October is the starting point of the year-end holiday season, kicked off with Halloween. The playful commercial holiday presents the perfect opportunity for businesses to showcase their fun side. Plus, major shopping events such as Black Friday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas come after Halloween, so brands should take the chance to gain traction, reposition themselves in consumers' consciousness, and become a top-of-mind choice.
Furthermore, Halloween itself is a significant commercial event that, when maximized, can help rake in some big bucks. According to the National Retail Federation, consumer spending on Halloween items is expected to reach $10.14 billion in 2021, with an estimated 65% of Americans intending to celebrate or participate in the holiday.
With a bit of creative thinking and ingenuity, all brands and businesses can take part in celebrating Halloween. You don't need a multi-million budget to make a splash and resonate with your consumers. If maximized well, your Halloween social media posts can be a great tool in tapping into the mischievous Halloween spirit.
How to Master Halloween Social Media Posts in 2021
1. Spook-ify Your Aesthetics
Businesses with a physical counterpart, whether an office or a store, will likely deck out their facilities with Halloween-themed decorations such as cotton cobwebs, plastic bugs, and cardboard tombstones. But you can also embody that spirit online by adding some spooky elements to your social pages.
Change your account profile photos and cover photos (where applicable) into a Halloween version with spiderwebs and bats. Create Halloween social media posts by incorporating season-relevant cues into standard promotional materials. It doesn’t have to be too complicated, either. Play around with Halloween icons and fonts, try eye-catching formats like GIFs, and color schemes to add a holiday touch without deviating too far from your brand identity.
Just think about how Google commemorates holidays with fun doodles on their logo, without disrupting the rest of the platform. There are sites like Canva that simplify the creation of graphics and photos, so you can make adjustments without breaking the bank.
Aside from the visuals, make wordplay work for you this season! Research which keywords your target consumers search for in the weeks that lead up to the holidays. This will provide insight into their needs and interests, and direct you toward the spaces you need to be present in. Creatively incorporate popular keywords in your post captions, descriptions, and hashtags to increase your likelihood of being searchable when your intended audiences are Googling Halloween-related queries.
2. Engage Consumers With Contests
Because of the quirky, unique, and high-involvement nature of Halloween, contests are a business-favorite method of increasing brand awareness, consumer engagement, and affinity. One of the best things about contests is that, with a bit of creativity, they can be a low-cost marketing initiative that is suitable for any business. Furthermore, contests can induce user-generated content, which (with appropriate approval) can be repurposed by the brand to drive authenticity and community connection.
There are many types of formats to try, depending on your brand identity and target market. Run a photo contest on Instagram or Facebook to award the best family costume, best-carved pumpkin, or the best decorations. Leverage video on platforms like TikTok and YouTube to launch a challenge. Post a poll on Twitter and send discount codes to those who selected the right answer. Hold a Livestream quiz show to engage with and reward customers in real-time.
The possibilities are endless! Just remember to use a catchy campaign hashtag to help aggregate the contest entries on social media.
3. Add Value With How-to Content
Halloween and the succeeding holidays call for some hands-on skills – whether it's stitching up a costume from old clothes or trying a spooktastic recipe. In relation to the keyword research tip mentioned earlier, develop some how-to Halloween social media posts on topics that your target consumers might need help with. Post simple recipes for Halloween-inspired pastries. Develop short-form videos on how to repurpose old clothes into Halloween costumes for kids. Publish health and safety advice related to trick-or-treating or fall as the cold sets in.
You may also provide your followers with free content, such as printable food pack stickers or downloadable coloring books for adults and kids, that can make their holiday crafts better. These can signal your genuine care and involvement in the community, going beyond sales.
4. Offer Halloween-Themed (and Feed-Worthy) Products
For product-based businesses, there is an opportunity to create limited-edition Halloween-themed products or tweak existing ones to be relevant for the season. The time limit offer drives a sense of urgency amongst loyal customers, as it taps into the inherent desire to own or try something rare.
One great example of this is Starbucks' Zombie Frappé. While not everyone is a fan of Frappuccinos, the unique purple-and-green drink is a share-worthy Halloween icon.
If you manage to hit the nail on the head, especially in terms of product aesthetics or experience, your customers will happily help market the product for you via word-of-mouth and social media.
5. Delight With Holiday Discounts
Everybody loves a good deal. If you don't have a lot of time or resources to prepare holiday-specific content, Halloween-themed voucher codes are enough to show your holiday spirit while enticing your customers to purchase.
This idea can be combined with a social media contest — your winner/s can be awarded a unique discount code to be used for their next purchase. You can also run a site-wide flash sale with special Halloween-themed promo codes.
With this marketing initiative, you are showcasing your holiday spirit while gaining sales, hitting two birds with one stone.
6. Leverage Consumer Insights
Halloween is the perfect opportunity to build brand affinity and consumer relationships. Set aside the hard-sell promotional talk and show them you can have a bit of fun. Look into what your target consumers are interested in beyond what your business can directly offer them.
Here’s one interesting Halloween factoid: according to the National Retail Federation, in 2020, approximately half a billion was spent on Halloween costumes for pets. Businesses can deduce that many have pets and are likely to include them in their Halloween celebrations. This intuitively presents many marketing opportunities for animal-related businesses. But even businesses that do not have a direct link but serve similar target markets can offer niche promos. For example, a local clothing brand can run a photo contest for the best family costume, including pet parents.
For inspiration for Halloween social media posts, these are the top ways that consumers plan to celebrate the holiday in 2021, according to the National Retail Federation:
- 66% handing out candy
- 52% decorating their home or yard
- 46% dressing up in costumes
- 44% carving a pumpkin
- 25% hosting or attending a Halloween party
Now, BOOsting (see what we did there?) your business this holiday season doesn't sound so spooky now, does it? But if you need more ideas on developing a social media and content strategy for Halloween (and every holiday after), book a free strategy call with Adlava today.