FOMO, or the “fear of missing out,” is an emotion turned into one of the most popular marketing tactics.
A striking 60% of consumers admit to making purchases driven by FOMO, with the majority acting within a day. Additionally, FOMO is behind a sizable 60% of companies’ sales.
So it’s no wonder how heavily businesses are using FOMO in their marketing campaigns to drive more leads and sales.
Read on to take a closer look at the concept of FOMO and explore some of the most interesting FOMO statistics.
FOMO Statistics 2023 (Top Picks)
- 60% of shoppers buy due to FOMO, usually within a day. This shows the power of urgency in marketing.
- 48% of millennials overspend to keep up with friends, revealing peer pressure drives purchases.
- 60% of sales are attributed to FOMO marketing tactics, making it highly effective.
- 262 times a day is how often young Americans check their phones, displaying constant connectivity.
- 70% of millennials experience FOMO, making them the most affected demographic.
- 40% of Gen Z began investing due to FOMO, showing its influence on major financial decisions.
- 72% of Facebook users feel FOMO, highlighting its dominance in driving this emotion.
- 61% of students attend events just to avoid FOMO, revealing its impact on real-world actions.
- 57% feel down when seeing friends have fun on social media without them, displaying its emotional impact.
What Is FOMO?
FOMO stands for “Fear of Missing Out.” It’s a feeling of anxiety or apprehension about missing out on something exciting or trendy that others are experiencing.
It’s like when you see friends posting about a great party on social media, and you wish you were there, too—that’s FOMO in action.
In marketing, FOMO is a powerful tool. It leverages this fear to prompt people to take action, like buying a product or signing up for a service, so they don’t feel left out.
For instance, a limited-time offer creates a sense of urgency–you got it–FOMO! This encourages customers to buy before they miss their chance.
Imagine you’re scrolling online and see a countdown clock next to a pair of sneakers you’ve eyed for weeks. “Only 2 hours left at this price!”
This is FOMO fueling your urge to buy before the time runs out.
Now, picture an email landing in your inbox, announcing an exclusive club for select customers offering early access to new products.
It reads, “Join our VIP list and never miss our newest gear.” This creates a club that everyone wants to be part of, and nobody wants to be left out—classic FOMO.
Limited Edition Products:
Let’s say a brand drops a limited edition line, like a famous artist’s signature on a line of headphones.
They market it with, “Get yours before they’re gone!” The rarity of the product makes you want it more because owning it sets you apart. It’s a limited run, and once it’s over, it’s over.
Testimonials and Reviews:
Here’s another scenario: a fitness app shares success stories from users who’ve transformed their lives.
“Meet our users who are living their best lives!” You start to wonder if you’re missing out on a transformative experience. It’s not just a product; it’s a lifestyle that you could be missing.
Last example, think about an event that’s happening:
“Join 1100+ marketers at the summit.” Seeing the number and knowing the event is popular makes you worry about being the one marketer who isn’t up to speed with the latest trends because you didn’t attend.
So these were some FOMO examples to give you a rough idea.
But, now, the big question. How to actually use the FOMO tactic?
Well, to utilize FOMO in your marketing campaigns, ask these questions:
- What are your target audience afraid of missing out on?
- Exclusive content? Special deals? Being part of a community?
Once you know this, you can craft your campaigns that are specifically tailored according to the needs of your audience.
FOMO Statistics: FOMO Spending Statistics
More than half of shoppers, 60%, are buying things because they’re worried they’ll miss out if they don’t. What’s more, they’re doing it fast—usually within a day. This shows us that if you tell customers they have to act now or miss the chance, many will listen and buy quickly.
Looking at millennials, 48% have dipped into money they don’t really have to stay on par with their friends. It’s a big deal because it tells us young adults value what peers do and have, and they’re willing to stretch their budgets to keep up.
Now, this next number is a big one for businesses: 60% of their sales come from FOMO marketing. This means that making customers feel like they’ll be left out if they don’t buy something is a super-effective way to boost sales.
Then we’ve got 41% of millennials who are making purchases on their phones without thinking twice, driven by that same fear of missing out. This tells businesses that having an easy way to buy on mobile is key to winning over young customers who make snap decisions.
