Using Halloween Conversation to Unmask Audiences
Using Infegy's Narratives to isolate and analyze differing Halloween-related audiences
Henry Chapman, Research and Insights Analyst
Social leading up to the spooky season
Halloween is just around the corner. In our spare time from preparing our costumes, we've closely tracked how people pay attention to the upcoming celebration. In a typical periodic pattern that we see with known forthcoming events, we uncovered a 328% growth in posts related to Halloween, with most of the growth occurring within the last few weeks. Based on data from past years, we expect this growth to continue until October 31st, with a rapid decrease afterward.
Surging post volume
This growth isn't particularly groundbreaking - of course, people will be talking more about Halloween in the lead-up to Halloween. However, what is groundbreaking is using social listening data derived from Infegy Atlas to show how people talk about Halloween. We'll use Infegy's Narratives to isolate and analyze three activities that comprise a large portion of Halloween-related conversation: Trick-or-treating, Costume Contests, and Haunted Houses. We'll explore each audience to show how different each group is. These insights about who's interested in a particular topic can be critical to your marketing content generation, so pay attention to learning about audience analysis.
Using Narratives to identify clusters of interest
We detected 32,317,337 posts that mentioned Halloween over the last three months. That's a vast collection to sort through and would require an army of analysts to read and understand manually. Luckily, Infegy Atlas can compare and group key topics that appear repeatedly across multiple posts and multiple platforms. Our clustering feature, called Narratives, can parse and aggregate millions of documents in seconds.
Using Narratives here works well because we're doing a broad search. While more narrow searches generally have fewer individual clusters as there's less nuance within the conversation, general searches have dozens of well-defined clusters of conversation that provide insights into different types of communities. We used Narratives to understand the most important clusters of Halloween-related activities. We found three different ones, displayed in Figure 2.
Let's dive into each cluster to understand its audience
Now that we've uncovered our three clusters of conversation (Trick-or-treating, Costume Contests, and Haunted Houses). We'll first look at the post volume to better understand the size of each of these conversational communities. We'll notice that post volume is increasing - this makes sense in the greater context of the upcoming holiday. Second, we'll note that "Haunted Houses" have a surprisingly sizable conversation (6.19x higher than costume contests and 4x higher than Trick-or-treating).
Trick or treating
We'll start with Trick-or-treating. Trick-or-treating has a larger share of female voices, making up 58% of the overall volume. Additionally, their growth rate is almost twice as high as men with 585% growth over the last three months.
Let’s jump into the female topics to uncover as to why. We notice that "mom" and "idea" show up frequently. These topics give us our first clue that parents drive the conversation within the trick-or-treating conversation. Male keywords corroborate this finding, as "dad" appears predominantly among them.
Next, we'll jump to source bios to get more corroborating information. Here, we see many more of those family and parenting-related keywords like "mom," "family," and "wife." There's also a shout-out to Disney and fandoms. This branded connection makes a lot of sense, as Halloween is a massive holiday for Disney fans who get to dress up as their favorite characters. With the correct social listening tool, you can see if your brand is also breaking through.
Now that we've examined Trick-or-treating and learned that it's mostly parents in the midst of planning their children's costumes, we'll look at costume contests. We'll start with overlaying age demographics. Discussions around costume contests also swing on the older side, with 25-34-year-olds discussing the events the most predominantly. This levels off until age 54, when it drops sharply.
However, when we turn to source bios, we'll see that the people participating in the conversation differ from trick-or-treating. Parenting and family-related keywords all but disappear, with organizational-related keywords replacing them. Topics like "nonprofit," "business," "community," and "official" appear frequently. From this, we can infer that there's a lack of organic content, as we saw with parents' trick-or-treating conversation, with organizational accounts leading the share of conversation. In short, organization’s social media discuss costume contests more than trick or treating.
Finally, we'll conclude our analysis by investigating the haunted house-related conversation. Here, the age demographics swing from young to middle-aged, with people aged 25-34 leading the discussion. This histogram looks similar to the costume contest-related conversation we looked at above.
However, we see a much more diverse clustering topic as we jump into source bios. Family and business-related keywords are mostly gone. Instead, we see a solid attachment to content categories like anime, multi-fandom, and horror. Remember, Halloween-related conversation generally happens at a specific time of the year. We're seeing "horror" appear predominantly in source bios, which means these people love the format. That could mean there's a business opportunity for haunted house-related content, not just around Halloween.
Analyze audiences to guide your brand
By isolating and analyzing three significant clusters of conversation, namely Trick-or-treating, Costume Contests, and Haunted Houses, we've highlighted the diversity within the Halloween audience. These insights are not only crucial for understanding the various interests and preferences of these audiences but also hold great significance for your marketing content generation strategies.
Through gender and age demographics analysis, we've discovered that Trick-or-treating primarily involves parents, especially moms, with a notable presence of family-related topics. Costume Contests, on the other hand, attract a middle-aged audience with an emphasis on organizational accounts, reflecting less organic conversation.
Lastly, Haunted Houses garner discussions from a diverse age group, predominantly 25-34-year-olds, with a strong connection to horror-related content. This suggests potential business opportunities beyond the Halloween season for content related to haunted houses.
Incorporating this social listening data into your marketing efforts can help you tailor your messaging and engagement strategies to each audience, ultimately guiding your brand to a more successful and targeted approach. Understanding the nuances of your audience's interests is a key factor in achieving marketing success, and Infegy's Narratives play a pivotal role in providing these critical insights.