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Hershey’s Focuses on Facebook Engagement This Halloween

blog hersheysWhat’s so great about Halloween? Besides costumes, it’s the candy. And, the Hershey Company, purveyor of chocolate bars and other treats since the late 1800’s, is relying on some sweet tactics on Facebook to earn fan devotion and top placement in candy bowls across the country this October 31st.

If you go to Hershey’s corporate website, you’ll see some significant real estate given to promotion of the HERSHEY’S Facebook page. The company is also going big with ghouls and goblins on its Reese’s and TWIZZLERS pages. Let’s look at their efforts on these three Facebook pages between October 1 through 27.

Three Facebook Pages Go Ghoulish

Of the three pages, HERSHEY’S is way ahead on engagement, Reese’s wins on audience size, and TWIZZLERS produces awesome videos and other media just for its twirly vines.

Hershey’s Owns Engagement

During our four-week review, the HERSHEY’S Facebook page dominated overall engagement, with 412K total likes and comments, as well as 6.12% engagement a percent of fans. By comparison, Reese’s had 61,558 engagements and only 0.5% engagement as a percent of fans. Having fans is one thing (and Reese’s has the most), but getting them to pay attention to you and think about your product is a big win.

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HERSHEY’S most popular Halloween post so far in October is a picture of the classic candy bowl, inspiring 80,183 likes and 79,428 comments. Fan devotion to the product is great, with comments like, “Hersheypark is my church” and “I’ll eat that whole entire bowl in 5 seconds.”


Meanwhile, the post that sparked the most shares – let’s hear it for spreading the word – was a funny one linking to HERSHEY’S “Tombstone Brownies” recipe. This post was shared 4,676 times, more than double the response of their next most-shared post. It seems that humor and how-tos go well together for Hersheys.


And, finally, what’s the most common question Halloween enthusiasts love to answer in October? The costume question, right? Or, as HERSHEY’S asks in the top post for total comments, “What arrggh you going to be for Halloween?”


Fans responded with photos a’plenty – Zipperface (very scary), babies dressed as baby elephants, Elsa from Frozen, anime characters, Captain Jack Sparrow, Ninja Turtles, The Flash, and more. Crafty people posted their DIY tips. And, most comments had multiple replies. It was a costume-lover (and social media manager’s) paradise.

We should note, though, amidst all this Halloween hub-bub, the breakaway winner on engagement, earning nearly 40,000 more total likes, comments, and shares than any other post for HERSHEY’S, was a picture of their classic chocolate posted on October 3.


The post, possibly with pay behind it, won 3.5 times the page average for engagement, inspiring dozens of stories of first chocolate bars, selling chocolate bars, sharing chocolate bars with family and friends, or hogging all of the chocolate bars so no one else can eat them.

Reese’s Wins on Audience Size

Reese’s combo of peanut butter and chocolate has fans flocking. For example, one fan commented on a Reese’s post with, “Can you make the Reese’s Big Cup any bigger? I am SO HOOKED!” Turns out, Reese’s offers “The World’s Largest Reese’s Cup” for purchase on their website. How handy!

The Reese’s Facebook page boasts nearly 12.5 million followers, almost double HERSHEY’S 6.8 million. And, while Reese’s audience isn’t as active as HERSHEY’S, when Reese’s comes up with a winning post it can spin engagement gold. For example, their “creepy critters” earned 3,576 shares.


Something about these critters really made folks want to share. Is it the easy-to-make, kid-friendly-party-item vibe, perhaps? Not only did they share the post on their own feeds by the thousands, many of the comments on Reese’s post were shout outs to other folks to check out the “critters.” It sparked a full-on sharing fiesta.


TWIZZLERS cannot boast great engagement from followers, yet. But, it’s working diligently to earn their devotion. TWIZZLERS posts most often and has put a lot of effort into producing Halloween-specific graphics, recipes, and videos. See this Frankenstein gem, for example.


How hard are they working it? TWIZZLERS posted 16 times during our report period, that’s four more than HERSHEY’S. And, TWIZZLERS responded to 50% of user generated posts, while HERSHEY’S responded to 40%.

The tasty vines are hustling to catch up with their chocolately big brothers. And, at 1.1 million fans, they’re making progress.

What Are Your Halloween Social Tricks and Treats?

You may not have peanut butter wrapped in chocolate to offer the world this month, but how have you been working Halloween into your social campaigns? Let us know about your biggest wins and lessons in the comments below.

Bridget Quigg

Hello, fellow Marketeers. My job at Simply Measured is to tell Kevin and Lucy how awesome they are at running the blog. Because, they are.

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