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How to Project Manage Your Tinder

Cyril Haddad By Cyril Haddad Published on February 6, 2017
This article was updated on April 4, 2017

Project management is the discipline of initiating, planning, and executing a specific venture to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria. Good project management is based on practical processes and established practices.

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Tinder is an online dating app that facilitates communication between mutually interested users. It may also be the best focussed piece of project management software currently available. While Tinder’s suitability for short-term projects (or “hookups”) is immediately obvious, the app offers the dedicated project manager more than just hookups. Gone is the need for immediacy that once defined the platform, which has helped redefine people’s expectations.

If you can start to see your dating life as a project, then isn’t it about time that you gave some serious thought to the project pipeline? Think of this article as a series of best-practices for your Tinder use. Obviously, you might not find love but hopefully you’ll be pointed in the right direction. If you fail to find what you’re looking for, it’s only because you need to review your results or redefine your success criteria or settle for less. We won’t judge.

This leads us to our first step.


1. Set your objectives and define your success criteria

As with any project, your first step should be to identify why you’re using Tinder and what it is you’re hoping to achieve. Remember that you should be honest, manage expectations and determine some realistic objectives.

If you’re anticipating a short-term project, a hookup, then Tinder might not be the best place for you anymore. Tinder is so popular that you’re going to swipe through so many profiles that your chat page will end up flooded with so many different profiles and messages. You’ll get a better return on your time investment by just heading to the nearest bar (another excellent venue for project management). Also, you can’t categorize and make lists of people on Tinder (sorting by dating material, potential hookup, in-case-of-emergency, etc.).

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If you’re looking for a fairytale romance, you’ll need to approach your project with the correct mindset. Let’s be honest with one another, you’re not getting hitched after a little virtual correspondence. If you’re just there to chat, be honest with people. That said, if you recognize enough matching signals and metrics in a correspondence, this project could outperform your initial expectations. Again, it’s all about managing expectations.

The standard success criteria on Tinder is definitely a physical get together. Drinks and coffee are okay. Is dinner a little too much for someone you don’t really know? Probably. It’s up to you to choose the best meeting type according to your own analysis of the results.

I’m here to meet potential dates, friends, or lovers by spending the least possible time typing on a smartphone with my fingers. Now that’s a good value proposition.


2. Customize your profile

Customizing your profile is like sending a CV when you’re applying for a job… and we all customize our CVs depending on job requirements.

Choose photos that are relevant to your objectives. Think about how you would like to be perceived by your target audience. First, keep it decent, not because you’re likely to be found by family members on Tinder, but because revealing photos don’t convert as well on Tinder as they do on other dating apps. Statistically, wearing glasses in your photo will also have a negative impact on your conversion rate, but sometimes you’ve just gotta be yourself.

The “Smart photo” option is smart because it lets Tinder analyse people’s reactiveness and select the statistically optimal photo as your main photo.

Use the “About” section wisely. Empty descriptions don’t convert well either. Basically, you’ll want to have who you are, what you do, what you read, and what you eat. Let them know what you’re looking for in your own words and your own tone of voice. Don’t go too long either, your CV should all fit on a single page. This is where you market yourself. Think about your competitive advantage and your unique selling point (USP) and remember that there are tons of profiles out there.

It’s wise to link your Instagram account, anthems, and Spotify artists. Do this only if you think someone could like you for these things.


3. Define your target audience

Depending on your location, you may want to narrow your search and filter by age range and distance. Tinder gets pretty exhausting in big cities like NYC or Paris. There are so many options that users can lose the ability to focus on one person, don’t do that.

On a less technical note, I’m prejudiced in favour of the “there are no types” approach to life. See what Tinder has to offer as long as it doesn’t get exhausting. Branch out, try new things. Then analyse the results and revise your expectations accordingly.


4. Chatting best practices

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Above: How not to open a conversation.

This is where you match with someone and engage in a correspondence (we’ll skip going over who to swipe right and left, that’s completely up to you, but keep your objectives in mind).

