This story originally appeared on Dragon Trail, our content partner site.
Travel KOL (key opinion leader) Xiao Mo works together with her husband, A-Hou. She has 525,000 followers on Weibo (@小墨MO), and A-Hou (@阿猴HOSEA) has 271,000. They are two of the KOLs that Dragon Trail has recruited on behalf of travel brands, sending them on a FAM trip to Argentina in 2018.
We talked to Xiao Mo to find out about how the influencer pair prefers to work with clients, which online platforms they use, and the differences between WeChat and other social media.
How did you become a travel influencer?
In 2014, A-Hou and I went traveling around Japan for our honeymoon. That was our first time using a camera and tripod to take photos of us together as a couple. Later, we started posting the photos and our travel diary online, and got really positive feedback from our followers. After that we began to try posting more travel-related content. Once we reached a certain number of followers, we became a full self-media brand, posting travel, photos, videos, and lifestyle content.
Which social media/online platforms work the best for your travel content, and why?
What are the main differences between WeChat and the other platforms that you use in your work?
There are differences. WeChat public accounts are actually like a closed circle. When you publish posts for your fans to read, if they don’t share it with anyone else after reading, it won’t be seen by anyone who doesn’t subscribe to that public account. So a WeChat public account is more suitable for posting features about hotspots, and other topics that people are more likely to share.
How much freedom do you usually have over your content – do the brands you work with ever set rules or guidelines about what you have to post about?
We are creative self-media, and our content style is distinctive, so normally brands that want to work with us are pretty flexible. Usually when we are working with clients, the level of freedom we have is quite high. We also believe that this kind of cooperation is more likely to bring win-win results for both us and the client.
How much do you interact with your followers? Is this an important part of your work?
We interact with our fans every day, whether it’s posting online or running WeChat group chats – this is a really important part of our day-to-day work.
What is the best way that a client can help you do your work?
I’d like the client to give us a lot of freedom, and communicate thoroughly beforehand, to come up with a travel program that suits the style of our content, even helping us to find or arrange some special photographic possibilities. For example, one time, we went to a museum for a photo shoot, and because we’d communicated beforehand, the museum opened one hour early just for us, so we were able to take photos in the empty exhibition rooms. Both the client and we were really happy with the results.
Tell us about one of your all-time favorite places you’ve visited as a KOL.
Haha, this is a really difficult question. Almost every time we travel somewhere new, we have a new surprise. If I had to pick a favorite travel destination, Japan would be one of them. Every season there is beautiful, and the development of tourism resources is excellent. The U.K. is another top destination. Because we previously studied abroad there and so have spent quite a lot of time in the country, we have very deep feelings for it.