Lastly, 40% of people are spending money on stuff just to show it off online at least once a year. It’s clear that sharing purchases on social media is a big part of why people buy certain things. They’re not just buying; they’re buying to share the experience with others.
FOMO Statistics: FOMO Demographics Statistics
Starting off with checking phones. Imagine glancing at your phone 262 times a day. For young Americans, that’s their average. That’s a peek at the phone roughly every five and a half minutes while they’re awake.
This stat is a window into how connected—and perhaps reliant—young people are on their digital worlds.
Then there’s the habit of checking phones even when they’re silent. No rings or buzzes, yet many users still check. This behavior is a sign of how much we expect to be connected, how we’re wired to stay in the loop. It’s a mix of hope and habit—hoping for updates, and the habit of being always-on.
Lastly, FOMO spikes when you’d expect it to? Well, later in the day and as the weekend approaches. Why? Because that’s when people are most active on social media around this time. Plans are made, parties happen, and the fear of missing out grows.
The timing of FOMO feelings aligns with when people are thinking about leisure and wanting to be part of the action.
FOMO Millennials Statistics
Let’s start with the fact that about 40% of people aged 12 to 67 feel that social media has increased their sense of missing out.
This tells us that across generations, social media platforms have become a significant factor in how we perceive our social lives and the activities we engage in.
Interestingly, within the survey, only a small— 8% —were familiar with the term ‘FOMO’. This suggests that while the feeling is widespread, the trendy acronym itself isn’t as well known. This gap presents an opportunity to educate and engage audiences on the topic.
When we focus on adults between 18 and 34, a whopping 70% resonate with the idea of FOMO, either fully or to some extent. This high percentage reflects a generational pulse, where staying in the loop and up-to-date is clearly valued.
Among these millennials, 36% say they often or sometimes feel FOMO. Almost half of them, 46%, believe social media turns up the volume on this feeling. This indicates a strong link between digital platforms and the emotional reactions they invoke.
It’s also noteworthy that 69% of millennials have experienced FOMO. Whereas, in terms of actions, 60% of millennials report making purchases influenced by FOMO. This is a critical stat for marketers, as it translates directly into sales.
For the social media angle, 45% of millennials with FOMO can’t last more than 12 hours without checking their feeds. This shows an intense need to stay connected and suggests that any marketing efforts that capitalize on real-time engagement could be very effective.
Millennials are the demographic most impacted by FOMO, more so than any other age group. This can be good to know if the primary target audience of your marketing campaigns mainly consist of millennials.
Lastly, the pressure to keep up with peers leads 40% of millennials to spend more than they should, even to the point of debt. This demonstrates the powerful influence of peer behavior on purchasing decisions, and the potential cost of staying socially competitive.
FOMO Statistics Gen Z
A look at the investing habits of Gen Z reveals a surprising motivator: FOMO. In North America, 41% of young adults aged 18-25 and 43% in the U.K. pointed to FOMO as their reason for starting investments.
This trend suggests that Gen Z isn’t just spending based on FOMO; they’re also making significant financial decisions with it in mind. The influence of seeing peers or influential figures talk about investments on social media platforms is likely a big driver here. It seems the fear of missing out isn’t just about fun experiences; it’s about financial opportunities too.
Gender plays a role in how Gen Z experiences FOMO, especially on social media. McKinsey’s survey highlights that female Gen Zers feel the negative effect of FOMO more acutely, with 32% reporting a negative impact compared to 22% of males. This difference suggests that social media can affect women slightly more than males.
Now taking a closer look at the younger spectrum of Gen Z, a study focusing on youth with an average age of 13 years old sheds light on how FOMO and internet use intertwine. A fifth of these young respondents show several signs of FOMO, and another 30% are at the risk of getting addicted to the internet.
These statistics are crucial; they tell us that FOMO doesn’t just influence immediate decisions—it’s also a factor in forming longer-term habits and behavioral changes.
FOMO Statistics Worldwide
One out of every four internet users around the world experiences FOMO. This widespread sense of apprehension about missing out shows the desire to be part of the action.
It could be driven by the universal human need to belong and not to be left behind, especially in a world where social media connects us across continents in real time.
