So Many Platforms, So Little Team: How Indie Beauty Brands Manage Social Media

In this edition of Beauty Independent’s ongoing series posing questions to beauty entrepreneurs, we ask 21 brand founders and executives: What social media platforms are you on, and how do tailor your content to and manage them?

Shelly Ann Winokur Founder and CEO, Kiss Kiss Goodnight

We use Facebook and Instagram along with a social media planning and scheduling platform called Later. I post similar content on Instagram and Facebook because we have different audiences on each platform.  On Facebook, I also repost relevant stories for my audience and provide commentary.  

Over the past two years, there have been times when my branding/marketing studio Aliado Studio solely created posts, when I have solely created posts, and when both of us have shared the task. I prefer when we work together. My branding/marketing studio will do reposts, product posts or blog related posts.  

I will handle personal posts, where I talk about my experience as a mother, give an update on the brand or commentary on a current event.  I am always the one commenting and replying to DMs. I like connecting to my customers via social media, and my customers know they have an easy way to find me.

MELINDA HERRON Founder, 103 Collection

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. We have a creative marketing director that develops quarterly marketing projects and campaigns. To structure and selectively share, we use apps such as Apphi and Buffer to schedule social posts. Each platform requires different content. We use Instagram to share high-profile images and informative videos that tell a captivating story via IGTV and Instagram Stories. 

Facebook is an amazing platform to market and grow by boosting posts. We decide which post to boost based upon the reach and engagement, and set a budget based upon our weekly goals. We tailor our content for Twitter and LinkedIn to share our magazine features or articles that feature our brand, and try to tune our post to trending topics and add hashtags that are relevant to trending topics.

Grace O’Sullivan Co-Founder, Avoila

We launched our Instagram and Facebook channels a year before our launch to start a personal conversation with our audience and hone our brand voice. It was daunting to create so much content before we even had a product to sell, but it was great to do everything ourselves because it allowed us to understand the beauty world on social media and grow our followers.

A few weeks before launch, we decided it was too time-consuming with so much else going on. It’s important to know where your strength lies and, for us, it wasn’t in the social media management. We found a social media manager that we felt comfortable partnering with, Corinne Hone. The key is to stay in close communication and really collaborate.

She’s a woman entrepreneur like us. She gets us and has become an extension of our brand voice. Together, we can maintain that connection with our followers and simultaneously test the effectiveness of Instagram and Facebook to drive traffic to our site and ultimately sales. It's still very early for us, so we're still collecting data to determine how either or both platforms work for us.

Calvin Quallis CEO and Founder, Scotch Porter

The main social channel that we focus most of our time on is Instagram, with some focus also on Facebook and Twitter. The channel is managed externally at the moment by a boutique agency called The Artoholiks. However, we plan on bringing it in-house this year.

JULISSA PRADO Founder and CEO, Rizos Curls

Social media is everything today. It is what I built my business on, and it’s important to not only use it as a marketing tool, but to understand why you’re on those platforms. For me, it’s to connect with our customers and build community. The pillars at the heart of Rizos Curls are what I call the three Cs—curls, community, culture—and social media allows for a manifestation of that at the pulse of the moment.

We’re on all social media channels: Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, TikTok, Twitter...you name it. All of them allow us to reach a different group of people or at least to interact with them in a different way. It’s incredibly important to be authentic, show you understand the platform and are interacting with people in a genuine way. There is nothing worse than a company that is clearly just copying and pasting or sending through the same message to all platforms without tailoring it. It just seems fake.

You absolutely have to take the time to tailor content for the platform and the audience. It’s a lot of hard work, but it pays off. To manage all social media channels, we have an internal team of about four people because we answer all messages and comments within an hour around the clock. It’s also incredibly important that, while you may have different hands touching the social media channels, they all have the same brand voice. That takes time, and there is definitely a learning curve.

