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Despite WeChat being the platform of choice for mobile shoppers active on social media, luxury and beauty brands face an uphill battle gaining traction on the platform. Sixty-eight percent of luxury posts and 47% of Beauty posts receive less than 5,000 views – small relative to WeChat’s user base.

KOLs – Key Opinion Leaders who have built large internet followings – can help brands build buzz online. These online celebrities – who range from hairstylists and makeup artists to simply influencers – can multiply views for a brand post. For example, top KOL posts on behalf of a brand receive on average four times as many views as posts by the mentioned brand.

A study of KOL posts show that majority tend to mention premium western brands; Estée Lauder, Lancôme, SK-II, and Fresh are promoted by more than 75% of the 50 KOLs studied. In addition to brand awareness, WeChat is increasingly becoming a significant driver of sales. The number of WeChat users making purchases on the platform more than doubled from 15% in 2015 to 31% in 2016. All the more reason for brands to consider KOL partnerships.

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