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How brands can use millennials’ spooky social media activity to reach them this Halloween

Halloween isn’t just for trick-or-treaters. The holiday is a highly anticipated social event for young adults, too. It gives them the opportunity to showcase their creativity—and that means going over the top with décor, parties, costumes, and creepy-themed treats.

But none of this counts unless the proof is on social media, right? Millennials, in particular, use social media channels like Instagram and Facebook to research costume ideas, plan Halloween celebrations, and post the events as they unfold. Our Analytics and Insights Institute surveyed millennials to uncover what brands need to know about how to engage with this group as they prepare for the scariest holiday of the year.   

Millennials use social media to help them plan the perfect Halloween. According to Alliance Data’s recent #MillennialHalloween Survey, 65% of millennials use social media for Halloween ideas and inspiration. Retailers can capitalize on this social media-influenced holiday by listening and engaging with their customers, and sharing relevant brand-centric content that inspires creativity.

And this group knows how to party. The survey found that 18% of millennials will throw a Halloween party, while 41% will attend one. Whether they’re throwing a party or attending one, millennials will use social media to share their best snapshots of the night. Retailers can have their own social media Halloween costume and party contests that ask customers to share their best ideas. 

They’ll also have at least one wardrobe change. Costumes can make or break a Halloween party, so more than 1/4 of millennials will wear more than one Halloween costume just to cover the bases. And when Halloween falls on a weekday like it will this year, there are even more opportunities for retailers to cash in. Customers need costumes for work, school, passing out candy, and weekend celebrations.

Group costumes will rule this year. It’s fun to dress up on your own, but group costumes make a special impact. Our survey found that while the majority (46%) will dress up alone, nearly 30% of millennials will dress up with another person or group. Expect to see this group use social media to compete for best ensemble or couples’ costumes. #squadgoals #relationshipgoals

“Millennials rely on technology for everything—and they came of age during the social media boom. So, it makes sense that they would use it to help them plan the perfect Halloween celebration,” says Shannon Andrick, vice president of marketing advancement. “Overall brand experience matters to this group, so retailers who can engage with them on all channels—online and in-store—will reach them first.”


About the study
The survey was commissioned by Alliance Data’s Analytics and Insights Institute and conducted online by an independent research company from August 27–September 1, 2017. The study polled a sample of 437 millennials (ages 18–36).




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