The Judging Panel

Copy & Social at Innocent Smoothies​
John Thornton
Copy & Social at Innocent Smoothies

Social Media Idiot – John spent four years being silly on Twitter for innocent smoothies. Highlights include making a baked bean smoothie and arguing with the internet about the colour of a drink (it’s blue). Lowlights include getting banned from the company LinkedIn account.

Freelance Social Media Marketer
Matt Swain
Previous Content Creator With Steven Bartlett's Personal Team

Matt worked alongside Steven Bartlett helping to develop his personal brand and building a community led Instagram page. Matt now works as a freelance social media marketer and works for some of the coolest brands on elevating their online presence.

Danielle McGookin​
Danielle McGookin
Digital Marketing Specialist | Founder of Social Story
Dani grew up in Northern Ireland, and brings over 10 years of International Marketing experience to the judging panel. Now based in Dubai, she owns a boutique marketing agency, Social Story, helping businesses find their purpose on social media.
Leanne Ross
Executive Director New Zealand Game Developers Association

Leanne has built a globe-spanning career excelling in things she knows nothing about. From teaching herself blogging, to digital marketing, to book writing and publishing… she got so good at it in Belfast that she ran away to the other side of the world.

Blue and Queenie
Blue and Queenie
Creators. Influencers. Consultants.

Simon and Row otherwise known as Blue and Queenie are award winning presenters and influencers from Northern Ireland. They present exclusive content and interviews on a variety of indie and upcoming game titles.

Paul Walsh
Paul Walsh
Owner of Adhere Digital

Paul owns a performance marketing agency that specialises in all things Google & Analytics. He has helped Nestle, Toyota, & Aviva build out cutting edge performance marketing campaigns using machine learning & AI.

Managing Director at Meagher's Pharmacy Group
Oonagh O’Hagan
Managing Director at Meagher's Pharmacy Group

Oonagh owns nine pharmacies and a thriving online store. Meagher’s has been named Deloitte Best Managed Irish Company for the past seven years and awarded Platinum Status these past two years. She was named as Image Magazine’s 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year.

The Judging Process


Award submission deadline is NOW CLOSED

Shortlist announced: 29th August 2022

The judging panel consists of industry experts based across the world. The judges will firstly read and pre-score all entries based on the eligibility criteria. They will individually score each question before combining these to give an overall score for each entry. The scores from all judges will then be combined and the highest scoring entries will determine the shortlist.

Once the shortlists have been decided, the judges will meet to discuss the highest scoring entries and agree on the winners of each category.  The shortlist will be announced on 12th August and winners will be announced at the awards ceremony. The decision of the NI Social Media Award judges is final, and no discussion or correspondence will be entered into. Additionally, no feedback will be given regarding the selection of shortlisted nominations or winners.