By @SimonCocking. Interesting interview with Mireille Ryan CEO, Social Media Marketing Institute and founder of the Social Media Marketing Awards, Award winning and

What is your background briefly?

I am CEO of the Social Media Marketing Institute, founder of the Social Media Marketing Awards, award winning entrepreneur and speaker. In 2010, I was named Australian Exercise Professional of the Year and in 2011, my business was named QLD Personal Training Business of the Year. I have been an entrepreneur for the last 8 years mainly in the fitness industry but 3 years ago, started my own personal brand business helping entrepreneurs to harness the power of their personal brand using social media, just as I had done. That lead to my transition into social media. I now have over 75000 social media followers.

Does it seem like a logical progression to what you do now?

My leap into social media came as a result of my past businesses. When I started my fitness companies 8 years ago, I didn’t have a big budget for marketing, so I harnessed the power of social media to grow my businesses not only around my country but also around the world. I have studied social media daily for the last 8 years and when people saw my success, they started asking me for help. I found a passion for social media and that lead to me moving across into that space full time.

What tips would you give to people looking to do well at social media marketing?

The key is understanding who your social tribe is. Don’t speak to everyone, niche down. By understanding as much as you can about your ideal audience, you will determine which social platform you ideal audience is on (yes you don’t have to be on every platform, just focus on the best 2 for your ideal audience) and understand what problems and concerns your audience face and then use your social media posts to help your audience. Decide how your audience best consumes information. Is it video, articles, live video, images etc. For example, when I was in the fitness industry, video was a lot more powerful to demonstrate exercises than photos or articles – one of my fitness videos has over 222 000 views on You Tube. Also, you need to understand how to drive people from your social media to your landing pages, email lists and sales pages, This is the basis of your social media content strategy.

How do you advise clients to decide what is the right platform for them?

It really comes down to knowing where their ideal client spends time. If your clients were millennials, then a great platform would be Snapchat. If it was business to business, Linked In might be your best place. I focus on primarily three platforms to communicate with my social tribe – Twitter, Linked In and Instagram. I primarily use Facebook for paid advertising.

How was 2016?

2016 was a year of clarity and growth for me. I spent a year in corporate for the first time in 15 years and found that was not for me, so transitioned back into entrepreneurship. I have a big vision and need to be agile and that didn’t fit in a traditional corporate environment. It was this journey into corporate which highlighted how I could help business improve their social media marketing. I am absolutely loving the growth we are experiencing with the Social Media Marketing Institute in such a short period of time. I truly feel blessed.

What worked well?

Social Media of course! Once I started the Social Media Marketing Institute, I harnessed social media to drive awareness of who we are and how we could help. Straight away, we started connecting with business and government. It lead to some amazing opportunities as soon as we launched. In the coming months I am running workshops for government and business and speaking at events. I have also already been interviewed for podcasts. I launched the Social Media Marketing Awards through social media and it is exciting to see the entries coming in. I have harnessed the different social media platforms to achieve different objectives – Twitter really drives traffic through to my website and helps me connect with the media. Linked In is where I have connected with social media marketing professionals in a big way. Instagram is where I am connecting with entrepreneurs and small business owners. As an entrepreneur and business owner, I truly love that we can use social media to get our message out in the world.

What are your plans for 2017?

This year the Social Media Marketing Institute is focussed on helping business, government and industry to harness the power of social media. We are doing this through speaking, running workshops and building online programs. We are launching a podcast in a month. We want to showcase those who are leading the way in social media and have launched the Social Media Marketing awards.

Anything new you will try out?

I am really focussing on live video this year. I really believe there is no better way for your audience to get to know you and build a relationship together.


What are the social media trends you see in 2017?

In 2017 we will see live video really take off as entrepreneurs and business owners learn how to best harness it and use it to communicate with their tribe. This will lead to stronger engagement and stronger relationships.

We have also seen the power of influencers to grow a brand. A well known example is how HiSmile used celebrity endorsements like Kylie Jenner to promote their teeth whitening kits and help grow their brand to 100 000 customers and $10 million revenue in 2 years. Over the next year, we will see more influencers who might not be celebrities but have large followings, connect with brands through platforms like Tribe to monetise their followings and build new audiences for brands.

We will also see companies harness their own employees as advocates to share corporate messages. Companies that provide the tools and resources to their team and reward them for sharing, will see success on social media.

Social Media listening will grow as businesses understand they need social media listening not only for brand protection but to identify opportunities in their marketplace.


If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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