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Top 3 tips for choosing KOLs on XiaoHongShu

Updated: Mar 12


Deciding on a KOL campaign is always a challenge for brands. There are so many KOLs to choose from and each has their own fan base and focus. Here are 3 tips to help you pick your KOLs:


What do Top, Medium, Micro KOLs do?


We need to understand that with a total user base of 100 million, it is quite different when it comes to classifying the tiers of KOLs. On Xiaohongshu, top tier KOLs are the ones having 500K or more followers. Medium KOLs followers is around 100K. Micro KOLs have around 5K below followers.



The advantage of using a Big KOL is that they have huge followings and reach, your brand will get a lot of exposure in a short period of time. This increased exposure can drive the audience to purchase your products, but it is rather a short-term impact


Using Medium KOLs does not necessarily mean it is less effective than using a big KOL because you can implement a quantity strategy. By using a group of medium KOLs, you can spread your brand across the platform. This will increase the impact of SEO and generate more word of mouth, which can help cultivate your potential customers. It could bring you a mid to long-term impact.


Although Micro KOLs seem to have a very small sphere of influence, being able to use them wisely could bring you surprise. In particular for brands which are completely new in the market and in China, we would always suggest them to use a butch of Micro KOLs in the initial stage when they landed on the platform.


Insider tips: Xiaohongshu is now giving more attention and resources to promote the Micro KOLs (with less than 5000 follower base). Try open the APP and have a look at the landing page, a considerable ratio of Micro KOLs are pushed to you rather than the really big ones.


In short, brands need to understand what they want from the KOL campaign.



User engagement


XiaoHongShu is a platform that emphasize content quality above all else. It’s actually common for small KOLs to have the good engagement with their posts, however, it highly depends on their content quality.


You need to find how the audience react to the posts of the KOLs. When users take time to write dedicated responses to posts, this indicates an active and dedicated fanbase. More importantly, the KOLs could interest your potential buyers. The users who are actively engaging with your KOL are the ones who are going to be purchasing your products.


Does the KOL write from their heart?


Again and again, XiaoHongShu is a content-driven platform, genuine content is more encouraging than the hard selling ones.


If a KOL often makes posts that are ‘hard-selling’, the users probably aren’t going to make the purchase, but also for XiaoHongShu, the platform might delete the posts or block the KOL. KOLs are monitored very closely by admins, who can clear their posts daily.


With this in mind, you need to pick KOLs that produce quality content that their followers love. The ideal structure is a KOL that posts as though they are a close friend of their followers, simply sharing their experience with the product and brand. Finding a KOL with a genuine tone of voice, is likely to be the most successful aspect of the campaign.


Final insider tips: The platform has just announced that all brand official accounts have to be verified, otherwise, all promotional activities of these accounts shall not be continued. On top, KOLs should apply as “Brand cooperated KOL” whenever they do any post for brands. The benefits of doing this is that you will now get to see more data on your campaign performance (and in actual, not being blocked by the platform….)