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Microsoft

Groups in Yammer are changing to Communities. Yammer connects employees across the organization, creates a space for communities and expands an employee's network.  Yammer customers have shared the variety ways they are using Yammer and many of them use it for communities in their organization.

 

Yammer is a community building platform, that connects employees across the organization and expands their network. Groups in Office 365 is the core identity regardless of which app you are using, and Yammer is the front door to your communities. Using Microsoft 365 Connected groups, community management will be simpler as you can use specific identifiers such as role, organization, or location. 

 

What is a community? 

A community is a group of people who have similar interests. These people may know and work with each other daily, however in many communities they are brought together by their interests and the community itself. Yammer is the place where employees' communities of all sizes gather online 

 

What are different types of communities 

Your Yammer network may be made up of a mix of communities across your organization. Here’s the most common types of communities we see with our customers:  

  • Interest Community (Pets, Music, Runners, Foodies, Parents) 
  • Role (Project Managers, Data Scientists)  
  • Location (Based on specific places)  
  • Diversity and Inclusion (Women, LGBTQ+)
  • Experiences (New Hires, Mentorship, Interns, Leadership Development, Conference/Event) 
  • Shared Resource (Travel & Expense, O365 Support, Excel Tips & Tricks) 
  • Organizational based (HR, Internal Comms) 

Resource: Ten Yammer Communities

 

What makes up a good community?  

  • Purpose – What is the main value that the community brings? Why does it need to exist? What problem does it solve? 
  • People it could be 3 people, but it doesn’t matter the quantity of people 
  • Content pictures or videos relevant to the interest of the community at large  
  • Open, honest, respectful conversations. From questions and answers or sharing about common experiences. The community doesn’t need to agree on every single post, having respect for one another and the opinions of others help the community thrive and grow.  

You can see the community in progress by looking at their conversations in Yammer.  

 

Resource: Yammer Community Canvas

 

What types of roles are within community?  

  • Community Admin – think of them like the host of a party – they are there early setting up, preparing the food, the atmosphere for the rest of the group to arrive. These are also the people that help to plan events and showcase the success of the community to others to encourage growth.  
  • Community Champions – the amount depends on the size of the community, a handful of people across a variety of geographies would be helpful to help continue the conversations regardless of time zone. Community Champions help to bring others into the community within their own spheres of influence.  
  • Community membersThe people who are showing up and participating within your communities.  They may even be viewing conversations and still gaining value of being part of the community.  

You can notice a difference within a community that has the right mix of members helping to take care of cultivating it.  

 

Resource: Community Admin Toolkit 

Related Blog post7 Tips to Run a Successful Yammer Community 

 

How could you measure communities?  

Measuring a community's success goes back to the purpose of your community and what’s important to them. You could track the amount of questions answers, or how many times people are recognized, or how many times a specific hashtag like a #thankyou or #yammerwin is used.  

You have a variety of technology that you can use to track your community, you can use the Community Analytics dashboard, or contact a Yammer Network Admin to get you access to the O365 Reports Dashboard or have them create a dashboard within Power BI for your community  

 

Resource: Watch IGNITE Session The unofficial guide to a Yammer official communities program by Amy Dolzine;   
Related Blog post: Community Managers & Data: Why it’s important to look at Yammer user behaviour  

 

In the new Yammer, what else is changing for communities? 

 

Beyond the name change, Community Admins will be given additional opportunities to customize and brand your communities 

Add a Cover Photo.png

 

 

Additionally, Community admins can moderate conversations, including pinning conversations to the top of the community feed.  

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And community admins can manage conversation by closing or re-opening as necessary.  

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Community members will be able to favorite up to ten communities.  

 

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When is this change coming to my network?  

We’ve started to roll out the new Yammer to a select number of private preview customers in December and expanding the preview beyond that in the coming months. The new Yammer is due to roll out to all customers in the middle of 2020. 

 

More Yammer Community Resources 

We know that not all groups are created equal and not all groups may be communities. Some of your Yammer groups may need to be revigorated, moved, or completely deleted.

 

To help prepare for the change we’ve curated a few resources for you to use:  

 

Stay tuned to the blog for additional resources and more announcements about the Year of Yammer! 

6 Comments
Trusted Contributor

Great updates!

New Contributor
Looking forward to the rollout and great article
Occasional Contributor

Listing "Interest Community (Pets, Music, Runners, Foodies, Parents)" as the first of the most common types of Community is not good.  Yes, I accept that there are social communities already in our Yammer tenant, however we go to great lengths to explain that Yammer is not just purely social. I suspect that many other organizations have similar feelings.  When you try and explain merits and value of Yammer to senior executives and the first thing they see is a cat group.... you're in for a long day.  The same goes for convincing people that Yammer is not just trivial and froth.

 

The guide Ten Yammer Communities explains it a little better. 

Occasional Contributor

Agree with Alan, in professional services organisations that use Yammer, one of the biggest challenges to getting buy in from senior leadership is dealing with the perception that Yammer is just social and is 'not for work stuff'

Occasional Contributor

Great update, looking forward for the roll out. Thanks

Occasional Contributor

Now that the mobile app has had communities for quite a while, we should be more than ready for a proper rollout...