Duolingo’s TikTok account is memes on top of memes. A meme lasagna, if you will. They had a
moment a few years back when someone pointed out how demanding and straight up aggressive
Duolingo notifications can get.
Duolingo took this as a marketing opportunity and leaned into the narrative. There’s a person
at Duolingo in a giant green owl costume, running around and terrorizing people to finish
their Spanish lesson.
They really leaned into the aggressive notification meme and took it even further.
They hired a skywriter:
They got on Time Square and chased people:
Spanish or vanish:
Lesson learned from Duolingo’s TikTok: All publicity is good publicity. If
they paint you to be a giant murderous owl, be a giant murderous owl.
I don’t know whose idea it was to just hand over Ryanair’s corporate TikTok account to a gen
Z intern, but they deserve a raise. Ryanair is a huge corporation, but their account is just
plain, unsupervised shenanigans and meme culture.
They jump onto emerging sounds:
They participate in trends:
They make thirst traps with plane’s backside:
Ryanair is the one account on this list that has fully embraced the platform and immersed
itself in its culture. Don’t get my wrong, other company accounts on this list post
hilarious content, but Ryanair knows the TikTok trends and sounds the best.
Lesson learned from Ryanair: TikTok is not a place to take yourself
seriously. Having a person dedicated to researching and engaging on the platform and come up
with ideas does pay off.
Oreo vs Chip Ahoy
Oreo and Chips Ahoy and two different companies and two different accounts. However I’m
mentioning them together, because I love the narrative they’ve created.
A large portion of both accounts is devoted to messing with one another.
They went hard last Christmas:
The best part is: both Oreo and Chips Ahoy are owned by the same company. So you know this
drama is elaborated specifically to gain views on both sides. *sarcasm* Totally not like
YouTube drama. *sips tea*, *end of sarcasm*.
If you told me that my favorite pastime this year was going to be internet cookie drama, I
would… actually I wouldn’t be that surprised, we live in a weird segment of history.
Lesson learned from Oreo and Ahoy chip: Research your competitors. You can
learn a lot from their social media game. By all means avoid trashing them in public though,
unless you’re owned by the same company and this is part of both of your strategies.
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is another example of a brand having a good understanding of the TikTok
platform, and catering their content specifically to the TikTok audience.
While you might expect they’d use it for short-form news videos, the channel is filled with
funny, engaging videos, often “behind the scenes” type skits to let viewers get a feel for
the personalities behind the articles.
This strategy has resulted in 1.2 million followers and has undoubtedly bought WP some
goodwill and credibility among TikTok’s younger demographic.
Lesson learned from The Washington Post: Making complex topics simple and
fun to digest will get your message across to more people.
Gymshark is another example of a brand that fully understood TikTok, built a content strategy
around it, and are seeing the results to the tune of 1.7 million followers on their account
– one of the highest we’ve seen that didn’t previously have the backing of a large media
They post fun fitness challeges:
They make memes about gym culture:
And a combination of both:
They understand the value of consistent updates and are sure to post something at least once
a day. Their content is engaging, but also motivational at the same time. And they do a
great job at seeing what’s popular on the platform and adapting it to their brand, partaking
in many of the popular hashtags and challenges.
Lesson learned from Gymshark: Your social media content doesn't need to be
just about your product. Gymshark is doing a great job focusing their content around what
their ideal customer is interested in.
With the popularity of transformation-style videos on TikTok, cosmetics are a natural fit on
the platform, so e.l.f. knew they had to go big in order to stand out. First, they
commissioned a song called “Eyes Lips Face” (the brand name’s acronym).
The song was so catchy Terry crews used it in one of his first TikToks:
e.l.f. then enlisted a team of influencers, both men and women, to launch #EyesLipsFace, a
viral dance challenge where creators would show their eyes, lips, and faces to the tune of
From a branding standpoint, it was brilliant. The song is catchy enough to get stuck in your
head, and the lyrics of it ensure that you know (and never forget) what the e.l.f. in their
brand name stands for.
The challenge itself was also fun, and because it didn’t require the use of cosmetics, it was
more open for both men and women to participate. The result – 5 billion views and
Lesson learned from Elf cosmetics: Music is a huge part of TikTok. Songs
and sounds can attached to trends because they're easy to recreate. If you can make your own
sound, go for it. You don't need a music production budget, all you need for your 5 minutes
of fame is saying something memorable but relatable at the same time.
Crocs are not the sexiest or classiest of footwear. Nobody knows that better than people who
work at Crocs.
Their account is mostly used to showcase products and announce new releases, but they’re
really smart about strategic partnerships.
They created a #ThousandDollarCrocs challenge. They encouraged their followers to “class up”
their crocs as fancy as possible.
This campaign generated 3 billion views. Many digital creators use TikTok as a place to show
off their creativity so this challenge was a great match for what the platform is about.
They also created a song that people can use to show off their crocs:
The 23-day countdown with 50 Jibbitz all makes sense now! 50 Jibbitz charms to fill
50 holes on these epic triple strap clogs. Available tomorrow only ♬ original
sound - Crocs
Lesson learned from Crocs: You are what your customers say you are. If
customers tell you, you are ugly, then you’re ugly. Be ugly proudly. Make it your brand.
Make it a challenge for your customers to make you look good.
You knew I was gonna say involve.me! My TikTok game is on point. If you don’t follow me on
TikTok yet, WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?
But seriously, my TikTok is basically mini versions of these YouTube videos. So if you like
what you’re seeing, click the link in the descriptions and let’s be friends on TikTok.
On involve.me’s TikTok account you can find business tips,
and an occasional puppy.
If you’re looking to grow your business, adding a few involve.me videos into your
procrastination routine is the most low effort way to learn new things.
Lesson learned from involve.me: Every company is an expert about what
they're selling. TikTok is a great place to share that expertise in short, digestible