Introduce yourself in your own words and tone of voice. You don’t have to wait for someone to speak to you. These are details that don’t matter. Again, managing expectations and telling people what you’re looking for is always a good choice. Don’t scare people off.

Now, on to the best bit, metrics:

  • Spelling, vocabulary and abbreviations: Perfect spelling and vocabulary are a must. We’re in 2017 and abbreviations are social suicide. Good spelling is the new trend over again.
    Punctuation is sexy. When writing in English, I make sure to stick my punctuation marks (question and exclamation marks, colons, etc.) to the words and when I write in French I make sure to leave an extra space before the next word because this is grammatically correct and that’s how things are. When in doubt, avoid semicolons. Plus I find it valuable and I want to be appreciated for that.
  • Words and Opinions: It's ok to “Tinder judge” someone based on their photos, words, opinions, and tone of voice because this is what Tinder makes available to you. Once you’re finished judging, it’s up to you to read and write. Listen to what they have to say, and you will eventually see whether your objectives align or not. Keep an open mind.
  • Reactiveness: Don’t give much consideration to profiles that answer after a week. You have deadlines to meet. Move on.

When it comes to strategy, you should focus on a few profiles, rather than going hard on quantity. Better to match with few people and correspond for some time. You can always go back to matching cards again when it all falls apart. You’re not window shopping and people aren’t going anywhere. Don’t let them leave you with a heap of matches and nothing else.

Remember, following-up is sexy. There’s nothing worse than a series of “How are you doing” exchanges followed by a blank page. These are other types of profiles not to be considered.

Keep this in mind, and repeat it over and over again: The problem with Tinder is that we often picture people exactly as we want them to be. Repeat it now.


5. Optimize your ROI

In project management, the Lean Methodology works in cycles that involve building, measuring, and then acting on findings. This approach allows you to be intelligent, reactive, and flexible. You will need to keep this methodology at the forefront of your mind when using Tinder.

This is how you will assess your time spent on Tinder versus how much progress you’ve made towards your definition of “done” (this is a technical term, basically, the acceptance criteria for your specific project). Are you getting all you need done in a sprint?

In project management, it’s important to always question the process. In our case, there’s nothing worse than spending useless extra time on Tinder. Take a moment to measure how much time you’ve spent and gauge it against your progress towards your objectives (of course, this will depend on your KPIs).

Now, adjust the process based on these insights.


6. Go Pro

If you want to go pro and become a Tinder freak (I mean super-user) you can use some of these in house-tools:

  • Super Like: If you think you’re really into someone you can use the super like. Transparency doesn’t hurt. The person will be notified of your extra interest. The Super Like is okay, it makes you stand out if you really want to reach out to someone.
  • Boost: Tinder Boost is a way to be one of the top profiles in your area for 30 minutes. It increases your chances of getting matched. You will, of course, be paying some cash for that. I would say that it’s up to you to develop a niche or broad strategy.
  • Tinder+: If you wanna pay some cash and get extra super likes and boosts it’s also up to you. It also allows you to go back if you swipe left by mistake. Useful for those who are bulk-swiping (Oops). You can also swipe in different countries than your actual location - don’t you just want someone waiting for you at the airport?

All of that said, Tinder is not about digitizing the spell of a meeting. It’s about helping you get there. I’m personally not big on chatting, but I believe in spontaneity and favourable circumstances. I’m prejudiced in favor of people who can stand out no matter where and how.

I’m not saying that Tinder is the best alternative in life, but if you want to use it, use it efficiently. It’s your choice to use it in a way than enhances a get-together. Use it in a way that makes up for all those lost opportunities.

Now go swipe some profiles and if you ever find me and you’re good looking swipe right.

Remember, be as agile in the bedroom as you are in the boardroom.

Paris-based Lebanese digital expert and pianist. I work at Bookwitty by day and I'm a social butterfly by night. I'm an urban explorer at all other times.

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