Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) and Why Your Brand Needs to Know About It

As social media and digital continue to impact our daily lives in every way, FOMO is becoming more prevalent among anyone in touch with the virtual world.

“FOMO” stands for fear of missing out. According to a study, it’s “the uneasy and sometimes all-consuming feeling that you’re missing out — that your peers are doing, in the know about, or in possession of more or something better than you”. The psychological occurrence of missing out is particularly widespread among Millennials.

The FOMO phenomenon isn’t new, and has been prevalent in our society for quite some time now. Actually, a very long time. It’s been wired into humans’ brains for centuries as the feeling of anxiety and discomfort from missing out on anything has always been a part of human nature.

It’s now turned into a popular buzzword and something brands are using to influence customer behavior and stay relevant. They’re using the power of emotion and users’ fear of missing out to turn into actionable results.

Consumers don’t want to miss out on anything. So, how do you successfully show why they wouldn’t want to miss out on your brand? That’s where the strategic implementation of FOMO comes in.

In order to be effective, you must integrate FOMO into your marketing strategy in a way that doesn’t seem intrusive or tacky. Here are some manageable ways to leverage the power of FOMO to enhance your marketing strategy.

Emphasize Urgency

Customers will more quickly convert and make purchases if they think they only have a limited time frame to do so.

Promote the scarcity of your brand’s awesome products or services and boost urgency by making customers feel that they need to act fast. Whether it’s a pop-up message on your site or email telling them that there’s a low stock on an item they have in their cart or that a sale is ending soon, driving urgency will motivate customers to take action.

Using consumers’ fear of possibly missing great opportunities and emphasizing urgency is a great technique to make your visitors eager to buy from you. FOMO prompts consumers to move faster to ensure they don’t miss a purchase, and decreases cart abandonment, and boosts conversion.

Promote Exclusivity

People, especially Millennials, love feeling like they’re getting something that’s exclusive. Getting their hands on limited-edition items or private deals makes them feel special and privileged.

Consider building a loyalty program that offers exclusive deals and promotions to its members if you don’t already have one in place. Build an email campaign showcasing the newest products that your subscribers are the first to get their hands on. This drives customer loyalty and makes new users more eager and excited to join.

Capitalize on Social Media

Social media is what triggered the extreme uprise of FOMO and continues to foster it, as higher feelings of FOMO are directly linked to higher usage of social media. People feel the need to constantly be in the loop and in the know of what their peers are up to, and resort to social media to keep up.

That’s why it’s a smart idea to market your brand on social channels like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. Your audience is most likely already present on social media, so why not create campaigns to further catch their attention and drive awareness?

Another way to leverage social media and FOMO is to share user-generated content or partner with an influencer. By encouraging users to interact with your brand and customer-created experiences, you effectively drive engagement that doesn’t come off tacky or too salesy.

People are more likely to trust their friend’s or influencer’s opinion than yours (no offense). Millennials in particular trust the opinions of influencers and are impacted by them in making purchases.

Combine the powers of FOMO and social media to bring in new leads and improve engagement.

Leverage Experiences

People value experiences over products or services. Whether it’s the quality of the experience they have along the customer journey or the experience you deliver outside of the purchase, consumers will remember how it made them feel far more than the quality of your products.

Create and promote events that seem too exciting to miss out on through social media. Throw product launches and invite influencers so you can show your appreciation and gratitude in a personable way, all while introducing a new product. Visitors will be more eager to purchase from you if they see that someone has had a positive experience with your brand.

Final Thoughts

As humans, no one likes the feeling of being left out or that they’re missing out. No matter what age group your core customer is in, FOMO is a psychological trigger that impacts everyone. When used in your marketing strategy, it can be a great tactic to drive engagement and awareness, and boost conversions.

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