FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out is a new name given to an old sensation. That shiver of angst as we realise that by not doing something, not attending, we are taking the chance of missing something potentially life changing. By passing up on an opportunity, the world is a little bit narrower and slightly more limited. Acting fast gets you the best deals on the best properties, right? Delaying your decision means other people are booking whilst you’re thinking and you might just miss that dream property.
Using FOMO provokes an emotional response. When we think we are about to miss out on something logic just seems to fade. Just by clicking and confirming we are entering the possibility, by not clicking we are letting something imaginary and intangible slip through our fingers. If the property is booked up later then by not acting it seems as if you have lost something. Your possibilities are narrowed. By not acting it can feel as if you are now in the lower category of people who didn’t book quite quickly enough and now have to settle for a lesser property. Acting fast meant that you had the most choice, and therefore, chose the best property at the best price all the time fighting off the hordes of other holidaymakers looking to snatch your booking out from under you. This may not be logical or accurate but it is hard to resist the creeping tension of FOMO and property managers can use this marketing technique to take their calendars from 90% booked to 100%.
You can tap into this sensation in your guests like a rich seam of oil. Sites like Booking.com even have a countdown of the available rooms left. Whilst many might take this information with a grain of salt, it is hard to ignore the need for urgency when there is a literal countdown of your chance to book the property you want.
With Kigo you can use the digital footprint of your guests to see what part of your site they last looked at. An email when this property is nearly fully booked will tap into the sensation of FOMO. ‘Act now, or miss out forever!’, by knowing that this is really the last chance to book it serves as motivation to act. It’s rare that people will ever be left with no accommodation options but we are still at the mercy of this emotional response
If we take an example from a Booking.com listing, we can see that they appeal to this idea of scarcity in no less than four different ways in a small thumbnail listing.
There’s only one left, someone booked a room just 10 hours ago, they’re going to sell out within two days and there’s someone looking at this room right now!
If we look at the language they use, you can see how it serves to not just make the hotel seem scarce, but needle that emotional response from potential guests. ‘Last chance!’ – this is not just a room. It’s a chance, an opportunity. It’s as if by booking, you’re not just purchasing, you’re winning something because it is such a good deal. They also use different colours for every part of this marketing. They want your eyes to dart around and see each piece of information as separate. It makes the booking process seem more exciting, by booking you’re sliding in before the door rumbles shut.
Social media also provides abundant opportunities to tap into people’s fear of missing out. Something like a special promotion only available to the next five people to like or share a post means that people are invested in booking with you (as well as sharing your content). They are now in the exclusive section of people that took advantage of your offer whilst the rest of the world looks in from the outside. At this point, by not booking with your business they would be missing out on the advantage that they have over the other people looking to book. FOMO is not always related to time but that idea of losing an edge. Losing a slice of possibility that things will be better than you can imagine.