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The Pitfalls of Applying the ‘Tinder Model’ to Influencer Marketing

The application of the 'Tinder of Influencer Marketing'—where one-off brand partnerships resemble casual connections on Tinder—often proves to be a significant vulnerability for many hotel brands.
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In recent years, as influencer marketing has gained prominence among hoteliers seeking to boost bookings, a noteworthy number have encountered a perplexing scenario of diminishing returns on their investments. This isn't an indictment of influencer marketing's effectiveness in building exposure and credibility—it excels in these aspects. The challenge, instead, resides in how hoteliers approach and execute their influencer marketing strategies. The application of the 'Tinder of Influencer Marketing'—where one-off brand partnerships resemble casual connections on Tinder—often proves to be a significant vulnerability for many hotel brands.

We'll explore why the Tinder-style approach may not align with hotel brands' marketing objectives and discuss how both tools and a long-term approach for hoteliers can revamp their influencer marketing strategies.

The Temptation of Instant Gratification

The comparison between influencer marketing and Tinder is rooted in the allure of immediate results. Just as Tinder provides a platform for individuals seeking instant connections, influencer marketing pledges rapid exposure through one-time partnerships with social media influencers. Hotel brands, eager to leverage this trend, often opt for brief collaborations with influencers and forego the use of tools to assess influencer quality. 

This approach can often prove counterproductive for hotel brands. Here's why:

Absence of Authenticity

In influencer marketing, authenticity is crucial. Hotel brands seeking one-off deals risk appearing insincere. These quick deals often lack genuine brand-influencer connections. 

Due to the speedy nature of the interaction, hoteliers skip essential influencer background checks.

Missed Opportunities for Long-Term Relationships

Hotel brands should aspire to cultivate enduring relationships with their audience. Establishing rapport with influencers over time can result in significantly greater exposure in the long run.

Considering that it generally takes a minimum of seven exposures for consumers to respond to a product or service call to action, repetition is imperative.

Therefore, the optimal approach is for hoteliers to establish enduring brand partnerships with closely aligned, high-performing influencers who can consistently extol the unique offerings of their hotel.

Deceptive Influencers: The Catfish Phenomenon

Influencer marketing should prioritize quality over quantity. Hotel brands fixated on instant gains may prioritize influencers solely based on their follower count or perceived popularity. However, this can lead to critical oversights in the vetting process, including influencer follower and engagement fraud.

Just as a dating app match can result in a catfishing experience and a broken heart if caution isn't exercised, influencer collaborations can lead to depleted budgets or an unfavorable return on investment if the chosen influencers aren't subjected to thorough scrutiny via the right tools or technologies.

The Road to Successful Influencer Marketing for Hotel Brands

To avoid these pitfalls,' hotel brands should adopt a more strategic and sustainable approach: coupling long-term partnerships with effective influencer tools to audit influencers prior to engagement. Some tools to consider are Influencity, Modash, HypeAuditor, or the many other options available to hoteliers.

Critical Metrics to Consider When Leveraging Influencer Tools

When harnessing software to evaluate influencer quality, hoteliers should diligently examine a set of vital metrics before entering into collaborations with influencers.

Those metrics are explained below.

  1. Review Their Engagement Metrics Over Time:

When utilizing influencer marketing tools, it's crucial to dive into an influencer's engagement metrics over time. Analyze how their audience interacts with their content, focusing on likes, comments, shares, and overall engagement trends. Often, engagement fraud will manifest as high highs followed by low lows in audience engagement. Consider this a big red flag.

  1. Review Their Authentic to Inauthentic Following Ratios:

Look at their follower-to-following ratios, as well as the engagement-to-follower ratio. A high proportion of inauthentic followers or a significant disparity between followers and engagements may indicate the presence of fake or inactive followers. Influencer tools can also immediately detect a fraudulent following. 

And while all open accounts, by nature, will have some level of a fraudulent following, anything above 20% to 25% is alarming.

  1. Check on Their Past Collaborations:

Influencer marketing tools can help you access information on past collaborations between creators and differing brands easily. Analyzing the type of brands they've worked with, the success of those partnerships, and the degree of engagement and reach amongst them can give hoteliers an informed idea of how collaboration with them could manifest.

  1. Assess Their Growth Metrics:

When employing influencer marketing tools, pay attention to an influencer's growth metrics. Track their follower count, engagement rates, and content performance trends over time. A steady and organic growth pattern is often a more reliable indicator of an influencer's genuine appeal and potential long-term value to your brand.

Too often, there are patterns of hoteliers working with influencers whose engagement and following have been declining consistently over time. Pick the influencers whose graphs are showing an upward trend in engagement and following.

Wrapping up

While the allure of 'The Tinder of Influencer Marketing' may promise quick wins at times, hotel brands should approach influencer partnerships strategically.

Using appropriate tools to analyze influencer authentic following/engagement, growth, and past campaigns can indefinitely help in the selection of top influencers. By steering clear of the shortcomings associated with short-lived arrangements, hotel brands can carve out a robust presence in the digital sphere and establish profound, financially rewarding connections with their target audience.

About the Author

Sarah Saffari is the founder of InfluencerNexus, a boutique influencer marketing agency that helps B2C brands disrupt market share by partnering with industry-leading influencers in their respective markets.

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