Meet the Team

Jessica Thomas

 Jessica founded Ten Bear in 2017. She is an award-winning digital strategist, and has been commended for promoting a flexible and remote working environment that prioritises the wellbeing of her team. Jess firmly believes that a work/life balance is the key to productivity, which she uses to provide superior service to her clients.

What is your professional background?

After finishing uni, I worked in various sales jobs in the UK and abroad for about 10 years. In 2015, I started at Brandwatch as part of their sales team, which was how I got into social listening. In our sales role there is a team that helps us with setting up the system but I found it so interesting I wanted to learn it myself. It wasn’t long before I was teaching myself how to write queries, create dashboards, and build my own demos outside of work. And, as a result, I was able to provide a better service to my sales clients. I really enjoyed it, but became frustrated that it wasn’t my role to take my clients through to the next stage and help them really leverage their social data. That’s when I decided to start Ten Bear, which created an opportunity for me to work with my own clients on a more strategic level.

My goal was always to work from home, but back then remote roles weren’t as available. Ten Bear not only allowed me to do this, but after the business took off, I was able to hire others that also wanted to work remotely.

What are your favourite tools?

I still love using Brandwatch, it’s got that intuity you can’t get with other platforms. But I do have some other firm favourites, like Talkwalker, Digimind, Synthesio and Sprinklr. They’re all great for different reasons too, which is why we don’t stick to just one tool. In fact, at Ten Bear we’re tool agnostic: our collective experience means that we’ve used almost all of the tools on the market. Knowing the pros and cons of each tool allows us to help our clients evaluate which are best-suited to their needs. I am also a huge advocate for not taking social data in silo and adding context from other data sources. Qualtrics is a great tool for measuring customer experience, and marrying that insight with social data insights to create a deeper understanding of customer and consumers. 

What are the benefits of remote work?


For me, it’s about work/life balance, having the freedom to choose when and where I work. I also try to make sure that all my staff can work whenever and wherever they want. As long as they deliver their work on time and to the highest possible standard, I’m happy – and they’re happy too! I think that flexibility allows you to work when you’re most productive, though you have to have a strong work ethic and control over your motivation. Personally, I like working in the morning, some afternoons I have a bit of a lull in productivity, and then I pick it up again in the evening. It’s not for everyone, I know many people that love the buzz of being in an office, but it works for me and my team. They do good work because I allow them the breathing space to do it. I trust them, and they trust me.


How do your studies inform your work?

Though I have a degree in Digital Marketing and Media, and really enjoyed my time at uni, I’m not the biggest advocate for higher education. I feel that I’d have ended up here much earlier if I’d gone straight into the workforce. Of course, some qualifications you have to go to university for, like biochemistry, for example. These days, with online courses so readily available, you can balance work and learning at the same time. I believe this is what education is going to look like in the future. While education is extremely important, you also absorb so much from working in industry.

I get a lot of graduates contacting me looking for online work, and I always advise them to do maybe a year or so in an office first. It’s important to understand the office way of working: the culture, the politics, the ways of getting things done, how to communicate as a team, and getting a feel for how long it all takes. When you work online, you often deal with people that work in offices, therefore, you need to understand what it’s like for them, as most of the time they are your customers.

What has been your most notable project?


We’ve worked a lot with the DEC, the Disasters Emergency Committee, during times of crisis. When the Tsunami hit Indonesia in 2018, we were brought on board to assist with their social listening. We had to be available within the 12 hours after it happened, and worked 10 days back-to-back to optimise their campaign. We were on-hand 24/7 to evaluate campaign success and provide advice for improvements. The DEC were working together with multiple organisations such as Save the Children and Tearfund to raise money. Our data reports helped them to work cohesively for maximum engagement and donations. After the project ended, we used their donation data, Google analytics, and social data to create a strategic framework for future campaigns. 

I think the reason this project stands out is because it was for a good cause. Social for good is one of the things I like working on the most. We’ve worked with a lot of charities over the past 5 years, including the United Nations Human Rights Council and the National Zakat Foundation. We’re always open to charitable clients and NGOs.

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+44 (0) 330 223 1634