Hitting hurdles on Xiaohongshu (RED)? Why don't others?
While Xiaohongshu is becoming one of the most popular apps amid Chinese millennials, a large number of new brands thrust themselves into the platform in order to reach their targeted customers. We have heard a lot of buzz from brands, mostly about their suffering from mastering the platform.
Hurdle 1: How do I open a shop on XiaoHongShu?
Some brands found it difficult even to start on Xiaohongshu because they are not sure how to open a shop or got rejected by the platform. To ensure the overall platform quality, Xiaohongshu requests certain supporting documents which include brand authorisation, business license and some more. There are also different types of shops and certain regulations apply. For example, Traders may get rejected if they carry a single brand.
Advice: Identify what type of shops you should apply and what are the respective regulations before working on the application process. Find out what exactly the platform requires before handing in your documents. Get someone who is experienced working on the whole process for you to save your time and effort and ultimately lower your risk.
Hurdle 2: Why did my posts get deleted?
Many asked us why their posts got deleted frequently, some even got their accounts suspended. Let’s not forget the core value of Xiaohongshu as a platform is that, it is a community for users to share good things. The logic is to encourage genuine sharing while avoiding too many traditional advertisements. It happens that the platform removes posts from time to time if they found posts too much an ad instead of personal sharing, and suspend accounts which post too frequently on certain topic.
Like it or not, Xiaohongshu is serious about the policies they put forward.
Advice: Instead of trying to discourage everyone from creating content about their brands and products, the platform aims to maintain it’s healthy content-driven sharing community which is the breeding ground of the high quality consumers crowd. To remove this hurdle, make sure you understand thoroughly the policies of the platform (Here is a quick guide). Be truly localised when creating your content. It has to be both personalised and localised.
For example, a post talking about the function and ingredients of a specific hair care supplement product received way less user engagement than a post comparing the different methods to protect our hair: massaging vs diet therapy vs taking hair care supplements.
Hurdle 3: How can my brand stand out?
On this particular channel, it is common to see that brands feel more lost and are not sure what to do. Based on the fact that it is a highly localised and comparatively new channel, many do not have the experiences working on it or it is hard for many people to understand how things work. (Well…..I also think that it is because our generation has slight difficulties in understanding the millennials….) Many failed to make their brand or product approachable to the users or find the appropriate way to approach their targeted consumers.
Advice: First and foremost, decide on your selling points based on the Chinese consumer prospective. While having the perception that your products should be for ladies who want to keep young and therefore use anti-aging skin care, if you run a market analysis and competitor investigation, you may be surprised by the fact that ladies at early 20s are in love with anti-aging products. Brands who run a competitor analysis before drawing their strategy usually get a better idea on how to position themselves and are able to more precisely dig out their selling point.
Try to stand out by creating word of mouth and gradually get your brand recommended by their peers.
Next, work with someone who is specialised and experienced and come up with a complete marketing strategy for 3 (minimal) to 6 months (ideal). We come across with brands who launched 1 campaign then gave up. Millennials are born and living in the era which information is highly accessible. They are well educated on the options available to them. Try to stand out by creating word of mouth and gradually get your brand recommended by their peers. There is a new French leather goods brand gaining its increasing popularity on the platform and consumers start generating sharing posts on their own initiatives and recommend the brand to others on the platform.