Select Page Blogs: Any social network user will tell you, the more “Likes” your post gets, the better. But in practice, I’ve seen that a “Like” can mean more than simply liking what an update has to say. As an avid user of the “Like” button, I was curious to learn more about how other people use it on Yammer. So last week, I created a survey and posted it to the Yammer Customer Network (YCN). The feedback was lively, and the results indicated that Yammer users intuitively choose the “Like” button to quickly convey a variety of messages.

As it turns out, there are many different uses of a “Like,” and each has a direct benefit to you and your network. I’ve broken down the major examples as ranked below, and encourage you to try using “Like” in a new way:

1. “Like” to show your approval, appreciation, or agreement.

95% of the users surveyed hit “Like” when they genuinely like someone’s post. Clicking the “Like” button is an efficient and easy way to participate when you’re busy, as Workflow Expert Lori Koncz explains, “‘Like’ is acceptance, appreciation, and applause all in one click.” This can be particularly powerful when a leader uses “Like” to show that they are engaged with their employees and recognize contributions across their organization.

2. “Like” messages that you’ve been @mentioned or cc’d on to notify the poster that you’ve have seen the message.

This creates a quick feedback loop, without a string of emails that just say, “Got it” or “You’re welcome.”

3. “Like” new users posts for positive reinforcement.

Lisa Vanderlip, Communications Specialist for the Canadian Cancer Society, told us, “As my network’s community manager, I encourage ‘Likes’ as they let the poster know that they have had an impact. Nothing worse than posting and then all you hear is crickets [nothing].” “Likes” are one of the best ways to boost employee engagement in a new network and build momentum during a network or a group launch.

4. As a new user, “Like” posts to get your feet wet.

“Likes” are a low-stakes way for new users to get comfortable with working out loud. And, by liking coworkers’ posts, these shy users are building connections with others and supporting their network.

5. “Like” to recognize useful content outside of your immediate team or division.

Yammer encourages us to work out in the open, and the “Like” button is a simple way for colleagues to show appreciation for useful content, discussions, and collaborative effort across the organization. Being “Liked” shows that people outside your own immediate team care about what you are working on.

How to “Like” a message you dislike.

Sometimes there’s just a negative posts or bad news, and responding with “Like” may feel inappropriate, but it’s important to show you’re engaged. Speaking from personal experience, I believe most people understand that your “Like” conveys support and acknowledgment, not that you’re actually pleased that your coworker is “sick as a dog.” If you’re still concerned that clicking “Like” will send the wrong message, you can “Like” someone else’s uplifting response in the thread, or simply write a personal reply of your own conveying how you feel about this topic or issue.

Regardless of how you use “Like,” share your personal experiences with us in the comments below! If you’re interesting in starting a discussion in your network about the different and creative ways people use “Like,” please reach out to me for details on the survey I posted to the YCN.

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