With a user base of 50 million, and 85% of that between the ages of 18-34, Tinder has become the preferred dating app of millennials everywhere. You can call it tacky, even offensive (choose to swipe left or right to pictures you find hot), but you can never call Tinder boring.
Tinder is a location based dating app launched 15th September 2012, based on the theory that social discovery was a lot less awkward when two strangers wanted to meet each other. There was no other social app like Tinder at the time built for the purpose of meeting strangers in your immediate neighborhood. Although dating apps existed, they didn’t take advantage of the location and social networking features Tinder had. What marketing techniques did Tinder employ, or more to the point, how did it grow so fast?
Here are the marketing lessons from Tinder we can all learn from.
Marketing techniques that helped Tinder to grow
1. Tinder offers a novel and gamified user experience
Users of Tinder can swipe left or right, look through many dating prospect’s profile within the shortest amount of time and are rewarded by reciprocation from their admirers. The addictive factor is high with Tinder, due to the fun and gamified features. In this great article by Convince And Convert, Kristen Matthews explains why gamification is effective in motivating and engaging users. By letting users pick one date after another, Tinder dating creates a feeling of competitiveness and empowerment. The average user spends 90 minutes on Tinder daily just to play on the fast user interface. Tinder is not the only brand nor will it be the last to engage users with gamification.
2.Tinder introduces new norms in dating
With increasing numbers of Tinder users, the idea of localized dating becomes the norm. Users don’t feel stigmatized for using such a casual dating app and the huge numbers of desirable Tinder users makes this app seem more acceptable. If Tinder attracted a less desirable userbase, it would not be as popular as it is today. Social validation through peers and normalization of the app all helped Tinder to grow.
3. Tinder markets to specific demographics
The founders of Tinders marketed to a small and specific group of people in college campuses. They knew who their target demographic were, and focused on making the user experience great for them. By refining the user experience for their target users, Tinder was able to compete with and surpass any other dating services they were using.
4. Social networking features of Tinder provided fuel for growth
Tinder uses Facebook, Instagram and other forms of social networking to grow their user base. When a Tinder user knows that their Facebook connections are using Tinder, they are more likely to contact them for dates. Tinder uses user’s profiles on Facebook to create a compatibility profile on Tinder. Instagram integration also allows users to see what photographs their love interest likes to post.
5. Word of mouth marketing is highly effective
Tinder uses word of mouth marketing to gain brand equity and build credibility with their users. According to a study by Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe friends and family more than all other forms of advertising. As more people joined, the greater the brand awareness for Tinder. Tinder’s global expansion is entirely reliant on their impressive client retention and word of mouth marketing.