5 Ways Social Media Listening Can Empower Your Organization — One Of Your Best Strategic Advantages

By Phylicia Teymer

5 Ways Social Media Can Empower Your Organization.png

Some call it noise – a chaotic stream of people sharing their public opinions on a variety of social media channels. Others see a vast opportunity. It’s all about navigation – your social GPS system to finding your way through the oceans of social sentiment to arrive at your destination. Similar to you “googling something” or typing in a desired destination on Google Maps – the key is knowing what you want to ask, know, or where you want to go.  Essentially, putting a lens on the data.

Organizations who recognize and seize this opportunity – have a strategic advantage over their competitors. As a social media strategist, a common question I receive is “What do you do?”. Aside from various responsibilities ranging from developing and executing social strategies to successfully create interest, engagement, and future customers – or creating social media support response routes – or helping empower both sellers and business partners to cultivate business via social media – one of the other important ways I assist is as a social listening advisor. I help our team navigate and make sense of social media data to determine our next course of brand action.

Whether you’re a large or small company, it’s important to understand in what ways public social media can help empower your organization and keep you ahead of the curve. Below are 5 key ways social media listening can help you –

Customer Pulse – Without customers, any organization would fail. Social media listening can help you get the pulse of your customers. Are they happy or upset with what’s available in your latest product launch? In what ways are your customers experiencing issues? Are there more or less people talking about your company or specific product? What are your customers and target audience talking about in general? What’s your brand perception? This is your chance to put your social headphones on to listen to what they have to say – then take action.

Competitive Insights – If you’ve ever wanted to know what one company has over another, according to their customers and others, then public social media data is your treasure trove of information. What benefits do your competitors offer that your target audience really likes? What’s trending around your competitors?  What events and or marketing tactics are your competitors incorporating that are garnering engagement? This is out there in the ocean of social sentiment, waiting for you to go fishing.

Product Innovation – There’s nothing like your customers giving you a compass to improvements and innovation. Not only do typical social channels, like Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin, provide data, but there’s those peer-to-peer product, platform, and/or company review sites, like G-2-Crowd, Capterra, Gartner, IT Central Station and more, that give you a direct line of customer insight. Social media analytics [aka social listening] allows you to analyze crowdsourced data at scale – and the insights that can be leveraged across your organization.

Customer Advocacy – Are your customers advocating for or against your company? If they’re not in your corner, what about their experience is causing them issues? If they are your biggest fan, what about your company do they love? Where do your customers congregate to share their thoughts on your organization? Social media analytics allows you to understand what to keep doing as a company, and what to change – it allows you to know if you’re going off course, and to change course as necessary. It’s also a chance for you to interact directly with your customers.

Relevant Content – As mentioned earlier, the information from social media listening can be used across your organization, and one of those ways is in the content your company creates. What is your target audience consistently talking about? What do they talk about at different points in the year – and how can you use that information to create your content topics in advance? How can you pair consistent trending topics with what your company can offer? Using social data can allow you to create relevant content that generates interest and can help you further the journey of your potential and current customers looking for quality content to make a decision or enhance their product experience.

The field of social listening, also known as social media analytics, will only continue to expand with the advancements in machine learning, AI, along with the type of data that can be harnessed and coupled with social data such as web, search, IOT device, and paid social ad data. I hope through this article, you get a glimpse of the art that goes behind effective social listening and further understand the 5 key ways you can use it within your organization to bring necessary change or action.



Changes, Discomfort, and Growth: My 2H of 2017

To say that 2017 was filled with change would be an understatement. Many events, both professionally and personally, made 2017 a year to remember. Below, I’ve provided links to a few of the blogs I’ve posted on various sites throughout the year, that catalog a couple key moments from the 2nd half of 2017.

Greetings from Austin TX

In May, my husband and I made a very difficult family decision and moved from Augusta, GA to Austin, TX, after faced with a career opportunity to co-locate. Check out my Linkedin blog on “The Fork: How I Met Fear and Opportunity and Chose Backbone” to hear about some of the factors that helped us make the decision. After nearly 8 months in Austin, we’ve come to love the “Keep Austin Weird” community and all that Austin has to offer – except the traffic. In June, I’ll write a blog on life in Austin after a year, so others can learn from our experiences.

