Be Social Be Smart

5 Minutes With a Member

Be Social. Be Smart. is changing the conversation from what teens shouldn’t be doing online, to what they should do instead. With extensive international experience in Online Marketing, Branding and Recruitment, Sally Dwyer and Eliza Kennedy partnered to create Be Social. Be Smart. to share their knowledge and expertise. Their goal is to help students recognise the opportunity and potential of social media for their future success. We caught up with Sally to get the lowdown on social media, how it can be used positively and their plans for the future.

Your business is such a positive tool for parents and their children. Tell us about it!

I cofounded Be Social. Be Smart with my business partner Eliza Kennedy. An Australian first, Be Social. Be Smart. works with secondary schools to skill up and empower Year 10, 11 and 12 students to be responsible, respectful and reputable digital citizens. We focus on the positive impact young people can have by using social media proactively and how it can contribute to their success in an increasingly digitalised world.

You seem to make a formidable partnership, with quite different working backgrounds. What skills do you bring to the table? 

I studied Journalism at UQ and have spent the last 15 years working in television and corporate communications, marketing, branding and events. I have worked for a wide range of companies, from small start-ups to large multinationals, in London, Hong Kong, Sydney and Brisbane.

What attracted to you to coworking?

I love the energy of being in a coworking environment, as well as the opportunity to network with a wide range of people doing interesting things. It really encourages the entrepreneurial spirit to talk to others starting or running their own businesses. It also gives a little bit of structure to the working day which I must say I often lack working at home!

So how did you stumble across Gravity? 

We were lucky enough to win a 3 month trial at Gravity Coworking in Brisbane which we were thrilled about! Gravity is such a lovely environment, and has provided us with a very professional space in which to work, have meetings, and do some media interviews for our business.

Tell us what you love most about what you do.

There are so many things but working with kids to help them achieve something positive is a real motivator for us. Social media now presents so many fantastic opportunities for people to connect, collaborate and contribute to positive change in our society, and our goals is to show kids how they can do this. There is a lot of negativity around children’s use of social media at the moment but used smartly and responsibly, social media is an enormously powerful platform for young people to share their skills and ideas and connect and network with relevant audiences. Sharing this idea with kids, parents and educators is what we are all about and hopefully we can have a positive impact by doing what we’re doing.

Greatest work achievement?

For this business, it has been the development of our initial presentations which have been a huge undertaking and something we have worked very hard on. As well as researching and collecting all of the relevant data and information, we have partnered with an instructional designer and theatrical educator to ensure they are relevant and educational while also entertaining to ensure they resonate with teenagers.

 Favourite TV show?

Juggling running a small business and a young family doesn’t really leave much time for television sadly. But having spent quite a long time working in television news I like watching news and current affairs programs, and my guilty pleasure is The Bachelor, much to my husband’s disgust!

Favourite book?

I have many favourites but at the moment, Baby Love. Am re reading crucial chapters to remind myself about life with a newborn as I am just about to have my second baby!

Piece of advice for our other members and for startups and entrepreneurs out there?

Use social media to connect with other people in your industry. Since starting Be Social. Be Smart. we have found LinkedIn and Twitter in particular to be fantastic tools for reaching out to people and starting discussions. We have already formed some really valuable relationships and partnerships with people and businesses we first contacted through these platforms. They are also a fantastic way to listen to what your audience is saying about particular topics.

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