Xiaohongshu, the place where Influencers are
If you want to become an Influencer or Key Opinion Leader in China you need to know Xiaohongshu, the social network where Kim Kardashian play.
Real content and an active audience that generates engagement are the winning cards of the sharing community app in China
When it comes to Chinese apps, everyone knows what WeChat or Douyin (TikTok) is, but many ignore the existence of one of the most popular social networks in China: we’re talking about Xiaohongshu
Xiaohongshu (literally Little Red Book), also known simply as RED, makes its first appearance in 2013 as an online sharing community platform focused on cosmetics and beauty. Today the app covers macro topics such as fashion, food, travel, maternity and lifestyle. A range of themes very similar to those on Instagram so to speak.
Recently, Xiaohongshu has seen the number of influencers and KOL (key opinion leaders) on the social network increase exponentially, also thanks to an investment of about 300 million dollars from Alibaba. Among them also international names, given the presence of KOLs like Kim Kardashian, which makes the land even more fertile for brands that want to strengthen their online presence.
Xiaohongshu has more than 90 million users, most of whom are young people born in the 1990s. Since its operation as a sharing platform is not comparable to other tools, let’s analyze together what is different from the other apps in vogue today.
Influencers and users communicate without obstacles
Xiaohongshu’s first strength lies in high quality User Generated Content. Unlike other social networks RED encourages the sharing of opinions and recommendations based on personal experience: the informative contents are very detailed, and the final rendering gives the idea of a real and authentic story very appreciated by the users.
Unlike a simple recommendation platform, on Xiaohongshu it is very rare to find fake or phantom follower profiles
RED’s engagement is based on direct interaction with the audience that generates conversations, asks detailed questions and shares personal experiences. Many Chinese celebrities have started using the platform to recommend cosmetics and outfits by eliminating any communication constraint between the influencer and a common user.
Another point that encourages its use is the ability to purchase the products reviewed directly on the promoter’s online store: just click on the recommended product tag in the post and proceed directly to the purchase without bouncing on other eCommerce platforms. A bit like Instagram aims to do today.
The rules of Xiaohongshu: sowing, cultivating, harvesting
Xiaohongshu aims to represent a real Little Red Book, a guide to browse on your smartphone, where to find the most varied advice on lifestyle and where users are not just passive users of a service but real actors.
Those who know Xiaohongshu also know the three key words that best represent the process of interaction with the platform: 种草 (sow), 长 草 (growth) and 拔草 (collect).
To «sow» means to make one’s opinion available on a product that has stimulated one’s own interest: a sharing of a real experience.
After having thrown the seed it must be born and grown: buying a product only because it is advertised in a single post may not be convincing. If instead of that product one continues to speak and many comments / opinions are added, his reputation rises along with the probability of purchase.
The «collection» consists therefore in the final phase of purchase of the product which, in turn, can lead the user to become a «sower» himself.
Xiaohongshu explained to Westerners: it is a platform that combines the collection boards of Pinterest, Instagram and an eCommerce assembled in a single place where the new generations choose the next trends to follow.
A very high positioning potential for brands that can focus their promotional activities on the social sharing community rather than on the pure and sterile eCommerce.