Halloween is one of those holidays that has completely migrated to social media. If people don’t post a photo of their costume on Instagram, did Halloween even happen? You don’t have to have a big budget to kill it at social media’s biggest holiday—here are seven lightweight ideas to help your brand get in the spirit of the holiday, boost your social media following, and even drive sales.
1. Post a Halloween meme
Sure it’s cheesy, but puns and memes work on social media! You’d be surprised how freely people will share something that made them smile or chuckle. When coupled with a call-to-action in the caption that encourages viewers to tag a friend, you can get your followers to share your photo (and brand) with their friends. Organic marketing for the win! The key to inspiring participation is to make it fun and to not overtly push a product, so it feels authentic rather than salesy. The goal here is to get your feed in front of other people; not to sell something.
Here are a few memes we made with Spark Post.
Tag your boo.
Halloween makes us so corny. Tag someone who’s got it.
Tag someone who creeps it real.
2. Throw a spook-tacular shopping party
If you own a brick-and-mortar, encourage foot traffic by hosting an in-store Halloween party. It can be simple: Get employees to dress up, put out some treats, and discount your goods or services to encourage sales. Invite neighboring businesses or collaborate to create a block party and help you get the party started and foster local community.
Encourage your guests to share photos of your party (and your business) by setting up a photo “Boo-th,” with Halloween props you get from a dollar store. Put up a sign, reminding users to tag you in the caption or the location so the photos do double-duty as advertisements for your brand.
Make sure you advertise your event on social media ahead of time by posting it to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter (consider boosting your reach with advertising and targeting for location and interest to reach both new customers and your current followers.) Post about your event on Instagram Stories and compile an event recap with Spark Page or Spark Video to generate interest in your next event. Consider specifically reaching out to local bloggers and media—even if the party isn’t enough to produce a press hit, inviting active social media posters will help you generate buzz.
Psst… you can make your event invitation easily with Spark! A Spark Page event flyer works great on Twitter and Video ads and graphic invites will perform best on Facebook and Instagram. Check the Spark Post app for more Halloween design templates to make your own!
3. Update your Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube Creative to reflect the season.
Take a page out of Google’s branding initiatives and update your brand’s logo for the season. Don’t have a design team at your disposal? Hmm I think there’s an app for that… Simply refreshing the banners on your social media profiles to reflect the season or a timely event generates a “story” in users’ feeds, thus raising awareness and providing an opportunity to promote a link back to your site. Here’s how to get started making new banners.
4. Give your customers treats.
Use the season to offer customers something special: Discount products you’re trying to move, encourage customers to follow you on a social media channel for a chance to win something, throw in Halloween-themed freebies with purchases or when a customer performs a desired action. The Halloween part is all in how you package or brand your promotion—and really can be as simple as searching “pumpkin” or “Halloween” on Spark’s free-use image search.
Create a simple landing page with Spark Page to explain the rules and parameters of a giveaway or contest. You can use the search function to find free, Halloween-themed images to use. Or if your promotion is simple enough that it can be communicated with a single graphic, use Spark Post and promote it on Instagram. Be sure to include hashtags that will help you get discovered. Need hashtag help? Read how to determine which ones to use with your content to stand out in the noise.
5. Do a group costume with your team.
Sometimes the simplest things have the greatest impact, like photos on Instagram that showcase the culture of your organization. For group costumes, you can’t go wrong with classics like The Wizard of Oz or Ghost Busters, but for your best chance at winning attention on social media, costumes should be silly, over-the-top, or culturally relevant (but not offensive—steer clear of anything that’s offensive to groups or is mean-spirited in anyway).
Trending costume ideas sure to be blowing up social feeds this year:
- Prince Tributes
- Bowie Tributes
- Beyonce’s visual album “Lemonade”
- Netflix’s Stranger Things
- 2016 US Gymnastics Teams
- Snapchat filters: Flower Crowns! Barfing Rainbows!
- Convention Balloons
- Wonder Woman
- Ice T at a Lemonade Stand
6. Dress up your product or logo instead.
Last year Tide cleverly used their product and Twitter’s Vine platform to recreate classic spooky movies such as Psycho, Paranormal Activity, Carrie and Poltergeist. These mini clips put their brand front-and-center in a clever, creative way without overtly selling. Whenever you can use something people are familiar with—favorite movies, in this case, and put your brand in there in a soft-selling way, people will be more likely to share.
To pull something similar off without Tide’s big budget, try using your product in a Halloween project, like a costume or table scape or Halloween treat. Get customers involved by encouraging them to use your product for their own Halloween crafts or costumes and share their creations on social media, using your brand’s hashtag. Throw in a prize to get people creating or partner with a blogger who speaks to your target audience to do something creative with your product on social media. Sometimes bloggers require a fee for that sort of promotion, but sometimes a good idea and a free product to work with is all that’s needed.
7. Play a game of “Where’s Waldo” on Instagram Stories or Snapchat
A fun contest to run on Instagram or Snapchat is to challenge your audience to a game for a chance to win your product or get a deep discount. One idea is to hide your logo or product in a busy, colorful, Halloween-themed photo. Ask users to screenshot the photo and circle the logo in their own Instagram Stories or Snapchat and tag you for a chance to win. Pick a customer at random to get a prize. Use a series of text-based Spark Post images to explain the game and rules in your Instagram Stories to run the contest. Social Media Examiner has a great example over on their blog that requires no original photography.
Tag your Halloween social media creations with #AdobeSpark for a chance to get featured!