Welcome back to Blogging in Belfast – Building a Community Online. For our first interview of the New Year we’re chatting to the fabulous Shauna Rafferty! She is the powerhouse behind Social by Shauna as well as running her vibrant and down to earth Instagram lifestyle blog. We chatted to Shauna about all things social media as well as discussing her career highlights so far! Here’s what Shauna had to say about building a community online!

What inspired you to start blogging / social media/ influencing? 

Oh it’s tough and try so hard not to beat yourself up about your following, focus on what you have and what works for your audience. Every day you will gain and lose followers somedays people like what you post and some days people will like your posts and others not. Just be true to yourself and only truly post stuff that you love or you feel is valuable to your following. Building a community online takes time and perseverance!

Can you tell us a bit about Social by Shauna – what inspired you to use your social media skills to help local businesses?

Social by Shauna is a social media management company set up by me after being approached by a family friend to do their businesses  Facebook & Instagram for them. Then me being me I automatically thought how many more business need this. No one understands the time and effort social media takes but most importantly how massively important it is for your business to have an online presence. In a short round  about way thats how Social By Shauna happened. I like to keep what I do in simple direct and to the point so for any business reading this that may be interested I do your social media for you so they don’t have to. I create their content, write captions and post for them, weekly catch-ups planning our next posts. You build up such an amazing relationship and I get so excited for each of my clients.

What is your favourite experience you’ve had through social influencing?

Ooo ok so I’ve two! Being in PowerNI’s Christmas advert as ‘Shauna Rafferty lifestyle & beauty blogger’ was pretty up there. I’ve always fancied myself on TV, presenter type of vibes. Love anything like that. Secondly cohosting the Northern Ireland Social Media Awards with ‘Little Penny Thoughts’ such an amazing night with a room full to brim with NI’s biggest influencers was unreal now thinking back. Anything that comes my way where I can interact with people and fun is my favourite.

Who are your favourite three influencers and why?

Ok, let me see if I can whittle this down. 

1. Jess Hunt absolute babe and has the best eyebrows I’ve ever seen. Not only that she has an extremely ascetically pleasing feed. The effort that it takes to get nice photos something I need to do is push myself out of my comfort zone a bit and get more creative, my New Years resolution.

2. Jodie Wood. A fabulous mama to two boys and so direct and to the point I love how straight up she is and her recommendations I feel are always so real. People like this I am draw to because I feel like I’m very honest with my followers if I don’t like something I say and vice-versa.

3. Tadhg Fleming. Curve ball, I know but him and his father make me laugh so much and social media can be so serious and fake sometimes so it’s nice to be assured a laugh and himself and his family do just that.

What are your three top tips for creating engaging imagery for your social feeds? 

Be yourself. Do what you would like to see or what your interested in. Be original