Best social media tricks and treats from big brands this Halloween

Holidays are a real treat for social marketers—we get to implement fun social campaigns that surprise and delight our consumers. And the spookiest day of the year is no exception. (At Spredfast HQ, our marketing department dressed up as our favorite RTM moments-how many can you recognize?) While it may seem more natural for brands with Halloween-related products (can you say CANDY?) to talk about the holiday, there are opportunities for nearly any brand to jump into the conversation.

While we are sure to see some scary good planned real-time marketing from brands getting in the spirit throughout the day, we thought we’d take a look at some of our favorite spooky campaigns from the past few weeks.

A clever trick that was a real treat

Target got crafty this year with their “Halloween Hills” campaign on Instagram. Posting crafts as “Tricks” and snacks as “Treats” on individual accounts linked from the main brand account, Target uses Instagram as an innovative opportunity to provide DIY recipes and projects associated with the holiday. The campaign is pure surprise and delight. (Bonus: you can buy all of the materials you need from the retailer!)  



Knock once to trick-or-treat! Or, click here: @_trick__13 or @_treat_13

A photo posted by Target (@target) on



Take a picture, it will last longer

Burrito lovers everywhere know that Chipotle typically runs an annual Halloween promotion. When you show up to your favorite location dressed in costume this year, you’ll get your order for $3— and all proceeds will benefit the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation. But this year Chipotle is bringing their Boorito costume promotion to social. By asking customers to tag photos of themselves in costume on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #ChipotleBooritoContest for a chance at a $2500 prize, Chipotle is driving awareness by (hash)tagging along to a consumer behavior already taking place.




Fans aren’t scaredy cats, they want to share!

American consumers will spend more than $350 million on pet costumes this year, so it only makes sense that one of the biggest animal supply retailers would jump on this trend. This Halloween, Petco ran a photo contest on Instagram asking customers to share photos of their pets in full costume and settings. The winner of the Petco Halloween “Make a Scene” photo contest received a $25,000 grand prize with her Yorkie Jack dressed up as “Mork from Ork” while three additional winners got $500 gift cards to the store.



Over 5,000 photos using the hashtag #PetcoSceneContest were shared on Instagram during the contest. Social contests are a great way to engage your fans and tap into their creativity.

While it may be too late to use these ideas for your Halloween social plan, now is a great time to take these ideas and apply them to your winter holiday campaign ideas. We are definitely looking forward to seeing what the rest of the day brings us on social media. Tweet @Spredfast if you see any dreadfully fun Halloween campaigns.

Still need more ideas to enrich your holiday campaign with social experiences this year?  Get inspired with our 2014 Holiday Lookbook

Laura Baker's picture

Laura Baker

Laura is the Senior Manager of Digital Strategy, leading strategy and analytics for Spredfast's digital channels. A Kansas City native, Laura loves barbecue, Jayhawks, Boulevard Beer and Bo Jackson. In her free time, Laura trains dogs at a local animal rescue, writes for a classic movie review blog and tweets (frequently) at @SnackMantis.