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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Eight shortlists for Ballymena in NI Social Media Awards

THREE businesses and three individuals from Ballymena are finalists in the 2022 Northern Ireland Social Media Awards in partnership with the Corner Bakery (Portadown).

More than 300 entries were received from a broad range of industries including tourism, education, healthcare, retail and fitness.

Galgorm Resort & Spa and AC Connects are in the running for Best Social Media Campaign in Hospitality / Tourism; Honeybees Playtown has been shortlisted in the Hospitality / Tourism (under 10k) category and digital marketing consultancy AC Connects is also a finalist in Influencer Campaign of the Year category.

Erin Small (helloerin)

In the individual categories, Jill Stewart of Jill Bakes is a finalist for Food Influencer of the Year; Shawna Smyth is up for Hair / Beauty Influencer of the Year, Anna Corry from Blossomingbirds is in the running for Lifestyle Influencer of the Year, and Erin Small from helloerin (Instagram) for Family Influencer of the Year.

The awards aim to celebrate how individuals, organisations and businesses are creating inspiring content and using social media positively and to shine a light on those excelling in digital marketing and are organised by two of Northern Ireland’s leading award-winning digital marketers and industry mentors, Niamh Taylor of Digital 24 and Caroline O’Neill of Digg Mama and Digg For Success.

Niamh Taylor, NI Social Media Awards co-founder said:

“We are absolutely blown away with the response to this year’s Northern Ireland Social Media Awards. Over 300 entries were received and the independent panel of judges had an extremely hard job of whittling down the shortlists as the quality was outstanding. Over the last two years, social media and digital platforms kept friends, families and businesses connected through long periods of lockdown and it has been a vital tool in helping businesses not just survive, but to thrive.”

Matt Swain, Social Media Advisor & Personal Brand Expert who has worked with some of the UK’s leading entrepreneurial figures and creators said:

“Northern Ireland is really leading the way in showcasing how social media should work. Across the 29 categories, the shortlisted accounts have over 10 million followers, and when used correctly, you can imagine the impact this can have. Entrants have clearly shown how they are understanding their audiences, creating creative content and engaging with their community to achieve mega results.

“On behalf of my fellow judges, congratulations to all the finalists and we look forward to celebrating the local stars of social media and marketing excellence at next month’s social media event of the year.”

Joining Matt on the independent judging panel is John Thornton, Senior Creative of SURREAL Cereal; Rowena Flynn, one of the world’s top female gamers and Partner of global community, Twitch; Oonagh O’Hagan, Managing Director of Meagher’s Pharmacy Group; Danielle McGookin, Founder of Dubai based digital marketing company, Social Story and Leanne Ross, Executive Director of New Zealand Game Developers Association and Paul Walsh, Owner of Adhere Digital.

Individual category sponsors include Balmoral Healthcare, Belfast City Centre Gift Card, Bellamianta, BNL Productions, Bodyfit Mums, EP Design, Holistic Kidz, House of Vixen, Malfy Gin, MCG Investment, Ooh & Aah Cookies, Pod Camping Ireland, Todds Leap and Ted & Stitch. Charity partner is Aware.

For the full list of finalists or to purchase tickets for the NI Social Media Awards gala event on Saturday 1st October in the Europa Hotel go to


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