The use of smartphones along with the ability to access posts about exciting products, services, or events via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, has created the anxiety of the ‘fear of missing out’. FOMO – a term for the paranoia some feel about being left out of an experience.
Studies have shown that Millennials are especially susceptible to FOMO: 68% of them admit that they’ve made purchases to avoid missing out.
With Millennials now being the largest generation along with their purchasing power constantly increasing – FOMO has become an important tool for small businesses. It just happens to be a tool they’re well positioned to use — especially in the social media world.
Whether it’s an exclusive party, a new tech toy, the chance to be the first to own a new smartphone, or to have the first opportunity in an once-in-a-lifetime deal – Millennials are ready to take advantage of ‘first’ because they don’t want the FOMO to be part of their daily lives.
Below are a few ways a small business can use this fear its advantage.
1. Use Your Customers’ Curiosity
Curiosity inspires anticipation, which inspires a fear of missing out, which will help ensure customers will follow any updates (and spend their money) to avoid being left out of the loop.
For example it was stated that The Wales-based X Music Festival, channeled this concepts very well by not simply releasing a list of its performers, but also using incomplete images of them.
Then they offered limited VIP tickets to those who guessed who the artists were.
Small businesses can easily create similar FOMO curiosity around their products, upcoming sales, or special events that will drive more awareness and then more purchases.
2. Emphasize the Scarcity
Inform customers that you are only offering so much of a particular product or service or seats at an event, and you’re just about guaranteed to inspire the FOMO.
Recently an email marketing company had a 40% off promotion for new accounts and introduced the ‘fear of missing out’ angle by making only a specific number of accounts available at the discounted price.
Then they consistently updated customers on how few accounts were left. This type of scarcity can easily turn a fence-sitter into a ‘buy now’ button click.
3. Promote Social Sharing
Have you ever noticed how industry conferences will create hashtags for panels and then live tweet the discussions or ask others to do so?
That’s not just about giving information access to those who couldn’t come to the conference. It’s about making them regret missing it by showing the value of the event through social sharing.
This principle can easily be applied to a small business as well. For example, if customers love your product or service, encourage them to share images of themselves using and enjoying it, and rest assured their followers will start feeling the FOMO which will lead them right to you.
It’s time for you to learn how to work social proof into your business, so customers know you’re the real deal and they begin to buy your offerings. Take the time to determine which customer service approaches are best to make your customers happy enough to return.
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As a reminder, for career and businesswomen it’s always about – ‘Results. Uniqueness. Differentiation.’ I call this your ‘RUD’.
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