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Sweets Go Social: Which Halloween Candies are Engaging Their Audience?

Halloween might mean ghouls, goblins, costume parties and haunted houses to you, but to the industries behind the roughly $6.86 billion that Americans spend on the holiday each year, it means one thing: dollar signs.

At the forefront of this race is the candy industry, and the big names in trick-or-treating are doing whatever they can to make sure your plastic jack-o-lantern is filled with their wares.

As always, this entails the usual print and TV ads, as well as giant end cap displays in your local grocery store; but more and more for these giant brands, it means taking to social media and reminding fans which sugary treats kids love the most.

We took the top selling candy brands in the US, and stacked them up to see how they compared on Facebook.

Skittles is blowing away any competition as far as fan totals are concerned. Over 43 thousand have tasted the rainbow on Twitter, and a staggering 23 million are fans of the chewy treats on Facebook.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, the second highest selling candy on the list – after M&Ms – has over 10 million Facebook fans.

The highest seller, M&Ms, sits in the middle of the pack audience-wise, but their engagement rate is almost four times higher than any of the other candy brands on the list.

Those are great figures, but this is Halloween! The holy grail for candy! Are these brands using Facebook to remind their fans which treat is tops? Turns out they are, and fans are taking notice.

Of the ten brands, 70% have posted using the word “Halloween”, and those posts have seen a 22% higher engagement rate than engagement on other posts.

How are they doing it?

Here are the three most popular Halloween tweets from these candy brands. The two brands with the highest engaging posts also have the highest overall engagement, and it should come as no surprise that they’re also the only two brands on the list who’ve exclusively posted photo content in October.

1. Twix: Let’s play a game.

The caramel filled treat knows the best way to engage users: give them a way to avoid work! This Where’s Waldo style post saw over 105.6k likes, 5.6 comments and 2.5k shares across the Facebook world.

2. M&Ms: How Ya Like Me Now?

The folks at M&Ms have developed a set of characters that offer a fun and easy approach to their social marketing. In this case, they’ve customized those characters to play up their Halloween branding. Ol’ Blue here got 96.9k likes, 2.5k comments and 18.8k shares for his skeleton get up.

3. M&Ms: Did that candy just call me “sweetie”?

M&Ms have created several different brands with their characters, and each has its own particular style. This one wears knee high boots and calls you sweetie. And while some might find that strange, over 70k fans have liked her costume, 2.2k have commented, and 11.4k have shared.

These characters have helped the M&Ms page engage at a rate four times higher than any of their competitors in October, helping foster brand recognition that could translate into sales today.

What are you filling your trick-or-treat bucket with? Did a social media presence play any part in your decision?

Kevin Shively

I lead marketing for Simply Measured. Recovering journalist. My team is embarrassed of my hilarious jokes. Firm believer that the best marketers are the best storytellers and the best storytellers use the best data.

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