As with so many things before the dawn of social media, Halloween used to be relatively simple. People would dress up as their favorite characters, celebrities or whoever else might have been part of the cultural zeitgeist at the time and have some fun. But social media has taken this simple, annual tradition and put it on steroids.
Nowadays, it’s a competition to have the most out-of-the-box, clever costume that no one else would think of. If you don’t have an Instagram post detailing the incredible night you had with your incredible costume or a post showing off just how cute your child’s costume was, it’s almost like you didn’t even celebrate Halloween at all.
This is where brands and influencers come in. Everyone wants their post or video to be seen by as many eyeballs as possible. Everyone wants their costume to be one that no one else thought of. This is a perfect chance for brands to enter the fray.
Here are some tips on how brands can take advantage of the increased social media traffic around Halloween.
Start a Hashtag; Get a Competition Going
Create a hashtag that encourages people to base their costumes around your brand. Make it a competition: whoever has the best costume with your brand’s hashtag gets some sort of prize. This not only encourages people to give you free advertising through their own costumes and social media posts but it also–through the use of a hashtag–draws eyeballs back to your brand’s account. Additionally, it humanizes your brand. You’re not some faceless corporation; you’re a fun group of real humans who like to have a good time playfully interacting with your customer base.
People might not think to dress up as a corporate brand for Halloween, but it exists as the perfect chance to be something unique and clever while still being completely recognizable. In recent years, costumes like Jake from State Farm and Flo from Progressive have skyrocketed in popularity. Get people interested in dressing up as your iconic character or logo and use competitions and hashtags to make sure everyone knows about it.
Partner with Popular Influencers
It would be phenomenal to get a big-time influencer, like Addison Rae, to dress up as your brand for Halloween but that’s sure to be a pricey endeavor and you’ll likely be competing with plenty of other top-tier brands to get their attention.
But there are middle-tier and micro influencers that are perfectly tailored for Halloween. Partner with a popular Instagram or TikTok makeup influencer; have them give their audience a tutorial on how to perfectly do their makeup to match your brand’s image, character, or logo.
Halloween is also a great opportunity for partnering with do-it-yourself influencers. People like making their own costumes; get one of these influencers to show their audience how to make a clever costume out of your brand using everyday household items and materials. It’s a win-win: it draws further attention to both the influencer and your brand.
Discounts and Promos
Nothing gets attention quite like a discount. Use Halloween to draw traffic to your brand’s products or services by posting promo codes to your social media platforms. Make the promos Halloween-themed to tie it back to the season.
Spruce it up; get your influencers involved. Have them offer the code in a creative, Halloween-themed post. Just because you’re going with something simple, doesn’t mean you can’t still be creative.
Don’t overlook Halloween; engage your audience in a playful manner that shows you enjoy Halloween just as much as they do. The endgame is to bring your audience closer to you without making an overt advertising play. Partnering with the right influencers, getting people involved with hashtags and contests–along with Halloween-themed discounts and promos–are surefire ways to engage your audience without hitting them over the head with dull, corporate rhetoric they’re accustomed to seeing year-round.
The author, Justin Kline, is co-founder of the influencer marketing firm, Markerly.