Engaging your audience requires meeting them where they are. With about seven out of 10 adults using social media to connect with friends and family members, it’s no wonder more organizations are jumping on the social media wagon to ensure their messaging is getting to the right people. For many companies, that means using Yammer, an enterprise media solution by Microsoft.
Yammer provides companies with their own, self-contained social media bubble, allowing employees to communicate effortlessly with one another. it also allows internal communications professionals to deliver easy-to-read, engaging messaging. And, since it feels more like a social network than an enterprise communication tool, Yammer allows people to interact with the content by reacting and responding to posts while sharing content with their peers. It also allows for tagging people and adding hashtags to comments to make it searchable by specific keywords.
Yammer’s Topics feature lets you organize, curate and even reference information across the many in-platform communities that may exist in your organization. Topics are essentially metadata for a thread, rather than individual messages. This is different from hashtags, which are actually part of the messages themselves.
For instance, you can use the “add topics” option after creating a post to affix it to a conversation. If the topic already exists, users see it as a suggestion. Clicking on a topic takes users to the page for that particular topic, whereas clicking a hashtag results in a search for any message that includes that particular hashtag.
Any word or word combination, as well as numbers, can be turned into a topic. While your organization’s topic list will be unique to your organization, there are some particularly common and useful topics for engaging users in Yammer. Swoop Analytics’ Sixth Annual Benchmarking Report for Yammer looked at online interactions from 2.6 million employees at 116 organizations. The more common, which could help you emulate user-engagement strategies that are also working elsewhere, include:
Choose to be grateful for employees’ good work, and they’re more likely to continue to do their jobs well. This Yammer Topic is an excellent way of highlighting those who go above and beyond the call of duty in service of their colleagues, customers and company. It also sends a clear message that the leadership team is paying attention. In addition, it also makes work a more personal experience, in which employees feel their efforts are genuinely appreciated.
Like expressions of gratitude, congratulating employees for things big and small, from that awesome promotion to becoming parents, also tells them that the leadership team is watching, cares and gets excited about seeing employees doing well for themselves. Plus, it allows other employees to learn about what’s going on in the lives of their colleagues and congratulate them as well. Of course, it’s simply impossible for the leadership team to know what’s going on with every employee that warrants a congratulatory statement, just as with gratitude. That’s why it’s important in enlisting department managers, who tend to have a closer relationship with and pulse on what’s going on with the people in their departments.
Often, though particularly at bigger companies with many departments that do very different things, it can be difficult for people to know who does what outside of their immediate work circles. Yet, there may be people across different units that might benefit from knowing each other and working together. Facilitating such cross-departmental connections can lead to more collaborations that support the company’s bottom line.
When departments are used to working as islands, information tends to be siloed, meaning it never leaves their hands. Having an information-sharing space on Yammer where people can not only share about their work but also post and answer questions and share important information ensures that your entire workforce is well-informed. Plus, as older employees with longitudinal institutional knowledge prepare to retire, this is a place where they can store their knowledge so less seasoned employees can access it to get ahead.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the nature of work for many people across the world. And, as new, deadlier variants continue to surface, companies will likely need to stay abreast of COVID-related news and communicate important policy changes related to employee and customer health and safety to their employees. Using COVID as a topical area may also be a good way for employees to share community-related information among themselves, such as local vaccination locations, school closings and more.
Time, Day, Week and Year were all common temporal topics identified by the SWOOP survey. All of them point to one thing: Employees want to know what’s happening and when that might impact them. In terms of engagement, these kinds of topics are useful for getting users on to Yammer. And sure, a detailed office calendar could potentially accomplish the same thing. However, on Yammer, users can also ask questions about specific events and have them answered right in the topic, ensuring that others subsequently have access to the same questions and answers.
When people feel heard, they are more likely to feel happy in their companies and jobs. So, soliciting feedback is a great way to engage users on Yammer. You can do that by posting about specific programs, services, policies or initiatives and asking people to rate them or provide qualitative feedback through comments. Or, you could create polls to find out what’s most or least important to employees, say, in terms of benefits. Whatever feedback you’re soliciting, the key is to make sure that users understand it’s safe to share how they feel.
Yammer Topics presents a great engagement opportunity. Hopefully, the ideas for Yammer posts discussed here will get you started increasing engagement within Yammer at your organization. However, it’s not enough to just do what you think works.
Detailed metrics that are specific for your organization can help you understand what’s working well and what’s not to get the most out of your Yammer posts. Once you see what’s working well, you’ll know what Yammer post examples are worth repeating.
Tryane lets you see such data. Tryane can also help you determine which employee groups use Yammer most, which mediums — text, video or something else — are most effective for generating engagement and what different groups across the organization say and feel about the company. Contact Tryane today to learn how we can help you make the best use of Yammer.