Leda Lum Co-Founder, Good Face Stuff

We're basically on Youtube and Instagram. One drives traffic—YouTubeand the other contributes to brand aesthetics.  As a skincare obsessive, I create as much health and beauty content as I can. One of the reasons why Good Face Stuff was created is because of the dedicated people on my YouTube channel wanting information or guidance on those two necessities. 

YouTube drives a lot of our repeat customers. In essence, content is tailored to the needs of the channel's audience. Instagram is all about visual angles, whether it's packaging or visual release of a next product. It's tailored more toward our clean principle. Instagram is managed within. Design obsessives [are] doing their thing.

At one point, we will carefully outsource some management responsibilities of these two important social media channels. It's a daunting amount of work and time to manage both while maintaining [the brand] at the level that it continues to thrive.

Melissa Boerema Director of Marketing, InstaNatural

We primarily spend our time on Facebook and Instagram. We recently signed up for TikTok and are still researching the platform before jumping in. From what we’ve seen, there seems to be great engagement, especially from organic content that is not overly produced. 

For Instagram, we focus on creating content that is engaging and/or educational, and sharing that through Stories or posts. For Facebook, we’ve found great success building our own Facebook group for fans of our brand. It can be hard to increase engagement on our main page, so having a separate group allows us to more closely communicate with our top followers and create a community where people can interact with each other, not just us. We manage our social media in-house, which allows us to post more behind-the-scenes content as well.

Renae Moomjian Founder, Niplips

We are primarily active on Instagram and Facebook, with a presence on LinkedIn and Pinterest. We outsource our social media to Kate Paguinto, Stargirl Social. She is an individual that recently incorporated and is considered part of the team. 

We send her daily updates on our activities, suggestions for posting, etc. She also joins our weekly team meetings. The reason we went this direction is because we wanted someone who really knows social media and could most effectively represent our brand. None of us had expertise.

Tom Reynolds Head of Brand, Coco & Eve

Our Instagram, Facebook and YouTube channels are managed and run in-house. We live and die by our content, so it is important that we have full creative control over posts to ensure what we put out hits our very high internal standards. Our team is very talented, constantly pushing the envelope with new ideas and angles to help us cut through the digital noise. 

We see our Instagram as the brand's shopfront, where people discover us for the first time and follow us not only because they are fanatics of the brand, but because they love our content. Our YouTube is more educational. We offer tips, tricks and how-to videos where the long form is more suited so people can find out more about our products.

Cherie Hoeger Co-Founder, Saalt

We love to connect with people from around the world, so we take every opportunity to create those connections, whether it's on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin. We know and understand our audiences are different on each platform and have tailored our messaging to best suit that platform’s audience.

We have an in-house social media team of several members. Each team member is assigned a platform and gears our messaging to that audience. We have weekly social media meetings to keep up to date on events and launches. Once per month, we have editorial meetings where we prepare the next month’s content.

We also host monthly mini retreats where we dedicate 90 minutes to research what’s new in social media. We understand that social media is ever-changing, and we attempt to stay on top of those changes so that we can better connect with our community.

Akilah Releford Founder and CEO, Mary Louise Cosmetics

We are on Instagram and Pinterest predominantly. We like to post satisfying images and more glamour shots on our Instagram feed. It gives new customers a great first impression of the brand personality when they first visit our profile. Pinterest is a great platform to post how-to and DIY guides. So, we like to focus on posting different infographics and encourage our viewers to share/pin our content.

LISSETTE MONZON Founder, Lilly Be

I am on Facebook, Instagram and Linked In. Currently, I manage them on my own. I really love Instagram the most. I love that content there can be fun and tell the brand story. There is so much potential in making connections on this platform. I also like LinkedIn for networking about business and industry-specific content.

SELMIN KARATAS Co-Founder and CEO, Kazani

We are on almost all the social channels such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumbler. At the moment, we are writing the social content in-house, and we normally share the same content on all channels except for Pinterest and TikTok. We are currently looking for someone who understands the brand who can manage it for us.

