grow our network further. I’ve looked at lots of other stuff too, but this blog must come to an end!

Other insights I’d like to take a deeper look at next include:


  • Popular days of the week for people reading the most Yammer posts, (again to help steer people who’d like to get messaging or info out via Yammer)
  • The correlation between how engaged managers are and the impact that has on their team’s Yammer activity
  • Trends over time in individual Groups

These stats are there for the taking, so why not use them to our community management advantage.







I'm Lyndsay Ansell, Internal Communication Specialist at Modality Systems. I'm working to reinvigorate our Yammer network as part of a wider Internal Comms strategy. Having spent the last 4 years working in the UC industry, communication of all forms really interests me, and I'm constantly looking for new ideas and opinions around the subject.  Here's another blog post I wrote for Yammer about the 5 Daily Tasks for Community Managers. 


Version history
Last update:
‎May 02 2019 05:30 PM
Updated by: