How to Increase Followers on XiaoHongShu

Jun 5, 2024

How to Increase Followers on XiaoHongShu

Looking to expand your brand's reach in China? XiaoHongShu is a key player in the social media world, with millions seeking advice on what to buy and how to live their best life.


With a community of 300 million, it's a prime spot for customer engagement and influencer collaborations.


Struggling to get noticed on XiaoHongShu? Whether it's low traffic, fleeting customers, or lackluster engagement, we've got you covered. Our strategies are designed to increase your followers, foster meaningful relationships, and elevate your brand in this dynamic marketplace.


Practical Tips to Increase Followers on XiaoHongShu

Leverage Niche Content Creation

People love consuming content that addresses their specific needs and interests. This is why it's important to identify a niche and offer valuable ideas and information tailored to particular problems that users face. 


To increase your follower count on XiaoHongShu, consider specializing in a niche area to demonstrate your expertise effectively. Instead of covering broad topics, hone in on a specific niche that aligns with your audience's preferences.


For instance, a beauty brand can narrow the focus to areas like sustainable beauty practices or skincare routines designed for specific skin types. 


You can try publishing a series of niche-specific posts such as "Vegan Skincare Routines" or "Minimalist Fashion for Urban Professionals" to maintain consistent engagement with your followers. 


Stick to a theme and your content will draw in folks who can't wait to see what you'll share next on XiaoHongShu.


Optimize for XiaoHongShu’s Algorithm

To improve your presence and follower count on XiaoHongShu while boosting follower interaction, it's important to optimize your content based on the platform's algorithm. Understanding how XiaoHongShu prioritizes content is key to enhancing visibility and engagement. 


  • A Higher Number of Likes & Comments, Higher Ranking of post

Xiaohongshu’s algorithm prioritizes content that actively engages users through things like likes, comments, and shares. It’s crucial to create engaging content that boosts user interaction rather than solely performing aggressive spamming sales strategies. 


By focusing on user engagement, you can enhance both engagement metrics and conversion rates of your content effectively.


  • Engage with Hot Trends and Topics

The platform tends to give higher exposure to content discussing trending topics. To enhance user engagement with your brand, it’s incredibly important to leverage monitoring tools for trend analysis, popular topics, and hashtag exploration.


The Xiaohongshu Official Content Center is a great place to find trending topics. Here’s a quick guide on how to use the XiaoHongShu Content Centre to find trending topics:


1. On the Content Center page (創作中心), find “Post Inspiration” (筆記靈感).

2. Click to explore official and trending topics such as curated content, food, beauty, fashion, and travel.

3. Brands can stay updated on trending issues and publish related content to boost visibility and engagement within the app (while ensuring alignment with the brand's image and values).


Additionally, some third-party tools such as Huitun Data (灰豚數據), Chanmama (蟬媽媽), and Xinhong (新紅) assist in monitoring trending articles, popular brands, and influencer rankings.


These tools offer comprehensive data services including analytics and monitoring for brand campaigns, organizations, and influencers, covering trending topics and providing valuable insights.


  • Posting Content at the Optimal Time

Find the optimal times to connect with users by identifying when your target audience is most engaged. According to the Nielsen IQ Consumer Research conducted in 2023, XiaoHongShu’s user activity patterns vary throughout the day and night, with peak daytime hours between 9 am and 3 pm, and evening hours between 5 pm and 9 pm.

The more active users there are, the greater the chances of your posts being seen and interacted with. So, posting consistently at the appropriate times is crucial for maximizing exposure and engagement.


Despite this, brands are encouraged to try posting at different times to discover the best hours for reaching their target audience. This is because different niches and sub-niches have different engagement times.


They can then establish a regular posting schedule based on these findings to keep followers interested and maintain visibility in their feeds.


Engage with Micro-Influencers

In China's marketing scene, 'Seeding' (種草) is a strategy where people recommend products to inspire purchases. Think about it like users, bloggers, and influencers posting their experiences with products or services.


