As marketers, we’re fond of using storytelling to convey a point. It helps show the humanity of the communication instead of just stating the facts. And, what is more human than FOMO?
There was a girl, let’s call her “Carol”, who used to have a Facebook account. She wasn’t a diehard user. She didn’t check it every hour or post countless pictures of every food item she ate or link to every song she ever listened to. In fact, she found those people very annoying. But when she did post, she craved getting the “thumbs up” sign indicating people liked her post which, in her mind, equated to liking her. Or better yet, for people to comment. And when they didn’t, she felt bad.
She also felt sad when people in her circle were having crazy wonderful times with friends and family when perhaps she was not – commonly referred to as Fear of Missing Out. To save her sanity, and her friendships, Carol abandoned Facebook nearly six years ago after having used it for over three years.
Now, Carol sometimes feels like everybody’s on social media and that FOMO may, in fact, be causing her to miss out. She gets most of her information online and is finding websites to be a less reliable source for updated information. Some examples:
- Recently, she drove to a client’s office only to find they’d moved and didn’t update their website.
- She specifically went to a bakery to get a particular flavor of bread being made that weekend to learn they decided not to make it that day.
- She made a special trip to a consignment store across town to sell clothing and found they weren’t buying that day due to a special event. And they (seemingly) shamed her by saying “we posted it on social media”.
None of these businesses, however, had updated their websites.
For anyone who’s only using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to reach their customers, here are some fun facts:
- Approximately two thirds of Americans use Facebook. Use among teenagers 13 to 17 is about 50% in the US.
- 37% of Americans plus one sitting US President, or approximately 70 million people, use Approximately 40% of teens 15 to 17 are users.
- 31% of American females and 41% of males use Instagram. Some stats show the teen usage rate is close to 80% in the US.
These numbers indicate that no matter which platform(s) you’re using to communicate to customers, you may be missing more than a third of your audience. And even if they have a social media account, they may not be checking it routinely. Even more important, is the knowledge that keeping your website up to date with relevant information for your customers makes Google happy and helps your site get search priority because of its relevance.
The internet is loaded with facts and figures of who uses what platform for every demographic and psychographic you can imagine. Only you can determine – based on market testing and research – how best to reach your clients. Make sure you’re not missing out by not messaging to your full population. That way customers get to choose how to find you and get information.
As for Carol, with all the negative publicity and data issues with Facebook, she has no regrets. And even Mr. Facebook himself declares the future of social media is changing. However, Carol recently read that Queen Elizabeth made her first Instagram post at age 92 on the Royal Family’s account. Better late than never? Given the standard set by the queen, Carol’s got plenty of time to reconsider her stance.