Social media gives us an unprecedented view of what’s going on in the lives of our family, friends, and favorite celebrities. With all those people to keep track of comes a side effect: Fear of Missing Out (FOMO).
FOMO is what happens when people with an ever-growing number of social media accounts to follow run up against the inevitable: There’s only so many hours in the day. This can lead to a persistent worry that you might just miss something amazing.
How FOMO Influences Marketing – and Customers
Everyone who is invested in their social media feels FOMO to some extent. However, the digital natives of the Millennial generation are most likely to change their behavior patterns to reduce FOMO. After all, their peers converse and make all kinds of event plans through social media.
FOMO may seem new, but it’s actually a well-known psychological phenomenon. Back in the days when food was scarce and predators plenty, being “in the know” often meant the difference between life and death. The need for social awareness creates a similar drive in consumers.
By enticing customers with intriguing information, you can make them feel like they are “in the know” about what really matters. Likewise, you can stoke anxiety around missing out to make your communications stand out in the increasingly crowded social media landscape.
Three Basic Approaches to Using FOMO in Digital Marketing
Brands are still in the early stages of exploring FOMO, but three methods stand out:
FOMO is already an intrinsic part of the way your customers think and respond to the world. By adding to the perception that users will miss out if they don’t get engaged with your brand right away, you can motivate them to take actions they otherwise wouldn’t.
Content curation is one of the fastest, and potentially one of the most effective, ways to establish your brand’s credibility. Using curation, you can soothe your users’ fears about missing out, thus building trust with them that can pay off in terms of sales later on.
Not surprisingly, a steady diet of FOMO can exhaust users. Sooner or later, everyone reaches a point where they’ve had enough – just look at the phenomenon of the “social media hiatus.” To leverage this, you can encourage users to unplug, unwind, and yes…“resist.”
Socially savvy brands can incorporate all three FOMO techniques into their repertoire. It may be necessary to stoke FOMO in relation to a hot new product or service offer, for example, where you would normally fight FOMO by curating premium content for your users.
One thing is for sure: FOMO in digital marketing is here to stay…so don’t miss out on using it!