With over 8,000 users, and average engagement rates of 33%, I am very happy with the way people are using our Yammer network. But to many, our network feels too big. They express concerns about the ability to find the information they need, to get to the place they want to be, and to be able to easily monitor the conversations they care about.
But, utilizing a few easy tricks that harness the power of the Yammer platform, we can make this big place feel manageable and small.
- Harness the Power of Bookmarks: Rather than having to log in every time you visit a Yammer network, rather than having to search for your group, use your browser bookmarks. Bookmark the homepage newsfeed of your Yammer network, but also bookmark any groups that you want to revisit regularly. When you are at a location in Yammer you want to revisit, just set it as a bookmark.
- Search with Quotation Marks: Searching on a phrase, such as Yammer Help, will provide results that match both the word Yammer and Help. But if you add quotation marks to the search, “Yammer Help” will provide results that only match the entire phrase. Much more specific, much more useful.
- Search Only Inside Your Group: Did you know there is an additional, group specific search box, on the right side of the page in every group? For some reason, this functionality seems to escape most peoples’ attention. Made a post in a group but can’t find it? Search in that the group search box and you will find it right away.
- Create a Group: People find information in Yammer that they want to save and share with their team. Click on the “Create a new group” in the lower left hand corner of the screen, and set it as a private group for your team. Under the posts and resources that you want to save, click the “SHARE” link, and share it to your private group. You will have a wonderful collection of useful information in no time!
- Use the Date and Time stamp: Next to every post in Yammer, you will see the date and time that post was made. That information is actually a link. If you click on that link, you will be brought to a page just for that post. Copy that URL, email that URL out as a link: “Did you see this great post?” Bring people to the specific comment you want them to see.
- Topics: A great way to focus resource collections is through the use of topics (or #hashtags). If you have a Yammer discussion group called Registration Info, and you have a long list of files in that group that provide different registration forms, registration instruction documents and receipt examples, you can attach #RegForms to the forms, #RegInstructions to the instruction documents, and #RegReceipts to the receipt examples. Just like with the date/time stamp, a topic is a link. Clicking on that link does a search for all information to which a particular hashtag is attached. So, if a user clicks on #RegForms, they will only see those documents. A great way to organize and share information collections.
- Group Info Box: I think this is one of the great underutilized features of Yammer. Use the info box to share information that you really need people to see. More and more, I use the Info Box for links to topic document pages. Again, bringing users directly to information collections (collections that grow as topics are added to more resources) that they need. In my imagined Registration group, the info box would contain direct links for #RegForms, #RegInstructions and #RegReceipts.
- Refine Email Notifications: Users often complain about the influx of email notifications the immediately get from Yammer upon activating their account. It doesn’t need to be this way! Edit your notification settings by clicking on the gear wheel in the lower left hand corner of the screen, and select “Edit Settings” from the pop-up menu. Get notifications only from the groups that are most important to you.
- Follow in Inbox: It can be difficult to find a conversation you were interested in again if you have left your network. Simply click on the three dots under the first post of the conversation you like, and select “Follow in Inbox” so you get alerts when there is new conversation activity.
- Join Fewer Groups!: By clicking on the home icon in the upper left hand corner of the screen, you can see every post in every public group and every private group to which you belong in your network when you scroll through your newsfeed. So, only join those groups that are most important and central to your work. Going into one of those groups will strip everything else in your network away, and your network is now small, it is finite, showing you only the information most important to you.
Give these techniques a try. Control the chaos, reduce the noise, and find specificity and clarity in your Yammer network. Take control, and make your Yammer network work for you.