GIF’s are not a sophisticated means of communication, they are short animated images that many people find annoying, cringe worthy and sometimes seizure inducing. They can be bright, flashy and loud, even though there is no sound.
Enterprise Social Networking platform Yammer recently introduced the ability to include GIF images in posts. In an earlier blog post, I expressed concern that GIF’s would be seen as distracting and silly. They are not directly related to our work, so why would people choose to use them?
However, since introducing GIFs in our Yammer network, we have found them to be a major driver of involvement and engagement. Yes they are bright and flashy, but as a result, eyes are drawn to the post to which the GIF is attached. We have seen that GIF files have a positive effect on how people interact with the platform.
This is good. My goal is to get people engaged in our platform. If a silly image of a man standing in a bowl of Ramen soup will drive engagement with the information I am sharing, then I will post that image.
Thankfully, GIFs are not the only way people engage with information, but it is flashy, and sometimes it can be fun, and there are important lessons to learn from how GIFs drive engagement.
- Have Fun with Hashtags
Even with the most serious of business messages, a creative hashtag can offer just the levity needed. Fall short on budget expectations? #MaybeNextYear. The sales trip was not a success? #AtLeastWeHadGoodFood. Forget to submit a report on time? #IWontMakeThisMistakeAgain. Lots that you can do.
- Attach a Photo
So, maybe a GIF, (or even worse) a Meme, is not the message you want to send. Photos now appear in Yammer in a large, beautiful format. William Shakepseare wrote that a “picture is worth a thousand words.” Amen brother. An image, well used, can say an awful lot. Trying to get people to go out to lunch? Most likely, no one will be eating a burger this size, but this is certainly an image that will capture their attention.
- Use the Praise Tool
Clicking “Praise” above the comment field will enable you to make a post as praise. Tag the person you want to praise, and pick a fun, maybe silly icon to use. Though there are not dozens to choose from, find something that might bring a smile based on the nature of your post. Personally? I like the monocle and mustache.
Yammer is all about business, and rightfully so, but that does not mean we can’t have a little fun along the way, and that does not mean that this fun won’t even improve the work that we do. Have fun in Yammer at work. Give people a reason to smile.