By partnering with Xiaohongshu influencers, you can increase your brand's visibility and reach the right audience. Collaborating with Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) and Key Opinion Consumers (KOCs) in your niche can help you connect with an engaged and interested community.


  • Difference between KOL & KOC

Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) and Key Opinion Consumers (KOCs) represent two key influencer types on Xiaohongshu. Typically, KOCs have follower counts exceeding 5,000, with many hovering around 10,000 followers.In contrast, KOLs' follower counts range from 50,000 to 500,000 based on their influencer status. Prominent influencers and celebrity figures on the platform may boast millions of followers. 


KOLs are viewed as authorities, focusing on product introductions and reviews in their content. On the other hand, KOCs, being regular users, share experiences authentically, resulting in more relatable content. This is also known as user-generated content.


When strategizing promotional efforts, choosing between collaborating with KOCs, KOLs, or a combination should be guided by the brand's growth stage, characteristics, and promotional budget.


  • How can brands select suitable influencers?

Influencers who align with a brand's values can help connect with their dedicated followers by offering authentic recommendations. The challenge in collaborating with influencers on Xiaohongshu is choosing the right ones.


Brands often focus too much on the number of followers, which can lead to overlooking an influencer's creative abilities. Viral content is frequently created by micro-influencers with smaller followings!


Other than all that, brands need to ensure an influencer's style matches their brand's image. This helps maintain a consistent brand message during collaborations and effectively reaches the intended audience.


  • Dandelion(蒲公英) - Official Creator-Business Platform for Collaboration


So, how can brands effectively filter and select the right KOLs/KOCs and match them with preferred influencers for business partnerships? The answer is Dandelion.


Dandelion (蒲公英) is a platform on Xiaohongshu primarily focused on commercial promotion and partnerships between brands and bloggers. The platform offers data insights, analytical capabilities, and real-time performance tracking, providing an efficient collaboration space for businesses and bloggers. 


Brands can select bloggers based on their niche, style of content, and specified pricing range, initiating partnership invitations accordingly. The ranking of bloggers is determined by a real-time combination of metrics such as followers, likes, saves, comments, shares, and followings.


By collaborating with KOLs and KOCs through Dandelion, businesses can make use of their fan base and knowledge to grow followers and boost engagement on Xiaohongshu.


Through Dandelion's components like the "Brand Tagging Component (品牌標記組件)," "Comment Section Component (評論區組件)," and "Interactive Components (互動組件)" provide a range of interactive functionalities that can enhance participation and exposure rates.


This contributes to effectively cultivating brand product engagement and product seeding (種草) at a profound level.


User-Generated Content and Contests

Xiaohongshu (Little Red Book) serves as a community-driven platform and a sharing and shopping application targeted at young users, with User-Generated Content (UGC) comprising 90% of its content.


Consumers perceive it as a trusted source for product reviews. UGC content on Xiaohongshu is thus highly favored and has become a crucial means for brands to engage users and convey brand value. 


  • Brand-Initiated Topics & Campaigns

Brands can encourage users to generate User-Generated Content (UGC) linked to the brand through launching topics and campaigns. 


For example, they can introduce initiatives aligned with particular holidays or themes, like Chinese Internet Valentine's Day on May 20 or Double 11 (雙十一) on November 11, encouraging users to engage by sharing UGC and providing incentives.


Additionally, brands on Xiaohongshu can repost and display user-generated content on their official profiles to boost authenticity, nurturing community engagement and loyalty.


They can organize contests and giveaways to draw in users who may not be part of the brand's typical audience.


Develop contests that encourage followers to interact with your content or generate their own posts using a designated hashtag. This approach can enhance visibility and increase follower numbers.


  • Host Campaign with Official Tools of Xiaohongshu

There is an official lottery feature on Xiaohongshu that businesses can leverage. Brands can post notes with lottery components (抽獎插件) through a Professional Account, initiating customized lottery events to engage followers more effectively.


During lottery events, brands can encourage people to create and share their own content. This could be anything from photos to reviews, all while using the brand's related hashtags.


