Social media marketing on Tinder

Sophie Hardbattle By Sophie Hardbattle

With millions of active users, mixed with simple usability, there’s no wonder Tinder is one of the most popular apps from over the past few years.

What is Tinder?

For those of you who don't know (and for those who are pretending not to know, in a bid to keep any last shreds of dignity) Tinder is a dating app, popular with young adults. It was initially released back in September, 2012, and now has around 50 million active users.

It’s functionality is quite simple (or so I’ve been told…) Tinder matches users up with potential suitors and they then swipe right if they’re interested and left if they’re not. Easy peasy.

An advert free platform- at first

For a long time, marketing on the most ‘down with the kids’ dating app of the moment was strictly not allowed (and still kinda isn’t)… Even though the app has opened it’s doors to native advertising, with the Bud Light video that was unveiled earlier this month in the USA, they are still picky with what advertising goes on within the platform. Many brands, such as Gap and it’s “pants party” campaign, have been taken off the platform.

Why brands are marketing on Tinder

It may not be suitable for every brand but, whether you want to admit it or not, there are features within the platform that really lend itself to marketing.

Geographic targeting

Tinder uses GPS to determine the user’s location and finds suitable matches within a certain distance of that location. The user can also adjust the distance, so they can communicate with either people close by or those a bit further-a-field. Tinder has also released a paid version (Tinder Plus) that allows users to access the ‘Passport’ feature. This allows them to chat to potential suitors anywhere in the world with just a drop of a pin on a map.

As a business, being able to pick a location to communicate with potential customers is obviously hugely beneficial. It allows smaller brands to communicate with people in the immediate area and it also allows larger, international brands to communicate with users in different areas where the brand may be expanding to.

A company that took advantage of geographical targeting within the app is New York Based, Social Tees Animal Rescue, which is a not-for-profit organisation that finds homes for abandoned dogs. The organisation took to Tinder and set up various profiles for pooches that needed to be re-homed in the New York area. If the app-user swiped right then the pair would be matched, if they swiped left then the screen read ‘Abandoned’. Nothing like a guilt trip to tug on a potential customer’s heart strings.

If a match was made, the organisation would set up dog walking meetings and other fun activities- with end hopes of adoption. Within the first hour of the project, over 1500 matches were made, which is a great result!

Demographic targeting

Users on the app can change the settings so they only view people who fit different criteria: male or female and within a certain age range. So this means those are also the type of people who can view the user’s profile.

For a business, this offers great targeting opportunities. Specific content for any desired demographic can be created and then directed to them specifically. Obviously this works best if the target audience is (mostly) young (mostly) singletons. Targeting on the platform can only go as far as location, age and gender, so for those wanting something a bit more specific, it probably won’t do the job.

The anti-smoking organisation ‘ASH’ targeted young males on Tinder, in a bid to show users how unattractive smoking can be. They had two profiles for the same girl; one of the profiles showed the girls smoking and the other didn’t. Both profiles then liked 1000 men each. The non-smoker received double the amount of matches, which helps to prove ASH’s point.

Direct marketing

With the use of demographic and geographic targeting it allows you to directly market to your desired customer base. You can communicate with them on a one-on-one basis and offer a better user experience, which will result in better customer satisfaction. To find out more about direct marketing, take a look at our blogposts ‘A Guide to Direct Marketing’ and ‘What We Do: Email and Push Notification Marketing’.

Room for creativity

Because this is a fairly new platform to experiment with, there are loads of opportunities to get creative… Let’s face it, marketing on the platform alone will seem innovative, as not many companies have done it yet… So every idea is a ‘new idea’…

Fairly inexpensive

Apart from the obvious stuff, like research and content creation, it is quite a cheap marketing method; the app is free in the UK.


If you are thinking about marketing on Tinder, there are a lot of things to take into account. The big one being that you’re not actually supposed to advertise on the platform; it is against the terms and conditions. As we previously mentioned, many brands that have experimented with marketing on the app have swiftly been taken off it, as soon as Tinder has noticed.

Also, if you’re target demographic is children, or married women in their 50s, it probably/definitely won’t be for your brand. Another consideration would be your brand’s identity and brand voice. Is your business known as one that takes risks and has a bit of fun? Or is the brand more professional and formal? The latter would probably not work as well.

Contact us!

If you want to discuss digital marketing techniques with us, for your business, then please get in touch! We can help with traditional and untraditional digital marketing methods.

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