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Host a YamJam !. Social Journey Template. What is a YamJam ?. A moderated, live Q&A session open to employees throughout your organization and hosted within your Yammer network. An open, focused discussion from which interested followers and the company at large can benefit.  

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host a yamjam

Hosta YamJam!

Social Journey Template

what is a yamjam
What is a YamJam?

Amoderated, live Q&A session open to employees throughout your organization and hosted within your Yammer network.

An open, focused discussion from which interested followers and the company at large can benefit.  

Typically between 30 minutes to an hour in length and features a C-level or senior executive discussing the latest company news or subjects that are top of mind among employees.

Encourages Yammer users of a similar job function or department to share insight, best practices, and ideas. 

“YamJam” is a term coined by Yammer and adopted by many of our customers, although some prefer to use titles such as “Yammer Power Hour”, “Yammer Town Hall”, “Yammer Time”, etc. – feel free to come up with a name that suits your organizational need and culture.

why should you host a yamjam
Why should you host a YamJam?

YamJamsdemonstrate the power of Yammer! They enable network members to:

  • Engage with multiple participants in the network at once
  • Share and receive valuable information and insight
  • Interact with leadership in ways they never could have before

YamJamsoffer excellent opportunities to bring together members from across the community to discuss important issues with senior leaders and subject matter experts.

how do you prepare
How do you prepare?

Step 1: Define your Audience

Start as broadly as possible. The more participants you have, the greater the likelihood of idea sharing and debate.

Step 2: Choose a Topic That Will Engage your Audience

Choose company-wide topics affecting specific teams, departments or areas. Some of the most engaging topics can involve general company policy matters and wellbeing, for example:

  • Safety Improvement Ideas
  • The Future of Our Company
  • Diversity Initiatives
  • Improving Corporate Culture
how do you prepare1
How do you prepare?

Step 3: Recruit Conversation Leaders

Conversation leaders help promote and facilitate the YamJamby asking questions and encouraging others to participate. They can determine in advance which questions to cover or keep it open for employees to ask what they choose.

Approach the following influencers privately to help moderate the discussion.

  • Senior Leader(s) or Subject Matter Expert(s)
  • Community Manager
  • PR/Marketing Team
  • Scribe(s)*
  • Champions

*Depending on the comfort level an executive exhibits towards technology, you may want to have scribes help type up responses to questions and feedback.

how do you prepare2
How do you prepare?

Step 4: Brief and Prepare Conversation Leaders

At least one week prior to the session, meet with YamJam leaders and executives to discuss logistics and details. Make certain everyone is set up and trained on how to use Yammer prior to the event. 

Step 5: Create a Public Yammer Groupand #Topic

Create a new or identify an existing group to host the YamJam and invite all participants to the group ahead of time.

Come up with a Yammer topic (i.e. #YamJam_August2013) to help members follow the conversation or locate it in the future.

Allow participants to submit topics for discussion or questions ahead of time using a Yammer note within the group.

how do you prepare3
How do you prepare?

Step 6: Communicate and Promote the Event

Use the Events App to promote the YamJam on Yammer, and consider other communication channels to build awareness.

Address any objections you hear, and inform users that they can join the conversation any time before or after the main event. 

Use posters, Yammer goodies, and other visual, interactive displays to publicize the event.

Step 7: Have Leaders Meet 30 Mins. Prior to YamJam

Make sure everyone is ready and comfortable, and does not have any further questions. This includes anyone helping to scribe the conversation or manage the community at large.

Review any topics for discussion or questions that participants may have already uploaded to the YamJam group or note. Post a reminder announcement to the group 30 minutes to start time.

best practices for yamjam leaders
Best Practices for YamJam Leaders

If possible, try to gather all conversation leaders together in a room or conference line during the YamJam. This way, you can collaborate behind the scenes and determine how to divvy up the questions as they flow in.

Make sure participants are aware of the topic at hand and encourage them to stay on topic. The Community Manager or session moderator can redirect as needed.

If the questions start to repeat, leaders should cross-link to threads that reference relevant, previously answered questions. This can be done during or after the event. 

Try to ensure every post/question is answered, and direct the executive’s attention where most appropriate. Conversations move quickly in such a short period of time, so try not to miss any responses.

best practices for executives
Best Practices for Executives

Have the executive make an introduction to kick-off the YamJam and encourage participation. Have him/her start off by answering any pre-submitted questions.

The executive should try to answer as many questions as possible with the help of the scribes. If additional replies are needed after an initial answer, the team in the room should direct the executive’s attention back to the thread. 

If the executive comes to a question and is unsure about the best answer at the time, the scribes can help put together a response and encourage the executive to write the final response in his/her own tone. 

At the end of the YamJam, the executive should send a closing message to the groupthanking everyone for their participation and encouraging them to submit feedback/ideas for future YamJams.

best practices for managing threads
Best Practices for Managing Threads

You have the option of using one conversation thread or multiple conversation threads when conducting your YamJam, and there are pros and cons to each method.

Decide and communicate ahead of time whether you’d like your YamJam discussion to take place in one or multiple threads.

best practices for managing threads1
Best Practices for Managing Threads

Using One Thread

  • Easier for leaders to manage and participants to track the conversation
  • New messages will appear without having to refresh
  • Easy for participants to know where to post messages
  • Easier to locate a single conversation thread in the future
  • Difficult to follow threaded responses, but this can be alleviated with use of the "Reply" button
  • New messages can sometimes get lost in the stream of messages

Using Multiple Threads

  • Easier for conversation leaders to manage changing topics and asking new questions
  • Conversations related to a given topic or question are nicely captured in a single thread
  • May be confusing for participants to know which thread is "active“
  • May take more practice/experience for conversation leaders to keep track of the multiple threads that are happening simultaneously
yamjam recap
YamJam Recap

After the YamJam session has ended, conversation leaders should get together for a recap and discuss next steps, such as:

  • Consolidate and condense the conversation into a note on Yammer with the Title + Date of the YamJam to make it easier for members to review later on.
  • Review any changes in network activity and analytics before, during and after the event.  
  • Showcase the success of the YamJamto employees both on and off of Yammer, and provide highlights to leadership.
  • Communicate success stories, key take-aways, lessons learned and top ideas from the event and reward top contributors.
  • Celebrate the success of the event and reward those who participated. Follow up with interested or active leaders to hold more sessions for their departments or teams.  
  • Encourage members to submit ideas for future YamJams.
yamjam successes tips
YamJamSuccesses & Tips

Austen Hunter, Head of Transport Operations at Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC), shares his YamJam Success Story:

“I wanted to try a “YamJam” to discuss an important business priority with a broad range of colleagues and to help promote better use of the network.”

“We received 30 times the number of posts that we normally receive on an average day – all focused on a valuable business priority. It’s hard to quantify how many new members were added to the network as a direct result of the event, but what we do know is that overall, membership has increased by 50 percent between the date that the YamJam as an idea was initially floated and the actual event taking place. During that time, our CEO has also joined the network.”

Read more about BHCC’s YamJam in our Yammer Blog.

yammer resources
Yammer Resources

Utilize and customize the Yammer templates and guides on success.yammer.com, or use inspiration from the YCN community, to help you execute your YamJam.

Communication Materials:

Communication Plan

Lead a Yammer Event

Training Materials:

Yaminar Video Tutorials + Hosting a YamJam

Getting Started Training Guide

New User Checklist

Additional Resources:

How to YamJam – a YCN group where customers discuss their personal YamJam strategies and successes

Measure Business Value – an introduction to accessing analytics for your network

Customer Success Stories – featured in our Yammer Blog