FOMO and Social Proof
It’s perhaps not surprising then, that companies are using FOMO to their advantage. FOMO marketing is big news, but before I delve into some examples I love, let’s take a minute to also peek at the concept of ‘social proof’ which can also boost sales. According to Robert Cialdini, who studied the principle of social proof in his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, “we view a behaviour as more correct in a given situation to the degree that we see others performing it.” So, if we’re not sure what to do or how to respond, we presume other around us have more knowledge of how to act.
There are many types of social proof. For example, expert social proof is when an expert in your industry recommends a product or services or is associated with your brand. A positive review or mention from the press is a great example of this. And by appreciating it, you can give your brand a social boost.
There’s also ‘wisdom of the crowd’ social proof, which is where thousands or millions of people are seen to be endorsing your company.
Taking social proof into a marketing setting. If a brand has 7.9 million Twitter followers, they must be significant within their sector, right? Or at least that’s the presumption. And perhaps, as a consumer, you’ll also ‘like’ a popular social channel to avoid missing out. This is where FOMO also comes in showing how the two concepts work together. If society appears to be giving a service or product the thumbs up, why would you not want a piece of their business pie? Surely, you’d be missing something, or falling behind your peers which is one of the main triggers for that all-important FOMO response? This reaction, of course, opens up many doors for marketing professionals.
Here are some clever FOMO examples, some of which also lean on social proof.
#1 SeedProd – Show People Are Buying
When it comes to FOMO, you don’t have to be too obvious. Consumers know what looks good and what they want. But there are ways to get them on the edge of their chair. SeedProd triggers that all-important FOMO feeling without even making a sales pitch. Slick. Instead, they display live information when a purchase is made to show that people are interested and are buying. This potentially acts as a stimulant for other who may still be ‘on the fence’ about progressing through the sales funnel.
Top tip for marketers: Social proof notifications can be created through tools such as TrustPulse. TrustPulse also use this live popup technique with the ‘Get Started for Free’ button directly next to all updates. Not only are they showcasing their product offering but they’re also making it easy for people to sign-up. Warning though, overdoing it or using fake bots can look spammy and untrustworthy. Proceed with caution.
#2 Booking.com – Social Proof and Urgency
Looking for somewhere to stay can be overwhelming for sure. There are so many wonderful places out there. So how can brands encourage people to take a leap of faith and book? Well, firstly you can use social proof to show that people are booking, as this will instil confidence in the consumer.
Secondly, you can create a sense of urgency and FOMO by clearly showing that there are a limited number of rooms available. This makes it clear that delaying purchase could result in disappointment and encourages a speedier response.
The same approach can be used across many different industries with Merlin Entertainments also incorporating limited offers and urgency into their email campaigns.
Top tip for marketers: Use bold fonts and standout colours to communicate clear FOMO and social proof message. Remember, you want people to act now – and not leave your site to potentially drift towards a competitor. Use catchy email headers to create FOMO.
#3 Amazon – Put a Time Limit on Offers
Creating urgency can be done in other ways too. Putting a time limit on daily deals or offers is a great way to encourage sales. Amazon uses a countdown clock to show consumers exactly how long they have to buy. This counts down second by second which further emphasis how quickly time passes – and that you shouldn’t hang about if you want a bargain.
Top tip for marketers: For consumers to take action quickly, you need to provide an incentive. In the example above, price reductions are made clear under the Deal of the Day section. There’s no messing around and all marketing messages are clear and concise. Don’t bog your viewers down with unnecessary information. Keep everything relevant and on-point.
What’s more, let your deals expire. If you keep extending offers for the same products, people won’t take your FOMO marketing seriously.
#4 Pet Pro Supply Co. – Limit Free Shipping
90% of shoppers list free shipping as their prime incentive for buying online. By limiting free shipping and creating specific conditions, you can create a strong FOMO marketing campaign. For instance, offering free shipping for offers over a certain amount encourages people to buy more in order to benefit. After all, if you have to pay for shipping, you’ll probably feel like your missing out on this deal. And there’s always something extra to buy that can help you qualify. Right?
Top tip for marketers: Look at the average spend of consumers and set your free shipping limit 10% higher to encourage additional sales. Use historic date and track campaigns to see what works.
#5 Cosmopolitan – Get Personal
There’s so much noise online these days; over 682 million tweets per day in fact and more than 4 million hours of content uploaded to YouTube in a 24-hour period. So how can you boost brand awareness and improve loyalty? Everyone’s favourite subject is themselves so marketers are getting personal and using big data to help them.
Personalisation Stats to Keep in Mind:
· Emails with personalised subject lines generate 50% higher open rates.
· The top five benefits of personalisation include increased visitor engagement (55%), improved customer experience (55%), improved brand perception (39%), increased conversion rates (51%) and increased lead generation and customer acquisition (46%).
· 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands who provide relevant offers and recommendations.
· 80% of customers are more likely to purchase a product or service from a brand who provides personalized experiences
· 72% of consumers in 2019 only engage with marketing messages that are customised to their specific interests.
· 36% of consumers believe that brands should offer more personalisation in their marketing
Cosmopolitan’s ‘creepy true crime thing that happened on your birthday’ tweet promoting a daily Today in True Crime podcast is a great example of personalised FOMO marketing. Why? Because it’s hard not to find out when other readers clearly are. Right? The post and accompanying article pique interest, tapping into a topic that’s bang on trend at the moment. With women leading the true crime renaissance of recent years, Cosmo clearly knows its audience. Indeed, 80% of true crime podcast listeners are women.
The content is also tailored to each Cosmo fan out there with the ‘here’s how’ instructional style making it hard to scroll past. If there’s something connected to your big day, you want to know about it. Or is that just me? Bravo guys!
Top tip for marketers: Personalise your content wherever possible. For example, if you have the birthdates of opted in users, you could send them a discount on their birthday. Or you could use an international event like The World Cup to personalise your client messaging for different regions.
#6 Happy Socks – Create a Sense of Pride
Pride marketing needs to be taken seriously. Brands that use it as a marketing ploy only will not be well received. But if you’re serious about diversity and equality, you can create FOMO campaigns which support the cause and promote your product simultaneously. Happy Socks did just this with their themed stock and strong calls to action. But they also donated 10% of profits to the Stonewall Community Foundation which showed how committed they were to supporting LGBT efforts.
FOMO was created in numerous ways here. Firstly, there was the call to ‘march what matters to you’ inspiring people to take action and make their voices heard. Then there was ‘wear your pride’ which suggests you definitely need a pair of Happy Socks – and they are pretty cool. Everyone knows how colourful Pride festivals are and therefore this get-up is definitely a must-have. The community donation also inspires those who may not have purchased to reach for their credit card to not be left behind when it comes to social change.
Top tip for marketers: Have an events calendar nearby and form campaigns around significant dates. Local marketing to this effect can also work well for small businesses looking to capture the attention of consumers in a specific area. Phrases that work well in email sends, for instance, include words and phrases such as ‘exclusive,’ ‘limited,’ ‘only XXX left,’ ‘don’t miss out,’ ‘regional discount’, ‘loyal customer reward,’ ‘offer ends XXX’ and the name of an event associated with an offer.
These are some great examples of FOMO marketing. What do you think? Does FOMO work on you? Tweet me and let me know your thoughts.