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Xiaohongshu, as "China's Instagram", has become the leader among social medias.
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Xiaohongshu, lifestyle inspiration for Chinese youth: Marketing strategy on social media

What is Xiaohongshu?

Originating as a forum for members to exchange shopping experiences abroad in 2013, Xiaohongshu has now developed into a social shopping platform. By fusing social networking with e-commerce capabilities, it facilitates product discovery, discussion, and direct purchase for consumers. With thousands of users and a strong tool for influencers and businesses to communicate with customers, Xiaohongshu has become a major participant in China’s social environment, especially among young people. This article will reveal the reasons why it’s so popular nowadays and how brands market successfully through it.

Xiaohongshu’s specialty: “Grass-planting”

Xiaohongshu has rapidly expanded its influence through “grass-planting,” which means encouraging someone to buy products. It focuses on the interaction of ideas by people sharing their true feelings about products, and people can get credible feedback about products from them. By cooperating with key opinion leaders and consumers, this operational pattern and influence are amplified. Compared to traditional advertising, people are more willing to trust the real experiences of others.

On Xiaohongshu, everything can be “grass-planting.” It can identify over 100 industries and 200 thousand subdivided product units. It can help brands find more refined customer groups, deeply understand consumer psychology through data algorithm analysis, and achieve product and customer matching.

As Xiaohongshu has its own shopping platform, once users are “grass-planting,” they can purchase them directly instead of using other shopping platforms, because bloggers can put shopping links on their posts. This simplifies the purchasing process for users, and Xiaohongshu can also improve products based on customers’ feedback.

Content marketing on Xiaohongshu: Resonate with young people

The rise of Xiaohongshu reflects its innovation and deep resonance with Generation Z. Young people can find content that matches their values and anything they are interested in. Their lives are colorful and changeable, and they also prefer to explore new fashionable trends, which is also conducive to content innovation.

Since young people enjoy travelling, cheaper B&Bs have become popular too. B&B is also a way to reflect the aesthetics of life; the so-called “exquisite life” is exactly such. Xiaohongshu was keenly aware of the trend and listed many famous B&Bs on its e-commerce platform for people to book.

Catering to young people's preferences, Xiaohongshu has led to the explosion of B&B.

Influencer marketing on Xiaohongshu: KOLs and influencers

It’s the most critical element for the success of its marketing. Due to the word-of-mouth marketing characteristics of Xiaohongshu, influencers’ words are very important for users’ opinions. Just like “grass-planting,” people choose unfamiliar products based only on the evaluation of others. For brands, they need to find KOLs who share your values, and cooperate with them to gradually connect with a larger audience. They can be more productive by co-creating content and commenting on each other. Just like Instagram, if KOLs compliment their product in public, it will greatly increase their awareness.

Famous fitness blogger Pamela also has its account at Xiaohongshu. She is a typical example of KOL and influencer.

Xiaohongshu’s innovation: Online + Offline

At the same time, Xiaohongshu continues to expand itself, beginning to transform online communities into offline activities. For example, Xiaohongshu held a “Street Life Festival” in Shanghai, including concerts, market exhibitions and inviting influencers to participate. I believe these offline activities can bring more real life sharing to people and promote the characteristics of Xiaohongshu as a community platform for new lifestyle trends.

"Street Life Festival" in Shanghai.  People are sharing this activity on Xiaohongshu.
Picture of wujiayang


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