How To Use The Power of FOMO To Drive Engagement In Your Social Media Contests

FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out, is the anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may happen elsewhere, often triggered by posts seen on social media. This feeling compels individuals to participate or engage, lest they miss out on something valuable or enjoyable.

How To Use The Power of FOMO To Drive Engagement In Your Social Media Contests

Did you know that 60% of people purchase because of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)? The fear of missing out is a powerful driver of engagement. Whether it's a flash sale, a trending hashtag, or a viral video, FOMO can motivate users to act quickly and decisively.

FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out, is the anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may happen elsewhere, often triggered by posts seen on social media. This feeling compels individuals to participate or engage, lest they miss out on something valuable or enjoyable. In marketing, FOMO is leveraged to create a sense of urgency, encouraging people to take immediate action to avoid missing out on an opportunity.

What is FOMO, and Why Does It Work?

FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out, is a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent. This social anxiety is characterized by a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing. It is especially pronounced today, where social media platforms constantly showcase curated highlights of others' lives, making it seem like everyone else is enjoying richer, more fulfilling experiences.

Humans are inherently social creatures who seek validation and belonging. When we see others participating in activities, especially those that seem enjoyable or exclusive, we fear being left out of the social loop. This drives a compulsion to join in to gain social approval and avoid the negative feelings associated with exclusion. Psychological studies have shown that people are more motivated by the fear of losing out than by the prospect of gaining something equivalent. This loss aversion principle means that missing out on a unique opportunity or experience is more compelling than the idea of obtaining something new.

The scarcity principle in psychology posits that people value scarce things more. When opportunities are limited in time or quantity, they appear more desirable. This principle underpins many FOMO-driven marketing strategies, where limited-time offers or exclusive deals create a sense of urgency and higher perceived value.

The natural human desire to compete and win also plays into FOMO. Seeing others engaging in something, especially in a competitive setting like a contest, sparks our competitive instincts. We don’t want to feel left behind or outperformed, which motivates us to participate.

Benefits of Using FOMO in Social Media Contests

Increased Participation and Engagement

One of the primary benefits of leveraging FOMO in social media contests is the significant boost in participation and engagement. When users feel that they might miss out on something valuable or enjoyable, they are more likely to take immediate action. The anticipation of winning an exclusive prize or being part of a limited-time event drives users to engage more frequently and with greater enthusiasm.

Social Sharing and Organic Reach

FOMO-driven contests often result in increased social sharing, which is crucial for organically extending your campaign's reach. Users who are excited about a contest and fear missing out are likelier to share it with their friends and followers. Additionally, as more people share and talk about the contest, your brand’s visibility grows, attracting more entrants and potential customers.

Building a Sense of Urgency and Excitement

Creating a sense of urgency is a powerful motivator in marketing, and FOMO is a key driver of this urgency. Urgency compels users to act quickly, reducing procrastination and increasing participation rates. Moreover, the excitement generated by a time-sensitive contest can create a buzz that captivates your audience, making your campaign more memorable and impactful.

Strategies to Implement FOMO in Your Contests

1. Exclusive Offers

To effectively use FOMO in your social media contests, one powerful strategy is to offer exclusive deals or limited-time offers. These exclusive offers create a sense of privilege and urgency among participants, driving them to act quickly.

Start by identifying a unique incentive that you can offer only to select participants. This could be a special bonus prize, a discount code, or early access to a new product. The key is to make the offer feel exclusive and highly desirable. Communicate clearly that this offer is available only to a limited number of participants or for a limited time. Announce that the first 100 people who enter your contest will receive an additional bonus prize.

2. Limited-Time Contests

Setting a clear deadline for your contest entries is crucial for leveraging FOMO. When participants know they have a limited time to enter, it creates a sense of urgency that compels them to act quickly. A tight deadline can motivate people to prioritize entering your contest over other activities, reducing procrastination and increasing immediate engagement. To make the most of this strategy, clearly communicate the deadline in all your promotional materials. Use countdown timers, bold text, and regular reminders to reinforce the urgency. The shorter the entry period, the more intense the sense of urgency.

3. Scarcity of Prizes

When the availability of prizes is limited, the perceived value of those prizes increases significantly. Participants are more likely to enter and compete when they believe the opportunity to win is rare and exclusive. Emphasize that only a select few will have the chance to win, which will make the contest feel more special and coveted. For example, you could announce that only 5 golden tickets are up for grabs. These golden tickets could grant winners exclusive access to an event, a premium product, or a unique experience. ---

4. User-generated content and Testimonials

Leveraging user-generated content (UGC) and testimonials from past winners can significantly amplify the impact of FOMO in your contests. When potential participants see real people winning and enjoying their prizes, trust and excitement build. UGC provides social proof, showing that your contests are legitimate and that real rewards are given. Encourage past winners to share photos, videos, and stories of their experiences with your brand and the prizes they've won. Share these testimonials on your social media platforms, contest landing pages, and promotional materials to create a compelling narrative that attracts new participants.

Using for Your Social Media Contests is a leading platform designed to streamline the process of running contests and giveaways on social media platforms. provides users with a user-friendly and intuitive interface to create, manage, and track the performance of contests and giveaways effortlessly. The platform offers various features and tools to help businesses and individuals engage their audience and grow their brand presence on Instagram. offers tools designed to help you create a sense of urgency and exclusivity, essential for leveraging FOMO in your social media contests. has a countdown timer feature to reinforce participants' limited time to enter your contest visually.

For example, in the giveaway contest above, winners are selected via a goal-triggered draw, which moves to select winners immediately after 7,000 people have entered the contest (the progress can be seen in the bar at the top-right corner). This progress bar subtly sends a message to participants that they have limited time to enter the contest to be eligible for a draw.

Similarly, the countdown timer at the top-right corner achieves the same purpose of driving urgency to potential participants.

Learn more about goal-triggered draws and other draw types on

Beyond facilitating urgency in online contests, facilitates their management and easily tracks participant engagement. Moreover, employs a provably fair algorithm to ensure fairness and transparency in the winner selection process, making it automated, thereby saving you time and effort.

You can easily get started with creating contests on, as there are a variety of customizable contest templates for several social media platforms and other marketing needs.

End Note

In summary, using FOMO in your social media contests can increase participation and engagement, enhance social sharing and organic reach, and a strong sense of urgency and excitement. These best practices will help you maximize the impact of your campaigns, ensuring they are memorable, widely shared, and highly successful.

When you use's tools to create urgency and exclusivity, you integrate your contest across multiple social media platforms, and you can effectively implement the power of FOMO to drive engagement and participation in your social media contests.

Get started with and make the most of your social media contest!