25 March 2021
The School of Communication held the 40th SCOM Talk Series online through live broadcast on 25 March 2021. Mr Terrence Chow, the CEO of 17LIVE HK, was invited to be the guest speaker. The response to the Talk was overwhelming, with nearly 300 students and teachers in attendance.
Mr Terence Chow is an accomplished and highly respected business management professional who focuses on online entertainment. He has more than 20 years’ experience with a proven track record in mobile business development and operation, especially in ecosystem establishment. He is currently the CEO of 17LIVE HK, a leading live streaming app company in Asia that has projects in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, India and the United States.
Given there are many fantasies and mythical perceptions about businesses concerning Internet celebrities and KOLs, which always give out the impression that Internet influencers can make money very easily and can even have an annual income of as much as over $100 million, Mr Chow explained in detail in his sharing the meaning of “Influencer Economy” and the three underlying conditions. Firstly, its occurrence must be on the Internet. Secondly, the influencers should have built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise on a specific topic. They would frequently post about those topics on their social media channels to attract a large number of followings from enthusiastic and engaged supporters who would constantly pay close attention to the content produced. Last but not least, the engagement or views generated would eventually be transformed into economic activities, with their followers paying for the content the influencers produce or the products they endorse or speak for. With these three conditions met, the ecosystem of the “Influencer economy” can be formed.
To be a successful influencer, Mr Chow believed that timing is key, which must be supported by three crucial elements at the same time, i.e. the influencer’s positioning, niche and engagement with fans. As Hong Kong is a small market when compared with other countries, the development of influencers/KOLs-related businesses faces a lot of difficulties and challenges. Nevertheless, Mr Chow encouraged students to get well-prepared and well-equipped if they are really interested in the business. More importantly, they must learn to build up their own fan base, especially one with loyalty. He quoted survey results saying that the more the degree of loyalty of fans rather than the number of fans, the more the degree of influence that could be generated. In the past, PR or marketing companies would gravitate towards hiring influencers/KOLs who have a large fan base to promote a product. Nowadays, they have all changed to those influencers/KOLs who have developed a broad base of loyal fans.