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How a Redfern convenience store became an internet sensation

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A corner shop in Redfern has become a social media sensation, attracting customers from around the globe eager to visit the world’s only convenience store with a dedicated Instagram account.

Redfern Convenience Store.

Owner Hazam Sedda will share his insights on successful online engagement at a free City of Sydney seminar, Small Business Digital 101: Instagram, on Wednesday 25 July at Customs House.

He will be joined by St Frock founder, Sandradee Makejev, who has transformed her Bondi market stall into an online fashion empire with a $12 million-plus annual turnover that’s driven by a social media strategy.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City’s digital seminars were meeting a demand from local small businesses keen to grow their online presence.

“Social media platforms such as Instagram are a wonderful way for businesses to reach new customers and keep up a conversation with their existing ones,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Our Digital 101 series is designed to support small businesses by sharing the stories of business owners who are using their social media platforms in clever and engaging ways to grow their businesses.”

Mr Sedda said he was amazed at how he had gone from zero social media presence to nearly 12,000 Instagram followers in less than three years.

“I get people from all over the world dropping in to say hi. They come for the experience and also because they want to support the business,” Mr Sedda said.

“It’s just me and the Redfern shop, but people want to be part of the story. People pose for photos with their purchases, we make fun videos in the store and everyone wants to be customer of the day.

“This unique engagement has allowed me to build a global following, create a brand and drive sales.”

Ms Makejev is on track to achieve her goal of building a $100 million fashion business, and she credits St Frocks 556,000 Facebook fans and 61,000 Instagram followers with helping grow the label locally and internationally.

“Being successful online and turning social media engagement into sales is not just about pushing product, it’s about creating a community,” Ms Makejev said.

“Our social media content is diverse, inclusive and has a sense of humour. Whether it’s a post about food or the weather, we start a conversation that resonates with our audiences’ everyday lives and makes them feel part of the St Frock family.

“We’ve seen a $100,000 sales uplift thanks to Instagram. It works because we’re creating fresh content and keeping the conversation going.

“It’s important to keep testing, reviewing and constantly analysing to make sure the content is delivering.”

Presented by Facebook engagement manager Anastasia Pavlovic, the workshop will provide business owners with the tools they need to optimise their digital and Instagram strategy.

There will also be an opportunity for six businesses to have a 15 minute one-on-one session with an Instagram expert at the end of the seminar.

Seminar: Small Business Digital 101: Instagram
Date: Wednesday 25 July
Time: Registrations open at 6pm, event runs 6.30pm to 8.30pm
Cost: free, but bookings are essential
Bookings and event information: cityconv.eventsair.com/small-business-digital-101-seminar-grow-your-business-using-instagram/accept
Sessions can be viewed online: youtube.com/playlist?list=PLsDp4QpCqUQjWktIFY4dbZf2H7BrDIrlV

For media inquiries or images, contact Belinda Wallis.
Phone mobile 0467 810 160 or email bwallis@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, please contact Jack Begbie.
Phone 0481 759 580 or email jbegbie@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

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