The Best Social Media Marketing Tactics to Scare up Sales this Halloween.

• 23 October 2018

Last Updated on March 2, 2023

Halloween is coming and so is the yearly scramble to conjure up creepily compelling content.

To this end, we’ve scoured the internet and gathered up all of the best social media marketing tactics to scare up sales this Halloween.

Halloween is coming and so is the yearly scramble to conjure up creepily compelling content.

To this end, we’ve scoured the internet and gathered up all of the very best tips and marketing techniques to help give you the edge so that you can easily scare up some sales this October.

Use Google Frightgeist to stay ahead of key trends.

Google’s Halloween trend analyser Frightgeist can be a gold mine of information for marketers. It allows users to see data relating to the most popular costume searches.

You can search on either a national or a local scale and Frightgeist will give you a ranking score and a breakdown of where in the US a term is searched the most.

For ordinary users, Frietgeist simply helps with choosing a costume, and it gives an inkling as to how likely you are to see someone else wearing the same thing. For marketers, however, it provides a crucial overview of current Halloween trends.

This useful tool allows you to see the popularity of a specific character (like Harley Quinn), a character type (zombie, witch or vampire) or even an era. At a glance, you can also find out whether or not your chosen ghoul is on an upward or downward trend. This is certainly valuable information that can be used to inform your social media marketing campaign.

For example, at the time of writing, 1980s costumes are extremely popular (ranked 21 nationally), so you should go full steam ahead with a 1980s theme for your campaign, right? Well maybe not, because despite its current popularity, it’s also on a downward trend.

Perhaps you’d be better off featuring a dinosaur in your campaign, especially if you’re based in Montgomery, AL. Dinosaurs are currently ranked number 4 in the US nationally and as you can see from the map below, they are also trending up.

Harness the (data gathering) power of Instagram Stories.

Over 400 million people use Instagram daily. If you want to increase your social media engagement and get the message out there about your brand then look no further than Instagram Stories. The platform is great for getting your hands on valuable first-party data.

Done well, marketing on Instagram Stories can provide useful insights into your audience and help you gather information on your customers’ interests and motivations.

Halloween is the perfect time to use Instagram stories to engage with your followers and get creative with your marketing efforts:

How to get the most from Instagram this Halloween.

Work with influencers.

You can earn yourself some great exposure by tracking down the best influencers in your target market and offering them a free treat. Influencer giveaways allow you to target specific groups so you can be sure that the right eyeballs are on your product or content.

Host a Halloween takeover.

Why not take influencer marketing one step further by letting someone take over your Instagram account in the lead up to Halloween? This tactic worked wonders for Miley Cyrus and Converse back in May.

The opportunities for stirring up excitement with a takeover are endless, and as a bonus, you get a fresh perspective on your content:

The whole idea of a takeover is to give a new voice to your Instagram account. To do this successfully, you need to balance a fine line between allowing your guest freedom to express themselves and making sure that your expectations are clear.

Instagram takeovers are so much fun and they are very much in keeping with the Halloween spirit. Be strategic and creative with your choices and you should get fantastic results.

Post a Halloween poll.

Polls do incredibly well on Instagram. Despite the fact that you can only present your users with two options and the poll itself only lasts for 24 hours, you can still use them to increase engagement and to gain valuable insights into your audience.

Polls are great because they allow you to get direct real-time feedback that you can use to inform your campaign choices. Unsure about which design to go for? Ask your audience!

Face your fears and go live.

If you are brave enough, you could connect with your audience directly by using the Instagram Live feature. Hosting a live scare event on Halloween is likely to Increase your engagement exponentially.

Run a video contest.

Why not take advantage of the Instagram video feature and run a contest that encourages people to submit a short clip to enter? You could give a prize for the scariest video, best holiday decorations or the funniest Halloween joke.

Create a Halloween hashtag campaign.

Hashtag campaigns are a great way to increase your engagement, build awareness about your brand and attract user-generated content. Don’t be tempted to go for a generic #happyHalloween type tag though just because it’s popular. Instead, you should aim to create a well thought out branded hashtag.