When you combine this user-generated content with your brand's promotional events, like lotteries, it helps to spread the word about your brand on the platform and grabs more attention from users.


  • UGC Content Advertisement

Xiaohongshu also offers UGC advertising placement services, allowing brands to merge their brand messaging with UGC content to enhance user awareness and affinity towards the brand. 


UGC ads utilize social elements such as user-generated images, videos, and comments tied to the brand's offerings.


On Xiaohongshu, influencers can work collaboratively with brands to craft UGC ads that align with the brand's specifications. Brands can choose to feature UGC content in Xiaohongshu's recommended sections or search results for broader exposure. 


By launching UGC ad campaigns, brands can leverage user-generated content to elevate brand visibility and reputation, attracting more user attention and purchases.


Analyze Data and Adapt

By utilizing data analysis tools, businesses and brands can gain insights into Xiaohongshu user profiles, popular content, and trends, enabling them to develop more precise marketing strategies and promotional campaigns.


  • By Using the Platform’s Official Tools

The official Xiaohongshu analytics tool assists in analyzing brand sentiment and monitoring data. It helps track important metrics such as fan growth, content engagement, and topic interaction, providing insights for better marketing decisions.


Brands need to keep an eye on these metrics and adapt their strategies to stay ahead.


While the official tool offers some great data, it's a good idea to use additional third-party tools for a more complete and precise analysis.


  • By Using 3rd Party Analytic Tools

Besides the official data analysis tool provided by Xiaohongshu, several third-party data monitoring tools like Xinhong (新紅) and Guoji Qiangua (果集千瓜) can help you perform performance analysis and track data effectively.


These tools offer extensive and detailed data analysis along with platform monitoring services to meet diverse brand and operational requirements.


Third-party tools can enhance the official data analysis tool by integrating their algorithms with the existing data, allowing for comprehensive monitoring of trending articles, search keyword rankings, popular brands, and influencer standings.


  • Optimize and Adapt data with A/B Testing

Aside from monitoring performance trends, it's vital to refine your marketing approach on Xiaohongshu through data analysis and the application of new insights for forthcoming campaigns. 


After reviewing the performance report, brands should engage in A/B testing by creating varied ad versions with distinct elements that play a crucial role, such as ad copy, visuals, hashtags, or posting times.


This method helps pinpoint the most effective combination and optimize your promotional strategy on the platform accordingly.


Community Building and Interaction

As we’ve mentioned earlier, active engagement is key to attracting users and building relationships. Xiaohongshu prefers to promote content with high interaction rates to users. 


According to official data, XiaoHongShu notes are considered high-quality if the click-through rate is ≥11% or the interaction rate is ≥3%. Interaction metrics include likes, saves, comments, shares, bullet comments (彈幕), and more. 


Therefore, brands should engage in active interactions with users, such as responding to comments, addressing user inquiries, and actively participating in discussions initiated by users and the platform itself.


This strategy can also help establish a positive brand image and foster close connections with users, enhancing trust and loyalty towards the brand.


Brands can spark discussions by posing questions within the note's content or comments section. They can also utilize secondary accounts to actively participate in comment interactions, prompting responses and fostering increased user engagement.


Furthermore, content themes and keywords should be precise and aligned with user needs to attract targeted audiences for clicks.


The higher the probability of being clicked by users, the greater the chance of being recommended to other users, thereby securing a better display position in search results and triggering a cycle.


Utilize Cross-Platform Promotion

To engage users on Xiaohongshu, brands can create interesting content. They can also use other social media platforms like WeChat, Weibo, and Douyin to promote this content and drive traffic to Xiaohongshu, reaching a wider audience.


Brands can run cross-platform campaigns, like voting contests, where users participate across different platforms.

For example, a contest could involve WeChat, Weibo, and Douyin, with prizes based on total votes. This encourages users to engage on all platforms, increasing brand visibility and fan base.


We at Prizm, for instance, organized a campaign for the City University of Hong Kong across Xiaohongshu, WeChat, and Weibo.


