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Thanks to “unhinged content,” social listening, and a trusty mascot, Duolingo’s TikTok strategy is helping humanize the brand.

Dec 14 2021

Thanks to “unhinged content,” social listening, and a trusty mascot, Duolingo’s TikTok strategy is helping humanize the brand. Counting 2M followers on TikTok, Duo the Owl is the star of Duolingo’s account, which plays on the trends circulating the app while sassing anyone who forgets their lesson of the day. The language learning platform first joined TikTok in February, but it wasn’t until Duo the Owl came onto the scene that the brand’s content took off—Duolingo’s “How did you hear about us survey” experienced a surge in responses from new users saying they discovered the app via TikTok. Duolingo has partnered with influencers and celebrities including Dua Lipa (people often confuse Duolingo for the pop singer) and Rod Thill (@Rod on TikTok) to create relevant content that speaks to young consumers. Zaria Parvez, one of the brains behind Duolingo’s TikTok, notes the brand’s ability to lean into “unhinged content,” leverage viral trends, interact with other TikTokers in the comments, and poke fun at Duolingo by recreating memes about the platform has helped the brand entertain its audience. Which is exactly the point of TikTok—users want to be entertained, not marketed to in a way that feels obvious and tryhard-y. YPulse’s Pop Culture Redefined trend research shows 62% of young consumers say brands should comment on viral pop culture events / trends to stay relevant with their generation. (Digiday)