There are not many people who know Yammer by the numbers better than our researchers or the product better than our Yammer product managers. So, when you get them talking with customers and pulling in the real data, we know what they say is true. Thankfully what they share isn’t rocket science, and you may already be doing some of it. Regardless, we are glad they are putting this out there for our customers to learn from and put to action within their own Yammer networks today.
Yammer’s purpose, goals, and key uses cases must be obvious to your organization. Pick two or three and focus otherwise the team will become spread too thin. We have resources that help you research, define and put to action a variety of uses cases. Cross-departmental use cases are critical because Yammer is stronger the more people are on it, you don’t want to reinforce the existing silos within your organization. Don’t reinvent the wheel looking for use cases, there’s probably a few that you are doing right now that you could migrate to Yammer. Some examples could be found right in your email inbox, like moving the New Hire newsletters to Yammer, or sharing promotions or upcoming product announcements in relevant Yammer groups. Many customers have also found success in working in campaigns to their launch, like for people to share simple ways they are improving efficiency at their office space.
Successful networks have catalyzer that creates and evangelize the purpose of Yammer in their organization. And these catalyzers or Yammer champions did not happen by accident in successful networks. Maybe at first, but these people and opportunities for them to grow and engage their groups were key to success within their Yammer networks. These catalyzers advocate that Yammer is a human project, not just another tool. Groups have been created for them to share best practices and provided a great opportunity for communications to localize Yammer content and marketing efforts as needed. Yammer has specific features coming soon for these champions to help them engage the community even more, such as pinned posts, rich text posts, Question, and Marked Answer posts.
Intentionally market Yammer online and off-line. Yammer is better with everyone; the power is in the network with as much critical mass as possible. When you expect users to discover Yammer on their own, often the value does not correlate. Communicate the purpose, value, goals and use cases repeatedly, in a variety of methods. Using methods like employee handbooks, email marketing, or signage in breakrooms can help drive home the value of Yammer, and we have templates you can repurpose here. For example, one network refers to Yammer in their employee handbook as the professional development network, which helps set the tone from day one to new hires.
Coach people. If people don’t know how to do something, they will default to ‘do nothing’ or to ‘lean out’. Help your people lean into Yammer by giving them tactics for communication. Stakeholders should know how to use Yammer, and encourage others to join groups, but also the value they bring is the ability to draw on their own network, by @mention’ing colleagues in conversations that need their insight and experience.
Leaders have a disproportion leverage to gain traction and employees on your Yammer network. Yammer networks love leaders. When your communities see leaders posting on Yammer, especially from a mobile device, it shows more authenticity, even when there’s a spelling error! We have heard from customers that they know when the leader is sharing as themselves versus a crafted email from their communications department. As “basic” as a selfie is, selfie’s on your Yammer network help bring life to Yammer posts. Leaders using selfies to share where they are and what they are learning, showcase the humanness behind the keyboard.
Initial key groups help set the tone of Yammer. People may post in All Company because they don’t know where to go or the opposite may be true, they may not post at all because of the volume of people and content in All Company. Having a few groups, like Office Locations and Leadership Connection groups help to have a starting place to showcase the value of Yammer. Data shows that users who have a network with six or more groups are 3x more likely to stay engaged that those uses with zero groups (or only All Company). A few key groups can go a long way and adding some clarity to the groups help new members decide what and why they are using the Yammer group. Group admins should add enough information to answer “Is this a group I need/want to join? What do I share here?”
One and done doesn’t work. Your work continues after the initial launch. There are many options to keep the conversations going in your Yammer network. From YamJams, to campaigns, these can range in low cost easy to implement to a grander scale event. These continue to help build connections with people as they uncover their own value from Yammer. The data shows that when you have executives and CEOs hosting YamJams or town halls on Yammer the users are engaged.
How many of these five is your network actively pursuing? What’s one tactic you want to try in the next month? Whether you are the lone Yammer user at your organization, or your organization has been using Yammer for years, hopefully, you’ve learned a tactic or two to implement now.