The Fork: How I Met Fear and Opportunity and Chose Backbone

After moving in May and getting settled into the new swing of things. We managed to take a much needed vacation for once – and explored the seas and shores of the Yucatan Peninsula [& the ancient Mayan ruins of Tulum]. Of course, a vacation wouldn’t be vacation if it didn’t involve me doing some sort of fun extreme activity – like ziplining off a cliff into a cenote and having my footage rescued from down below.

Upon returning, work continued at rapid pace. One area of my work that I enjoy is leveraging social media analysis tools to listen and analyze key events, audiences, and engagement opportunities. From the various events this year, a couple that I enjoyed helping provide insights around included Advertising Week #AWNewYork, and being able to create the social plan and leverage social media listening for our first-ever IBM Analytics University in both Berlin, Germany and New Orleans, Louisiana. In addition to a various events, I’ve had the chance to lead and work on some fun projects including chatbot development [in early public beta], training others on how to build social listening queries and build data visualizations for branded, market, and competitive share of voice monitoring. In 2018, of my various goals, one of them includes leveraging my current social listening skills and learning how to combine it with cognitive computing software to setup an efficient and scalable dynamic prospecting process – in addition to writing more useful insights here on my blog as well as the other various websites I post on.

Here’s to a challenging, yet positive, 2018!




Interception of Social Media Stream Reveals Virtual Reality Trends from SXSW

by Phylicia Teymer


This weekend, I listened vicariously via Twitter for the experiences of many who witnessed a variety of virtual reality (#VR) developments and testimonials (so far) at SXSW in Austin, TX. While trending tech topics set to impact the near future, considered by some as The Fourth Transformation – such as Internet of Things (#IOT), Artificial Intelligence (#AI), block chain, drones/robots, and 3-D printing – one topic continues to pique my interest – virtual and augmented reality.

Gone are the days of its consideration as a ‘gamers-only’ technology. Experts estimate this VR/AR market will be worth $120 Billion by 2020. The realization of the possible benefits in harnessing VR/AR capabilities in our schools, workplace, and beyond has only recently began to sink in – and so have the questions which arise from its consideration as a future communication platform.

Below, I’ve listed a few key industries and ways that VR and AR – which puts users in the center of a simulated 3-D experience – will continue to change our lives.

Human Resources

  • Learning & Employee Development – Do you need to learn skills such as how to mediate an employee conflict or how to help a customer repair a specific device? It’s possible with VR. Some companies, such as Home Depot, have already begun using VR to assist its Supply Chain team to design palettes. If you need a way to provide an immersive skill learning experience – VR could be the way to create it for your employees.
  • Interviewing – You may have heard about participating in a video-conference interview, but what if you could be virtually transported into an interview room to meet with a company? It can be done – and could save companies thousands in travel/lodging expenses with VR.


Consumer thoughts are conveyed in multiple ways – including your eye and body movements. Our traditional online buying behavior provides a few pieces of information – but with VR (partnered with cognitive capabilities), not only could buyers encounter more personalized and immersive buying experiences – marketers could learn much more about a specific buyer’s behavior – such as their likes, dislikes, must-haves, and what outfits garner the best user response when tried on virtually to their body-type. Personally, I wish this would be made widely available as soon as possible – from both a buyer and marketer stand-point.


With learning skills and procedures – experience is everything. In the medical field, among others, seconds count and precision matters. With VR, medical students and practitioners can learn, rehearse, and simulate life-saving procedures and surgeries through immersive 3-D experiences, which could reduce the amount and cost of using cadavers and save more lives afterward.


I’ve fantasized about this idea for a while, given that most of the population has limited funds for multiple long-distance vacations and travel. Imagine, being able to not only go on virtual tour of a potential vacation destination before you buy it – but going on mini virtual vacations (or meditations) around the world, learning new languages, and meeting new people, all from the comfort of your home. Expedia has already started to provide early VR experiences, such as their recent option to visit Queenstown. Let’s go.


