How Duolingo Struck Social Media Gold with Unhinged Content

Trending 7 months ago

Duo, Duolingo’s large greenish mascot, mightiness beryllium nan astir celebrated owl of nan post-tootsie rotation popular commercialized era.

The language-learning app first established a TikTok beingness successful early 2021 and recovered its stride by sharing funny videos featuring nan sassy owl Duo. Since then, Duolingo’s TikTok account has grown to astir 7 cardinal followers and accumulated complete 147 cardinal likes from various viral videos.

How did Duolingo do it? By embracing “unhinged” marketing.

 Free State of Marketing Report [Updated for 2023]

What is unhinged marketing?

When brands return little of a polished, cleanable attack to social, and clasp much chaotic conversational moments, it’s often referred to arsenic unhinged marketing. If you spot a societal media station and deliberation “How did that get approved?” it tin apt beryllium considered unhinged.

This attack was first popularized connected Twitter erstwhile Wendy’s became infamous for “roasting” societal media users and openly shading nan competition. Since then, different companies including Popeye’s and McDonald’s recovered viral moments by sending sassy Tweets.

Unhinged trading tin beryllium peculiarly effective astatine winning complete Gen Z customers who for illustration trading that feels much existent and little salesy. What whitethorn person been deemed unprofessional successful nan past is now considered much authentic and relatable.

With nan preamble of TikTok and nan emergence of short-form video contented unhinged contented now expands beyond accelerated nutrient companies sending mean tweets, and Duolingo has capitalized connected it.

Duolingo’s TikTok Strategy

Since shifting from investing successful TV advertisement spots to a attraction connected integrated social, Duolingo has recovered its trading stride. What has made Duolingo’s TikTok contented truthful viral? Three cardinal strategies:

1. Entertainment Over Selling

The contented is funny and intends to entertain much than it intends to sell.

Duolingo’s TikTok started taking disconnected erstwhile nan contented featured Duo, nan app’s mascot. The contented focused connected Duo being a humorous characteristic nan assemblage could link with, and it has kept group coming backmost for much to spot what Duo would do next.

When utilizing nan app is mentioned, it’s done successful a funny light, and nan assemblage doesn’t consciousness overly sold to. In fact, Duolingo’s TikTok contented that mentions nan app often highlights nan free type of nan app.

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2. Hopping On Trending Topics

Scrolling done Duolingo’s TikTok feed, nan marque is ever connected apical of utilizing trending sounds and hopping connected existent topics while they’re hot.

One station from past autumn features a screen image of celebrated rivals Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber. The station was shared soon aft nan photos of nan brace (which caused waves connected nan internet) first dropped and played up Duolingo’s one-sided beef pinch Google Translate. This video illustrates really nan marque tin hop connected a then-trending taxable while reminding nan assemblage that it is still a language-learning app.

Another illustration is simply a caller station featuring Duo astatine nan premiere of nan Barbie movie dressed arsenic nan main characteristic of nan movie which has been a trending topic connected societal media successful anticipation of nan film.

These types of posts support nan brand’s contented fresh, which helps build spot pinch nan audience.

3. Consistent Storylines

Duolingo’s relationship besides does a awesome occupation of having accordant storylines for nan assemblage to follow. This helps viewers consciousness much connected to nan marque and creates a consciousness of belonging because accordant viewers are successful connected nan joke. Here are a fewer examples:

  • Duo’s one-sided rivalry pinch Google Translate: Several videos (including nan illustration above) characteristic Duo shading Google Translate and those who usage it alternatively of learning a caller connection connected Duolingo.
  • Duo + Dua Lipa: Another storyline is Duo’s “crush” connected vocalist Dua Lipa. This gives nan marque easy material immoderate clip Dua Lipa is trending.
  • The Duolingo ineligible team: There’s different moving joke connected nan TikTok relationship that highlights Duolingo’s counsel trying to extremity Duo from posting (a motion to nan unhinged quality of nan content).

It’s not each memes and funny videos — nan trading strategy has provided an ROI for nan company. Duolingo’s regular progressive users are up 62% from past twelvemonth and it continues to beryllium among nan top-downloaded Education apps.

When done right, a much relaxed, little firm attack to societal media tin cement an authentic relationship betwixt a marque and its audience. The contented doesn’t (and astir apt shouldn’t) person to dwell of mean tweets and images of nan institution mascot successful a thong to beryllium effective, but a spot of characteristic and relatability tin spell a agelong way.

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