Yammer is a social media platform designed for business. It allows employees within organizations to communicate seamlessly with one another while keeping all communications contained. In other words, everything said in Yammer by employees of the company stays in that company’s instance of the platform. Now more than a decade old, Yammer continues to provide companies with a valuable way to reach and engage their employees.
The History of Yammer
Initially, Yammer was launched as a standalone product in 2008 after being developed for internal communication at a genealogy company. In 2012, accurately predicting that a growing number of companies were recognizing the need to better connect and engage with their workers, Microsoft acquired the platform for a whopping $1.2 billion. The software giant has since begun including the platform in the enterprise edition of Microsoft 365.
How It Works
Think of Yammer as Facebook for companies. It can be accessed either on a web browser or as a standalone application. Its features are intuitive and easily accessible for anyone who has any familiarity with popular social networks today, including
- A user-specific news feed that shows the latest posts by colleagues and company departments, including your internal communications office
- Groups, which allow users to follow their topics of choice, react to and respond to posts and pose questions and get fast answers
- An instant messaging tool, so users can communicate one-on-one quickly with one another
- Search functionality for locating people, files and conversations
- The ability to “tag” people in posts and comments, so that those for whom a post or comment holds most relevance are sure to see it
- The ability to attach files to posts so that people don’t have to go digging for any content or file specifically mentioned in posts
- Live virtual event hosting and recording, similar to Facebook’s live feed
- Poll creation and dissemination, perfect for getting quick feedback from people across the entire organization or specific workgroups
Its easy-to-use, streamlined interface means that Yammer can serve as a gathering place for people across an organization. It’s also a great platform for delivering internal messaging that is likely to be read, easy to engage with and inherently sharable.
Yammer for Internal Communication in 2021
As more companies adopt enterprise social networks, Yammer has become an increasingly common part of the internal communications toolbox. In fact, roughly 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies are believed to use Yammer for internal communications. As with any tool, years of usage has led to new insights about the best ways to leverage the platform’s functionality. Today, Yammer is seen not just as a communication and collaboration tool, but also as a platform for
- Community-building across organizations. After all, when employees from different departments know each other and have a good understanding of what others across different departments do, it’s more likely for cross-departmental collaboration to occur.
- Sharing and leveraging knowledge. Beyond just delivering messaging to employees, Yammer is a great way for senior employees and those with very specialized knowledge to share what they know with less-experienced workers.
- Engaging workers at scale. The more employees an organization has, the more challenging it can be to ensure your messaging is reaching everyone. Yammer makes it as easy to reach 1,000 employees as it is to reach 10.
With more companies embracing a distributed workforce, Yammer is a digital unifier, particularly as the ongoing pandemic has resulted in record numbers of office-based employees making home their primary workspace. Let’s go over some easy ways to use Yammer for internal communications in 2021
- Segmenting your audience to deliver targeted messaging to different groups or “communities,” like departments.
- Delivering short-burst, one-off messages like important company announcements that should be read immediately.
- Gauging reactions to company news by looking at how people are responding to news-related posts, what is being commented on and how news is being shared.
- Creating an ongoing conversation around topics of interest to the entire company or to specific subgroups to boost morale by letting people feel heard.
- Pulling key people into relevant discussions by using the @ symbol. As with most mainstream social media platforms, you can also use the “add topic” button to assign specific tags to content to broaden messaging reach.
- Making use of polls to present different viable options for approaching projects, meeting business goals or even deciding where the annual company holiday party will be held. By giving employees a voice in decision-making, you make them feel like a vital part of the team.
- Hosting “town hall” style meetings and live meetings on Yammer, allowing everyone in the organization to hear from you or members of the C-suite in real-time. Live events on Yammer also allow attendees to ask questions that can be answered immediately.
Using Tryane to Make the Most of Yammer
Using Yammer for internal communications is only partly about understanding the program’s functionality and the best ways to use it in 2021. Using Yammer for internal communications should also be about making the most of your data with deep-dive metrics. That’s where Tryane analytics comes in, giving organizations the ability to see
- How workers are communicating in Yammer
- Which employee groups are making better use of the platform
- Which mediums — text, video or something else — are most effective for creating engagement
- Who is most active on Yammer
- What users across the organization have to say about the company
Tryane for Yammer gives you a deep sense of how well your internal communication efforts are working and find new ways to engage employees at every level of the organization. Contact Tryane today to learn how we can help you make the best use of Yammer.