You may have been on a treadmill or elliptical with a TV or a ‘trail system video series’. It’s nice when compared to looking at a wall or out a window, yet that’s fitness 1.0 in our tech era – You are now able to choose multiple locations to go walk/run – and be immersed into a 3-D experience that will respond real-time to your movements in front of your eyes. Holofit has a great start in applying this idea to fitness – although it may take some time for it become more affordable for mass consumers.

Recent studies have shown that VR changes how we perceive and learn about the world around us, particularly spatial, however, as VR continues to evolve and includes more of the body’s senses and movement – the easier it will be to more fully submerge into a virtual reality with enhanced learning capabilities.

The Future of Saving Lives With Artificial Intelligence


by Phylicia Teymer

*Click to listen to audio version.

600,920. 1.7 million. 15.5 million.

The numbers listed above represent the names of loved ones. Each life impacted by a disease that shatters the beautiful fragility of life. Cancer, can bring tears from memories of those lost to it, fear to those who’ve heard its name, and hope to those who’ve won their battles.

According to the American Cancer Society, in the US, 600,920 lives are expected to be lost to cancer in 2017, with an estimated 1.7 million new cancer cases to be diagnosed this year. For each of those 15.5 million living Americans who’ve had a history of cancer, there’s a story to be told and a life to be celebrated 1.

For a nation that honors those who’ve fallen and celebrates its heroes, we have many to honor, and a hero whose strength is in the data and knowledge amassed through past and present health battles with cancer, it’s Watson Health.

Watson Health, infuses IBM Watson technology, a form of artificial intelligence. What does that mean and why does it matter? Imagine a technology, that can understand, reason, and learn on a massive scale and apply it to healthcare – and its potential impact on lives saved. In 2013, Watson had already ingested 600,000 pieces of medical evidence, more than two million pages from medical journals, and had the ability to search through up to 1.5 million patient records for further information to give it a scope of knowledge that no doctor could ever match.2

What do I imagine in the near future? I see artificial intelligence technology assisting healthcare professionals through:

Health and Cancer Diagnostics:

Ability to assist doctors by analyzing a patient’s records and current symptoms – and analyzing it against massive medical evidence and other patients’ records who’ve experienced similar symptoms to determine diagnoses earlier and make more effective treatment recommendations.3

Potential Cures for Diseases:

While I can’t say it will cure cancer and other diseases for sure  – I can say it will more quickly enable and empower our medical professionals with compounded knowledge from medical evidence and patient data that no one human could ever interpret and analyze on their own in their lifetime. It could also evaluate chemical compounds that comprise medications and could assist in the same way. It will move us more quickly and efficiently in the direction of finding a cure faster.

Think of the lives that could be saved through the help of artificial intelligence by being able to recognize, diagnose, and treat symptoms faster and identify diseases earlier. It is and will continue to empower doctors, patients, and families. While some fear of artificial intelligence becoming smarter than us – we need it to be in order to help save more lives and bring us closer to a cure for those diseases that take those we love the most away.


1 American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2017. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2017. http://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/annual-cancer-facts-and-figures/2017/cancer-facts-and-figures-2017.pdf

2 Steadman, Ian. Wired. 11 Feb 2013. “IBM Watson is Better at Diagnosing Cancer Than Human Doctors.” http://www.wired.co.uk/article/ibm-watson-medical-doctor. Date accessed 28 Jan 2017.

3 Upbin, Bruce. 11 May 2017. “IBM’s Watson Now A Second-Year Med Student”. http://www.forbes.com/sites/bruceupbin/2011/05/25/ibms-watson-now-a-second-year-med-student/#2babf0d52ef6. Date Accessed 28 Jan 2017.

