Posted by Steve Parker, Jr. (@sparkerjr)
FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a psychological term that explains the omnipresent addiction our modern day society faces, fueled by the anxiety of never wanting to be left out. The infinite amount of information readily available to us by the touch of a keyboard or click of a mouse constantly lures us into the trap of always wanting to stay connected and be up-to-date on news and trends. This infatuation with constantly wanting to network and stay current can help explain those daunting statistics we hear of our reliance on our technological devices, specifically our mobile phones. According to a study by iPass, one in every three mobile workers gets up regularly throughout the night to check email on their phone, and nearly half of those surveyed admitted that they could not sleep without a smartphone within reach. Texting while driving is even illegal in about half the states in our country and let’s face it, most of us can admit to having simultaneously watched television, browsed the Internet on our laptop and tweeted to our friends on our mobile phone at one point in time.
As this FOMO phenomenon has shaped human behavior as we know it, it can greatly affect the way we advertise and market. To piggyback on one of my past digital marketing blogs, Words Have the Power to Change Our Lives, utilizing words like Exclusive or Live and phrases like Don’t Miss Out or Hear It Here First can be a powerful and compelling digital marketing tactic for your creative messaging.
While this creative marketing strategy applies to a multitude of digital (and traditional) media platforms, social media is a great example of how it can be leveraged to not only acquire new fans and followers, but also strengthen the connection with current fans and followers. First, providing exclusive and real-time content on your Facebook and Twitter page will keep your fans and followers more engaged, as they are looking to you as the primary source for all of your latest and greatest. Think of creating this content as fan and follower maintenance. This could include backstage photos of an event you attended or even a behind-the-scenes video of how your product or commercial was made. It could also pertain to simple updates about an approaching event or product launch. Offering exclusive discounts or promotions to your social communities can also keep your fan and follower drop off rates low, as ExactTarget informs us that 58% of Facebook users expect to receive discounts or promotions. Once exclusive content is created, you can leverage it through advertisements to expand your fan and follower count. An example could be testing a compelling call-to-action in a Facebook ad, such as “Like Us to receive exclusive photos and updates” or trying Twitter’s ad product, Promoted Tweets, to generate buzz about a follower-only promotion.
The fear of missing out (FOMO) is just one psychological behavior digital marketing pros can leverage, but as we all know too well, consumer behavior constantly changes and evolves, which makes the perfect digital marketing strategy seem like an everlastingly moving target. The challenge marketers must take on is to better understand (and predict) these types of behaviors, capitalize on them and reach as close to that moving bulls eye as possible.
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