Who Are They And Why You Should Care

Introducing the concept of Key Opinion Consumers (KOC)

Due to the rising influence of KOC in China, marketers are motivated to test this model and adjust their social media strategy.

In China, the predominating practice is to Belgium Phone Number centralize all daily needs into one app. WeChat is a well-known all-in-one app with functions that go beyond daily communication. Users can purchase goods, order a taxi, or even attend an online class.

There are also more and more apps that combine social media with e-commerce and encourages users to review goods and share their opinions with others. A good example will be Xiaohongshu (Little Red Book). If netizens in China want to learn more about a certain product or explore new ones, LRB is their go-to-app. KOCs from LRB are viewed as credible since these are ordinary people who, albeit having a limited amount of followers, genuinely want to try and test a product. LRB’s algorithm helps as well since it ranks posts according to the quality, and displays them first in the main feed. Hence, further motivating LRB users to share their reviews.

Although this practice is still relatively uncommon in places outside of China, with Instagram’s new Checkout function that essentially combines social media and e-commerce, we believe that the western social media is inclining towards the Chinese approach. Hence, Key Opinion Consumers might eventually arise in the West.

3 main differences between KOC and KOL


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Level of initiative

Brands proactively approach a KOL and provide them cash or product incentives for promoting their products and services.

KOC has more credibility among readers as product testing and reviewing is their expertise. In comparison, followers of KOLs are aware of the paid collaborations between brands the influencers, hence the authenticity is not as strong as KOC.

Examples outside of China that are similar to the KOC model

Amazon Vine

Amazon set up this system to invite the most trusted reviewers to share opinions about new and pre-released products. This is very useful for potential consumers since it helps them make an informed purchase decision.

Every time a customer gives a review, other Amazon customers can also rate the quality and helpfulness of this particular review, which in turn contributes to the ranking of the reviewer. Amazon will then invite highly ranked reviewers to become Vine Voices, and provide them free products (submitted by participating vendors) for reviewal.

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