Wait a second—Yammer? Isn’t that social media for work? Your organization is already chatting, meeting, and coauthoring like pros in Microsoft Teams. And you need to help your people use another messaging app?

Yep! You definitely do. Stay tuned for why your business needs Yammer.

Spoiler alert: You’ll collaborate without department boundaries, learn more about the individuals in your organization, and have some fun along the way.

We’ll tackle this in two ways. First, what is the experience for an IT leader that’s trying to get more people to use their software tools?

By contrast, as a user of these tools, you might be confused. Why do you have both Yammer and Teams? When and how do you use them?


Making a case for Teams


Before we dive into Yammer, let’s chat about Microsoft Teams. Teams is efficient, secure, fast, and backed by the cloud. Collaboration in Teams looks like:

  • Chat messages
  • Team chat conversations
  • Video calls
  • Coauthoring files

You can also share files, images, GIFs, and praise badges with individuals or groups.

As an IT leader, you want to see that the software you provide is effectively used. For more information about the administrative side of Teams, check out The Definitive Guide to Teams Governance.

If you are having a tough time getting your users on board, we can help you scale your software training. Click to learn more.

From a user’s standpoint, there are a lot of features to understand. Read our article about Teams features beyond chat and calling.

Teams is powerful. It’s built on groups of people and designed to get work done. But what about when you want to work beyond your structured Teams? How do you collaborate across departments if your organization only uses Teams? How would you get a company-wide discussion—not just a newsletter—going?




Getting to know Yammer


Yammer is your organization’s social networking service. Think of Yammer as a way to collaborate and get to know colleagues beyond your Teams teams. Make sense?

The Yammer fundamentals are:

  • Yammer is built on communities of people.
  • Users can post messages to communities.
  • You can send private messages in Yammer.
  • An update feed displays personalized updates and relevant content.

In particular, Yammer excels at large group discussions and sharing. Whole communities or organizations can participate, ask questions, and share information.

IT leaders or other administrators can broadcast live video to thousands of participants, mark posts as featured conversations, and use Microsoft 365 native mode.

Yammer gives all users a company-wide platform to share, ask questions, and make connections with users.


When should I use Yammer or Teams?


Here’s a way to think about the difference between how to use the two tools:

  • When you know who you need to talk to, use Teams. Send a message or ask a question in a team channel.
  • If you don’t know who you need to talk to, use Yammer to ask and find out. Start a discussion or ask a Question to shout out to your whole organization.

Still wondering what is the difference between Teams and Yammer? Consider these scenarios:

  • A CEO wants to announce a contest to 10,000 employees. She could send an email, but instead she chooses to post an announcement to Yammer—which lets her see how many people have viewed the post, how they reacted to it, and any comments they added to the conversation.
  • An employee has an idea to improve time between assembly and shipment. He has some questions for several different teams. While he could send a Teams message to his manager, he posts to Yammer instead to show his openness to feedback from the wider organization.
  • An HR manager would like preliminary feedback about expanding the wellness package. He posts a poll on Yammer with 6 options to see which are the most popular.
  • An administrative assistant is organizing an internal conference. She asks a question in Yammer and tags specific people. Other employees also answer the question and join in the discussion.
  • A customer service representative has a question about a new product. He posts to his organization’s Sales and Service community. A rep he's never worked with before answers his question.
  • The members of the C-suite post short videos of themselves to engage employees.
  • The birthday person posts in her local Yammer community “Cake’s in the break room!”

In a nutshell, use Teams for collaborating with specific colleagues. For networking, company-wide visibility, or watercooler talk, use Yammer.




BrainStorm’s Yammering: A Case Study


Here at BrainStorm, we love using Yammer. To give you an idea of how we’re using Yammer, here are some of our communities. We hope this list inspires you to start using Yammer in your own way!

Core business communities:

  • CRM
  • Marketing
  • Technology
  • BrainStorm recruiting

Communities specific to our product and company processes:

  • Adoption & change
  • BrainStorm QuickHelp platform
  • BSI culture
  • Content support and updates
  • Industry stats and quotes

For fun, volunteering, and creativity:

  • BrainStorm Gives Back
  • BSI book club
  • BSI fitness & fun
  • The pets of BrainStorm
  • Traveling foodies
  • Whirled Peas (Gardening enthusiasts)

Recently, one of our client success managers had a suggestion to improve one of our products. She pitched her idea on Yammer and explained the need behind it. She tagged people from several departments, including management, marketing, and content creation. Most of the tagged individuals replied to the post, but several other people “liked” the post, and it was viewed by many others.

This is the perfect use for Yammer. Our CSM could have sent a direct message or group chat to the people she tagged. Instead, her Yammer conversation was seen by a larger audience that knows her idea is in the works—which allows everyone to follow the conversation for the latest updates.


Now that you’re a pro: take the Yammer vs. Teams Quiz


Take a quick quiz to see how you’re doing! Would you use Yammer or Teams for these 6 scenarios? Find out why we suggest one or the other.


To sum up, your organization needs Yammer to communicate across the company, make new connections, get to know your colleagues, plus have some fun.


Feel free to share this blog post with colleagues and employees to help everyone better understand why you need both Yammer and Teams.

Are you IT leaders ready to look like a hero to your boss? Get your users to use both Yammer and Teams. Check out our demo to learn more.