Oct 22 How to Create Scary Good Halloween Content
You know what scares a social media manager? Holiday content. It’s amazing how just one day can create such drama. So, here’s the dilemma: Do you partake or do you pass? How can you tie in your brand in an effective way? Should you be funny or serious? How can the message be fresh and different from last year? Halloween is no exception, but at least you get candy at the end of the day! Use these do’s and don’ts of writing Halloween content to ensure your social media posts go beyond the basics and turn some zombie heads.
1. DO consider your audience
This may come as a shock, but there’s no written law that states every brand must participate in every holiday. It’s ok to pass if it isn’t right for your brand. Are your fans primarily in the U.S.? Halloween isn’t celebrated everywhere. Is this holiday appropriate for your brand? Some folks may be offended by a day honoring the dead with Skittles and bad plastic masks. Don’t feel the need to publish content simply because it is a holiday. You could be more effective by opting out.
Scary Good Example:
This Method tweet totally fits their target demographic and provides a family-friendly craft.
Tackling a Halloween post is like carving a pumpkin. You can go to the store, buy a pumpkin and little carving tools complete with stencils to create a fine jack-o-lantern. However, your pumpkin is going to look like everyone else’s pumpkin. Skip the stencil and think about how you can use the pumpkin to fit your style. Translation: Skip the stock photo and generic “Happy Halloween” copy for original content that showcases your brand’s voice and vision.
Scary Good Example: To prove holiday posts don’t have to be all sunshine and rainbows, Skittles (do you see the irony here?) shows us that it’s ok to lock the door and chow down solo on Halloween.
3. DON’T put all your focus on Halloween
After reading the above tip, you may be thinking, “But how can I be inventive year-after-year?” Stop focusing on bats and spider webs. Don’t even think about Elm Street and hockey masks. Your first thought should always be around your brand and what it hopes to accomplish on social. Do you need to increase memberships for a gym or bookings at a hotel? Do you need to increase sales for a newly released product? Don’t craft your brand to Halloween, but craft Halloween to your brand. Decide on your message, then try to connect the holiday to your overall goal.
Scary Good Example: Benefit Cosmetics stays global by skipping the pumpkins and using gorgeous sugar skulls to promote a perfect accessory, coral nail polish, of course.
4. DO thrill your audience
Holiday or not, your content should always provoke emotion. This can mean inspirational or controversial. It could mean creating urgency or soothing a concern. The quickest way to flat-line your audience is to use the standard “Happy Halloween” with a weak engagement question or call to action. Fatal example: “Like this if you’re going Trick-Or-Treating tonight.”
Scary Good Example: Last year, Sharpie played on the Wicked hype with this marker masterpiece. It’s impressive and uses a specific engagement question.
5. DON’T trick, DO treat
People may do stupid things on Halloween, but that doesn’t mean they can’t see right through your weak attempt to pitch something in a holiday post. For example, adding a Halloween keyword to your everyday message is like taking your mom’s sheet and cutting eye holes in it. It just screams, “I didn’t feel like putting a lot of time or effort into this, but I hope you give me a ton of Snickers and Reese’s Cups anyways.” Best case scenario, you get a sympathy stick of bubble gum, or in this case, a sympathy Like.
Scary Good Example: Target absolutely nails it with their Trick-or-Treat Instagram series. It’s so festive and fun that you don’t even realize you’re suddenly writing a Target shopping list to make Pillsbury sugar skull cookies.
Go beyond the basics with your Halloween content this year. With a little time and creativity, your content is sure to be frighteningly delightful. November will be here before we know it, so keep these tips in mind for the upcoming holiday season. Same rules apply … minus the zombies.