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Operation FOMO: Three Ways to Turn Customer Envy Into Engagement

by Jeff Snyder  |  
December 16, 2016
  |  2,352 views

Have you ever found yourself on Facebook, looking through photos of faraway places and charming status updates, only to want to shut down your browser with envy? It seems, in such moments, that you're stuck at home scrolling through social media while everyone else is having the time of their lives.

The FOMO Phenomenon

It's not that everyone else's life is better than yours, it's that you've become a victim of FOMO—the fear of missing out.

Coined in 1996 by Dan Herman (is anyone surprised that he's a marketing guy?), "FOMO" describes the psychological stress induced when one feels excluded from something enjoyable that others are experiencing.

Want to know where that definition came from? As of April 2016, FOMO is in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, and it's here to stay.


FOMO causes you to compare how much you're missing to a reference group that is now larger than ever, thanks to social media. Essentially, it's why your next-door neighbor feels the need to check in to every restaurant she's ever been to and why you can't pull up Instagram without seeing everyone else's travel experiences.

Missing out is, unfortunately, inevitable. You have dozens of attractive options open to you, but you can choose only one way to spend any minute.

Don't Miss Out on FOMO


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Jeff Snyder is the chief inspiration officer and founder of Inspira Marketing, an experiential marketing agency based in Norwalk, Connecticut.

LinkedIn: Jeff Snyder

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