Buy now! Only 24 left. Closing at midnight! [Updated]
We all have that natural human fear of missing out on something good. It's an innately social thing. But how do you tap into that when you're marketing your brand, product or event?
FOMO has probably popped up at some stage in a conversation you've had - or heard. It's one of those shortened words thrown about a lot these days, more than ever now on the web. Kind of like OMG. What FOMO is short for, if you didn't know yet - is Fear of Missing Out. It sums up that 'complicated situation in your head' you get when you don't want to miss something great. Perhaps it's a social event. Or a new product. Or news about something or other that, if you didn't know - it would exclude you from the conversation around the coffee machine at morning break.
Dr ChandaPaul here will help us explain what we mean by it:
No-one wants to be limited in their social circles and networks because they don't have that knowledge or experience of something, but everyone else does. Why do you think tuning into the news at 6:00 PM every night is so powerful? It's not just about finding out what's happening in the world. It's about your world, and knowing what's happening so you don't feel like an idiot when you have to form an opinion on it. The fear of feeling left out of something and being left out of the conversation is a powerful thing. And as we know very well - a lot of social media is about that conversation, or the exchange of ideas or expression of interests that allow you to connect and define who or what you are.
Sure, FOMO is nothing new in marketing. What's interesting to me, however, it is becoming an essential marketing technique for the social and mobile web. With more and more of your fans connected to and sharing with each other via social networks, mobile devices and apps...the FOMO factor is quite naturally amplified. All this is significant because of the way the web itself is developing because social sharing is at the core of it, and the recent changes to platforms such as facebook are a solid indication of that. Now with Facebook Timeline for Brand Pages being introduced this past week - the life of your brand is both curator and curated by the community of individuals connected to it.
The way I think about it - Real-Time Serendipity is key here, as Mark Zuckerberg speaks about in his F8 keynote last year. This is a new web, where frictionless sharing is a key part of how we express ourselves and what we're into and discover new things in our lives - offline and on. It's also an essential component to how we form relationships and affinities with others in our social networks. And if, as Zuckerberg suggests, over time, our lives and our actions, our interests and our preferences, our experiences and our choices will be increasingly curated online and shared seamlessly through our networks - there will be a social / digital ecosystem where the connections that tie individuals with the media and brands they interact with will be as fluid and as natural as breathing. And that is how we'll encounter new ones, or convert from a spectator to an engaged ambasador or repeat purchaser.
So it should go without saying that whatever piece of content an individual interacts with, you want that to be something positive, something persuasive, something enticing. And this where the FOMO factor comes into play. Because if you play your cards right, you'll know that a good proportion of their 150 so friends feel as if they are now obligated to participate in your story too - even if it's simply to feel included in the "Conversation".
Now - instead of shoving the amazing thing about your something out for the world to see, you are more successful in sharing what it is that is so exciting about it - or influencing others in such a way that they are compelled to show that too their friends as well. I guess that's how virility plays out.
Now. More than ever. There's every reason to tap into the FOMO FACTOR so that others will be compelled to be a part of your amazing story. And by doing so enhancing their own reputation and feeling of involvement within their own networks.
FIVE ways to tap into the FOMO Factor:
- think how social apps and networks can be maximized to show people what is cool about your brand, without actually telling them
- tap into the power of influencers to help you share and spread buzz for you and engage and share in the buzz and excitement that others are creating around your brand
- tease out key campaigns, promotions, news - make them feel special, give insider or behind the scenes info, sneak previews,
- use the new array of social ads on Facebook to your advantage
- use copywriting techniques to up the ante in your social post
Can you think of any examples of a brand using social media to tap into that FOMO? It could be as simple as an image, or a sneak preview, or the use of influencers talking about something that is about to happen.
When it comes to marketing events, new products or enhancing the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns - FOMO is the new Show Don't Tell. Luckily the web is developing in such a way that frictionless sharing across social networks is making it easier than ever to show others how awesome you are - and as a consequence, make them more likely to want to have a slice of that as well.
Post By @JenCorbett
This article was published in our Digital Ideas weekly email newsletter. Visit Flitter.co.nz to subscribe before the next edition comes out.