8 mins

Halloween marketing ideas for your hospitality business

Date 02.10.2023

Key calendar dates are always a huge sales opportunity for hospitality businesses, and spending on Halloween in 2022 reached an estimated £687 million (Finder). Millennials and Gen Z form a key part of the spending demographic, with 77% shelling out on costumes, events and decorations, according to Real Business.

As Halloween celebrations become bigger and more extravagant, so does the marketing effort and standing out from the crowd is a harder task than ever before. However, that’s no reason to sit back and feel defeated – here’s 8 marketing ideas to help you gain traction around Halloween.

Halloween marketing ideas for social media

It’s cheap, it’s effective and with the right social media campaign you increase sales and long-term engagement in your local area.

1) Costume party

Halloween costumes are hardly anything new but it’s how you use them that counts. Of course, you should encourage guests to dress up for your Halloween event but before the day itself, you can use social media to whip up excitement.

  • Post pictures of your staff in their Halloween outfits a few days before Halloween to demonstrate how the whole team are getting into the spirit. Got a team member who’s great with make-up? Ask them to help out and create some great content.
  • Ask your followers to post a picture of their Halloween outfit in the days leading up to 31st October and then reward someone with a free meal or bar tab. User-generated content allows you to focus on things in-house while others create imagery for you. Announce a winner on Halloween morning.

2) Social checklist

When you’re using social media be sure to:

  • Use hashtags, both generic and niche. For example, #halloweencostumes and #halloweeninbirmingham.
  • Don’t forget to tag your location on Instagram to make sure you’re seen by those seeking out events in your local area.
  • Include Halloween and local keywords in your captions, particularly on Instagram and TikTok. This will help you appear higher in search results.

3) Go Live

During your Halloween night, go live on Instagram to show everyone the atmosphere – whether it be family activities, costumes or live music, it will make your followers want to be part of the action.

After the evening, create a Halloween story highlight section so that your followers can see the best parts when they’re looking for a night out next year.

In-house ideas to boost your marketing this Halloween

Market your in-house Halloween activity before, during and after the night to keep building engagement long after the night is over.

4) Decorations

Go big on making your pub or restaurant look as spooky as possible and share images and reels of the transformation in real-time. Share a before and after picture on Instagram or a timelapse reel on TikTok, showing your team working hard to create a Halloween haven. Followers will love to see a glimpse of what they can expect when they walk through the door and it might help them decide to visit your place over somewhere else in your local area.

5) Halloween Drinks & Dishes

If you’ve got a special Halloween discount on food or drinks then be sure to shout about it on your social channels well beforehand. Even better, create a frightful cocktail or dish that’s Halloween-themed and share images in the run-up to 31st October.

If that sounds like too much work, just try adding some grenadine to an existing cocktail to represent blood or crème de menthe for a ghoulish green tinge. Make them every scarier with creative garnishes.

6) Photo booth

Go a bit further with your decoration and create a Halloween photobooth or corner with scary props like masks, costumes, spider webs and hanging bats. Make a sign that encourages guests to tag you in their social photos and then share, share, share. User-generated content is gold.

Halloween goodies and giveaways: ideas to help boost your marketing

7) Giving away gifts and freebies is always a guaranteed way to make customers happy, both online and in-house. Create fun little goodie bags for kids and adults, though steer away from only sweets for the little ones – try stickers, pencils and vampire teeth instead. Show your goodie bags on your social channels before the day and make them limited to encourage early arrivals.

Other types of giveaways to share on social media might be a free Halloween cocktail for the first 20 people to arrive or 10% off before 9pm.

Halloween frights!

7) We all love a scary story, and here’s two ways you can get spooky with your guests and followers.

  • Start a scary story on your social media. Write the first sentence and then encourage others to add to it. Make it about your pub or restaurant so it helps others stick to a theme.
  • Does your pub or restaurant have an in-house ghost or any freaky old stories that you can share? Make sure you share them

8) Trick or treat

If you’re a family-friendly pub or restaurant, then why not hop on social media to let locals know that trick-or-treaters are welcome to stop at your door? Provide treats and strengthen your connection to your local community.

Finish your brew…

If you’re time-poor and need a little assistance with your Halloween marketing plan, then we’d love to help out! We’re experts at digital and social marketing so if you’d like to get creative together then please reach out to our friendly team of digital specialists.

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