Danielle Gronich Co-Founder, CLEARstem Skincare

We are on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. We steadily create content in the form of instructional videos, funny skincare memes, skin wellness tips related to acne and aging, reviews and testimonials, and challenges to engage with our community. We share a lot of valuable information that people can use that same day. We have a social media team member who helps us with execution and creating graphics. Otherwise, this alone would be a full-time job.

Anya Kudrjasova Creative Director, Glowdust Beauty

We have a social media team, influencer team and content team. Together, we focus on creating engaging content that adds value to our followers. Our focus is mainly on Instagram.

LAUREN NAPIER Founder, Lauren Napier Beauty

Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok and Facebook. As the founder, I find that my audience really enjoys hearing from me. Our followers love the authentic comments on each post and commentary. So, I log on daily to communicate with my followers. It’s fun to get out in front. I have a tiny team of social media gurus who help manage some of the captions and content. Social media is a 24-hour-a-day business, so it’s vital to have a passionate supportive team.

BEN SMITH Founder, Disco

We are on Facebook and Instagram currently, with plans to move on to LinkedIn soon. I, in partnership with my team, manage and creative direct our content strategy, which is ever-evolving.

Jean Baik Founder and Creative Chief Officer, Miss A

We are on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok. Our in-house social media team manages all the platforms and creates all content for them. We believe it is important to have full control over the content instead of outsourcing it so we can stay relevant to what our customers and followers want and keep engagement high.

Instagram is our main platform with the largest following at over 270,000 currently. We mainly post new product launches ahead of time, and use IGTV for short tutorials and how-to videos. Twitter we use for casual questions/polls and conversations with customers and also to help with anyone who has issues with ordering, shipping, etc. 

Most recently we have started TikTok videos, and these have been super short videos of our store tours, product swatches and reposts of customers unboxing their orders. These have been super popular on TikTok!

Ozohu Adoh Founder, Epara

We are on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. At the moment, we are reevaluating our social media strategy, so there hasn’t been as much activity as in the past. But, when we were more active, we have used a combination of both in-house and external help in managing the accounts.

JAMIKA MARTIN Founder, Rosen Skincare

We are on Instagram, Twitter and about to get going on TikTok. Instagram is definitely our main one, but, after getting the hang of it, we've decided to expand a bit and test out these other platforms more. I currently have someone who manages the scheduling, posting and content out for all of them, and she's amazing!

Dafina Smith Founder and CEO, Covet & Mane

When we were first launching the brand, we made the decision to just focus on one channel. In the beauty space, everyone does amazing transformations showing before-and-after photos with the power of extensions and color, so we decided that it made the most sense to focus on Instagram. It helps a lot with trend forecasting and provides an outlet to our community. We really get a chance to engage with the stylists we work with and watch them use the product. After the product ships, we are able to see it come to life and see how it's helping give women those amazing transformations. 

Also, we work by invitation-only, so Instagram is really important in helping us extend invitations to the right accounts. We really want stylists who are committed to showing their craft and their artistry, but who are also visually aligned with our brand as well. 

Because we are only focused on Instagram, we don't have to worry about tailoring the content that goes on each platform. However, we do have to worry about following best practices. The algorithm is always changing and the way people use Instagram is always changing too, so we need to keep up. 

When first starting out pre-launch, we made a decision that we weren't going to do a lot of daily posting, but rather used Instagram to showcase the collective of people using our products. It served as a way to generate feedback from them and build a lot of community engagement. Then, when we were ready to launch, we committed to tailoring our feed to tell a visual story to showcase the range and depth of our products and how they are brought to life. 

To keep consistency, we started off using an agency. Social media can be very time-consuming, so we kept them really focused on the posting, strategy behind the content, and the effective retelling of our stylists' stories. Now in 2020, we're bringing this more internal and are looking to let our own team tell our brand story through our lens.

If you have a question you’d like Beauty Independent to ask beauty entrepreneurs, please send it to [email protected].