Perhaps the most unorthodox marketing activity I’ve experimented with this year is using Tinder to network with potential guest bloggers. The idea came to me one evening when I was flicking through my Facebook feed. I came across an article from Vice entitled ‘Spies Use Tinder, and It’s as Creepy as You’d Think’.
The article described how an advanced surveillance technique from the Brazilian government came to be. Army intelligence officer Willian Pina Botelho posed as a communist sympathiser in order to arrest political opponents who were planning demonstrations against the interim government.
I remember thinking to myself – if an undercover Brazilian intelligence official was using Tinder as a covert surveillance tool to capture and deter dissidents, then surely I could use Tinder to find like-minded content writers?
What other method could I use to get in front of this amount of people in a such a captive way? Seeing as our target audience were student bloggers and 38% of Tinder’s demographic is aged 16-24, it seemed like it was a match made in heaven.
Using Creative Boom’s top 10 list of creative towns and cities in the UK, I set out on a 10-day experiment trying to capture interest. I set the age preferences to 18-30, both male and female, within a 5-mile radius of the centre of each town and city.
I started out in the most obvious of places: London. Within the first few hours, I had accumulated 12 matches who wanted to know more. After a little bit of dialogue, I had 3 potential candidates who expressed an interest in guest blogging – both of whom already had blogging experience.
By the end of the day, I had amassed 21 matches, 6 of whom proactively approached me to inquire. I was surprised at the response I received on the first day, surely it couldn’t be this easy?
On day two, three, four and five I experienced similar levels of success. Although admittedly, the majority of these people were merely inquiring, it was encouraging to see such an inquisitive response.
To begin with, I wrote a ‘send to all’ script that I would copy and paste to those who were messaging me asking for more information. It wasn’t long until I had the realisation that this technique wasn’t yielding the best results.
I realised after talking to a variety of people, that there was a divergence in what motivated people to get involved with guest blogging. A lot of people were driven to inquire about the offer because they thought it was an employment opportunity. Retrospectively, I can see why they might have thought that was the case.
Nonetheless, I was dedicating an hour per day to swiping; this soon became a pain – (literally). The repetitive movement of swiping actually made my thumb and wrist start to ache.
By the end of the experiment, I had tried and tested a number of different methods to attract interest. I had collected 84 matches, 31 inquiries and 7 shortlisted candidates who had expressed an interest in guest blogging on our site. Overall, a fairly decent result from a method which only cost me my time and £3.10 for a month’s subscription.
After a little bit of research, I realised that I wasn’t the first person to come up with this idea. New York agency ‘Fetch’ used Tinder as a recruitment tool. They attracted 270 candidates and successfully hired an intern through the app – the only difference is that they actually paid for advertising placement.
I can imagine this method would have been way more scalable – perhaps next time I’ll consider paid ad placement on Tinder. Probably not though.