By Rosemarie Withee, Ken Withee, Jennifer Reed

Yammer in Office 365 is Microsoft’s answer to Facebook for the enterprise. It helps employees collaborate with everyone in the organization, get up to speed on happenings outside their departments, crowdsource ideas, and even create spaces where they can invite external partners and clients to join.

By default, Yammer is “public” within the boundaries of your organization. This means that when you post something to your Home feed (the default view when you log in), everyone in your organization will see it. This is great for general announcements or crowdsourcing ideas and information without filling people’s mailboxes with emails, replies, replies to replies, and replies to replies to replies.

The Home feed displays the latest posts relevant to you, based on projects you’ve worked on, the files you’ve posted or interacted with, the Yammer groups you’ve joined, and the people you’ve followed.

The Yammer profile page is where you let others know who you are, your areas of expertise, the projects you’re working on, and other information you want to share. You will also see the conversations and groups you are part of, the people you are following, and the people who are following you. To get to your profile page, simply click on your picture at the bottom corner of the window.

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Yammer Home feed.

The Yammer inbox, which can be accessed by clicking the envelope icon on the top left, is where you keep track of conversations in which you have been mentioned (this happens when people type in the @ sign followed by your name), group announcements, and private messages. You will also see conversations you’re following even if you have not been mentioned in the conversation.

If you need to collaborate with people outside your organization using all the Yammer features, the External Network group functionality is your best bet. Here’s how to create an external network Yammer group:

  1. Log on to Yammer.
  2. Click + Create a new group above your picture.
  3. In the Create A New Group window, select External Network and enter the required information.
  4. Click Create Network.