Halloween Marketing: 5 Best Social Media Ideas

Halloween marketing campaigns on social media are kooky, fun, and engaging- if you get the strategy right. Here are our 5 top tips for brands during the Halloween season.
Fanbytes | Halloween Marketing

In 30 seconds:

  • There’s a fresh chill in the air, which means one thing: Halloween marketing content is incoming.
  • As brands gear up for the big Christmas push, Halloween is the perfect time to have a little bit of fun with your digital marketing.
  • So whether you want to give your customers a treat, or pull a fun trick – here are 5 Halloween marketing ideas to take to social media.

Halloween marketing season is upon us. Expect your social media feeds to soon be flooded with images of pumpkin spiced lattes, trick-or-treating, and tiny ghosts in white sheets. 

Brands, too, are getting into the Halloween spirit, with Halloween themed campaigns that make the most of the holiday season

Chances are that your target audiences will be online, sharing their Halloween costumes and soaking up the spooky spirit. It’s the perfect time to have a little fun with your social media content. In the past, e-commerce brands have seen huge success from Halloween marketing campaigns, with viral trends stemming from product launches, themed hashtags, and spooky competitions. 

So, whatever your brand niche, Halloween is not a holiday to skip. 

Why should my brand care about Halloween marketing?

The short answer: because your customers care. 

Every year, it seems that the popularity of celebrating Halloween grows. One report found that there was a 7% increase in the number of UK adults planning to celebrate Halloween in the UK between 2021, and 2020 – which means more potential customers taking part in the seasonal celebrations. 

Plus, with Black Friday and Christmas just around the corner, it pays to put in the work to stick in your customers’ minds now. In particular, marketing your Halloween sales and Halloween promotions just right will put you in a strong position as cash-strapped shoppers start to navigate the costly Christmas season.

Halloween marketing messages: What should you say?

Halloween is an interesting time in a marketer’s calendar, because although it’s a widely celebrated holiday, the ‘message’ of Halloween is a little more complicated to nail down. Unlike a Christmas campaign, for example, where it’s clear that most advertising campaigns sway towards messages of togetherness, spreading joy, and caring for one another, Halloween instead invites everyone to celebrate the creepy

So what should your campaign say, exactly?

Well, Halloween is, for most people, an excuse for some silly fun. It’s a time of pumpkin carving and Halloween parties, complete with tasty Halloween treats and hilarious – or spooktacular – costumes. All of which means that social media is the perfect vehicle for your campaign. 

Audiences overwhelmingly turn to social media for entertainment. Halloween, as the holiday with the most playful messaging, is the best content marketing vehicle for highlighting just how fun your brand is. By leaning into the holiday and not taking yourself too seriously, you can count on increased brand sentiment, alongside a bump in engagement

Here are 5 strategies you can use when planning your Halloween social media campaign

The 5 best Halloween Marketing ideas

Whether you’re a small business or a huge online store, you’ll already be aware that social media platforms are the gateway to huge potential audiences. 

So whether you’re looking to increase online sales or in-person foot traffic, these 5 Halloween marketing strategies will give you the best chance of success on social media

1. Run a Halloween-themed contest or giveaway

Throughout Halloween season, everyone’s expecting tricks, but looking for treats. Why not offer them via a special Halloween giveaway or competition?

Competitions and discounts are a popular marketing technique year-round. In fact, contests have a conversion rate of almost 34%, which is higher than other content types. 

Halloween giveaways don’t just buy you sentiment: you can adjust the rules and requirements for entry to fit additional goals. Want to get more followers on TikTok? ask entrants to follow your brand there and tag their friends. Want to get more content for your social media feed? Ask entrants to create it!

Use your social media platforms to advertise the rules and the prize, and reinforce your message through email marketing, in-store branding and your website landing page. Better still: partner with an influencer to spread the word.

In particular, user-generated content (UGC) is a great way to widen the scope of your Halloween marketing campaign, and you can re-share your audience’s content across your social media platforms, meaning more posts without having to create them yourself. It’s also a great way to drive sales conversions, as social media users overwhelmingly trust UGC when making purchase decisions.

In 2021, Petco ran a costume contest with a difference – inviting users to submit images of their pets dressed up for Halloween to the hashtag #PetcoHalloween. Social media loves cute animal content, so there’s no surprise that the photo contest campaign received over 2M views, and an awful lot of super-cute submissions. 

@hdbrosriley #ad Prepped and ready for this howl-o-ween thanks to @petco’s amazing costumes! Follow their page for info on the #PetcoHalloween costume contest. #ad #foryoupage #dogsoftiktok ♬ Halloween Party - MaxMusicMax

2. Create a spooky hashtag

Mintel found that 40% of purchasers turn to social media for Halloween inspiration. Grouping your content together under relevant hashtags is, therefore, a great way to keep visible online

@threedotcorey halloween 2020 be like 👻 show ur best costumes using #boorito, #contest & this sound. you could win 1yr of free @chipotle 🌯 terms: chip.tl/boo #ad ♬ Monster Mash (Ethan Fields Remix) - Chipotle

A hashtag campaign is another great opportunity to increase brand awareness and generate user-generated content you can share across your social media profiles. 

Previously successful hashtag campaigns include that from US fast food brand Chipotle, who bring their #Boorito campaign back every year. 

Even the pandemic couldn’t halt the rise of the #Boorito – the brand took to the Metaverse instead, where they opened a Roblox storefront. The brand introduced a spooky digital maze full of exclusive brand offers for users who took part, and the associated #Boorito hashtag (which returns every year), has over 4Bn views on TikTok.

The hashtag is a success in part because it stands out – clearly linked to Halloween, a fun play on words, and easy to inject into branded content. It’s exactly the kind of Halloween campaign brands should take inspiration from. 