Towards the end of the campaign, we demonstrated that promoting across platforms can amplify participation and boost brand exposure!


Additionally, we ran WeChat red envelope events (微信紅包) for CityUHK, distributing red envelopes on WeChat while using XiaoHongShu as promotional support. This helped us gain over 2,000 new followers during the event.


Educational and Informative Content

In Xiahongshu, "Gan Huo" (乾貨) posts are one of the most popular and engaging topics. "Gan Huo" refers to high-quality original content with concise and practical insights, allowing people to feel a sense of achievement in acquiring knowledge and value. 

It's not surprising that these types of notes are highly sought after. Brands can create successful "Gan Huo" articles by including a variety of brand-related information points, which is crucial for their success.


The following three content styles are commonly utilized by brands and bloggers on Xiaohongshu for knowledge-based content:


  • Collection (合集)

Collection is popular on Xiaohongshu because it works for almost all bloggers and brands. The larger and more diverse the collection, the more likely users are to save and share the content.


How can brands write collection content? Images or videos are common forms for collections, and the cover image can serve as an overall display of the collection items.


For example, a makeup brand can showcase the top six products favored by mature women, with the cover photo combining images of these six products. Brands can also highlight key products in prominent positions.


Regarding content, brands can emphasize product selling points such as price, ingredients, and other information that directly addresses the pain points of customers.


Additionally, brands can create collections based on product series, effectiveness, and characteristics of target customers, and make content and recommendations from the user's perspective to attract clicks, reading, saving, sharing, and ultimately purchasing.


  • Reviews

Reviews are similar to collections, while here's the twist: reviews focus on recommending mainly one product. Brands can use ratings to showcase the perks and unique features of their products.


For instance, imagine a health supplement brand offering a range of whitening pills. In reviews, the brand can put one whitening pill to the test based on metrics like usage instructions, duration, and its effects.


Through these insights in the review note, users can pick products that match their skin type and requirements, combining personal considerations with review findings for informed choices.


  • Ke Pu (科普)

Ke Pu (科普) refers to the educational note conveying technical knowledge in the brand's relevant field to users simply and understandably, avoiding complex jargon and dull content.


When brands compile educational content, it should be presented in a way that is easily comprehensible to the general public. The content should focus on user experiences and pain points to prevent it from becoming just another mundane post. 


For example, skincare brands can publish Ke Pu notes on skin care topics, starting with common issues that customers may face when selecting, purchasing, and using products. This approach helps clarify doubts while showcasing how the brand's products address these concerns.


While educational notes may have lower conversion rates, they can enhance brand exposure and continuously attract more potential users' attention. They assist brands in the long-term cultivation of Xiaohongshu and in establishing a professional image in their respective fields.


Should You Buy Followers on XiaoHongShu?

Buying followers on XiaoHongShu is never a good idea. It can cause serious problems like getting banned and losing credibility with users.


Building a genuine following takes time and effort. While some brands might be tempted to buy followers to kickstart their community, there are massive risks involved.


Fake followers typically don't engage authentically, providing little to no real interaction. Plus, resorting to buying followers can damage your brand's reputation and erode trust with your audience.


Xiaohongshu actively removes fake accounts and followers. If the system catches you buying followers or violating platform rules, you could face penalties like reduced visibility or even account suspension. Remember, taking shortcuts might bring short-term gains, but the long-term risks aren't worth it.


Need a XiaoHongShu Guide?

With over a decade of experience in the world of Chinese marketing, our team, based in both Guangzhou and Hong Kong, is here to be your trusted partner.


We're more than just experts in creating effective strategies for platforms like Xiaohongshu to enhance your brand and sales. We're also skilled at managing WeChat and Weibo Marketing, developing cool Mini-Programs, and executing savvy media buying.


In short, we deeply understand China's constantly changing digital world.

Ready to connect with Chinese consumers in a deeper and more meaningful way? Take the first step and start succeeding in XiaoHongShu today!