With so many competing brands, social media has become a prominent way for them to stand out from the competition. Trends on social media are constantly changing and going with the flow when creating posts can have a huge benefit for brands. Viral brand videos are often not as direct as traditional marketing ads and viewers do not feel that they are being pushed to buy a product. Additionally, commenting back with references to trending themes or in humorous ways creates a connection with their audience that leads to followers which leads to sales.
A fantastic example of a company that is keeping up with the times on social media, particularly on TikTok is Duolingo. Duolingo is a free mobile app that helps its users learn a new language by completing short lessons on a daily basis. Their mascot, “Duo” is a lime green cartoon owl that is the center of their TikTok videos. The main themes around their videos are:
Duo is out to get those who do not complete their daily lessons
The Duolingo app notifications are persistent with the intent of getting the user to engage with the app daily. Due to this, there is a running joke on their TikToks that Duo is on the hunt for those who are “slacking.” Duolingo will reply to comments with responses like, “I will release your family when you complete your lesson.”
Duo is in love with the singer Dua Lipa
TikTok users will leave comments like, “if I give you Dua Lipa’s phone number, will you forgive me for not finishing my lesson?”
Catchy phrases like “Spanish or vanish”
TikTok users will constantly comment this phrase under Duolingo videos and even use it in comments to other accounts, further spreading the reach of the brand.
Duo is “unhinged” and the Duolingo team is constantly trying to reel him in
Duolingo uses viral sounds on TikTok to showcase how the Duolingo team is trying to gain control of Duo and his actions. One of their lawyers is often tagged in videos and comments, continuing the joke.
There is definitely a balance when it comes to staying trendy and interacting with audiences and these examples may sound very out there. Allow me to explain why this has worked wonders for Duolingo, and why depending on your brand and your goals, experimenting with trending content might be a route to consider. Duolingo is a free app, but they have Duolingo Plus, on which users pay to have ads removed and get extra perks such as progress quizzes. Duolingo has reported an increase in Duolingo Plus subscribers and has seen more constant use from already existing subscribers.
Viewers may initially subscribe to the TikTok account for the hilarious content, but they are likely to become Duolingo users too because they are constantly seeing the brand. They are also likely to remain a Duolingo user because they are enjoying the content that reminds them to finish their lessons, and not just easily ignoring the app’s daily reminders.
Finding a balance between your brand’s voice and trends you participate in can help you reach a wider audience! Perhaps Duolingo’s approach is not suitable for your brand, and that is understandable, however, there are plenty of tones and trends to pick from. Let your creativity flow when creating content and engaging with your audience and hopefully you will see a significant difference for your brand!
Check out the Duolingo TikTok HERE.