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May 5, 2021

How Brands Can Generate The Fear Of Missing Out

By NOW Marketing Group
How Brands Can Generate The Fear Of Missing Out NOW Marketing Group

In order for brands to be memorable, they have to create exceptional experiences that leave people talking and wanting more. It’s all about generating a buzz and sense of excitement. 

By bringing people behind the scenes, and/or telling stories from the vantage point of being inside an event, brands have the ability to generate the fear of missing out, aka FOMO, that keeps people coming back time and time again. 


That’s why we sat down with the FOMO-Creator herself, May King Tsang to dive into the best practices that brands can use to generate FOMO and why it’s so important to do so! 

What Is FOMO:

FOMO is the fear of missing out, and it’s important. 

Google defines FOMO as anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media.

You might have also heard of the phrase JOMO: the joy of missing out. 

“In a business sense, the fear of missing out is a good thing! People say they want JOMO, the joy of missing out, but do you REALLY want that? NO! You don’t want people HAPPY to be missing out on your business.” - @maykingtea (click to tweet)

...we really can’t argue that. May King is right. 

We want to be a magnet; a force that drives people towards us because we have something unique, exciting, and compelling to offer. We want to create that desire for people to learn about us, ask questions and eventually do business with us! 

Why FOMO Matters:

Considering that 73% of planners have been able to successfully pivot their event to virtual and that 37% of event planners report that social media exposure is a key metric of event success, it’s more important than ever for brands to start to tap into the importance of generating FOMO -- especially in the world of events (which we’re super familiar with, HELLO #SMWL21!) where social media is crucial for driving awareness and engagement. 

“We usually can’t get that same energy IVL (in virtual life) and that’s why we have to really add that personality into what we’re doing as a brand!” @jessikaphillips (click to tweet)

Shooting live video at a gymSo, let’s dive into the three kinds/phases of FOMO that we can create: 


The pre-FOMO phase is all about generating that buzz and excitement before the event or campaign your brand is working on happens. 

Considering that 89% of event organizers use social media for pre-event engagement, it’s definitely the most “popular” kind of FOMO content to create. 

This looks like promotional graphics, social media posts, InstaStories, and more to drive awareness for whatever it is that you’re doing.

For us, we post a promotional graphic on Monday before each Tuesday Training Magnet Marketers. We also post on InstaStories and send out an email to our list. 


Live FOMO is all about generating that fear of missing out WHILE the thing is happening. 

This looks like live-tweeting, behind-the-scenes InstaStories, and/or live video on Facebook! 

For us, we know that our team has FOMO around our Magnet Marketers show when we have an epic guest like May King. 

Capturing photos of a tablespreadAccording to this article, 49% of folks use social media to engage attendees during an event. That means there is a HUGE opportunity for brands to start embracing the power of social media to drive conversations and provide value DURING an event.

Think how cool it would be to have someone on your team dedicated to answering questions that come up for attendees in real-time!? 


Just because the event is over doesn’t mean the FOMO-creating should stop! Post-event FOMO is all about generating content that gets people wishing they were there. 

What kind of content achieves that goal? >> Informative, value-based content that shows off the value of the event.

This looks like post-event blog posts, video clips from speaker sessions if possible, and/or recap social media posts! 

Not to mention, social media can be used as a great way to collect feedback. In fact, 38% of people in the study linked above use it as a feedback mechanism. 

Post-event FOMO is all about closing the loop for people and giving them answers! 

The best kind of post-FOMO content emphasizes the takeaways for the audience and drives them to take action to ensure they won’t miss “the next time.” 

Now that we understand the different kinds of FOMO, let’s dive into the best practices for brands to use to create it for their business.

How To Create FOMO For Your Business:

May King is an expert when it comes to creating FOMO. Like seriously, just take a look at her YouTube channel to see a library of videos on the topic. 

Two people looking at content on their phoneThat’s why we had her break down the 5-step process for every BRAND to follow in order to create FOMO:

  • B: Brand - It starts with your brand. Aka your brand manifesto. It’s all about who you are. We ARE our brand, so it’s all about showing up and adding our personality into what we are doing.
  • R: Relationships - The focus should be on building relationships with people, not just driving them to your event or video. It’s all about being a good person and taking the time to connect with people in a genuine way. Spend time engaging with people on social media. Let them know you’re reading their content by sharing it and tagging them! THAT is how you build relationships. 
  • A: Authority - Showcase that you’re an expert at what you do by posting content about it. Show your authority in your industry by helping others that have a need for what you’re great at. Be an active part of the community and show that you care
  • N: Notoriety - Become famous by not just talking the talk, but walking the walk. That means, show off the results that you get for people. Share the metrics and the success stories and let people fully understand how you help them. 
  • D: Direct Communication - Go into the DMs, but *only* when the time is right! Don’t go spamming someone, but if someone is engaging with your content, it’s okay to start that conversation privately and see how you might be able to help each other! Direct conversations help us to build relationships and truly get to know our audience! 

To create FOMO, we have to craft great content for the lurkers - the people in our audience that are watching but aren’t yet engaging - while balancing engaging with our active audience. 

“If you don’t have time to build relationships with people, you don’t deserve to be in business with people.” - @maykingtea (click to tweet)

Relationships are at the heart of business and as brands, we’re trying to create connections with those who are genuinely interested in how we can help them! 

“Brands need to recognize that the reason why engagement matters is because that is how we learn about our audience and build relationships with them.” @jessikaphillips (click to tweet)

A top tip for brands >> Show behind-the-scenes! This is how to really be a magnet and drive people to you. 

“Want to generate FOMO for your business? It’s ALL about showing what’s happening inside the business. Give people a look into what’s going on #behindthescenes!’ - @maykingtea  (click to tweet)

The reality is that people are watching and hanging out, whether or not we realize it. Our audience is taking note of how we show up as a brand and by showing up with personality and taking time to engage with our audience, we show them that we care. 

Putting It All Together:

With a coordinated strategy, brands can start to plan for how to generate pre, live, and post-FOMO and then dive into the data to see how things worked! 

Regardless of whether you have an event, this strategy works. 

“You can still generate FOMO by creating a mini-campaign around something you’re participating in! If you were a guest on a show, promote it beforehand! If you spoke at an event, make a post-event blog or post!” - @maykingtea (click to tweet)

Mug on desk with the word Begin-1

Some ideas for brands to get started:

  • Look and see how many people are registering for your event ahead of time as a result of the pre-FOMO being generated! 
  • Track the clicks for the call-to-action in your post-event blog 
  • Write down the number of views for your videos posting pre-during and after a campaign
  • Ask people how they found out about you! (Was it social media, Google, a friend?) 
  • Get inspiration by looking at campaigns and events from others in your industry to see how they executed content 

These metrics help tell the story of success and provide the ROI we’re always looking for when it comes to marketing efforts taken. 

At the end of the day, it’s all about building relationships, being ourselves, and showing up with the goal of providing value. When we focus on those above everything else, we’re guaranteed to drive FOMO for our business. 

What do you think? How can you generate FOMO for your business?

Share your thoughts in the comments below! 

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Tags: content creation, how to generate FOMO, fear of missing out, FOMO


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