Social Media Strategies for Halloween

According to the National Retail Federation, Americans spend roughly $7 billion on Halloween-related goods each year. This is great news for the pumpkin and candy corn industries, but what does it mean for your business? Take advantage of this season of increased spending and ramp up marketing on social media, where consumers are most engaged.

Here are some tips to help you with getting started:

Perform a trick, get a treat!

The easiest way to get consumers engaged with your marketing efforts is to offer a prize, and Halloween social media campaigns are no different. Over the years, a number of big name brands have used contests to drive sales, brand awareness and consumer engagement during Halloween.

PetCo’s “Make a Scene” photo contest encourages fans to share pictures of their pets dressed in funny costumes on Instagram using the hashtag #MakeAScene for a chance to win $25,000.

#MonsterCute Halloween Contest from Petsmart

Another example is Dos Equis, which encouraged followers last year to post pictures of themselves in costumes using the hashtag #XXMasquerade for a chance to win a trip to New Orleans.

Dos Equis #XXMasquerade Campaign

Of course, successful campaigns do not need to come with a hefty price tag. Brands can run scaled down contests with prizes such as a sizeable discount on the next purchase, or a free branded swag item. But remember, the smaller the prize, the easier it should be to enter the contest. No one wants to jump through hoops to be entered in a contest to win something as small as free shipping or 5% off.

Make it relevant.

So maybe you don’t have the budget or the manpower to put together a huge contest or sweepstakes. Are you cut out of the Halloween-induced sales spike? No!

An easy and cost-efficient social media marketing tool is to present product information to the consumer with a fun, seasonal twist. Hardware store? Share facts on social media about the safest way to hang Halloween decorations using your tools. Take a note from Capital One’s #HalloweenHacks campaign and create a unique hashtag for your tips to easily track and engage in consumer conversation.

Target brilliantly drew attention to their crafts and cooking departments during their 2014 campaign. Instagram followers were given a choice to click on “trick” or “treat” links, which directed them to either DIY craft tips or homemade Halloween recipes.

Even if your product isn’t a natural fit with Halloween, there’s always a way to make the connection and drive sales on social media.

Spread the scare.

Maximize your Halloween marketing efforts by delivering the message across multiple social media platforms. Using a hashtag? Stick to the platforms where hashtags see the most success, Twitter and Instagram.

Is your campaign photo-based? Facebook and Instagram are your best bets. Oreo used Twitter, Facebook and Vine for their eerie Oreo Laboratorium campaign in 2014, which introduced creepy cookie monsters to their consumers through images, text and short videos. By crossing social media platform boundaries, not only do you keep a consistent brand message, you also significantly increase the reach, and therefore the success, of your campaign.

Don’t wait until Black Friday and the holiday season to increase your brand’s social media presence. Halloween is the perfect time of year to speak to consumers in a fun, frightful way!