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Choosing the Right KOL

In our archive, you’ll find some blogs underlining the importance of partnering up with influencer or KOL (Key Opinion Leader) in order to win the heart of the Chinese. You can read two of the blogs here and here. But among thousands and thousands of KOLs, how do you go about choosing “the one”? 

In our experience, we’ve found that the four components listed below are absolutely necessary in picking a KOL to partner with.


First off, take a look at your potential KOL’s follower count. Although we know that the followers figure isn’t the most important factor, it can give you a good estimation of how far your message will be broadcasted.

Secondly, find out which KOL has the most engaged audiences. We know that there are “dead-accounts” spread over all throughout social media platforms. So, scanning your potential influencer’s active audience amount has gradually become an important task to do. After all, they’re the people who can help you extend your messages.

Brand Relevancy

Now that you’ve narrowed your KOL scope, it’s time to choose a more specific KOL. Choose a KOL who’s interested in your industry and one who has a curiosity in your specific field. For instance, a KOL for Novak Djokovic’s should be a person who’s interested specifically in tennis, not someone who’s interested in sports in general.

Multiple Social Media Accounts

This comes easy, as most KOLs use multiple social media platforms, such as Weibo, Douban, and WeChat. It’s even better if your KOL has an active blog with a cultivated fan base, because you definitely want the extra exposure. With multiple accounts to manage, make sure your KOL has an organized content calendar. Sit down and discuss with your KOL which social media platform is the most suitable for you, while creating a content strategy for each social media platform ensuring that the content is consistent across the board.

Offline Reputation

Is your influencer often invited to speak at conferences? Is he/she really an expert in the industry? Do they often get invitations to industry events? Being famous in the virtual world isn’t enough. Your KOL needs to have a broad connection in the “real-world” too. Since the ultimate goal is to spread your brand awareness, you need a KOL that can promote your brand both online and offline.

So, how does your KOL score? Does your KOL/influencer check all the boxes above? If they meet the above criteria, your KOL is a keeper.

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