Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported where Social Media Examiner was based.
Two Wichita women have combined their businesses and areas of expertise into one social media marketing company. And they’ve made themselves the on-camera hosts of two weekly Facebook shows to help get it off the ground
Julie Riley and Jen Cole officially launched DepICT Media on Jan. 1. They’d worked together on several projects previously.
Cole says her specialty has been helping grow audiences for social media users, while Riley has more experience in analytics and budgeting.
“Tying these two together just makes us a mean machine,” Cole said.
Riley’s old business was called Inspire Media. Cole had one called Backspace Media and she also still does contract work for Social Media Examiner, a San Diego-based company which calls itself the world’s largest social media marketing resource.
DepICT offers social media managing and consulting services. It’s primarily focused on small Wichita businesses “but we’ll work with anybody,” Riley said.
On the management side, Riley said, DepICT helps clients decide what kind of social media presence they need, then creates and schedules content. On the consulting side, “We teach (clients) how to do their social media.”
The women say their experience has taught them several important lessons about social media.
“It’s really about being authentic,” Riley said. “You don’t need to be somebody different on social media.”
Most clients also don’t need to utilize every social media platform that’s available.
“The biggest thing is to know your audience. A youth clothing store is very different from a service business. If your audience is not on LinkedIn, don’t be there.”
When clients do use social media, she said, she advises them that the key “is more learning how to converse with fans and followers, not always to sell. It’s not a billboard. If you learn to converse, the selling will happen.”
Cole seconds those thoughts and adds a further caution. “One thing that I really like to stay away from is linking up all their (social media) accounts. Or stinking them up. It’s very important to have a special Facebook strategy, a special Instagram strategy. You have different demographics on all these channels. Each has different rules. If you’re going to be on a social channel, devote some time to it.”
Cole stresses that in-person networking “is just as important as social media marketing. Those (occasions) are when you’re building the trust. You’re always going to buy from somebody you like, know and trust. Getting out there is important.”
That’s something the partners are doing with one of their Facebook shows. On Friday afternoons, they’re airing what they call “a community hug to Wichita” in which they invite in a businessperson or go to that person’s workplace to interview them.
“We love the city we live in,” Cole said. “To give that Friday hug is really good.”
The other Facebook show, which airs midday Wednesdays, features a social media marketing expert. This week, the guest appeared remotely from Great Britain.
Cole said the shows, which she started at her previous business, will increase the pair’s visibility, whether or not they directly lead to new business. They just picked up their first sponsor, she noted.
“We will be paid in wine, which we highly appreciate.”
Now you know
Address: 12950 E. 13th
Owners: Jen Cole and Julie Riley