#FOMO Should Play a Key Role in Your Digital Marketing Strategy

7th Mar

“Pics, or it didn’t happen.” Find out why shareable memories can become powerful in the hands of marketers.


Staying Connected

FOMO – short for Fear Of Missing Out – is a tragically pervasive phenomenon facing people who are stuck at home whilst their friends are out and about. Unsurprisingly, it’s largely millennials who are struggling with these feelings, given their ability to see their friends’ exploits on social media. In fact, 70% of this generation reports experiencing the feeling every single day.

Sites like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat have changed the way we share and consume content. In turn, those shifts have changed advertising, as it must make efforts to understand and react to the new social dynamics introduced by the evolving digital media landscape. Companies hoping to tap into consumers on social media should start taking advantage of this elemental human desire to never miss a beat.

#FOMO is No Joke

Although it may seem a joke, the phenomenon of FOMO is, in fact, very real. You’ve probably experienced it yourself – say, that time you were stuck listening to your grandmother’s latest bingo exploits while all your mates were out on the town.

This tangible fear that we’ve converted to a popular hashtag is actually rooted in our primal survival instincts, driving us to feel stressed and threatened when we sense potential alliances being built within the group without us. You can blame the old amygdala, a key piece in the network that regulates emotion and long-term memory called the limbic system.

"We have so many different ways to communicate; through our phones and through Twitter and Facebook. I have access to… everything you're doing on a daily basis," psychiatrist Johnny Lops tells the Huffington Post. "It can heighten my insecurities and jealous emotions because I feel like I'm not out doing as many cool things as you are.”

The acronym’s addition to the Oxford Dictionaries Online in 2013 indicates the incredible impact that social media is having on the world at large.

Experiential Marketing is Key

Given how strong this primal instinct to join the group can be, FOMO can actually be used as a subtle incentive for people to participate in branded campaign initiatives and events. By creating fun and notable interactive opportunities for groups to participate in, your product naturally becomes part of an experience rather than a forced advert.

Moreover, incorporating components that make the event highly documentable and shareable allows your guests to do your marketing for you – this is called user-generated content, and it’s a tactic that many companies are already capitalising upon.

Third Space, for example, recently enlisted The Flash Pack’s services for the launch of its new gym location at the More London Estates. We brought one of our 360 Bullet Rigs and invited guests to show off their moves in 3D, directly in front of the iconic Tower Bridge.

The result? Over the course of the three-day event, 876 captured videos were shared 936 times, received 5,596 likes and made a whopping 224K impressions. And based on the images generated, it’s probably safe to assume there was a whole lot of #FOMO going on that week.

Crafting the Experience

Compelling events like these play to our natural desire to be the first to something, whether it’s a new band, app, or engaging ad campaign — especially with millennials who value memories over products, according to Womma. A massive 79% of the demographic feel that going to live events with friends helps to deepen their relationships, while 69% say going to those events makes them feel more connected with others, as Entrepreneur reports.

Yet, successful events don’t have to attract thousands of people. Creating a unique experience for 150 to 200 people not only increases the exclusivity factor, driving the effectiveness of FOMO, but can also dramatically increase visibility online. Including a photo booth naturally encourages social sharing, enabling you to strike a primal chord with your target audience.

In other words, if you effectively show people what they’re missing (and what they’re missing looks incredible), chances are they’ll be clamoring to get to your next branded event.