End User Guide to Social Squared Discussion Forums in SharePoint and Teams

In this video, from the context of the end user role (SharePoint site member or Microsoft Teams Member), we explore how to navigate, read, and search for posts and discussions. We’ll then create posts, provide feedback to posts such as ratings, like and votes, as well as accessing the different views such as Tag Cloud, Recent Activities, Users Posts, and more.

Navigating forum groups/forums

In Social Squared, discussions are hosted in forum groups and forums. Separate classes of topics are classified into forum groups, and within those forum groups, there are distinct types of topics.

Image showing Forum Groups and Forums. In the picture, Worklife Balance is the Forum Group, and Working Remotely is one of the forums.

In a forum, there are different topics and users can create their own topics or respond to posts made by other users.

Image showing topics in the Working Remotely forum

Topics that have been read appear in the standard form, while those that have not been read appear in bold. The most recent posts are at the top of the forum.

Replying Posts

You can reply to posts made by other users by clicking the Reply button as in the image below.

In the rich text box that appears, you can compose a formattable response, insert media, emojis, or even programming languages like Python and Ruby.

You can select the “Alert me when new reply appears” checkbox if you want to receive a Microsoft Teams or email notification when a reply is made to a post. You can also get notifications if you click the Subscribe button in the forum or topic menus, respectively. Tags, similar to the hashtags used on Twitter and Instagram, can be added to posts so that they can be found easily by interested users.

You can give ratings to topics from the top-right hand corner of Social Squared.

Emoji reactions are available in Social Squared as well as upvoting and downvoting posts. Note that your Social Squared administrator can disable emoji reactions, voting, and downvoting in case you do not see the options.

As the author of a topic, you can mark a post as answered, suggesting to other users that you approve of the post.

You can also reply to posts with quotes.

You can view posts according to their chronological order, by author, votes and so on. You can also click the “Show Answered” button to view posts marked as answered.

View Options

You can add Posts to the Favorites list, and those Favorites can be accessed from the menu.

The Recent Activities view displays the most recent posts that have been created. You can also Pin a View to keep a view as the default when visiting the page.

Users can click on other users in the forum and Follow them. When you follow a user, you will be notified when they make a post.

The Active Users view shows the users with the highest posts count.

In the Users Posts view, you can search for users to see all their posts.

The Unanswered Topics view shows the topics that have not been Marked as Answered.

You can also share a page to Yammer if you happen to use it in your organization.

Searching Posts

 You can search for posts from the search box within Social Squared.

You can fine-tune search results for phrases using operators like “+”. For example, if you search for the term ‘remote work’, you would get results for both “remote” and “work”. Many search results are likely to be returned depending on the forum groups’ words or the number of topics. However, if you search for ‘remote+working’, you would get only results matching the term ‘remote working’. There is a tooltip highlighted in the picture above that describes the search.

As in the image above, the search results are more fine-tuned, and you can click the link at the bottom of the search result to go to the relevant topic.

You can also use the Title, Content, Tags, and Complete Words checkboxes to improve the search experience.

Another feature is the calendar options that can be used to specify a time frame within which you want to search.

Tag Cloud

The tag cloud is a view in Social Squared that shows the tags used in posts.

Clicking a term in the tag cloud opens a list of topics where that tag was applied. Also, the size of the words in the tag cloud indicates how often the tags are used. The larger the size, the more often it is used.

Social Squared has a keyword matching feature when a new topic is created, as shown in the image below. This helps reduce the likelihood of users creating new topics when already existing ones address the relevant question.

There are also tag suggestions available when creating a new topic.

Using Social Squared in Teams

In Teams, you get the same forum groups and forums as in SharePoint.

Social Squared would send notifications for forums or topics via email and banner messages in Teams. You can also check the Posts tab to view them.

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