From the outside looking in, the ecosystem of social platforms and digital channels in China can be daunting. Success in the market requires that brands and marketers navigate and determine the right mix. One of the most popular social media platforms, Little Red Book (Xiaohongshu) is an important step in many Chinese consumers’ pre-purchase journey, becoming a requisite part of the China beauty equation.
- Founded in 2013, the shopping app combines the visual layout of Instagram with the in-depth and authentic user reviews of Amazon.
- The platform allows users to discover and review products, enabling them to share their shopping experiences.
- The platform has grown to 80 million monthly active users and reached over 200 million registered users in January 2019.
- Users are predominately young and female between 18 and 35 years old, with a significant number of them living in China’s first- and second-tier cities.
- There are two ways for foreign brands to leverage the platform: as a social platform to improve brand visibility and interact with potential consumers, and as a cross-border e-commerce marketplace to sell products.
- A new brand partnership platform consisting of over 3,000 brands allows bloggers, brands, and content agencies to communicate directly with each other.
- A year ago, to work with a micro KOL of less than 10K followers cost about 1000 RMB [$150]; that has increased to 10,000 [$1500].
- Kristina Li a.k.a. Liwaner, a KOL with over 1 million followers, charges 40-55K RMB ($5,825–$8,000) for a post.
- There are strict rules controlling the platform’s overall environment. For example, KOLs have to hit a certain amount of followers and monthly traffic to be able to accept ads. And for every sponsored post, a KOL has to create 4 organic posts. These changes have increased the cost of sponsored posts.
- Quality short videos and posts that mention more than one brand get greater visibility. Brands can link their Red page to Tmall (Tmall’s parent company, Alibaba, invested in Little Red Book in 2018).
Photo: via Little Redbook