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In 2013, the Oxford English Dictionary added the increasingly common term “FOMO”, defining it thusly: fear of missing out: anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website

Yes, FOMO is a real word — and a real phenomenon. Thanks to the pervasive nature of social media, many of us are all too familiar with the feeling of comparing ourselves to the (often exaggerated) lives of others.

FOMO doesn’t have to be negative, though, and smart marketers are using it to drive brand exposure.

influencer marketing plan

“Hey, have you seen this hilarious video?” “Have you done that viral challenge?” “Did you read this article?”

In today’s attention economy, we’re constantly trying to keep up with the latest news, events, products, and services. FOMO doesn’t really have to be about fear, it’s the simple human desire to feel connected and in the know.

There are a number of ways that brands can use FOMO to their advantage — in fact, Faith Popcorn, founder and CEO of consulting firm BrainReserve, boils one three-part strategy down to “Foster, Fight, or Flip.”

You can foster, or encourage FOMO with buzzy events consumers want to take part in, or fight FOMO with services that make consumers feel plugged in to the latest trends. Flipping FOMO means to give consumers what they need to turn away from FOMO altogether, in a way that builds brand affinity.

Let’s look at some examples of each:

  1. Fostering FOMO: Boosting buzz around events or purchases in order to encourage the feeling of not wanting to miss out on the action or conversation (weighted blankets, Coachella, AirPods, cult-appeal skincare products, Tesla).
  2. Fighting FOMO: Providing a curation service so that consumers feel like they have access to the latest, hottest items and content (beauty and style subscription boxes, Spotify, discovery algorithms on Instagram, Amazon, Netflix, etc).
  3. Flipping FOMO: Turning away from the FOMO trend altogether with options to unplug or avoid popular activities or distractions (REI’s anti-Black Friday #OptOutside campaign, downtime-focused apps like Calm).

Influencers can be an integral part of your FOMO efforts by driving demand or providing a feeling of being in the know. As credible and often aspirational sources, influencers bring an emotional element to your product or service. Their audiences trust their recommendations and can feel a heightened sense of interest or desire for a shared experience.

After all, if your favorite beauty influencer is generating a lot of buzz by raving about the benefits of a new face cream, you’re likely to want to try the cream for yourself — and also spark some buzz of your own by sharing it with your own followers.

You can also use FOMO in influencer marketing to prompt consumer action by creating a campaign based around scarcity or exclusivity. When stock is restricted, or there’s only a certain number of signups available, or a time-limited discount, consumers feel a sense of urgency which creates demand and drives purchasing decisions. Invitation-only websites, memberships, and content providers all prompt curiosity and a desire to be part of an exclusive group.

Whether you’re chasing FOMO with your marketing efforts or turning it on its head, it’s a great tactic for generating traffic and prompting engagement. Talk to us today to learn more about how we can design a high-performance campaign for your business with our network of talented influencers.


Have you recently executed an influencer campaign that produced amazing content? Do you know how to make that content work as hard as possible?

The good news is that a piece of influencer-created content doesn’t have to be limited to a single campaign. We created this guide to share some ideas for getting the most value from your influencer-created brand assets. Get started today!