Halloween is the official kick-off of to the holiday season and this year Nearly 158 million people will participate in Halloween activities in the U.S. alone, according to the National Retail Federation.
And they’ll spend an estimated $6.9 billion: The average celebrate will spend $75.03 on decor, costumes, candy and fun this Halloween. If you’re thinking about Facebook contests and promotions that you can use to boost engagement and grow your fanbase, we’ve got a few right ideas right here!
#1: Halloween Costume Photo Contest
One of the first things people think about come October is what they’ll wear. Finding the perfect Halloween costume can be a pretty big deal, and lots of people spend big bucks or lots of time to create a costume they can be proud of.
Halloween is not just a children’s holiday. In fact, according to a study done by the National Retail Association a few years back, around 85 percent of 18-24 year olds planned to celebrate Halloween, but around 77 percent of consumers aged 25-34 and 71 percent of 35-44 year-olds were also planning to celebrate. What’s more, of the folks surveyed, around 40 percent planned to dress up for the day!
To engage with the thousands of Facebook users who plan to dress up for Halloween — or plan to dress up their children for the day– host a Halloween costume photo contest! This is a great way to allow your Facebook fans to show off their awesome Halloween costumes, while also giving them a chance to win a cool prize from your company. To learn how to set one up, click here to watch a simple-to-follow video tutorial.
#2: Paws and Purrrrrrs: Pet Photo Vote Contest
According to same National Retail Association study, about 12 percent of pet owners dress up their pets for Halloween! No surprise here. Have you ever noticed how well dogs and cats pull off devil horns?! This might be one of the many reasons people love putting silly costumes on their pets :).
This October, host contest you know your pet-loving Facebook fans will love: A Photo-Voting Halloween Pet Costume contest! To allow people to upload their photos of their festive furry friends and then vote on their favorite photos (or their own photo submission), set up your photo contest, then use a tool such as ShortStack’s Voting Widget to enable voting — click this link to learn how to create a voting contest.
A photo-voting contest is a little bit more exciting than a regular photo contest because the winner is determined by the community. This adds another level of engagement to your Facebook contest, as people who have submitted a photo entry are more apt to share your business’s Halloween contest with their friends so they can get more votes!
#3: Instagram Video “Best Scare” Contest
If you’re a fan of Ellen DeGeneres, you’re going to like this Halloween contest idea. Ellen likes scaring people and catching the moment on film — check out this hilarious video if you need a good laugh. Take this fun idea and apply to a Facebook Halloween-themed Instagram video contest!
Throughout the month of October encourage your Facebook fans to scare their friends and family and capture the moment on Instagram video! Create a hashtag for your Halloween scare contest (preferably one that’s relevant to your brand and the holiday) and ask them to upload their videos to your contest app for a chance to win an awesome prize from your company!
If you want the step-by-step instructions about how to plan and set up an Instagram video contest, read this post. Here are the most important things to keep in mind:
- Instagram users with “private” profiles will not be able to submit. Make an obvious note of this somewhere within the copy of your contest app.
- Contest entrants can only submit videos that have been posted within the last 2 weeks. It’s a good idea to make this clear in your app’s copy as well.
- Submissions via Instagram will show up in the Voting Widget.
#4: Halloween Recipe Pin and Win Contest
Go to Pinterest and search for “Halloween recipe.” You’ll find lots of pictures of super creative and festive treats, along with instructions on how to create each. During this time of year, this is popular Pinterest search. Since people are already searching and pinning Halloween recipes, why not create an opportunity for these pinners to win something from your brand for doing something they’re already doing?
A lot of Pinterest users are also on Facebook. In fact, 9 million Pinterest users reportedly have connected their Pinterest accounts to Facebook. So it’s no wonder that the popularity of businesses hosting Pinterest contests has skyrocketed within this past year. To engage your Pinterest-loving Facebook fans, host a Pin and Win Halloween Recipe contest from your Facebook page. Bonus: This is a great way to convert your Facebook fans into new Pinterest followers.
Hosting a Pin and Win contest is simple — we’ve got a really cool template to help. Click this link to watch a video on how to use it.
#5: Timeline Promotion Halloween-Themed Ideas
In August of 2013, Facebook announced big changes to their promotion guidelines. In response to this news, we created a ShortStack feature called the Comment/Like Importer which allows businesses to import and organize their timeline promotion comments and like entries into ShortStack’s database to evaluate.
This change is especially exciting for small business owners who want to run basic timeline promotions. If your business has yet to host a Timeline promotion, October is the month to do so!
Here are a couple timeline promotion ideas your brand can implement to celebrate Halloween:
(Note: We recommend you read this best practices post before you host your first timeline promotion.)
Photo Voting Contest: Facebook allows users to comment on a post with a photo. This feature is awesome for brands that want to host a really simple photo-voting contest on the Timeline (instead of using an app), allowing them to collect valuable user generated content (UGC), like photos. Use the same Halloween costume contest idea discussed in point #1 to host your next Timeline promotion.
Photos submitted by your fans can also give your business really useful insight into who your fans are. If you anticipate lots of entries, use the Comment/Like Importer to import all photos entries into a database to save and use for later. Once in the database, you can also easily select the contest winner(s) with the most likes on their photo.
“The comment with the most likes wins” promotion: Host a Halloween Timeline promotion asking users to comment on a post for a chance to win a prize from your business. Within the rules of your promotion, state that the comment with the most likes, i.e., votes, wins! The copy of your timeline promotion post could be used to ask a question like,”What do you think is the ultimate Halloween costume and why?”
This kind of timeline promotion is great for virality as it encourages people to reach out to their Facebook friends for votes. Thus, spreading the reach of your promotion to users who are not yet familiar with your brand.
Jim Belosic is the CEO of ShortStack, a self-service custom app provider.
Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.