Feb 2019

Xiao Hong Shu (Little Red Book) recently announced that any user with more than 1000 followers is eligible to become an official “brand partner”.

The company previously launched a platform for brands and brand partners to find each other.

What does this mean for brands and digital marketers? First, Xiao Hong Shu is jumping head first into the era of nano-influencer marketing. Second, KOL marketing in China has stepped up its game and becomes more sophisticated than ever.
 

Screenshots from the Xiao Hong Shu app

 

Xiao Hong Shu: A Chinese E-commerce App with A Thriving Community around UGC

Founded in 2013, the app has over 150 million registered users and 50 million monthly active users, with around 60% of the users under 30 years old and around 70 percent of female users, a majority of them living in toptier cities in China. The app is dominated by beauty, fashion products and nutrition supplements from international brands, with hotels and restaurants being extremely popular topics as well. The secret recipe of this successful app is striking the right balance between a social media community and an e-commerce platform. The app allows users to share their reviews of products and experience, known as “Notes”, with multiple hashtags and links to online shops within the app’s universe.

 

How to Optimise Your Brand Strategy in 2019

At its core, Xiao Hong Shu relies on user reviews and word of mouth. Even if your brand hasn’t run any campaigns in the app, there could already be users sharing their thoughts on your products. This is because savvy Chinese consumers are always looking for something new.
 
The 5 following insights will help you navigate the everchanging landscape of consumers on Xiao Hong Shu.

1.  New launched official KOL cooperation platform of Xiao Hong Shu

Xiao Hong Shu launched its own content cooperation platform on January 2nd 2019, which enables verified brands, KOLs and MCN (MultiChannel Networks) to connect and receive direct data on their performance. Brands can shortlist their target KOLs among 8000 verified Xiao Hong Shu influencers with tags and with their past 30 days performance record. This new builtin feature makes the entire process much more transparent and efficient as analytics are directly available on the platform for the brands.

2.  Keywords and Social Search Optimization on Xiao Hong Shu

This should be taken as seriously as your SEO on Baidu if not even more. Xiao Hong Shu’s algorithms take comments, favourites and reposts into account for the rankings. Brands should give clear instructions on what keywords to use in the title and first paragraph of KOL posts. The first 24 hours of a post (Note) are very important as the system will determine whether to promote the post or not.

3.  Location Matters

One of the main searches on the top menu of the app is called “Nearby”, and it allows users to discover content close to their geographic location. Hotels, restaurants and popup events can benefit from this function.

4.  How to Select the Right KOL For Your Brand?

KOLs are roughly divided into four categories: toptier, midtier, micro and longtail. Toptier KOLs on Xiao Hong Shu have 300k+ followers, midtier range from 80K300K, micro range from 20k80k, while nanoinfluencers have a minimum 1000 followers requirement. The launch of the new platform enables KOLs to directly share the performance of each post and other statistics to the brands. Of course, make sure to select the KOLs who represent your target audience the best.

5.  Micro-KOL, Product Seeding Strategy

The community of Little Red Book is built on thousands and thousands of genuine reviews from its users. Therefore the importance of microKOL’s and even nano-influencers cannot be underestimated. Everyone with an opinion has the ability to influence their own audience, and sometimes that opinion matters most. Product Seeding to microKOLs (giving out free products) can sometimes yield favourable results and establish a relationship with KOLs in a costeffective way, however, this should be handled carefully to ensure the engagement stays genuine and doesn’t dilute the brand.

 

If you want support in defining or improving your Xiao Hong Shu strategy, reach out to us! Our Chinese social media team will walk you through the ins and outs of this platform, and ensure your brand has the best possible visibility.