Official communities are now available in Yammer

Published Oct 05 2021 09:00 AM 12.6K Views
Microsoft

Official communities are designated communities to ask questions and get answers, to connect and learn from others. When communities are marked as official, they create legitimacy and build trust over the conversations and content shared. Network admins can now designate official communities in your organization. 

 

Official Yammer communityOfficial Yammer community

 

 

Official communities offer a way to guide employees to the correct communities when they are searching for answers by using a familiar ‘verified’ icon represented by a check mark.  

Official community search resultsOfficial community search results

 

 

Many organizations already create and manage communities in this way, but this update allows admins to officially designate and mark these communities.  

Here are some examples of how customers are using official communities today:  

  • Managed: Actively monitored and managed by a person or a team of dedicated community managers / corporate communicators / business admins. 
  • Company-wide: Relevant for most people across the company / region / organization. 
  • Strategic: Drives business value or is vital in building company culture 
  • Open: Anyone can join and participate in the conversation. 

 

How to set a community as an official community: 

Only Yammer network admins can mark existing communities official in their network. To do this, follow these steps: 

  1. In the community, click on the More Options ellipses. 
  2. Under the Network admin options, click Mark Official Community. 
  3. The badge will appear next to the community's name. 

Admins can set community as officialAdmins can set community as official

 

 

Tip: Create an official community program  

 

As this feature rolls out, we’d encourage your organization to put some thought behind an official communities' program to determine what constitutes the criteria and process for a community to be designated an official community.  

 

Will your organization have engagement, membership, or admin requirements for an official community? How will that community measure success? Where do new hires learn about the official communities?  

 

Below, we have outlined some best practices for setting up a program for your Yammer network below.  

 

Get a baseline.  

 

Before you start going down the list of existing communities, here is a few questions to use to build out the criteria for the official community program…  

 

  • What are the communities that you would reference in your network as fundamental to your organization's culture and business? 
  • What are the communities that you would recommend for new employees?  
  • What are the communities who have active and engaged community managers? 
  • What are the communities that have clear leadership support? 
  • What are the communities that are strategic to building company culture? 

Using these communities as a starting point, you can leverage community managers to help build a baseline for expectations for engagement, membership, and rules of the program.  

 

Determine official community guidelines. 

 

Once the qualifications for an official community have been determined, publish a clear definition as a reference point for existing and future community owners. Typically, this statement will capture the purpose and guidelines of the program.  

For example, “Official Yammer communities created at a company-level need to encourage broad communication and collaboration to build company culture.” 

 

OC at MSFT.PNG

 

Publish a form to request an official community 

Create a form that lists the criteria and have interested community managers submit their communities to become official communities.  

Use this template to customize this to fit your organization’s needs.  
 

Determine the official community review process.  

Define when official communities will be reviewed. Is it on a monthly / quarterly / annual basis? How frequently will you add new official communities? What happens to communities that fall below the threshold of engagement expectation?  

As you create the official community review process, remember to establish a simple baseline for your communities. Official communities will evolve at your organization. You may need to step in and offer guidance if engagement isn’t as expected, or to revisit the need for that community to be marked as official.  

 

Evaluate ongoing official community engagement.    

Official communities may naturally set the bar for engagement in your network. Help community managers keep momentum or create new content or campaigns to continue to engage the community.  

Create a community for these community owners to collect ideas and share best practices. Determine if there is a metric that an official community needs to maintain, and what actions to take if it falls below those guidelines.  

 

Get the word out.  

Create a list of official communities that are recommended for new hires. Determine essential business partners that need official communities. For example, company-wide initiatives, events, product launches, or specific leaders may require their own official communities.  

 

 

Check out more community and adoption resources at the Yammer Adoption Resource center. 

 

Follow us at Ignite for more news and updates for Yammer.  

 

 

 

12 Comments

Does marking a community as official do anything for visibility of the community in the feed and/or community discovery?

Contributor

Does making a community official do anything besides giving it an official badge? So far I'm not very impressed with this feature. 

Microsoft

@Kevin Crossman @Eric Davis 

 

Thank you for the feedback. At the moment, we have created just the official badge. It is on our roadmap to work on visibility and discoverability. In the future, official communities will appear higher in the feed and search results, they'll be featured and promoted in the discover communities experience. 

Contributor

@debbiemotilewa  Thanks. In addition to Kevin and Eric’s feedback. Yammer team needs to look at coming out of a role as Community Manager where specific permissions are given to manage/govern the communities in general without needing access to Yammer Network Admin role. 

Frequent Contributor

Will there be a possibility to only allow "official" communities? In our company it would be too much of a mindset shift that every employee can create a community.

Think of this as the verified badge on Twitter so you know which account is the authenticated one.

 

for example...

AsifRehmani_0-1635170531617.png

 

Occasional Contributor

Agree that there needs to be discoverable / priority search result functionality built into this other than a blue tick.

 

Are you the real @Asif Rehmani  ?

I sure am @Anthony_Ciavarella :lol:

Senior Member

I will be most interested in this function when it is capable of helping prioritize business relevant communities above the other less critical, or non business focused communities. It's a pity that the minimum viable product for this enhancement was nothing more than decoration, at least at first. Now, we have to spend effort to create policies on who gets "decorated" and who doesn't. Perception of Yammer in our organization is that it is a noisy, disorganized environment and a more intelligent sorting and prioritization could go a long way to turning that perception around. 

Microsoft

Hi @Dan_Phillips @Anthony_Ciavarella 

 

Thank you for the feedback. We started work on the community discovery experience this quarter - we are currently in the envisioning stages of what this would look like, and one of the key items here is to be able to discover official communities first, as well as the option to pull all official communities into a category (possibly a hub) that has its own dedicated feed. I would love for you to be part of the ideation process for this area

New Contributor

Not only do we love the feature and the roadmap of giving these communities higher discoverability in the home feed, BUT I also appreciate all the guidance and support on the governance of this new verification. I'm already utilizing the Form template now and all the guiding questions to help me roll this out more broadly in my company. Thank you! Curious to hear a status update on where you are with giving these official communities more weighting in discovery, @debbiemotilewa.

Microsoft

Hi @Marjorie Goodman 

 

Good news! We are already working on this - this quarter and should have this available by Summer. 

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