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Blog for April, 2014

Tinder Hacking: No Harm, No Foul?

By: Spritz  |  April 24, 2014  | 


Tinder, an online dating application, has recently taken social media by storm with “social marketing hacking.” Two individuals (and I’m sure many more who have yet to come forward) tapped into the consumer’s mindset, altering their personal profiles to be more marketable and increase their ROI.

Through a seemingly obvious tactic, “swiping right” and mass-accepting matches, the two social marketers exponentially increased their reach. But the real intrigue lies in their branding and content marketing approach. Each of the social marketers tailored their profile pictures and content, bringing to light one of the largest ploys in marketing and advertising: the appeal to authority fallacy.

It was through a perceived “endorsement” by Tinder that people seemed to be more inclined to accept the match. The experimenters utilized a similar font to Tinder with a self-proclaimed “Hot Match of the Day” title, complete with the Tinder logo incorporated into their profile pictures. They then developed original content and focused the messaging to consist of content directly related to commonly sought-after traits – proving what we all know to be true, first impressions matter. People respond to stimulating content and have a stronger, more memorable reaction to the more unique and the higher positions of authority. In this case, Tinder’s brand helped with both.

What does this social experiment prove? People unconsciously respond to authority and rely upon what they perceive to be true to make decisions. Think Nike. Nike has established itself as an expert in athletic wear, and as a result, is a trusted resource for health advice and exercise regimens. The company is so widely credited in athletics, that people regularly use the Nike Training App as a gym replacement simply because the brand name itself promotes that reliability.

So how do we rationalize playing with the human psyche, exploiting people’s vulnerabilities and effectively duping them into making decisions? Marketers can lay the foundation for influence, use slogans, campaigns, and eye-catching imagery to lure in unsuspecting bypasses, but ultimately, it is up to the consumer to make the final decision. What’s great about Tinder is it promotes social interaction, and from a social standpoint, the marketing tactics employed did just the trick: started a conversation.

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