Social Squared is a powerful discussion forum tool for Microsoft SharePoint and/or Microsoft Teams. Using Social Squared, users benefit from the ability to post questions in organised discussion forums. Each forum can be subscribed to, allowing notifications to alert you to new posts that you may be able to answer. Over time, an easy-to-search knowledge base is created that serves new and existing employees with questions related to your business. Below are two examples of Social Squared use cases.
In the below screenshot, Social Squared is deployed to a ‘Technical Support’ Team in Microsoft Teams. Instead of asking questions via the posts tab, questions can be generated as a new topic within a specific forum. For example, if I have a question regarding Microsoft Viva Insights, I would post the question in the Viva Insights forum. Other users who are curious about Viva Insights will be able to monitor that specific forum and learn from the questions and answers being posted.
In another example (this time within Microsoft SharePoint), you can see the discussion board embedded on a page as a web part. The example is about well-being within the workplace. Users can post questions under ‘Work-Life Balance’, ‘Health and Safety’ etc.
New Features in Social Squared V4
In Social Squared V4, we have the following new features, which will be described within this post.
- ChatGPT Summarise Post & Suggested Reply* (Available in Social Squared AI)
- Adaptive Cards in Outlook and Teams Posts tab
- Improved Settings Layout
- Forum level settings
- Import/Export Configuration
- Configuration Wizard
- Email Digest via Power Automate
*ChatGPT Summarise Post & Suggested Reply
ChatGPT integration will be made available in a separate version of Social Squared. The reason for that is to ensure that organizations that don’t want to use ChatGPT don’t run any risk of ChatGPT being enabled within a web part or through Microsoft Teams.
ChapGPT will be available in ‘Social Squared AI’ and will allow users to summarise discussions, or obtain suggested replies to posts by using ChatGPT integration. Note that different endpoints can be specified, allowing you to use ChatGPT in Microsoft Azure’s OpenAI service.
Summarise the Discussion
Sometimes, you just haven’t the time to read the entire thread. So, you could summarise the discussion using ChatGPT. Simply click the Summarise button and accept the suggested summary generated by AI.
Adaptive Cards in Outlook and Teams Posts tab
One of the challenges of using Social Squared in Teams is that people are still tempted to use the Posts tab. Social Squared for a while now can be configured to write out to the posts tab following a new post or reply to a post. However, rather than clicking the link, people would sometimes reply within the posts tab itself, resulting in an actual reply needing to be copied and pasted back to Social Squared. Now, we use an Adaptive Card to display in Outlook and on the Posts Tab. The Adaptive Card contains a Reply button making it more obvious to reply via Social Squared.
Improved Settings Layout
We’ve been adding features to Social Squared for a few years now, and the Settings pane was getting a little cluttered! So much so that I couldn’t find the setting I wanted sometimes! The settings panel is now more organized, allowing you to enable or disable features throughout the Social Squared instance.
Forum Level Settings
If there is a certain configuration that you prefer for your organization, you can now export it! A new Social Squared instance could be configured elsewhere such as another channel, Team, or SharePoint site. The configuration settings can then be imported into the new instance.
Social Squared now contains some initial guidance in creating your Forum Groups and Forums. The first time you add the web part, the wizard will guide you through how best to configure your instance.
Email Digest via Power Automate
I can hear some of our clients cheering now as they read this! We now have Email Digest options for subscription notifications. Rather than receiving a new email every time there is a reply to a post that you are subscribed to, you can now use Power Automate to provide you with a digest email such as a weekly or daily update. Users can subscribe or unsubscribe using the option on the Social Squared menu.
If you would like to see these features in action, or even see Social Squared for the first time, sign up for our webinar to be held on April 20th at 4pm BST (11am Eastern)