WeChat KOL Demystification: The Dark Side of WeChat KOL

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Everyone talks KOL (Key Opinion Leaders) that it is the best way to promote your company on WeChat. Especially after the fashion blogger, Becky Li sold 100 MINI Coopers on WeChat in 5 minutes. But, are all KOLs like Becky Li who has so powerful influence? Of course not. A large amount of KOLs may look impressive with numbers but actually worthless. So how to choose a real KOL and discard the dregs is one of the most important steps while doing WeChat Marketing.

  • Three ways for brands to find WeChat KOLs
  1. All-confirmed well-known KOLs, like Mimeng, Huohuo Han, but they are very expensive and most mid-level brands won’t be able to afford 45,000 USD for a paid post.
  2. Potential KOLs managed by individuals, which cost is low considering their current limited fans base, and limited operating cost but might grow up to good ones in the near future. The downside is that brands need to research and outreach them one-by-one. which is time consuming.
  3. KOLs on some platforms, like Ruanwenjie, Xingtuiwang, Uchuanbo, where brands can pay reasonable price to generate awareness with certain popularity. The upside is that you can easily find a variety of KOLs fulfilling your vertical, ranging from fashion to sporting goods, even startups; and the price is very much reflecting their popularity metrics, i.e. Number of Fans and Average Post, like the image below indicates, which definitely help you to make decision and pay.

The downside is their self-claimed popularity might be dubious need to be double checked, considering not long ago in Thailand, a small group composed three members who work to improve internet traffic for their clients through 500 smartphones and 350,00 SIM cards were arrested.

  • WeChat KOLs Platform Test

To investigate this further, we did a test. We set up a WeChat account and contacted one of the KOL platforms, on which we spent 300 RMB for 100 time of “WeChat promoter service” i.e. our WeChat account content will be reposted to those 100 promoter’s personal WeChat Moments. After the payment the platform provides the following report is displayed on our account on the platform within 24 hours: 100 people completed the job and even their mobile phone number connected to the account and the screenshot of their job are provided.

Then, we do another trial. We choose one KOL which has 552,143 fans and 5,000 average post views according to the data of the KOL platform, and paid them to repost our WeChat Content on their Account. Within less than an hour the Post Views number jump up to 3,510 views, and 28 likes. Then in the next 24 hours no further improvement were made, so was our WeChat account metrics.  You can see how REAL are these Post Views and Likes.

  • Key takeaways:
  1. The data (Fans and average Post View) given by the KOL platforms are not reliable.
  2. KOLs’ WeChat metrics like Fans, Post views, and Likes can be fabricated, therefore you might need to check the number of Comments, which is less easy to fake.
  3. Try to build your own KOL network by contacting those Potential KOLs, especially those with more personal characteristics and don’t mind sharing their personal image and experiences on WeChat, which makes them more genuine and easily to be connected by fans.

 

Siyong is a self-starter. She began her career in Jademond as an intern assisting on Chinese content creator. Now her expertise crosses in content marketing, social media marketing and SEO. Her passion in digital marketing makes a quick learner and strong goal achiever.

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