Executive Leadership Shares Wisdom, Transformational Insights at IBM PartnerWorld Leadership Conference

By Phylicia Teymer 

This past week I had the tremendous opportunity to attend the IBM PartnerWorld Leadership Conference (IBM PWLC) on behalf of our IBM Emerging Leaders Program. Throughout the week I was granted the chance to not only shadow IBM’s Chief Analytics Officer and Chief Economist, Martin Fleming, I was also given first-hand career advice from multiple executive leaders. In understanding the benefit of sharing knowledge and expertise, I will highlight key “nuggets” of wisdom I received (via panel & in-person), in addition to the significance behind my excitement around IBM’s transformation to a cognitive solutions and cloud platform company.

Martin Fleming & Phylicia Teymer

For background, IBM PWLC is designed primarily to help inform and enable executive business partner (BP) leadership on our key solutions and capabilities available or in development for new market & revenue opportunities. Via listening to multiple leadership panels & from personal discussions I gathered the following key tips to excel in my career and in life:

  • Don’t be afraid to take a role that scares you! As Ginni Rometti has said before, “Growth and comfort do not co-exist.
  • Trust your instincts & always maintain integrity.
  • Challenge yourself to speak in public.
  • Be confident.
  • When building a team, think B R O A D E R and BIGGER than yourself.
  • When submitting proposals for innovative ideas always: Know your audience, do your homework, show supportive material/data, know what will make it successful, and share how you plan to accomplish it. Show the VALUE of your idea and how it will positively impact your audience.
  • In “growth hacking“, creatively innovate quickly & keep costs low.
  • As someone who wants to get into a role which will impact the ways we go to market and connect with customers I was told to build my “thought-leadership” through my writing abilities (journalism), create content, and exemplify my ability to critically think on the subject of leveraging social media to connect with customers, supplement content, & build brand awareness.

While at the conference my thumbs  were moving at lightning pace as I tried to share as many insights via #IBMPWLC on Twitter (via iPhone) in addition to writing them in my handy, “THINK”, notepad. A key quote, among many, really resonated with me.

“Be disruptive or be disrupted” mentioned by Senior Vice-President of IBM Systems, Tom Rosamilia. CLICK TO TWEET

Change is constant, one either embraces it or fails to adapt and evolve.  As we’ve seen with the rise of Uber in the transportation industry, or with AirBNB in the hotel/lodging industry, it’s important to be able to drive transformation to the routes that the markets are shifting towards. We’re in the “age of the customer”, which is why I am excited to see IBM’s commitment towards our ongoing transformation as a cognitive solutions & cloud platform company. We’re in the cognitive era. I fully believe our ability to bring the power of cognitive analytics & computing capabilities to consumers in ways that will educate, empower, and improve business processes will be the ultimate game-changer for all those who take action to harness the power of data.

Join the conversation on Anchor.FM – “What’s your definition of being “disruptive” in business? https://anchor.fm/w/99F3B8

Emerging Leaders with Sandy Carter at Women in Channels luncheon

Social Excitement Builds For IBM Connect 2016

By Phylicia Teymer

The end of January is quickly approaching and my excitement builds as we inch closer to the beginning of one of my favorite conferences of the year, IBM Connect! It’s a few special days filled with a wealth of information, meaningful conversations, and connections (no pun intended).

I’m fascinated with the advancements in collaborative technology, and passionate about how work cultures can evolve and organizations can thrive through the process of its consideration and usage. Each year I anticipate hearing our customers’ unique success stories, in addition to hearing what’s new & coming down the pipeline for our enterprise social solutions. I’m also thrilled to taste the additional pretzel cookie with the elusive new ingredient, AND the roller coasters at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando.

This year we’ll help bring another realm to life at IBM Connect – on social media! Our social amplification team is looking forward to keeping our Connect family in-tune to all that’s happening around the conference (in addition to IBMgo livestreaming during the opening general session). We’ll attend as many sessions as we can to help bring you those “quotable nuggets” on Twitter, short video highlights, and a Twitter Chat (Live from Orlando) you can join on “The Future of Work: 2016 Enterprise Social Trends”. You can join and stay in the conversation on Twitter by following us @IBMConnect and using #IBMConnect in your tweets and posts. We are socially listening and do provide your feedback to our events team to ensure we provide a quality conference experience.