Brands that want to see their hashtag take off should consider how to make the hashtag fun. Not every brand can create a halloween pun, but there are plenty of other avenues to take. For example, fun Halloween songs are a great way to make catchy videos, whilst spooky filters or branded effects work as templates that help social media users create their own halloween content.

If you’d like to create a TikTok filter or original Halloween music to supercharge a campaign, get in touch – our entertainment division are experts on creating thrilling campaigns with components that make videos viral.

3. Partner with an influencer

When you’re launching a social media campaign, it just makes sense to partner with an expert. 

Influencers have audiences who trust them, and they already know how to create content that their followers will care about – including halloween-themed content. That’s why sharing in their expertise can really help to make sure that your Halloween marketing campaign lands well with your target audience

ASOS is one brand that has consistently nailed their Halloween marketing. In 2020, their TikTok #ASOSDayToFright campaign encouraged creators to show off their best Halloween looks – set to a custom audio clip.

@matthewandryanuk #ad Nothing dead about our @asos looks ⚰️🤪... Who looks scarier? LEFT OR RIGHT? 👀 🎃 #asosdaytofright #halloweenlook #halloween ♬ Day to Fright - Cashino

To launch the campaign, the fashion retailer worked with popular TikTok influencers like Abby Roberts (@abbyroberts), Matthew and Ryan (@matthewandryanuk) and Tammi (@MakeupByTammi). These influencers injected some momentum at the beginning of the campaign, showing their followers creative ways to get involved, and introducing ASOS’s Halloween marketing to a wider audience of TikTok users. 

Now, the #ASOSDayToFright hashtag has over 2Bn views. 

Influencers can help to promote competitions, coupons and hashtags, and they’re also great for promoting halloween events. If your goal is to get customers in store, why not stage a late-night halloween shopping event, complete with halloween discounts?

Get in touch with us to find out more about working with our managed influencer talent.

4. Put a costume on your social media channels

In our TikTok SEO article, we wrote about the importance of viewing your social media accounts from a ‘whole profile’ standpoint, and viewing them as a way to showcase your brand identity – not just your branded content. 

On Halloween, there’s a longstanding internet tradition of changing display names, logos, and more to reflect the spooky season – for example, Smarties once became ‘Scaries’ (cementing their place as a great halloween treat) to mark the occasion. Turning your halloween decorations to your digital presence is a classic holiday marketing strategy for a reason: it’s fun – and the wackier it is, the more likely it will get people talking.

Think: Halloween puns, gothic colours, spooky halloween promo banners and eye-catching GIFs. Just make sure your pop-ups are providing value rather than simply spooking (or annoying) shoppers.

Want to take it even further? introduce limited-edition products. Brands like Heinz have released Halloween-themed products to great success, in the past releasing products like ‘tomato blood’ – which was so successful, it’s making a reappearance.

This year, the condiment giant has handed their social media profiles over to ‘Toby the veggie vamp’, a character they’ve created to share fun Halloween content throughout October. 

They’ve featured him in their logos, and all of their social media images and captions are now posted by ‘Toby’, always with Heinz tomato ketchup front and centre. It’s fun, silly, and memorable – the magic combination online. 

5. Choose a trick, instead of a treat

We’ve detailed the treats you can offer your audiences – now what about the tricks? Halloween is the perfect excuse to lean into that old internet staple: the prank video. 

LG used Halloween as a vehicle for their ‘So Real It’s Scary’ campaign, which used their television screens to replace parts of a lift floor and make it seem as though it was falling away. 

The result? An entertaining YouTube video which showcased the brand’s fun side, while also highlighting the quality of their product. 

Funny content like this is also perfect for TikTok, where the short, entertaining videos are incredibly watchable. In fact, the TikTok algorithm prioritises videos that users watch over again, so a Halloween trick is a great ticket to viral success.

In April 2021, candy brand Sour Patch Kids ran a campaign rewarding select TikTok users who posted videos of their pranks with cash prizes – and the #SourPatchPrankFund hashtag received huge engagement, with the tag now sitting at well over 8Bn views. 

While these videos may not communicate a particular product, they are powerful tools for brand awareness. Nielsen recently found that a 1% increase in awareness drives a 1% increase in future sales. So get thinking about hilarious Halloween pranks that social media users want to share with friends, and you’ll find you’ll unlock a wave of halloween spending – and Christmas spending too.

How can brands market Halloween on TikTok?

Past examples of super successful online Halloween marketing campaigns have proven that when it comes to so-called ‘spooky season’, TikTok is the social media platform most full of Halloween aficionados. 

That means that if you’re planning to run a Halloween marketing campaign, including TikTok within your social media plan just makes sense. 

As TikTok experts, we’ve written plenty of guides and articles on how to succeed on the platform – why not start with How To Go Viral on TikTok: The 3 Most Effective Hacks?

It’s important to bear in mind that, as a video-first platform, TikTok is the ideal home for your short, snappy content. But you’ll need to get to know the platform well to make the most of the massive potential within its fast-moving feeds. 

Getting spooky with it

For brands, Halloween is perhaps the holiday you can have the most fun with

Wacky costumes, photogenic halloween candy, face paint tutorials and ghoul filters… social media is sure to go all-in on the celebrations, which means that your branded content can fully embrace the chance to show off your fun side. 

Finding entertaining content is the primary reason young people give for turning to social media, so by creating and engaging with that entertaining content, you’ll position your brand in a great place to benefit from continued positive user sentiment – directly before the Christmas season. 

If you’d like to get more ideas about how to secure the attention of young people over Halloween – and drive sales throughout the Christmas season, get in touch. We’re the experts of making scroll-stopping campaigns that always deliver results.

Looking for even more spooky inspiration? Check out our guides to creating the perfect themed campaign online:

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