How To Use Yammer… And Why You Should Be Using It At Your Business

The basic set up is free, easy to use, and, perhaps, most importantly, it provides a private, manageable, and secure online space for businesses to communicate. If your board room created a social networking site, this is what it would look like.

What is Yammer and Why You Should Use It

Launched in 2008, Yammer is an enterprise social network; this means that unlike other social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter – which are designed for public use – Yammer is designed for private communication for members within a given organization. It is a social network for businesses and companies. What’s so useful about this? The basic set up is free, easy to use, and, perhaps, most importantly, it provides a private, manageable, and secure online space for businesses to communicate. If your board room created a social networking site, this is what it would look like. For more about why you should be using this tool, check out 6 Things You Can’t Do At Your Office Without Yammer.

How to Get Setup with Yammer

If you’re creating a Yammer account for your business, you’ll need a valid company email address. You’ll be sent a confirmation email and then you can log into the Yammer system.

If you’re being invited to join a Yammer network, you’ll receive an email from the network’s administrator; follow the link, and you’ll be directed to Yammer’s main page.

After feeling strangely comforted by the Facebook-like blue and white colour scheme, look to the top right corner of your screen. Here, you will find a “getting started” box that will lead you through several initial steps including, completing your profile, adding your photo, inviting others to join your network, joining groups, and getting Yammer desktops or mobile Apps.

When creating your profile and adding your photo, remember that while Yammer looks and feels like a typical social networking site, it’s a business environment. Pick a work place appropriate user name and a photo where your face is visible.

Feeds

Officially, Yammer refers to all communications that take place on the site as “Yams”. Yams are sorted into various feeds. A feed, if you’re new to social media, is a way of grouping certain kinds of messages.

Your main feed is made up of the Yams from the people you’re following and the groups you’re in. To post your own Yam, simply pick whether you are posting an update, question, link, poll or event, and fill in the necessary information and press update. People are able to “like” or reply to your post, and you are able to do the same with other people’s posts within your network. Every message in Your Feed has a button marked “more”; this will allow you to view a thread of conversation or bookmark a thread.

To the left of your screen, you can choose other feeds – or other ways of organizing the Yams which show up on your home page.

  • Sent- Allows you to sort Yams into only the messages you’ve sent.
  • Received- Shows all the yams @addressed to you
  • Liked- A list of the Yams that you’ve liked.
  • Bookmarked – A is the list of yams that you’ve marked as favourites.
  • All – Will filter all non-private Yams within your network
  • Groups – Will show Yams posted to your groups.

Like Facebook and Quora, Yammer has a private message function. This allows you to communicate with a specific user without having to share your thread with the whole network. Private messages, as their title suggests, are in fact, private and cannot be viewed by your followers or groups.

Hash Tags

If you’re coming from other social networking sites such as Twitter, hash tags (#hashtags) won’t be new. A hash tag allows you to organize messages, find topics, and find people. Because Yammer is used for work, hashtags are an essential tool used to identify what posts are about. While some tags are Yammer wide, most will be generated by the needs of your business or company. For businesses, it’s a good idea to put together a glossary of tags specific to your Yammer network. For new users, it’s important to understand the hash tag vocabulary of your company’s Yammer network to help you communicate effectively, but also to find information quickly.