How a Zombie-House Marketer Is Fleshing Out Its Twitter Strategy for Halloween

Keyword targeting and context

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Hey, Twitter user, do you and your friends want to get "trapped in a room with a zombie" for Halloween?

That's essentially the pitch this week from Room Escape Adventures, an entertainment company that markets zombie experiences in 20 cities. (Actors portray zombies, to be clear.) With the help of Twitter marketing-focused company SocialCentiv, Room Escape is zeroing in on Halloween-themed tweets and replying with half-off tickets (normally $28) to its haunted house-style experiences in three test markets: Los Angeles, Dallas and Columbus, Ohio. 

"It gives us an idea of how the strategy works in big and medium-sized markets," explained Nicole DaCosta, director of marketing for Room Escape Adventures. "We want to drive people to our website to buy tickets, which can be a challenge."

Indeed, DaCosta and her team have been trying to better their marketing tactics leading up to Halloween, testing out SocialCentiv's software for the last three months. Here's how it works: Room Escape is targeting Twitter users by zombie-related keywords such as "hungry, brains," as well as location (L.A., Dallas and Columbus) and whether they have a lot of followers. 

In such a targeted effort, DaCosta said her team has accrued 64,000 Twitter impressions since July for a flat fee of $300 per month ($900 total). They are not buying Promoted Tweets—instead, the marketers are just leaning on SocialCentiv's software program. 

With the Twitter program, the return on investment has been improving since "we started using proper 'zombie language' in the tweet replies," DaCosta said. 

DaCosta wouldn't divulge sales conversion rates but said the ROI so far was strong enough to roll out to more cities year-round. While Halloween is a busy time of year, Room Escape is more than a seasonal business nowadays thanks to popular TV shows like The Walking Dead and iZombie.

Room Escape has only 300-plus Twitter followers, so it's got its work cut out for it in terms of building a big social-media business. 

Nevertheless, Bernard Perrine, CEO of SocialCentiv, which also works with Papa John's and McDonald's, suggested his client would have a big Halloween sales weekend because Twitter users will buy Room Escape tickets for groups—not just à la carte. Room Escape, part of Bucket List Adventures, is like a real-life video game, where you are challenged to get out of a zombie-occupied room. 

"No one wants to see a zombie alone," Perrine added. 

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.