Do Enterprise Social Media Platforms Actually Help Productivity?

How do enterprise social media platforms like Yammer help your team stay on task and connected?

The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC leads  #FixYoungAmerica, a solutions-based movement that aims to end youth unemployment and put young Americans back to work.

1. Non-Synchronous and Indispensable

Derek Shanahan Email and face-to-face are still largely the primary communication method for teams, but interruption often means inefficiency. Tools like Yammer offer a team a public, fast discourse without being disruptive to the focus required for getting real work done. A good intranet can really drive productivity if everyone commits to it. – Derek Shanahan, Foodtree

2. Share Articles and Resources

Bhavin Parikh Our team uses Yammer, instead of email, to share articles and resources on all topics: marketing, development, design, etc. This way, the entire team gets exposure to others’ areas, and we have a repository of great information for future hires. – Bhavin Parikh, Magoosh, Inc.

3. Mix Business With Pleasure

Matt Mickiewicz With over fifty employees spread among four different countries, 99designs was the perfect test-case for Yammer. More than 18 months later, it’s been a tremendous success. Besides sharing interesting links — and occasional jokes and funny pictures — Yammer has been indispensable in keeping everyone on the same page, while cutting down on meetings. – Matt Mickiewicz, 99designs

4. Worthwhile Discussions

Danny Wong Use of platforms like Yammer allows our team to hear everyone’s perspective on different issues, especially since we’ll have time to actually digest what’s been said and time for thinking about how to reply. Some of our company’s best work has come from lengthy discussions on Yammer that get drawn out for days until all the facts have been heard and a proper decision can be made. – Danny WongBlank Label Group, Inc.

5. Polls for Employee-Sourced Decisions

Doreen Bloch Most enterprise social media platforms like Yammer have polls that you can use to identify popular options when making company-wide decisions. This need not apply for corporate strategy only — if you’re deciding where to host your next company party, use the polls in the enterprise social network to identify the best locale. – Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

6. Remote Without Real-Time Urgency

Logan Lenz If your business offers the flexible infrastructure that allows team members to work wherever and whenever they want, Yammer keeps everything in one place without requiring urgent responses. It’s a great place to host important documents, share links, and expand on ideas in a collaborative setting. – Logan Lenz, Endagon

7. Create Real Community in Virtual Teams

Nathalie Lussier If you share an office, it’s easy to get to know your co-workers at the water cooler or in the lunch room. That opportunity disappears when you set up a virtual team, so it’s crucial to be able to communicate about what you’re up to, in your work life as well as your personal life. – Nathalie Lussier, Nathalie Lussier Media

8. Remote Team Management

Aaron Schwartz Our team has a few members in Atlanta, one in Berkeley, one in San Francisco and another in Seoul, South Korea. We use email and Basecamp to help organize our big projects; but on a day-to-day basis, Yammer is critical to quickly discussing the small things that need instant resolution. Not to mention, small interactions with colleagues are like mini pep talks during the day! – Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

9. Quick and Easy Communication

Erin BlaskieYammer is amazing. We’ve been using Yammer in our own business as a way to quickly post new projects and see who is available to work on them and as a way to be social with each other given that we are spread out across Canada and the US. It helps us stay on task because we can get quick answers to our questions and it helps us stay connected and feeling like a team. – Erin BlaskieBSETC

The Young Entrepreneur Council

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.