TED@IBM Insights Inspire Social Reflections 4.0

By Phylicia Teymer

Imagine, thirty years ago, if I told you within the next three decades you’d witness the dawn of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: One in where you’d have limitless and instantaneous connections to the world around you, and at the click of the button via a mobile device, you’d not only communicate with others, but would learn about, and interact within the world around you? At the same time, your device, would learn about you through your digital behavioral data, and through cognitive computing it’d rationalize and deliver a personalized experience in numerous ways.

You first may ask, “What’s a mobile device?”, then proceed to think I was crazy or dreaming. It’s funny when you look at the past in retrospect to determine how you arrived at present-day. If, like me, you’d ask:

  • “What reasons drove the actions that made today possible?”
  • “What was necessary enough then, to drive the current inventions of the present?
  • Essentially, “Why are we where we are today and how will it impact the future?”

This past week, I had the AWESOME opportunity to attend & be a part of TED@IBM in San Francisco, Ca. An event where the relationship between technology and humanity was explored through various highly-accomplished speakers who shared their insights and ideas which impact our world and its future. Through these speakers’ insights, as a Social Strategist, I was inspired to question the future of social media. How would big data, cognitive computing, and the internet of things impact the way someone would interact, engage with, & make decisions via social media? How would businesses adjust to these advances to positively impact their bottom line? What’s social media + business possibilities 4.0?

The questions above helped to spur my insights below, with the inspiration of a few TED@IBM thought-leaders. 

Jared Kleinert, Co-Founder & Co-Author of 2 Billion Under 20, and a 2015 TED@IBM speaker mentioned, “Collaboration has always been an important element of success.” As the lead social strategist for TED@IBM, his statement rang true and clear to me. A lot of time and collaboration went into the preparation for this event. In the creation and implemention of the social strategy, I had to look at the “big picture” and also keep the details in mind. The success of the event depended on a few key factors:

  • Communication & Inclusion: We included social messaging across the company & and had leadership support. Internal & external communications were critical in ensuring our social mission, vision, & messaging were known, and allowed others to be a part of the social action & conversation.
    • Communications & Inclusion 4.0: In the future, given the advancements in big data, cognitive computing, & collaborative platforms, I imagine:  During an event a cognitive computer could listen to both the speaker talking & what’s being said across social media platforms to notate key quotes & derive key sentiments that once approved/signed off on could be shared across specific parts of an organization (or those organizations following via social media) at the click of a button. This would increase real-time engagement, and provide real-time meaningful content to those who find it relevant and necessary. I also see advancements between livestream & social event teams where users could choose between pre-arranged camera angles to view livestreams as they’d prefer, & text messages to notify them when their “desired speaker” is taking the stage, if time is limited. Audience members who’d show a liking towards specific topics/content via the behavioral data from their mobile/computer could also be sent an automated personalized newsfeed of relevant content after the event, too.
  • Collaboration & Teamwork: It took a positive, hardworking team to help
    Our TED@IBM Social Team (not all pictured)

    Our TED@IBM Social Team (not all pictured)

    put our plan into motion and I’m thankful to have had such a supportive group of talented stars working side-by-side with me & inspirational leadership. We united to “get it done”. Our distinct roles for event execution were aligned to our unique talents & skills. Without our collaborative teamwork, our live content creation + social amplification process which enabled others to attend via live stream & participate via social media wouldn’t have happened.

    • Collaboration & Teamwork 4.0: As collaborative tech evolves and becomes more affordable, in addition to cognitive computing’s assistance in chemical/physical compounds to create lighter/faster/more efficient materials, I see more social event teams having “pop-up social surround centers”. Here is where a team like ours could collaborate with very few on-site. Imagine this: A light, rollable, large computer monitor (yes, like paper) that could be unraveled & propped up like artwork. Most team members could work remotely, being able to communicate with those on-site as needed, but do so on video, in 3-D projection, where everyone could work & interact in a real-time 3-D virtual workspace or hub (Adv. Oculus Rift + Voice/Video + Adv. Collaborative Communication Platform). On-site social reporters, if any, would have eye-wear which would allow livestreaming of the event & their actions with the team, & their act of blinking would take a picture or capture video to post to social media or send to their remote team. (I would talk about human-like robots being used for this process & gathering deep audience sentiment info, but wide-spread adoption of it may not happen very soon due to cost & acceptance).
  • Data & Preparation: It was important to understand what was accomplished in 2014, how it was done, and the data derived from the previous social tactics to understand how I wanted to further develop & evolve the social strategy and its execution this year. After looking through the data I knew the metrics we needed to surpass, which tactics most engaged the audience and which didn’t, what type and how much content tended to perform best or not so well, and the areas where we could try out some new innovative ideas. I put together an “on-site/off-site” social media execution plan for the event, as it helped our team know all the essentials, including necessary social info, roles, process, & timeline (I do this for all events).
    • Data and Preparation 4.0: Maria Dubovitskaya, Research Staff Member, Cognitive Computing & Industry Solutions, remarked during her TED@IBM 2015 talk that “Our data can offer all kinds of personalized services for the greater good.” Her insights had my brain spinning with multiple ideas. In terms of the future of social media marketing, I see preparation being much easier and faster – a cognitive computer would rationalize the large sets of data and tell me everything I need to know based on me asking the right questions.  I predict one day it will even let me try out different social strategies and tactics ahead of time with simulation test runs. Much like weather can predict outcomes based on previous & current data sets. If I socially implement x + y, what will z be? Yet, what I’m even more excited & cautious about is the data one will be able to derive from wearable technology about one’s target market audience. Imagine a wearable device, as thin as sticker, which would not only be integrated into the capabilities of your mobile device, BUT it would also take your vital signs for emotional reactions to determine best/worst content performance. Picture this: You’re watching a big event via an app or even TV using this wearable device. It collects, interprets, and sends your vital signs (sweat/heartrate/blood pressure) which correlate with certain emotions over to the company (& marketing) so they could best learn how to adapt their marketing efforts to engage you, their audience. There’s many ways I see data & its usage evolving, but these are only a couple of them.

Perhaps my predictions of coming inventions & advancements sound crazy, but as Nelson Mandela once said, “It always seems impossible, until it’s done.” New ideas can be innovative & inspiring, yet at the same time a bit frightening. I was primarily inspired by the variety of speakers, who through their work & efforts, gave me the hope and drive to continue towards understanding social media and to dream BIG regarding its future and potential use. During his talk, Jared Kleinert, stated, “Never before have young people had this much power and opportunity to change the world.” I couldn’t agree more. We have so many ways to connect, learn from, and inspire one another using advanced tools & platforms (in addition to one-on-one communication) that I’m eager to see what the future comes to reveal.

Learn more about TED@IBM – Follow #TEDatIBM and @IBMCommerce & @IBMSocialBiz.

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