Top tactics to promote a foreign influencer in China

China is a heaven for influencers who want to get a great impact on a huge audience. Why? China is a populous state so it is more than just a few million people following your ideas. However, the most important thing is that Chinese people are easy to be led. Moreover, they need and like to be led by someone. They don’t like to explore and they are not used to thinking beyond what they should think of. They are smart people, but they are brought up by their government in a way that they can follow the instructions, obey the rules that they take as the only correct way. This is a completely fair strategy in such a populous country that makes them a well-behaved, fully disciplined Unit.

Why Influencers have a great impact on Chinese people?

This means that Chinese people naturally take on the trends when they see a lot of people have done that already. They display an astounding level of agreement within the society and mostly stick to one idea, one concept, one preference, etc. That being said, conquering 10% of any community might automatically turn into up to 100%.

Read our KOLs Guide for China

This works perfectly well in the industry of influencers. The number of people who like you and follow your ideas can grow at a pace of a geometrical progression. However, similarly, having a few of them indifferent or negative about you will inevitably result in an overwhelming fail.

No Instagram No Youtube

It is not easy to gain the love of the Chinese supranational community if an influencer is not a huge celebrity elsewhere. Yet, even being a worldwide celebrity doesn’t mean that the Chinese people know you.

It is really not easy to stay well-informed of the world’s preferences once you live in your own world confined to the country’s boundary. I also find myself less aware of the new stars, let alone influencers, while I am living here. It can’t be any different unless you have a really keen interest in that and regularly check the news on your own.

This is happening not only because of no access to Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Google, etc. The bane of it is also that they feel fully complacent with what they have in their own market, be that a movie, a song, entertainment, and so on and so forth.

What makes influencers successful in China?

Becoming an influencer (or KOL ) is equal to nurturing a deep connection with the crowd. It is important to think and act like a KOL – key opinion leader, or a Chinese influencer – to have a chance to be given due consideration by this nation.


So, what do KOLs have to keep the Chinese people glued to their accounts? Trust. They can be the connoisseurs of a particular field, or not, they can be famous for their talents, or no. But if they manage to get the trust of the crowd, this is a success.

How to get trust?

Trust in a Chinese society comes from a good reputation. In the overwhelming majority of cases working on your reputation is more difficult than working on your content.

If you check the accounts of 10 random KOLs you will find out that their content has nothing special at all, at times it can be ridiculously absurd even. But they are loved by millions.

This is how reputation and a word of mouth work in China.

Ways for influencers to earn a good reputation in China

  1. Forums

Basically, if you are not a celebrity but just an ordinary influencer, you might probably be focused on a particular field. You might be an influencer for a healthy lifestyle, fashion or make-up trends, technologies, or even for a particular industry or whatever.

Specialized forums or specialized discussions in generally visited forums are good for establishing a good name for oneself. Chinese are very open to mentioning creditable sources, or where and from whom they get their inspiration when they speak about their hobbies or business.

Generally speaking, it might also work well for westerners to hear about a new expert in various forums or on Quora. By the way, the Chinese have their own Quora – Zhihu. And the difference is that they are more prone to be influenced through that.

  1. Press releases

Getting in touch with specialized and highly reputable media is also a good tool to promote oneself as an influencer. Of course, it is important to know that press releases in China also would like to avoid getting their own reputation tattered if they recommend someone who is not trustworthy.

  1. Social Media in China: quick overview

91% of Chinese users go on social platforms daily. This is the way they get influenced, absorb habits, find the trends to follow, etc. There is absolutely no point in trying to promote your Instagram account, or Youtube or Facebook or whatever you have at moment. You should become an indelible part of Chinese internal media.

  • WeChat

WeChat is a platform with an audience of around 900 million Chinese who open the app at least twice per day. There is literally no life without WeChat in China. WeChat is a communication tool, a source of news, a tool for payments and managing one’s life, work, studies, leisure, travel experiences, etc.

WeChat is linked with other platforms and it also has monetizing mechanisms.

Opening a subscription or public account on WeChat gives influencers a chance to get followers and also leads for promoting their goods and services.

  • Weibo (Twitter)

Weibo is Chinese Twitter with around 600 million people signed up.

Weibo is a microblog offering its official users tools for live streaming. Mini-videos and Instagram-like stories have become crucial in Weibo promotional activities.

  • Little Red Book (Instagram)

Little Red Book, or XiaoHongShu, is the new promotional giant in China. It is more similar to Instagram and it is incredibly lucrative for the Chinese Key Opinion Leaders or influencers.

This platform has an aim to promote products with good content and trust people to say a word for that.

  • Douyin (TikTok or youtube)

Douyin is another Goliath for promotions. However, its format is completely different. Douyin only features 1-minute videos. It works well in China because the Chinese are now having extremely busy lifestyles with no time for time-consuming Internet hobbies. What they can do is browse through short videos while in the metro and get an outlook on common trends and get inspired.

More information about certified Douyin account

How does it work?

We had a chance to promote a World Champion in rock climbing, Isabelle Patissier (France) who has also recently been excelling in rally racing.

We have done Social Media penetration for her and helped her hold a conference on sports marketing.

That all gave her:

  • 40 brands engaged;
  • 2000 followers per month;
  • 250 000 views per month.

Does that look attractive to you?

Contact us for more details on how we did that and how we could help you do the same.

gma - DIgital Marketing Agency China

We are GMA – we know how the Chinese think and act.

1 comment

  • Very interesting strategies to reach a targeted audience! Thank you for sharing

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