When we zone in on behavior patterns, a striking 78% of people with FOMO are described as Followers. These are not just passive scrollers; they actively follow brands they’re interested in or considering buying from on social platforms.
This insight is particularly relevant for businesses looking to expand their reach. Understanding that a large segment of their audience may follow them out of a fear of missing out, companies can tailor their social media strategies accordingly.
FOMO Social Media Statistics
Starting with the platforms where FOMO is most felt, a clear leader emerges: Facebook, with 72% of users experiencing FOMO.
This high percentage suggests that the wide range of content and the large network on Facebook might make users worry they’re missing out on something important if they’re not constantly connected. Instagram follows, but at a much lower 14%, with Twitter and Pinterest at 11% and 8%, respectively.
When looking at the broader picture, over half of social media users—56%—feel FOMO.
With three-quarters of people having at least one active social media profile and more than half visiting these sites daily, the connection between social media habits and FOMO becomes apparent.
Social media is a regular part of most people’s daily routines, and this constant engagement feeds the fear of missing out.
The impact of FOMO on our relationship with technology is also significant. More than 15% of social media users experience severe FOMO, and a significant number feel upset when separated from their smartphones.
This emotional response to being disconnected highlights the depth of our attachment to these devices as our lifelines to the social world.
Further research, specifically among 458 college students, shows that FOMO can affect our well-being in complex ways.
On one hand, it has a direct negative impact, perhaps due to the anxiety and dissatisfaction it can cause. On the other hand, the study suggests FOMO can indirectly contribute positively by intensifying social media connections.
This dual effect illustrates the nuanced role of FOMO in our digital lives—it’s not just a source of stress, but also a motivator for seeking social connection.
As we look ahead into 2023, the buzz is all about artificial intelligence (AI) and technology as the new triggers for FOMO within the public relations and marketing sectors. The global AI market is on a steep climb, going from $58.3 billion in 2021 and expected to hit a massive $309.6 billion by 2026.
This surge points to AI becoming a key player in how we market and promote products. Marketers are catching on that if they’re not leveraging AI’s potential, they risk falling behind. For businesses, the message is clear: adopt AI or risk missing out on the competitive edge it offers.
Despite some negative feelings, including the sense of inadequacy and FOMO, social media usage remains high. Around 70% of people in the United States and 60% globally stay active on these platforms.
This stat suggests that even with the downsides, the pull of social networks is strong. They’re a vital part of how we connect, share, and stay informed.
Focusing on a more localized context, a survey among international students in Bergen provided a snapshot of FOMO’s impact. Out of 100 respondents, 61 said they sometimes attend events just to avoid feeling left out.
This insight reveals that FOMO influences not just online behavior but real-world actions too. It’s a potent force that drives people to engage, participate, and ultimately, conform to group activities to avoid the discomfort of exclusion.
Additionally, more than half of the surveyed students—57 in total—admitted to feeling down when they see their friends on social media having fun without them.
This is a telling sign of how much our social interactions have moved online and how they can affect our emotions. It shows that seeing others’ curated lives on social media can lead to negative feelings, highlighting both sides of the coin of staying hyper connected.
How Common Is FOMO?
FOMO is quite common in the current marketing sphere. It’s a widespread phenomenon that affects not just consumers, but businesses and marketers as well.
In fact, it’s one of the most common tools pro marketers use as a part of marketing campaigns.
And social media is one of the most crucial driving factors behind FOMO.
When people scroll through their feeds and see others having fun or buying the latest products, the feeling of missing out starts.
Research shows that a significant portion of social media users—particularly younger ones—report feelings of FOMO when they see their friends’ posts about events, travel, and purchases as we already saw in the FOMO Statistics earlier.
FOMO doesn’t just apply to lifestyle experiences. It’s huge in the tech world too. Think about the lines outside stores every time a new smartphone is released. That’s FOMO at work.
People want the latest gadget not only for its features but also to be part of the ‘in-crowd’ that owns it.
So that’s it about FOMO Statistics.
Specifically, FOMO motivates 40% of Gen Z to begin investing, showing its influence even on major financial moves.
The prevalence of FOMO in marketing and consumer behavior is clear.
With the rise of social media and always-on connectivity, the fear of missing out will keep driving purchases, and financial decisions moving forward.