Tricks and Treats to Scare up Engagement for Your Halloween Social Media

Halloween is huge and has become an adult party holiday with costume contests, haunted houses and millions being spent every year on even more elaborate decorations and costumes, so how can your business get in the conversation?
Here are 6 ideas so scary, they just might work.

1) Host a Halloween event with a social media component

Any business can host a Halloween themed party. Adding a social media twist to it can knock the bats out of the belfry. Using Facebook to promote the event will naturally generate buzz and sharing photos leading up to the event can increase engagement. Using the Facebook Event screen will help track attendees. If you have a Pintersest account, Obviously you want to post photos of the event. Using Google+ you will promote the event from an SEO standpoint. Since Google+ is best used as a microblog, you will use keywords and provide lengthier content than what is used on Facebook.
Example: The Scottsdale Valley Ho, a trendy hotel is hosting festivities and is utilizing social media to engage and attract attendees.

2) Hold a costume contest

Halloween festivities aren’t the same without a costume contest right? Having a prize for the best costume and then you can add an additional contest using pinterest with a voting option so people can post their most creative costume photos and others can vote on them and the one with the most likes will win a prize.
Example: PetSmart effectively held a costume contest and stayed true to their brand image, asking people to submit photos of their pets in cute costumes.  The contest’s winning prize was an appearance in a TV commercial.

3) #HaveAHorrificHashtagContest

Hashtags are very effective on Twitter and Google+ for finding content based on those keywords. I don’t have to tell you how creating a specific hashtag for the event can help promote and expand the reach to a wider audience. Tweeting it out often, several times a day during the peak hours of 9am – 3 pm EST can help the possibility of retweets even from people who may not even go to the event. Nonetheless, its getting you on more timelines and generating more buzz.
Example: Budwiser used #Whatever for a contest and #Rolloutthered for a more recent campaign.

4) Halloween Scary Movie Contest

There are two options here. The simple one is to simply engage fans to list their top 5 movies and then a list will be compiled and voted on by users on a future date. The second option is to have fans create a short film (2-3 minutes long) and post on your page and allow others to vote on them with the most liked film earning a special prize.
Example: I haven’t seen this done before. If you go with option 2, you could specify that they need to incorporate your product or service in the movie. 

5) Engage Facebook fans with images

We all know that Images are a proven tactic for attracting attention to your website, Twitter timeline or Facebook page.  It’s funny, because not all images are created equal. I worked with a recent client who only gave me beautiful yet boring stock photos and then complained that people weren’t engaging, sharing or commenting. well duh! The images have to show something that is worth talking about. Images that show real people engaging or a funny meme or inspirational quote that touches people. Post images wishing people a happy holiday (using the name of the holiday rather than chickening out and being generic). Wish people a happy Friday, but I digress.
Example: Raven Events effectively uses photos to promote her Halloween Parties which have helped the attendance and buzz to increase each year for 9 years

6) Do a tweet-vote

Using twitter can be more tricky than a treat because the feed moves so fast and people aren’t checking it as often as oh say Facebook for example. It behaves more like a news feed . So be prepared to tweet often between the peak hours of 9am – 3pm EST to get traction from your efforts. Naturally, a tweet-vote can help you earn new followers and engage your current ones.   For Halloween, you could have followers vote on the costume contest you held in your office, which has the added bonus of humanizing your brand. You could create a tweet to unlock, like I have successfully done for pricing specials where once we received a certain number or retweets, the promo was unlocked/revealed.You could do the same with the winning costume or the MOST Horrific image, etc.
Example: Paramount’s Paranormal Activity 3 ran a “Tweet To See It First!” campaign, giving fans the opportunity to decide what 20 cities the film would debut in.
So there you have it. A few social media ideas to scare up some more engagement for your brand.
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