What Social Media KPI Is Most Important To Indie Beauty Entrepreneurs

In this edition of Beauty Independent’s ongoing series posing questions to beauty entrepreneurs, we ask 19 brand founders and executives: Is there a specific social media key performance indicator or KPI that you think is particularly important to track?

ALLISON MOSS Founder and CEO, Type:A

We look at overall engagement for each of our social channels. This differs depending on the channel and segment on that channel. So, for instance, our engagement is tracked differently on Instagram for feed posts versus Stories. But, overall, we look at how our community is engaging with our content and look at a combination of likes, comments, shares, swipe-ups to determine that and gauge a better understanding with each post what our community is interested in hearing from us.  Most brands have an engagement level of 1% to 3%, but that is often calculated on different metrics depending on who is calculating what they include.

DANIELLE GRONICH Co-Founder, CLEARstem Skincare

Our favorite KPI is DMs! When we get new followers DMing us, we geek out with them and answer all their questions with utmost excitement. When we get a flood of new messages, it shows we are really doing something engaging. Our other favorite metric is high turnout for IG Lives. It's so cool to watch that engagement grow. People are literally tuning into our show. It’s so flattering and allows us to spread so much love and education.

Sara Kyurkchieva Founder, Orpheus Skin

We’re tracking different KPIs depending on the campaign’s objectives. We’re closely monitoring engagement rate versus reach to verify that we’re connecting with the audience most likely to be interested in our products and that our content is relevant to their interests. We are constantly optimizing our targeting. 

We put a lot of effort in developing creatives that are compelling, attention-grabbing, click-worthy, and have a potential to generate and nurture qualified leads. We track lead-generation KPIs such as CTR, link clicks to our website as well as its ability to meet the objectives on the landing page (add to carts, conversion, specific actions, etc.).

Ann McFerran Founder and CEO, Glamnetic

For us, we want to track out of how many people that actually viewed the page follow us. This is an important KPI for us to determine how attractive or engaging our page is for new potential followers coming in so we can continue to optimize content. We also keep track of all the other KPIs such as engagement rate, shares and tags to give us a pulse on our content and the brand.

Jordynn Wynn Co-Founder, Insert Name Here

I think one of the most important KPIs to track on social media is engagement rate. Engagement rate is one of the most important as it signals the effectiveness of your content and marketing efforts. High engagement means you are creating content that your followers are interested in and interacting with. It’s also great social proof for potential customers. 

When a prospective customer stops by your page and sees an engaged fan/customer base, it gives them confidence in your brand and products that they otherwise may not have had. In most cases, I think that engagement is more important than size of following as most millennial and gen Z customers understand that followers can be purchased by brands to seem more legitimate.

Nichole Wright Founder and CEO, Satrell Beauty

I think engagement is important to track because it allows me to see people’s reactions to my posts and gives me the opportunity to respond back to them. Connecting with followers or potential customers through Instagram is key because, if there isn’t any reaction to my content, then I realize it is not relevant.

Michael CANEPA Co-Founder, Kidskin

Since our No. 1 platform right now is TikTok, we keep a very close eye on it. Our first milestone was reaching 10,000 followers. Real followers with real engagement is key. Our goal right now is to get 300 to 500 likes per video. Our giveaways are very effective as well. We offer free product for followers who tag the most people. We’ve seen very good results with that.

Jennifer Freitas Founder, The Truth Beauty Company

Digital marketing is a necessity in this day and age. It is essentially breathing for a brand. Authentic engagement is a key indicator of a brand's strength. If the fans are interacting via social platforms, it is likely they are also purchasing. In fact, e-commerce data shows where traffic is being driven from. Commenting, shares and brand mentions are all indicators that a brand has a healthy base. Continuing to stoke and grow those actions is key if a brand is looking to expand.

Rachel Lambo CEO and Co-Founder, Sade Baron

I think there are many KPIs to consider. I think, for our brand, it is engagement and interaction with customers either on posts, Stories or direct messaging. That's super important to us as we always want to stay connected with our customer. Our social media goals are not tied to how many followers, but how much we can encourage and participate in and with our customers or visitors in conversations.

