This week for the Office 365 Spotlight series, we're going to take a look at the Office 365 professional social network, Yammer! Yammer takes cues from other social network sites like Facebook and LinkedIn to create a more specialized social network designed for collaboration within your organization.
In this Blog I'll walk you through Yammer and share some examples of how it can help your team collaborate more.
The picture below shows my Yammer home page. Like most other social networks, Yammer uses a feed on the home page to show what other users in your network are doing and posting about. They can share documents they are working on, post a status update on a project, ask a question to other users, create a poll, or even offer praise to another user.
Notice that the right sidebar includes a Recent Activity feed that shares what is going on around Yammer. This can be helpful to find new groups that are created or documents that are uploaded by other users.
Much like other social networks, Yammer gives you a profile that shows your recent posts and comments, provides links to the Yammer groups that you are in, and shows the users you follow as well as the users that follow you. You can provide as much information about yourself as you feel comfortable with (like family info, other contact info, social media accounts, etc.) but this can be a useful place for coworkers to find out more about you and how to connect with you outside of work.
You may have noticed that my profile listed Marketing as one of my "Groups." This is because Yammer organizes its users into unique groups that you can create and customize. Groups can be organized by department, project team, or any way you like. Users can post to individual groups if they want to communicate with only those within a group or post to "All Company" which shares the post with everyone in the organization and shows up on the company home feed.
This is a group I created for the marketing staff so we can communicate on what we are working on and share thoughts and ideas about current projects. In the bottom right corner, you can see the black chat bar where you can see who is currently on Yammer and instant message them for quick communication.
Another great feature of Yammer is the Inbox. The inbox holds an archive of all messages, posts, and comments you have sent and received in Yammer. This gives you a digital record of all communication you have on Yammer which can help when you need to remember what document a team member recommended, or who asked you for help on a project. You can also use the search bar at the top of the page to quickly navigate through your post and comment history.
Next to the Inbox button in the top left corner, you have the Notifications button. When someone comments on your post, follows you, mentions you, or sends you a message, you will receive a notification. It looks like I have two new followers, one of whom I am not currently following. Yammer then gives me the option to follow them back right from the notifications tab.
Yammer can be a helpful tool for both big and small organizations that want to build a strong collaborative culture. Encouraging users to post regularly will improve internal relationships and add a fun side to internal processes and procedures.