Originally published April 27, 2016

If you are one of the network admins for a Yammer network, one of your responsibilities is to govern the network, including:

This post provides details on when and how to delete groups, users, threads, posts, files, topics, external networks and related networks. It is specific to Yammer, but can be adapted to other enterprise social networks (ESNs).

1. Groups

How to govern enterprise social network groups

Post a policy that states that groups which are redundant with other existing groups, are poorly-described, or have no activity may be deleted by the network admins. For example:

Each week, review all groups created during the past week. Look for those groups with:

Each month, review all existing groups to find those for which:

Provide guidance to all group admins to help them keep their groups active. For example:

Groups which have had no new posts in the past 30 days or which have multiple unanswered questions may be deleted. To prevent a group from being deleted, do the following:

Groups may also be deleted if:

If any of the following conditions exist for more than a month, your group may be deleted:

Public groups with a small number of members

Groups with no admin

Redundant communities

How to merge two groups

Defunct groups

Poorly-managed groups

1. Creating a group, but never answering any questions in it, e.g.,

What to do: Publish expectations for group admins, post them prominently online, and send an email to all group admins: If the following condition exists for more than a month, a group may be deleted: Unanswered questions

2. Posting to a group just to make appear active, so it won’t be deleted, e.g., the following are all of the posts in one group:

What to do: Publish expectations for group admins, post them prominently online, and send an email to all group admins: If the following condition exists for more than a month, a group may be deleted: Posts were made to keep the group from being deleted, but are not of any value

3. Promising to make a group active, but not actually doing it, e.g.,

What to do: Reply with suggestions, e.g.,

Group Admin Archetypes

Other actions besides deletion

2. Users

Users who might need to be deactivated or removed

How to remove users

3. Threads

4. Posts and replies

5. Files

6. Topics

Topics can’t be deleted, but they can be removed from existing threads and renamed, with the exception that if the topic exists as a hashtag within the text of a message, it can’t be removed unless the original post or reply is deleted.

If you come across a misspelled topic, or one that has # at the start of the topic, or a variation that might fragment tagging (e.g., “cloud_computing” instead of “cloud”), here is what you can do.

If the topic you want to remove was used as an inline hashtag, you will first have to delete all posts in which it was used in this way, and then remove the topic as described above.

7. External Networks

8. Related Networks

If your organization has more than one email domain, there may be Yammer networks in addition to your main one. You can ask Microsoft to merge these into your main network. If there are any networks associated with obsolete email domains, you can ask Microsoft to remove them.

It’s a good idea to ask Microsoft to help review all networks created using email domains associated with your organization. You may be surprised to find out how many there are, and will want to merge or delete these.

What are your suggestions for deleting items in Yammer?

Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager https://sites.google.com/site/stangarfield/