How to create a branded hashtag

Here are some useful tips to help you create an awesome hashtag for your brand:

1. It pays to get creative.

A lot of good hashtags will already be taken, so you’re probably going to need to think outside the box a little. Keep an open mind. Hashtags don’t need to relate directly to the topic to be effective. They can embrace a mood or a feeling, like Lorna Jane’s #movenourishbelieve or emphasise the results of using a product like Nike’s #betterforit for example.

2. Make a list of buzzwords that encapsulate your brand.

Scribble down as many words as you can think of that relate to both Halloween and to your brand. Include words that communicate your brand’s message or your company values, and any other words that are meaningful to your audience and your brand.

3. Check for originality.

Once you have your list of words and you have combined them to make the perfect branded hashtag, do a quick check to make sure that your favourite ideas haven’t already been used.

4. Repeat the process (if necessary).

You might be surprised at how many of your awesome ideas are already in use. Be prepared to return to the drawing board and innovate if necessary. For example, if #HatsForCats is taken, try something like #TheHattedCat.

5. Check for hidden / unintentional messages.

Susan Boyle’s infamous #susanalbumparty hashtag has become a cautionary tale to marketers everywhere. Other examples of hashtags gone awry include Research In Motion’s #RIMJobs and The Chester Literary festival’s #CLitFest.

Choosing the wrong combination of words isn’t the only pitfall, make sure you do your research so that you don’t end up with a brand hashtag fail.

Having a branded tag (or tags) helps increase your visibility on Instagram and Twitter, and if it’s done well, can give you an advantage over your competitors.

The perfect Halloween hashtag should be original, simple and memorable. No more than 3 to 4 words. For maximum engagement, try offering some type of value to your audience. Perhaps you could offer decorating tips, share recipe ideas or provide other useful Halloween resources.

Before you start plastering hashtags all over your Twitter and Instagram feeds, be aware that less is sometimes more:

As you can see from the table above, posts with just one or two hashtags receive the most engagement.

Asking questions is also a great way to increase your engagement. And more engagement means better conversion rates.

You can find out which hashtags are currently trending on various social media platforms by checking out the following useful resources:

  • Trendsmap – shows trending hashtags and topics on Twitter organised by location.
  • Hashtags – maps Twitter metrics and Identifies the direction of trends.
  • Ritetag – Makes suggestions for hashtags based on real-time engagement.
  • Hashtagify – Provide basic data and suggestions for Twitter and Instagram.

Use video to market a normal or special edition product.

This short video from Starbucks 2017 Halloween campaign is a testament to the power of video marketing on social media. The campaign, which was designed to tie in with the popularity of AMC’s hit show, The Walking Dead, highlights the effectiveness of embracing the festivities by releasing a limited edition, time-sensitive promotion.


View this post on Instagram


You go, ghoul. 🏃⚰ #ZombieFrappuccino (Available in the US, Canada and Mexico, while supplies last)

A post shared by Starbucks Coffee ☕ (@starbucks) on

The zombie Frappuccino was launched in the week leading up to Halloween, and as you can see from the above post, this video bagged them almost 1 and a half million views on the day of release.

Across all the social media channels, influencers raced to be the first to review Starbucks latest concoction and it didn’t take long for the internet to be buzzing with snaps of the new beverage.

M&M’s 2017 interactive Instagram campaign provides another genius example of Halloween video marketing.

Users were presented with a creepy interactive tale in which a young girl (Millie) follows a trail of M&M’s. People were then asked to contribute to the story by voting for one of two locations to send Millie to explore next.

The campaign was a huge hit, generating constant engagement and a ton of comments throughout the Halloween period.

Happy Halloween!

Well, there you have it. I hope that you have found these marketing tips useful and that you now feel ready to scare up some sales!

Whatever marketing tactics you decide to employ this year, make sure that you have a ton of fun implementing them.

Good luck with your business and Happy Halloween!

What you can read next