When you think of brand mascots, who do you think of? 

Tony the Tiger, Pillsbury Dough Boy, and the Michelin Man. 

All from ~our~ time period. 

As great as those creatures are, there is someone coming for their spot. 

A CHAOTIC green owl that has redefined TikTok fame and disrupted social media marketing all while driving massive amounts of revenue and user growth. 

Meet Duo, the brand mascot ICON for Duolingo.

Duolingo (and Duo) are absolutely crushing on socials and I’m here to tell you why.
Duolingo is not in a flashy industry. When you’re a kid, developing an app to teach people different languages was probably not on your list of dream jobs (I wanted to be an NFL player lol). 

Yet, Duolingo has managed to become one of the most culturally relevant brands out there, if not THE most. 

Yes, I said it. You and I both need to take notes from this ed tech company owl on how to run our socials. So let’s get into it.

Duolingo boasts an insane following of 1.5M across Instagram and Twitter, but it’s their TikTok that is setting the world on fire (in a good way). 

In 2022, Duolingo won the Shorty Industry Award for Best Overall TikTok Presence. To put that into perspective, TikTok has 1,000,000,000 monthly active users. 1 BILLION. 

And Duolingo (a brand trying to sell their product) was crowned the best account on the platform.  



Humor is one of the most overlooked tools to use in Marketing.  It can be a MASSIVE asset for brands. 

Humor activates a dopamine response in your brain that is vital for goal-oriented motivation and long-term memory. 

It causes your customers to act right now or when it’s time for them to act down the line, your brand will be top of mind. 

All that just from cracking a couple of jokes? Yes, but there’s a science behind it.

Duolingo is always pushing the line. But they NEVER punch down.  

Aka they don’t laugh AT other people, they use humor to laugh WITH people.

If they are poking fun at someone, it’s themselves.  

This formula helps Duolingo come off as relatable. And this relatability is what has grown an incredibly engaged community across socials.

But plain old nonsense from your brand account won’t cut it.  

Think RadioShack’s twitter vs. Duolingo’s twitter. 

RadioShack’s twitter is pure chaos. There is rarely any connection between their tweets and the brand. This will get eyes to their profile initially, but has no impact on retention. 

Duolingo’s twitter is strategic chaos. Almost EVERY tweet funnels back to their app. Whether it’s quote tweeting other people or making memes about the app itself, Duolingo is using topic related humor to drive awareness.  

And you can clearly see the difference in results.
Duolingo’s following is twice the size of RadioShack, yet their engagement on an average post is 10x RadioShack’s. 

Now those are some cold hard facts.
Likes and followers are cool, but you and I both can hear finance in our head asking “but what is the ROI??” 

In Q2 of 2022, Duolingo’s daily active users grew 44% year over year, paid subscribers grew 71% from the prior year quarter, and subscriptions grew 51% from the prior year quarter. 

Duolingo is withowl a doubt dominating their industry.
Daniel Murray
Daniel Murray
Level up your marketing game

Zero BS. Just fun, unfiltered, industry insights with the game-changers behind some of the coolest companies from around the globe.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

No spam. Unsubscribe any time.