How has Duolingo used TikTok to their advantage?

When you think of some of the best brands on TikTok, who do you think of? Duolingo probably has one of the best brand accounts on TikTok. With a current follower count of just under five million followers, they are showing brands exactly how TikTok is done well whilst achieving incredible results too.

What is Duolingo?

The language-learning company leverage the trending video platform to show off their brand ambassador, Duo, and to show off their brand’s witty personality. The brand leverages social media to increase brand awareness. Their growth on TikTok has been rapid and they certainly know how to attract their target demographic and get social media marketers talking. 

Why did they choose TikTok?

Duolingo has a presence on a range of social media platforms, each targeting a different segment of its overall target audience. Unlike Duolingo using TikTok for brand awareness, the language educational company use other platforms (especially Instagram and Twitter) to inform customers about updates and changes within their popular app. For many brands, TikTok provides a safe space where brands can show off their personality and have some fun. 

What is Duolingo’s TikTok strategy?

Viral trends

A large segment of Duolingo’s TikTok content is jumping on viral trends and using their brand ambassador, Duo, to add a Duolingo-shaped twist to these trends. If you follow them on TikTok you are likely to understand their obsession with Dua Lipa which acts almost as an inside joke with followers to reinforce a connection with them.

Enjoyable content over promotional content

The brand’s video content is purely focused on being enjoyable over being promotional – something a lot of brands struggle to do. This strategy is a huge part of what has made consumers fall in love with the brand’s TikTok. Recently, Duo, their funky green ambassador, features in most of their video content, allowing the brand’s video content to still be recognisable whilst not being purely promotional. 

Mixing up an outdated strategy

Duolingo is a brand that is not afraid to mix up its TikTok strategy when it does not seem to be working as well as it once did. If you have experience in marketing on TikTok, you will know the frustration of the ever-needed change of a TikTok strategy. 

How has this impacted Duolingo overall?

The best brands on TikTok know that vanity metrics are not everything! You should not measure a brand’s success on social media purely based on vanity metrics (likes, comments, shares, etc.) – they are not the be-all and end-all! Engagement rates generally give you a much better overall picture of how well your brand is doing on social media and show how engaged your followers actually are. Duolingo is currently operating at a 19% engagement rate which shows that its strategy is working well for them at the moment. 

Duolingo has carefully measured how its strategy for the video-based app has affected other parts of the business, such as app downloads and website traffic. The brand has skyrocketed to the top of the educational chart in the Apple App Store numerous times after seeing a spike in video views on TikTok. As a social media marketer, it is important to track and measure how well your strategy is contributing to other parts of your company and how you can increase your contribution through social media content.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ensure your target customer is on TikTok before prioritising marketing on TikTok, else you could be wasting your time and efforts
  • Keep mixing up your strategy on TikTok. The algorithm is always changing so you’ll need to change your strategy in alignment with this.
  • Do not be afraid to have fun with viral trends but make sure these are relevant to your industry 

Generally, the best brands on TikTok are the ones that have a flexible strategy whilst not being too promotional. If it feels like your strategy is no longer working, it probably isn’t. Remember that when creating your content for TikTok!

Wanting to find out how you can maximise your TikTok efforts and achieve TikTok success? Become a member today for just £19.99 per month to gain access to our ‘Produce a TikTok Strategy’ Action Plan.