We all know the power of social media and what it can do for a brand, but jewellery maker Nikita Majajas says she wouldn’t be in business without social media.

The Sydney-based Doodad + Fandango founder credits Instagram for transforming the designs crafted in her garage into a global brand. It progressed from being a fun way to share images to her primary business platform.

“I couldn’t afford to pay for advertising or rent a shopfront,” she explains. “But Instagram has allowed me to cut out the middle man and reach a global audience. The label is now taking off in the US and the UK and I wouldn’t have been able to achieve any of this success without social media.

“Instagram allows me to build trust in the brand by telling a story and showing the face behind the product to create consumer awareness and connect with influencers, which converts to sales down the track.”

Majajas shared her insights, tips and online marketing experiences on how to be an online success at a small business digital seminar last week.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore says the seminar showed small business owners how to use social media and digital platforms to engage new audiences.

“These free seminars are an excellent opportunity for small businesses to learn how to get the most out of their social platforms to help build their brand and their business.

“More than 80 per cent of businesses in our city are small businesses, employing over 100,000 people. Growth in this sector is great for Sydney, and I hope insights on using online platforms to advertise, assists them in growing their business.”

Majajas was joined by Peter Manettas, director of Manettas Seafood market, a successful online platform that connects seafood suppliers with consumers.

Manettas believes social platforms make good business sense.

“It’s about your presence, testing the waters and making connections―it’s just like attending a function to meet new customers and people in your industry,” he explains.

“The best way to connect with potential customers on social is to set up an account and start posting. It doesn’t matter if you make mistakes―even mistakes can start a conversation. It’s all part of the learning experience.

“The smart thing to do is explore your online options, don’t put all your eggs in one basket and don’t spend too much money until you understand what you’re doing.

“Social media is not a quick fix. Your online presence has got to be backed by a business plan, a quality product and your own vision, drive and desires. Having a good website is crucial because the user experience is everything.”

This story was republished with permission from Australian Online Gift Guide.