Learning as much as you can about the main Chinese social networks is the first step to successfully promoting your business in China. To do this, we will explain what Xiaohongshu is, and what role it plays as a major Chinese social network for all workers in the hospitality industry interested in establishing a presence in the Chinese tourism market.
1. What is Xiaohongshu?
Xiaohongshu, also known as Little Red Book or RED, is a Chinese application that brings together elements of e-commerce, user-generated content and product reviews, which functions as a social network. In the West, this social network is known as the Chinese version of Instagram.
Xiaohongshu was founded by Miranda Qu and Charlwin Mao in 2013 as an online travel guide for the Chinese outbound tourism market, providing a platform for users to evaluate products and share their shopping experiences with the community.
According to Wikipedia, 70% of users are under 35 years old, with the same percentage also being female. The importance of Generation Z is key for sales and promotion on Little Red Book, so collaboration with influencers specialized in these age groups can be decisive.
Main functions of Little Red Book
The functions of Xiaohongshu are mainly focused on social network aspects and e-commerce platform aspects, where users can:
- Post images and videos: users can post and view community content, in images or text with short videos, plus the ability to go live to interact with other users in real time. In this sense it is very similar to Kuaishou.
- Find posts: the app includes a search engine, as well as a search bar that links several topics, so that users can find posts and whatever they need in their search.
- Interact with users: users can comment, save, share and like posts, as well as follow other users and chat privately.
- In addition, as an online shopping platform, it features a great variety of products, and offers different promotions from time to time.
- Xiaohongshu has its own store, while bringing together more than 30,000 stores of different brands within its platform.
- Users can access the product page from live videos, community posts or from the shopping center, making the shopping process very easy.
2. The importance of having a presence on Xiaohongshu
The presence of foreign hotel businesses on Little Red Book is essential to attracting Chinese visitors. It should be noted that 74% of Chinese tourists choose their destination based on recommendations from social networks, compared to only 30% worldwide. In addition, 64% of the Chinese population use the Little Red Book social media platform.
For a business owner or manager interested in having an influx of Chinese tourists, having a presence on this social network is a must if your goal is to attract Chinese customers, which your direct competition may not be taking advantage of.
What types of business is Xiaohongshu suitable for?
As mentioned above, Xiaohongshu is a versatile and multifunctional social network that suits a wide range of businesses, including hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions, theme parks and specialty stores. It offers a variety of services and features that are specifically tailored to the needs of each type of business.
For small businesses such as restaurants or specialty stores, the most efficient approach is to advertise through influencers. For those in the tourism sector who run larger businesses such as hotels, tourist attractions or theme parks, it might be worthwhile, in addition to collaborating with influencers, to create their own official account.
3. How to promote your business on Little Red Book
Influencer marketing (indirect promotion)
Collaborating with influencers in China is the most efficient way to create a presence on Little Red Book, as you will be promoted by a Chinese influencer on the social network, and, therefore, it appears to be organic.
In addition, it is worth noting that influencers can also promote posts. The main purpose of collaborating with influencers is to promote, indirectly, and spread messages with commercial intentions. Here is more information on how to develop a marketing strategy in Little Red Book, especially for restaurants.
Promotion through an official account (direct promotion)
Through a company’s official account on Xiaohongshu, it is possible to direct users to the OTA platform or website to book or make a purchase.
The goal of promoting your services through an official Xiaohongshu account is to showcase content, products and your business story directly to Little Red Book users. This platform gives you a unique opportunity to connect directly with your audience, with commercial intent.
4. How to create an official Little Red Book account
Having an official account on Xiaohongshu is a sign of authenticity. It is the best way to interact with the community, increase brand recognition and boost sales. Brands can share news with their followers, publish content, sell products, view and comment on reviews.
To create an official account on Xiaohongshu, you need to follow the steps below:
1. Create a personal account: Before applying for an official account, you need to create a personal account.
2. Prepare documents: Certain documents must be collected to submit to Little Red Book, which are:
- Company name, logo and trademark.
- Chinese legal entity.
- Name, contact and signature of the owner.
3. Submit the application: Once the documents are ready, they should be sent to Xiaohongshu for review and approval. It is important to make sure to provide accurate and verifiable information.
4. Training and activation: If the application is approved, Xiaohongshu will open the official account and provide a training course to the company. This course helps users familiarize themselves with the platform, learn how to sell and optimize results.
It should be noted that the registration process for an official account on this social network is cheaper and less restrictive compared to other e-commerce and social media platforms in China, which makes Xiaohongshu an attractive option for brands wishing to enter the Chinese outbound tourism market.
As we have seen, it is crucial for your tourism-related business to have a presence in Little Red Book, as this will give it visibility in the Chinese outbound tourism market and increase the influx of Chinese customers. To achieve this, whatever type of business it is, it is essential to collaborate with influencers.
If you are interested in promoting your business on Xiaohongshu, connect with InfluChina through firstname.lastname@example.org, a social media agency in China that is dedicated to promoting businesses with tourist influx in Chinese social networks through influencers.
Frequently Asked Questions about Xiaohongshu
Xiaohongshu, also known as Little Red Book or RED, is a Chinese app that combines elements of e-commerce, user-generated content and product reviews. It functions as a social network and is referred to as the Chinese version of Instagram.
Xiaohongshu’s main functions include image and video posting, post search, interaction with other users and online shopping platform. It allows users to share content, interact with community posts and access a wide variety of products.
Having a presence on Xiaohongshu is crucial for hospitality businesses interested in attracting Chinese customers. 74% of Chinese tourists choose their destinations based on social media recommendations, and 64% of Chinese people use Xiaohongshu to choose their destinations. This is an opportunity to engage customers and outperform the competition.
Xiaohongshu suits a wide range of businesses, including hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions, theme parks and specialty stores. Each type of business can take advantage of Xiaohongshu’s features in a unique way and tailor their promotion strategy accordingly.
To promote your business on Xiaohongshu, there are two main ways. The first is through influencers, collaborating with them to promote your products or services indirectly. The second option is to create an official account for your brand on Xiaohongshu, which allows you to show content, products and the story of your business directly to the users of the platform.