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A New Perspective on Relationship Marketing through Tinder

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Aiming to understand key elements of consumer engagement, the Insights team at 360i has found clues from an unlikely source: Tinder.

Tinder, a new age dating platform, is an easy-to-use app that connect singles with a few taps on a smartphone. It has received a firestorm of attention since its launch late last year, garnering more social buzz than mainstays match.com and OkCupid in the last six months.


360i analysis of the social media landscape conducted October 2013
for data spanning April 2013 – September 2013. Estimated full population of posts from blogs, forums,
public Facebook profiles and Twitter measured by Radian6.

A new type of online dating provider, Tinder’s novel platform enables fluid consumer-to-consumer interaction that feels organic, fun and rewarding. Although marketers may not set out to play match-maker in the same way, they may want to consider connecting consumers by the common thread of their brand through a strategic approach to social spaces and content. As a guide, let’s consider the implications of Tinder’s success.

Conversation cannot flourish without the initial spark

Tinder has successfully entered a chaotic dating environment by using a hyper-relevant tone and an intuitive chat framework to invite conversation between consumers. When a match is made between two parties, the user is brought to a messenger platform with a preloaded conversation starter. Catering to its younger user base, Tinder provides ice breakers that are silly, flirty and outrageous, ranging from, “They think you’re cute, say thanks,” to “Send a f****** message already!” Using the same dating language as the consumer, these prompts create what feels like a casual, genuine dating atmosphere. When asked, 22 percent of Tinder users identified the ease in which they can start conversations as the main reason they like Tinder.

Source: SessionM survey results of those who are aware of and use Tinder, conducted October 2013.
Q: Why do you like Tinder? (Multiple Choice) Sample Size: 456

Marketer’s takeaway: Spark and grow Consumer-to-Consumer interaction online by developing and fine-tuning a social tone of voice that is both authentic to the brand, and relevant to your audience.

Some of the best experiences are familiar ones

In taking a physical world dating experience and reinventing it online, Tinder has been successful in digitally recreating the powerful initial feeling of attraction.

Tinder simulates this serendipitous connection through “matches,” pairing two users that show interest in connecting by liking each other’s photos. This process ensures that every conversation is built upon mutual magnetism–even if users are in different locations. Through a device in their hands, users experience a true link, as though they are locking eyes from across the bar. Clearly, this match moment is a key draw to the platform, as 58 percent of respondents said receiving a match on Tinder “made their day” or got them “very excited.”


Source: SessionM survey results of those who are aware of and use Tinder, conducted October 2013.
Q: How do you feel when you receive a match on Tinder? (Multiple Choice) Sample Size: 456

Marketer’s takeaway: Use digital environments to recreate positive, familiar experiences the consumer expects from your brand, product or industry in the physical world.

Don’t settle for the status quo

Tinder reimagines traditional dating by championing informal social interaction in the courtship process. Leveraging the features of other social networks that traditionally have not been present in the dating space, the app satisfies a need for a dating service that is more casual and fun, like a game. This approach has resonated strongly with users, as 30 percent point to its entertainment factor as the primary reason they use Tinder, above looking for a relationship or a quick hookup.

Source: SessionM survey results of those who are aware of and use Tinder, conducted October 2013.
Q: What is the primary reason you use Tinder? (Multiple Choice) Sample Size: 456

Sometimes a brand’s core product or service may not be the only – or even primary – currency it brings to a social value exchange. There are additional features and embedded meaning that, when brought to life in digital spaces, open new avenues for engaging consumers.

Marketer’s takeaway: Explore opportunities to create content and experiences that are inspired by emerging consumer trends and which align with your brand voice, but which also disrupt standard notions of what brands in your category should provide. (See Fisher-Price Moments of Joy)

But don’t just take our word for it

Consumer interaction is happening all around us. Marketers should pay close attention, because looking in unexpected places can yield innovative results. We found inspiration in a dating app. Where will you find yours?

Cover photo via StickerMule