Yammer: the social networking site for companies

If you’ve just joined the Yammer network within your company, chances are you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the options that the tool gives you and you may not know quite how to begin. So we’ll take a look at a few tips on the first things you should do to take advantage of the time you spend on this private social network for companies. Here’s a quick guide to Yammer for beginners.

Complete your profile’s information

To start using Yammer to communicate within your company, collaborate and share information it isn’t necessary to complete your profile information. With just your name and corporate email address you can start working.

Still, it’s recommended that you fill in all the editable fields in your profile, in particular the post or position you occupy, your biography -the “About me” section-, experience and your interests because:

  • It’ll help your teammates know more about you and your work experience, and it allows them to put a face to your name. It is rather difficult to trust and work with someone whom you don’t really know or what it is that they do.
  • The profile information is also indexed in the search engine and can be used to identify people with specific knowledge or skills. If you don’t fill this in, you can lose job opportunities and the option to take part in interesting projects.
  • Adding a photo is also optional, but although it is not a mandatory field, it surely generates trust and the impression you’ll give will be a much better one, because it conveys professionalism.

This is the way to make these changes:

  1. In the upper right corner of the screen, click the icon with three dots in it.
  2. Select “Edit Profile”.
  3. Upload a photo of you.
  4. Fill in your title, department, location, experience, contact information and any other information, including links to your accounts in Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  5. Click “Save”.

Set up your notifications

Yammer lets you configure all kinds of alerts via email. You can send alerts to your email, for instance, every time someone mentions you, invites you to a group or follows you. But precisely because of the large number of alerts that this can generate, you can end up saturating your inbox and you’ll end up getting sick of Yammer before you’ve even started getting into it.

Therefore, the ideal is that you set the alerts you want to receive and the frequency of the summary of activities so that you won’t be flooded with messages. To do this you must select “Edit Profile” and click “Notifications” from the menu on the left.

yammer_the social networking site for companies_donald burns
Image courtesy of Enterprise 2.0 Conference at Flickr.com

Join several groups

If you’re part of a large company, in the general thread you will find lots of information, most of it too general, which is none of your business or you may not be interested in it. To start getting the most out of Yammer, you can locate groups within which you can learn, contribute or find useful and interesting information.

You can look for groups in several ways. For instance, by entering keywords in the search box of the home page.

Another way is to press the three dots and selecting the “Groups” option. Here you will see three tabs:

  1. Suggested groups: groups that Yammer suggests for you.
  2. My groups: the groups of which you’re already a member.
  3. All groups: the entire directory of groups in the company.

You can also find groups in the main menu on the left if you click on “Groups” or “Browse groups”.

Follow topics, people and documents

Another way of finding content relevant to you is to follow the people you are interested in -for instance, a colleague from another country who works in a department similar to yours-, tags and topics -Social Media, Human Resources- or documents and notes, so that you can know when someone has made changes recently.

To do this, click on the “Follow” link at the top right when you open the profile of a person or  when you access a document or item.

Search before you act

If you have any questions or queries, the first impulse you’ll have is to ask. But Yammer is a great repository of knowledge. It is possible that the issue you have has already been solved by another person who has been in the same situation. The search engine is very powerful. If the conversation was labeled correctly, you’ll find it quickly.

Chances are you’re already thinking of workgroups, hobbies or interests that you could create. Again, and although it might seem obvious, check if someone else has had the same idea as you in the past, in order not to duplicate contents, optimize efforts and prevent confusions among other users.

Related content

Read Don BurnsJoin.me, a collaborative tool for startups”


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