With the boom of the beauty industry, various beauty apps and forums have emerged. Among them, Xiaohungshu, which had transformed from a simple beauty sharing platform to the world’s largest consumer review database (CRD) and e-commerce platform, has over 100 million users. Wonder how it became an instant hit and continues to be popular to this day? Many people will simply attribute its success to its KOL marketing strategy. But Xiaohungshu is not alone in using such strategy, so this would not be the reason for its spread. To understand how it stands out on the market, Wisers has conducted an in-depth analysis with WisersAnalytics.

Top 10 Xiaohongshu Posts (by WisersAnalytics)

According to the analysis, the major users of the app are young women born in the 1990s who enjoy the finesse in life. Xiaohungshu has developed a business cycle, starting with the selection of beauty products to the sharing of user experience, all the way to triggering purchases. Contrary to what many people might assume, it is not the KOLs who have contributed to the popularity of Xiaohungshu. WisersAnalytics found that ordinary people’s sharing of their shopping strategies and evaluations of beauty products have become the shopping guide for fellow app users. Moreover, the number of followers a KOL has is no guarantee for engagement volume, as the high engagement mostly came from user-generated content (UGC), which had triggered the buying sprees.

Posts with subject lines clearly indicating the author of the posts and the advantages of products in being the most economical, most convenient or easy to use usually had higher click rates and “save rates. This also shows that posts uploaded by ordinary people, especially those about shopping strategies and product reviews that can hit the crunch point, are the most favored contents on Xiaohungshu. Users can save these posts to read later anytime, anywhere. Most importantly, they will be induced to make the purchases, thus completing the cycle of “read-save-buy”.

Top 10 Xiaohongshu KOL in Beauty Industry (by WisersAnalytics)

WisersAnalytics analyzed the posts under two hot topics, namely “cosmetics” and “skin-care”, and found that that the most popular accounts are those belonging to ordinary people rather than KOLs. Fellow app users tend to take ordinary people’s reviews of beauty products to their heart, rather than the ads of KOLs, as they expect the products recommended by people of similar statuses and experiences to be affordable and of good quality.

WisersAnalytics also discovered that the saved contents are the key to driving engagement, and most of the saved contents are those that can provide answers to users’ most pressing need to improve their appearance. Users gradually became accustomed to relying on Xiaohungshu as their everyday shopping and lifestyle guide.

On the surface, Xiaohungshu has become the market leader almost hands down. However, WisersAnalytics found that Xiaohongshu has in fact made a lot of efforts to facilitate the sharing of shopping tips and prompting users to buy the recommended products.

For example, in order to increase engagement, Xiaohungshu has launched lucky draws with the KOLs on its platform to attract followers. Xiaohungshu’s official beauty account will group high-quality UGC into one topic and add hashtags to drum up click rates.  Xiaohungshu will also collaborate with brands to give away special perks to users for branding purpose.

Besides, the platform also resorts to celebrity effect. Actresses from a hot drama series are invited to join Xiaohungshu as beauty bloggers and share their lives and make-up routines on the platform, thus attracting their fleets of followers. Their favorite skin-care and cosmetic products will be distributed as perks.

As sharing economy sweeps across the globe, Xiaohungshu has become all the rage as it facilitates sharing among ordinary people and promotes economy based on word-of-mouth marketing. To attract viewership, the UGCs are usually carefully packaged in terms of preciseness of language used and content quality and appeal. These are all great research topics warranting our attention.

Xiaohungshu has gone viral thanks to big data that provide a clear picture of target audience and what hit them in a pitch.

The case study of Xiaohungshu has shown the importance of applying data analysis and technology to marketing and publicity. Based on more than 20 years of developing Chinese all-media information databases and semantic resources, WisersAnalytics offers a wide range of analytical tools tailored to address customers’ business needs. There are tens of thousands of topics every day in the beauty industry, and it is difficult to track them one by one manually. However, through the AI system of WisersAnalytics, the most important and relevant topics are identified to help customers find new opportunities.

In the era of information explosion and time fragmentation, accurate marketing can be achieved and marketing effect can be maximized with the help of data and technology. Leveraging big data and AI, WisersAnalytics can predict the input of an online platform more intuitively and multi-dimensionally. It can help companies achieve precise marketing planning in the early stage, and bring better results. WisersAnalytics helps companies connect users to the market, which will in turn help speed up the development of businesses and brands.