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Learning the Tiktok Lingo for Successful content marketing

It's time to update your vocabulary and stay in the loop!

It is no secret that TikTok has taken the world by storm. In August 2021, it was reported that TikTok was the most downloaded app worldwide with 656 million downloads in 2021.

If you’re familiar with the app, I’m pretty sure that you already know that many companies and start-ups have switched to TikTok as their primary marketing platform (If you didn’t know, you’re welcome!) Many have been successful, but some are still trying to figure it out. 

The big question is, “what’s the secret to going viral?”

Guess what! There is no secret! It’s mostly based on the algorithm. But that’s not going to stop me from giving you a few pointers on how to master the art of TikTok!

What is TikTok and how does it benefit me as a marketer?

TikTok is a social media app that is centred around video content. My favourite way to describe TikTok to non-users is, “Instagram is a museum and TikTok is a concert or a club

Many business owners have yet to discover how TikTok may be used as a marketing tool. One of the main reasons is because they believe that TikTok is mainly for young audiences. Yes, TikTok is great for marketers to connect to younger audiences in a fun and creative way. However, according to the latest statistics, only roughly 50% of Tiktok’s global audience is under the age of 34.

Faceless lady filming video on mobile while demonstrating dress
Faceless lady filming video on mobile while demonstrating dress
Source: Liza Summers

TikTok gives marketers a fair playing field. It is currently the only social media platform that can make accounts with zero followers get millions of views on a new video overnight. (Facebook (Meta) and Instagram are currently crying in a corner). All you have to do is make sure that your content appeals to the audience

Check out the videos below to see 2 small Malaysian businesses that have seen a huge growth in sales since their TikTok video went viral.

Apologies for any delays as I only have 2 hands for 500+ orders 💀😩🇲🇾 THANK YOU SO MUCH #hygrmy #smallbusiness #lipbalmmalaysia

♬ At first I was like – Benny boi

I cried for 2 hours to my mom. Thank you so much. You’re making my dream come true. #shouldbeme #fypシ #trending #tiktokmalaysia #blowthisup #fy #fyp

♬ original sound – Amora’s ♥️ – Amora’s Loves ♥️

How do I make my content appeal to the audience?

It’s super easy! All you need to do is learn the language of TikTok. That’s right, TikTok is like a huge inside joke, and as long as you know the language, you’ll be able to capture the audience’s attention.

Let’s take a step back because some of you are probably confused wondering how an app can have its own language. Well, the TikTok Language (TikTok Lingo) is solely based on Gen Z humour and slang. Most of the slangs come from viral videos or trending songs on the app.

For example, the latest one is “Abow” which is a phrase that is commonly used in Arabic, Turkish and Swedish as another word for “wow”. Abow started trending earlier this year after a song by ShantiiP X TarioP called ‘Throw It Back (Abow).

Here’s a few examples of the TikTok Lingo


Phone showing Duolingo's TikTok account
Phone showing Duolingo’s TikTok account

Duolingo (Our bilingual Queen) has added a new language on their list and it’s the TikTok Lingo. The company account has reached 2.2 million followers and 37 million likes since their first viral post in September 2021. The account was previously low on views until they changed their content to a more relatable and humorous approach and introduced the recurring Duo owl mascot who everybody knows (and fears). Their content revolves around the Duolingo owl obsession with the gorgeous Dua Lipa and participating in the latest trends.  

Because of the viral videos Duolingo has soared to the top of the Apple Store’s education app charts.

Duolingo reaches number1 in education app on Apple store
Duolingo is the number one education app on the Apple Store


A Ryanair aircraft
A Ryanair aircraft

Ryanair is another big player on everyone’s for you page (FYP). The European based airline’s TikTok account has gained 1.4 million followers and 40.8 million likes in a short time only by using a filter to add eyes and a mouth to the plane and making relatable jokes about long flights.

Duolingo and Ryanair’s success on the app is proof that brands need to offer a mix of trending and campaign-based content. These two brands have managed to master the personality and humour needed for success.

Here’s my favourite video from Ryanair. (PS: Duolingo and Ryanair are besties on the app)

Check out some of the comments from the two company accounts. You’ll notice some major companies also using the lingo in the comment section

image 2

Comments on a video from Ryanair’s account.
image 4
Comments on a video from Duolingo’s account

Use TikTok influencers!

Influencers are Huge on TikTok. This is mainly because people see them as more relatable than celebrities. They are inspirations for their audiences because they have followed them since they had a small platform and watched them grow. It’s basically like watching your friend achieve something big in life. Partnering with TikTok influencers might just be one of the smartest moves!

Here are 3 Malaysian TikTok influencers that lives rent free on my FYP!


Great start to the year is to Beauty 2 Prosper with @lorealparismalaysia, @garniermy & @maybelline_my! 🥳✨ Storewide deals up to 50% off & exclusive offers on all their products, get them now on Watson! 🤩 #LorealBeauty2Prosper #LorealParisMY #GarnierMalaysia #MaybellineMY #WatsonsMY

♬ Beauty 2 Prosper – LOREAL

People nowadays avoid sponsored content by using ad blockers and other methods. Advertising is now a sly game of hide-and-seek; the more you hide it, the better. People prefer brands that are relatable, humorous, and are in on the inside jokes!