JAMIKA MARTIN Founder, Rosen Skincare

Engagement, always! Having strong engagement is so crucial to performance of content and overall sales. Having 50,000 followers but less than 300 likes and comments on a post is a huge difference to us from having 2,000 likes and comments on a post. 

Shani Darden Founder, Shani Darden Skin Care

We’ve been working on diversifying the content on our feed so have been keeping a close eye on our engagement metrics to better understand what type of content really resonates best with our audience. Establishing content pillars and analyzing how each of them perform have allowed us to invest more time and creativity into the narratives that really resonate with our audience. We’ve seen higher engagement lead to more impressions, so it’s helping our content get seen by more of our community.

Paayal Mahajan Founder, Essential Body Couture Skincare

Social media algorithms are easy to rig. They keep changing. Followers can be bought. For me, the greatest value comes from the direct engagement with my customers and potential customers, and in providing transparency and valuable education through my social media. My Instagram following is not large by influencer measures, but my level of engagement with my followers is extremely high and 100% organic in its nature. 

Social media is that beast that can be used to paint any kind of picture. I choose to use it for promoting values that matter to me: realistic standards of beauty, cutting the fluff for consumers, decoding jargon, ingredient education and empowering people to take control of their own well-being.

Melinda Chenault-Herron Founder, 103 Collection

We believe all KPIs are important to track social media. Engagement, reach, conversion, leads generation are all factors that we measure when evaluating our social media performance and have helped us determine what to post and how and where to share it.

Aleena Khan Co-Founder, CTZN Cosmetics

Regularly monitoring the percentage increase in engagement rates for both likes and comments is very important. What matters more than the number of followers is how many people actually engage with your posts. This shows true interest in your content and a true captivated audience rather than your posts appearing in front of individuals who are passively scrolling past. 

For example, if you notice that likes have increased by 15% this month and comments have increased by another 10%, you know you are doing something right with your content strategy and that people are genuinely interested.

Jessika Carter-Ross Owner and Founder, Madam J Beauty

Engagement is the most important KPI for my brand. I've always learned there's no point in having followers if they don't buy anything. While I don't have a huge following, I have a huge level of engagement. The amount of likes, shares, and comments I receive are outstanding and normally lead to sales. I do still want to continue gaining followers, but I'm more so focused on staying in touch with new and potential customers. 

Janna Ronert Co-Founder, Hush & Hush 

Growth is important as is engagement. Social media is the easiest platform to communicate with the outside world, especially in these times of social distancing. Seeing the constant engagement and talk in the beauty influencer communities about Hush & Hush has been wonderful. We constantly track and analyze the data and, again, see the numbers going up. Our Instagram has also caught the attention of major global beauty retailers, which has opened the door to relationships. To me, that is pretty cool and an indication that we are doing something right with our messaging and visual aesthetic.

Jennifer Edwards Creator and Chemist, Refinne

Authenticity is tough to represent as a KPI.  Social media reach isn’t always about the big numbers. Connection and depth matters. We pay attention to which social media channels are referring sales and examine the content that has been most successful with the conversions.

Kim Wileman CEO, as|if by Nassif and Cobuna Brands

We use several different KPIs to track performance. Socially, we track engagement, conversations, surveys and clicks from social posts. For our ambassadors, we track their engagement through attribution and how many clicks they have. Our ambassadors receive immediate cash commission based on the sales generated by clicks through their individual links. 

Data marketing and analysis are very important parts of our process in understanding engagement for our brands. We work with a data marketer and use specific tools for data analysis, which are helpful in advising where and when to pivot specific actions for engagement and sell-through.

SELMIN KARATAS Co-Founder, Kazani

Key performance indicators show big improvements and delivery times have been reduced. Right now, we are not using any key performance indicators as we are a very small startup. However, I gave my Instagram insights and Facebook statuses to an agency and, according to their analysis, they will give us recommendations on how to proceed as a small startup. Once we grow our customer base, we will need to utilize the KPI tool to track for our social media.

If you have a question you’d like Beauty Independent to ask beauty entrepreneurs, please send it to editor@beautyindependent.com.