If you’re there you’ll probably spot me running about, as I’ll show my brand spirit in YELLOW. When you see me, please say hello. Here’s to another year of fun and excitement – See you in Orlando!

2016 Goal Highlights: Connections, Growth, & Excellence

By Phylicia Teymer
 We may not know the precise details of what our future holds, but we do determine our actions to achieve goals which aim to yield the outcomes we desire. Every moment of each day presents an opportunity to focus on accomplishing our goals, step-by-step, until complete. I usually begin with my ultimate lifetime goals, then work backwards to determine how and what needs to be done to reach them (and adapt along the way).

Below I’ve highlighted a few of my key goals for 2016 as not only a daily “focus” reminder, but to also help inspire others & foster meaningful conversations. I’ve kept these a bit high-level, however, as many who know me well would accurately predict, I personally have a detailed list for each of these.

Sleep & Daily Meditation

In the past, I’ve under-estimated the power of “digitally unplugging” to recharge & sync my mind & body. To stay up-to-date in an “always-on” world of virtually connected people & devices requires a lot of mental energy & focus. This year, I aim to get at least 6 hours of quality sleep & 20 minutes of meditation a day. That’s a lot in my life, given I haven’t meditated much at all in the past, and I used to think I could conquer the world with little sleep and still remain healthy. TIME is a precious commodity. It has to be prioritized. My moments will be spent on what matters most (which means I also have to learn how to say “no”, too, which is harder than it sounds).

Build Connections & Network

The power of a connected community is vast. It’s about WHO and WHAT one knows. I don’t know everything or everyone, however, I do know what I want to learn. Given the power of social media & community organizations, I can find others who are up for exchanging knowledge and expertise (or at least a small conversation) for mutual growth.

Eat Healthy, Increase Fitness Goals

I can dream BIG, yet if I’m not healthy enough to accomplish or enjoy the small & large victories along the way, then what’s the point? Somewhere among tackling my many goals, I forgot about how my body is an engine that needs continual quality energy from food to keep going. In order to teach me a lesson, my body said, “Fine, you can exercise all you want, but if you don’t consistently feed me, I’ll show you! Let’s slow down your metabolism, and hold on to everything you eat. You’ll learn soon enough.” My body was right, I learned. This year I aim to drink at least 8 8 oz. glasses of water a day, and 5-6 small meals/snacks a day. I aim to increase my current fitness level to at least 50 minutes of moderate/intense activity 5-6 days a week in which I’ll incorporate some new fun activities such as cardio bag boxing, trampoline workouts, and tabata cycling. This year I want to run a 5K, 10K, & half-marathon (and maybe a marathon if my doctor approves).

Quality & Excellence in Work and Life

I strive to do the best I can in all areas of my life which comes with challenges as I continually push out of my comfort zone. I want to lead change and motivate others to work together to achieve beneficial organizational goals. I want to create new processes to further enhance the way social media are utilized within our organization. I will continue to build my experience & expertise around how social media make a fundamental impact on organizations’ brand, customers, & bottom line. I will be vulnerable and understand that large accomplishments do not happen without a great team working together.

Invest in Self-Improvement and Knowledge Acquisition

I will continue to read numerous articles (books & magazines), and listen to different podcasts aimed towards self-improvement in particular areas surrounding my professional and personal life. Some of my favorite magazines include Popular Science, Fast Company, Inc., Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, Time, and Consumer Reports. This year, however, I also want to increase my knowledge of computer science & experience with cyber-security through a local educational charity called Cyber Discovery Group.

Give Back

I want to volunteer throughout the year to make an impact on people’s lives and the environment. I’ve considered different ideas, such as reading with children at a local school, time with elderly at nursing homes, delivering flowers to patients’ rooms at a local hospital, providing knowledge around social media marketing to a local small business, or spending time to clean up a school or park of trash & litter (decisions, decisions). While I don’t have a lot of spare time, I do feel it’s important to give back to the community in whatever way possible, even if it’s only a few hours a month on a weekend.

Here’s to 2016! I’d appreciate hearing your thoughts and/or suggestions.

It’s time to enjoy the journey.