Managing a Yammer community can sometimes be more art than science. But recently, the Yammer Data Science and Product Analytics Team conducted research to identify the toppractices thatour community managers implement across the most engaged Yammercommunities on the planet. We found community managers have a few similar tendencies and qualities that made their communities stand out.
Great community managers...
Build community with purpose.
Our research showed that the initial set-up of a new community is a vital period when community managers (CMs) need to take a hands-on approach in establishing community guidelines and culture. Within the Microsoft Yammer network, we found that communities with the most engaged members have community managers that help establish the group’s purpose through clear posting practices and direction. See the image below for an example:
During the early days of a community, CMs play a key role in growing their groups by directly adding more members via email-add and group-add.
Here’s a video overview to help you build your community
2. Diversify content to deepen community engagement.
Our research found that CMs (or sometimes referred to as community admins) get approximately 1.5x more replies on their posts than a typical Yammer community member. Moreover, they can expect to see even greater engagement on their posts when they use rich media like images and gifs or when they diversify the type of post they make. For instance, rather than solely relying on discussion type threads to start conversations, community managers can post questions, polls, and praise posts to boost interaction. Reactions on praise posts were nearly 2x as many as reactions on default discussion posts for community managers.
3. Establish routine check-ins with their communities.
Community managers in the most highly engaged groups contribute to the community’s success through speedy responses. On average, a community manager responds to a conversation 2x as fast as any other user. Within the most highly engaged groups, they establish daily, weekly, and monthly routines to consistently review content within their community.
Some CMs have found that subscribing to their communities via email helps them stay up-to-date with new content as it’s posted, while others use reminders to block time to check-in with their communities. Regardless, establishing consistent posting practices as a community manager is an investment that leads to positive long-term impact on the community’s success. We’ve found that community managers can even impact the engagement amongst members in their groups.
4. Include others in the process!
Lastly, our research also revealed that communities with the highest posting activity often rely on help from other members to help manage the group. As you create, grow, and maintain your Yammer community, consider assigning other active Yammer members to be admins as well; so they can help you distribute community management responsibilities.
A final note to community managers
To all new and aspiring community managers, keep these tips in mind as you plan to launch your community and implement them during the initial period when you first create your group. Those first few weeks are critical.
And to all community managers that have managed to create and maintain a highly engaged community,congratulations! Use community and conversation insights within your community to better understand member engagement and take a moment to share your key tips on maintaining a successful community with your peers by posting a comment below.