We’ve all heard of FOMO, or the fear of missing out. (If not, you’re seriously missing out!) It’s all around us — when we check Instagram and feel left out, when we scroll through Facebook and feel jealous, or even when someone tells us about something that we wish we had been a part of.
Research shows that this psychological phenomenon affects young people particularly strongly. That’s because young people use social media much more frequently than older people. The event management and ticketing website Eventbrite estimates that 69% of millennials have experienced FOMO. (That number will probably continue to rise as social media becomes more widespread.) And, even more strikingly, another 33% of millennials say they have purposely tried to make others feel FOMO.
So why not use FOMO — and the associated feelings of anger, sadness, jealousy, and envy — to your business’s advantage? This concept is called FOMO Marketing.
FOMO Marketing is built on the idea that customers’ FOMO can prompt them to:
Purchase items they otherwise wouldn’t have purchased out of fear of missing out on a deal,
Spend based on a societal pressure to keep up with their friends, or
Participate in some event after feeling sadness that they missed out on previous shared experiences.
FOMO Marketing works best when planning events, using social media, and building your website.
Hosting an event is one of the easiest and best ways to use FOMO Marketing. For one thing, you can limit the number of people who can attend your event, and cultivate feelings of FOMO right from the beginning. As you’re marketing your event, make sure to emphasize the fact that not everyone will be able to go. Also, tease the major selling points of your event, and offer early-bird perks if you can.
Ahead of the event, it’s important to think of some elements that people will want to share on social media. This is the element that you can promote before the event but also have people talk about on social media during the event. Chances are, if you create something compelling, those at home will want in on the action.
While you’ll want to encourage people to bring their phones and share their own experiences on social media, you’ll also want to do some sharing yourself. Find an opportunity to go live on Facebook Live or another platform. You should showcase celebrity appearances, special guests, giveaways, or any moment you think could have a high social media value.
To further develop feelings of FOMO, make sure to interact with people who comment on your Livestream in real-time. This will prompt those at home to imagine themselves being at the event and, ultimately, to wish they were there.
Not surprisingly, since social media is often the source of FOMO among young people and others, social media can also be an effective FOMO Marketing tool for your business. People have become addicted to receiving updates via social media. More than half of social media users say they dread missing online updates. Here’s how your business can build off of that.
Borrowing a page from Apple’s playbook, take every opportunity you can to tease a new product offering on all of your channels. This will prompt customers to feel FOMO before they even can touch your physical product.
Another good tool is the hashtag. A clever, funny, or impactful hashtag can create a good deal of buzz around your brand. The good thing about hashtags, as well, is that you can track who is using them and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.
Or, perhaps you may want to take a page out of Snapchat’s playbook and create time-sensitive content. If you let your online content expire on platforms like Snapchat or Instagram, people will take notice. People who missed a special offer or an important piece of information because it expired will likely be eager to come back and check your social channels so they don’t miss something again.
In that same vein, some brands have found success with private groups. You will likely create a lot of buzz, for example, if you promote a private Facebook group where customers can get early offers and insider information. Those who are not a part of the Facebook group will likely want to join if they’re afraid they’re friends are seeing something they’re not.
Finally, another good way to use FOMO Marketing in your social media strategy is to offer limited product samples. Offer free samples to a small group of customers, and then showcase those customers on your social media pages. Later, offer the free sample to more customers, but post the purchase code on a social media channel that doesn’t have as much traffic, so customers will have to interact with that channel.
It’s important to start thinking about FOMO Marketing from the time you start building your website. Incorporate features that show customers the danger of missing out on purchases.
One way you can do this is to show people how many other customers have visited a product page that day. You can also show stock levels for your products. Most customers would rather make a purchase now, even if they have some hesitations, than regret not making the purchase when the product is gone.
To create a sense of urgency on your website, you can also add a countdown clock to show when a deal is about to expire or make a last-minute offer that your customers can’t turn down. For example, right as the customer is clicking away or trying to clear an item from their shopping carts, throw in a 10% off coupon that they can only use at that moment.
Fundera created a quick guide to the nine best FOMO Marketing tips you don’t want to miss out on. Check it out below: