How do I use enterprise social networks?

Facebook and Twitter may be the biggest social networks in terms of users, but they’re not often used by businesses for internal communications. Many companies prefer enterprise social networks which are more geared around workplace collaboration, are more secure and prove less of a distraction.

For internal communication, two of the most popular enterprise social networks are Yammer and SocialCast. Here’s a quick introduction to both.


Microsoft’s Yammer service is one of the most commonly used enterprise social networks. The underlying premise is that of a ‘knowledge base’, allowing employees to keep each other updated on their projects.

Each employee can create a profile before creating or joining different groups and following their colleagues. Users can send messages to each other, share ideas and documents, and chat in real time. Furthermore, as part of Office 365, Yammer works in conjunction with Outlook email accounts.

Yammer’s usefulness does depend on the amount of information you provide it with. If you want to make the most of the service, make sure you’re keeping your personal page and groups updated.


Another useful enterprise social network is VmWare’s SocialCast. Here you can post status updates, send messages and keep track of each other’s projects – but like Yammer it’s restricted to employees of a particular company, and managed by a specified administrator.

SocialCast is great for workplace collaboration, since it’ll allow you to share files with your colleagues, conduct ‘Town Halls’ – a kind of virtual conference for everyone in the organization – and use ‘Thanks’ to publicly praise team members.

‘Groups’ are a particularly important aspect of SocialCast – and it’s really easy to create one. On the toolbar, you’ll see an option for ‘Groups’ – simply click on it, give your group a title, description and photo and select whether you want it to be internally or externally facing – the latter will allow people from outside the SocialCast network to view updates.

With an increasingly digital workplace, virtual forums for sharing projects and strategic discussion are becoming more important – if you haven’t yet tried an enterprise social network, why not give one a try?