Little Red Book (Xiaohongshu) and how to use it as a tool

Little Red Book (Xiaohongshu) is a social commerce app, launched in Shanghai in 2013 by Miranda Qu and Charlwin Mao. It began as an app where users could share overseas shopping tips and submit reviews about the products. In 2014, they have set up a cross-border e-commerce platform, named “RED store”, which connects customers with overseas products directly through the app. According to their website, in January 2019 they have reached 200 million registered users. Over 50% of users, are under 30 years old, and 80% of them are woman.

So, what differs Little Red Book from other shopping platforms and why is it so attractive for global brands?

Xiaohongshu is a social platform, where users communicate by leaving reviews and recommending products, but it is also an and e-commerce platform, through which users can purchase directly those products they see in the reviews. The app is focused on beauty and fashion, so the target users are young urban woman, who are willing to spend their money for quality products. Given the fact that Chinese generation Z, together with Millennials are considered as the spending force of China and Little Red Book is extremely popular within them, it makes the app perfect marketing tool for foreign brands who would like to target young audience.

Little Red Book functions in a way that users can post product photos with comments and reviews for other users to read, comment and share on their boards. You can also save posts you like, or subscribe to follow a particular user/brand which you like. The app also allows users to share posts on WeChat and Weibo. Based on the search history and users browsing, the app creates a customized homepage for all their users. The Explore feature works based on the same algorithm. The app focuses on word of mouth advertising, user-generated content and online community-building.

Xiaohongshu provides two options for businesses who want to sell their products through the platform – let Xiaohongshu pre-purchase products from you or open your own brand store. It currently doesn’t accept individual sellers. 

Here are some tips how to use this app as a marketing tool:

#Work with KOLs

Since the app is based on users reviews and recommendation, working with right KOLs can be crucial here. Fan Bingbing and other Chinese celebrities have joined the app, which immediately boosted apps credibility. She shares her beauty tips with her fans frequently.  Every face mask she ever endorsed was sold out on the platform.

There is a huge number of influencers on Xiaohongshu, if the post is shared by a big number of users, it can go viral. It is very important to choose the right KOLs, and we are here to help you with that!

#Be responsive in the comment section

Since this is a social commerce app, consumers love the communication factor. Be sure to reply to their comments, give advices and communicate with them, in order to make them feel important.

#Produce quality content

It is very important that your posts are good quality. The content has to be diverse and catchy. You can also connect with your audience by setting up a “Hot topic page”. We can not forget how much users love to be engaged. We have a great example about Jeeps campaign for Internationals women day.

Very important thing brands should be aware is that this app is different then Taobao and Tmall, and it attracts users who value authenticity and quality. It provides great opportunity for high-quality brands.

At Tolmao Group we are dedicated to helping international companies comfortably adjust to marketing for the Chinese consumer. Our years of expertise are essential in navigating the world of e-commerce and brand imaging for the virtual consumer world.  

For example, we can help connect you to a key opinion leader (KOL) who is an app user with a large dedicated following that can help you communicate your brand to thousands of other users.  We can also help you to plan your campaign around special Xiao Hong Shu events to maximize your brand’s reach.

Let us know if you want to set your company up on Xiao Hong Shu or want help with anything else that you might find challenging while here in China.  At Tolmao Group we are here to help.