Creating a sense of FOMO

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FoMO – “the persuasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent.”

With so much clutter in social media and online marketing, brands are needing to create real urgency in their messages to achieve maximum cut through.  In the past, a catchy heading with a play on words would be enough to grab peoples attention (in the newspaper).  But now, with fast fingers whizzing through social feeds, it’s becoming harder to stop your audience and engage with them.  Enter expiring content.


Consumers LOVE to be in the moment with a brand.  And we all like to think we are first.  First to see, first to buy, first to try.  And most importantly, getting something before anyone else.  Remember the lines you’d see at the Apple Store (rumour has it many people in the line ups were paid…!).  Snapchat was a pioneer in social media and messages expiring after a period of time decided by the sender.  This simply places a huge sense of urgency on the recipient to read any message before it expires and increases engagement.

Was it successful?  It started with loads of pictures of boobs and willy’s in the early teens (problematic and not ideal) but matured to the point where 4,000,000 Australian’s use Snapchat each day and over 10BILLION video views worldwide each day.  Facebook tried to buy Snapchat and failed, so is now offering it’s own expired content solution.

So what does this mean for you?  How can you use your own sense of urgency to penetrate your audience and increase engagement. Facebook now allows you to schedule an expiry date for your posts.  So when you are promoting a new product, holiday, dinner special or home for sale, you can include a promotion which has an end date and is removed from your feed.  So promote your new line of shoes, with an offer which expires in one day, coupled with a post which removes then, gets the audience seriously engaged and acting fast.  Of course Snapchat and Instagram are allowing their business customers to do the same.

So consider your offering – how can you make a message stand out with a compelling call to action and an expiry campaign to drive interest?  Try one today – it can be a product, service, a promo (2 for 1) or an Open Home yet to hit the market.  If you make a name for yourself in this space, people will follow because of the fear of missing out (FOMO)

By Stu Atkins

Social Seedling


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Stu is one of Australia's leading technology, disruption and social marketing speakers and trainers to commercial Australia.

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