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Viva Connections is a new employee experience platform that uses your Microsoft 365 environment to bring resources and conversations into one place. One of the biggest questions we get is how to effectively manage and curate the Feed for Viva Connections.
In this article we will explore how to instill a culture of connectivity in your organization, where everyone can engage and contribute to organizational communications using SharePoint news posts, Yammer communities, and Stream video.
What is the Viva Connections Feed?
The Feed brings communications from across the organization into one place where it can be easily viewed. This Feed helps keep frontline workers, information workers, and hybrid workers alike engaged and informed on important news and announcements. This solution also gives content publishers a reliable method of distributing important news and information.
Each users’ Feed will look a little different because content in the Feed is personalized based on memberships and permissions. The Feed automatically balances fresh and engaging content with corporate communications to keep users interested, while also ensuring that they see the most important messages.
Where does content in the Feed come from?
Content is aggregated from organizational news posts, video news links, boosted news, and Yammer communities. The Feed will only display content that the user has existing permission to view in SharePoint and in Yammer.
How can I make sure my organization’s Feed is dynamic and engaging?
This is the question we get the most. To make sure the Feed always has relevant and dynamic content; we recommend you empower your organization to actively contribute to news in SharePoint and conversations in Yammer.
We’ve heard concerns from our customers – concerns about losing control of content in the feed, or that content will become less relevant, or perhaps that the Feed will become full of cat memes. We’ve got tips to share on how you can manage and promote content in the Feed. We also recommend that you check if you’ve got the right governance, communication plan, and feedback channels in place so you can feel confident embracing variability so that you can allow your organization to evolve into a culture that communicates openly and often.
Manage and promote content that’s viewed in the Feed
The Feed is designed to be dynamic, personalized, and a place where the most relevant news and announcements can be consumed. The Feed relies on a constant flow of new content and the best experience contains a balance of organizational news, organic content, and curated content. Follow these tips to promote and balance the most important content:
- Publish SharePoint news from official organizational news sources like the home site
- Use News boost to elevate the most important news posts on organizational news sites to surface news posts to the top of the feed
- Post news as a video news links hosted by stream to share updates, rebroadcast an all-hands meeting, or provide reusable training materials
- Encourage your organization to engage and participate in Yammer discussions, especially leaders and workplace champions
- Highlight community discussions by featuring posts in public Yammer communities that you’d like seen by the entire organization
- Use audience targeting to make sure specific content is seen by different audiences using Microsoft 365 groups
Create a communication plan to support flexible authoring
Having guidelines that are focused on communication expectations can help your organization align with existing business processes while making room for democratized news and community engagement. Like creating guidelines for SharePoint site usage or Yammer usage, communication guidelines can help the rest of the organization understand the approved methods of communication and expectations. Considerations for your organizations’ communication guidelines:
- When is it appropriate to create and share news posts in SharePoint?
- Who is allowed to post news in SharePoint?
- How long will the news posts be active?
- What topics are appropriate for communities in Yammer? What topics are not appropriate?
- What is the right course of action if you see inappropriate content?
Before you create and adopt a communication plan, it can be helpful to make sure you understand how current users engage with content. View popular content and activity in SharePoint to help you learn more about popular content, when content is read, and what device is being used.
Use the Yammer Activity report in the admin center at understand the level of engagement of your organization with Yammer by looking at the number of unique users using Yammer to post, like or read a message and the amount of activity generated across the organization.
Utilize feedback loops to measure content satisfaction and report inappropriate content
Part of your communication plan will include how users can provide feedback and what to do if inappropriate content is identified. Consider creating two feedback loops – one to gauge the overall satisfaction with content in the Feed and one that alerts the right team to misuse of the communication guidelines.
Gauging satisfaction can be accomplished in many ways. Consider how to add a question to an employee survey that is already in rotation. You could also add a card to the Viva Connections Dashboard that links to a Microsoft Form where users can provide more in-depth feedback. Or, you could add a poll to chats and channels in Microsoft Teams.
For direct feedback loops, start by setting up the option for end-users to report conversations in Yammer. Then, consider creating a Microsoft 365 group for the team that will be managing feedback. When you create the group, you’ll automatically get a shared email that can be linked to buttons and other calls-to-action.
Once the communication guidelines are finalized, meet users in the channels they are already using to share expectations. Consider announcing the communication guidelines at an upcoming all-hands meeting or during the launch of Viva Connections.
More ways to share announcements:
- Share an email in a Teams channel
- Post in Yammer by sending an email
- Add a SharePoint page, list, or document library as a tab in Teams
Use governance tools that enable open authoring with some guardrails
Clear communication guidelines paired with governance tools is key to fresh, engaging, and dynamic content in the Feed.
The Feed is made up of content from SharePoint and Yammer. Both applications offer several governing tools that can be included as part of your organization’s communication plan. More communication can mean more opportunities for information to be shared externally. Consider how your organization will keep content secure in Yammer and SharePoint. Set up policies that monitor keywords in Yammer for unacceptable or inappropriate content so you can intervene if necessary. For large organizations, use dynamic groups in Yammer to update group membership automatically as people join, leave, or move within your organization.
More resources to help you with the Feed
The above is kindly provided by the Microsoft Tech Community!