THE BLOG
10/17/2013 05:43 pm ET | Updated Dec 17, 2013

3 Social Media Engagement Tips for Brands This Halloween

On any normal day kids live in an adult world. But on Halloween the adults live in a kid world. The neighborhood remakes itself into a funhouse for children where theater and sweets are aplenty. On Halloween if you're lucky enough to live in a highly festive neighborhood every house is decorated from curb to chimney. Mowed lawns come alive with glowing pumpkins, goofy goblins and watchful witches. If you have the bravery to enter there are sumptuous rewards at the door.

Just like trick-or-treaters on Halloween your community members should feel like you've created a unique world for them. You are taking them on an exciting journey. In the spirit of Halloween, here are three tips to help you create that wow experience for your community members in social media.

1. Give the people what they want! Giving out mini-staplers for Halloween is the equivalent to posting dull content because it's easy to. Just because you have a lot of staplers from the office -- in this case extra content assets -- floating around doesn't mean it's something people want. While you might have someone sitting around who can hand out those staplers, if they aren't trained in content or community management they might not use their best judgement. It's better for the experts to focus on what they're good at. Find other great candy makers who are familiar with the tastes of your guests. Some great creative resources for brands include: Buzzfeed (see Wal-Mart example), Cheezburger (see Litter Genie example), Forbes Brand Voice examples, Refinery29 (see Guess example) and Mashable (see Marriott example). Now even Pinterest will create sponsored Pins. Get creative with it.

2. Content in context Raisinets are arguably fruit in the wrong context. This chocolate-coated raisin is the equivalent to putting links or content where it doesn't belong. Don't put stuff meant for Twitter on Facebook, or Pinterest images on LinkedIn. Context is a big deal. That being said, most trick-or-treaters don't want Raisinets. Fruit in candy is generally a no no -- at least for dressed up critters with a sweet tooth. Don't fool your community members into thinking you have a goody for them, only to trick them into a spam trap. People want easy to access content. If you don't give it to them they will go somewhere else where they don't have to go through a maze to read something. Remember, easy to access and impressive -- like Green and Black chocolate bars with no strings attached.

3. Too much about you Handing out t-shirts with your face on them to trick-or-treaters is the equivalent to self-promotion by your brand on social. That includes your employees. Whether you are hosting a conference or launching a webinar or product, sometimes employees can be overly promotional of the brand. Think about brands that are "cool." They might not engage on social -- but they create products people love. The community talks about it. While I don't encourage being anti-social on social media, I do want you to think before self-promoting. If everything you and your employees tweet is about you and your brand, your house will quickly become the creepy house that no one wants candy from.

By knowing your audience, knowing your strengths (and limitations) you will be the most popular house on Halloween this year. Give out enough of the right kind of "candy" and you will have an engaged and adoring community of trick-or-treaters.