Duolingo’s Marketing Efforts on TikTok

Duolingo’s Marketing Efforts on TikTok

Most people’s workdays start with a cup of coffee and a look over their daily tasks. However for social media marketers, that’s not generally the case. Instead of it being seen as a bad habit, the main task of social media marketers every day is to scroll through various social media platforms.

This is the case for the people behind the TikTok account from the language-learning platform Duolingo, which currently has about 2 million followers.

All of the hours that the social media marketers at Duolingo spend scrolling down the app actually functions as social listening, which is one of the key social media strategies that companies can use while developing a report or pitching new ideas for content.

In fact, the brand’s own popular mascot and logo, Duo the Owl, frequently appears in the content that the company shares on social media, in the form of a person wearing the big green owl suit.

According to the Duolingo social media marketers, filming content just for TikTok can take anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple of hours, and it’s not an easy task given the fact that the owl suit is fairly bulky, which makes maneuvering inside of it a bit difficult.

Another key element of the company’s social media strategy is community management, which the marketers employ via responding to comments on the content that’s shared from the company’s profile– either in written or in video form. At one point, the company responded to a comment made by the McDonald’s account in Canada by making fun of the fast-food chain’s ice cream machines, which are famously always broken, according to their customers.

Since Duolingo first launched its presence on TikTok back in February, the bulky green owl that’s loyal and sassy has managed to generate a number of viral videos simply by joining in on some of the trending audio clips on the platform. In one of the videos, which generated nearly 2 million likes, the bird is seen dancing on top of a table in the Duolingo offices.

The video is captioned with “sneak peek at premium content you can only get with Duolingo Plus”. Another video features the green owl sliding down a wall in an emotional state to Taylor Swift’s Enchanted, in a response to people that use Google Translate instead of learning a language with the help of the Duolingo platform. Sometimes, the company’s profile can be found in the comment section on other people’s videos, being cheeky to people that forget to follow through on their language lessons.

The selling point of the marketers behind Duolingo’s TikTok content is humanization, which means sharing content that’s similar to what everyday people share on the platform.

The company ended up embracing the popularized perception of the owl being mean, which has been circulating as a meme on the internet for years. This is a successful strategy that a number of other brands managed to embrace on Twitter years ago, such as Wendy’s, Denny’s, and MoonPie.

However, every brand has to figure out the best way for it to employ and utilize the strategy in their unique ways.