Boo! Didn’t mean to frighten you there, just getting the chops up to speed for the big event at the end of the month. The old sheet with the eyeholes never goes out of style, despite what I’ve been repeatedly told to the contrary. You can bet one thing, they’ll all be taking pics of me in costume and sharing them on the social networks. They seem to get such a kick out of that, especially with me…

From a marketing perspective, all of the advertising hoopla around Halloween seems silly. Not that it happens, but that it isn’t a 365-day-a-year thing instead of a once-a-year thing. No, of course monsters and witches don’t sell in the Spring, I know that. But the basic concepts can easily be applied to any other holiday, or even to an entire season. Here are just a few tricks you can put in your bag this Halloween that you should keep adapting for future events.

1. Photo Contests – Tried and True

It’s cliche, it’s old, but it’ll never be tired. It’s the reason 99 percent of people still celebrate Halloween – getting to show off their costume. A costume photo contest will always draw a decent crowd, so don’t skip over it.

People love to take and share pictures of themselves, and Halloween in the age of social media is the perfect opportunity for massive selfie-sharing. Offer a reward for the best one and let people vote on it? They’ll fly left and right. Just make sure you’re taking advantage of the traffic you get. Use the same idea for Thanksgiving dinner pics, Christmas tree pics, tailgating pics, prom pics, whatever type of event where pictures are going to be taken in abundance anyway.

2. Get in the Spirit

Remember when we used to go into real, brick and mortar stores inside shopping malls? The storefronts would all be decked out for Halloween (just as they were for Christmas and other holidays). Whether you were shopping for shoes or electronics, there was a “spooky” atmosphere to the experience. People love that, or the businesses would stop spending money on the decorations.

Change your website and social pages in the same way. Add a splash of Halloween by changing the color scheme or adding some spider graphics in the corners. The masses buy from those whom the masses accept as most like them. Or simpler, ‘when in Rome…’. One reason people still go to Google’s home search page is to see what the Google doodle will be that day. Switch things up enough to keep them guessing. Involve your employees by sharing their costume pics on your site. Just make sure you switch again after the season has passed.

3. Of course, Discounts

This is another aspect that people are conditioned to expect – holiday discounts. Because they expect it, you should give it to them, but you should get something out of the deal as well. A great idea I read about somewhere suggested offering a discount coupon for liking your page, and the opportunity to increase that discount percentage 1% for every ten shares of your content, to a preset maximum. For instance, a 10 percent discount for liking your page and up to 25 percent if they share your content up to 150 times.

4. Go image-crazy, temporarily

Images grab attention better than anything. You’ll already be sharing tons of costume pictures, but don’t stop there. Make it an October mission to post a unique image with text every day. Go with a theme, start your own meme, but turn your stream into almost a photo album. That’s why the text on the image is important. Make sure the text is captivating, humorous, emotion-wrenching, or otherwise attention-getting. And don’t forget to relate a few or more to your business.

5. Encourage safety

Halloween is always lots of fun, but these days it’s also downright dangerous. In an age where walking down the street on a sunny day can end as a nightmare, being out and about at night with millions of other people whom you can’t identify because of their costumes is a great way to start any horror movie. Run a list of safety tips on your pages throughout the month up to Halloween night. Of course, come up with a great hashtag for it, encourage sharing, and track it with your social media management software. But that’s just standard operating procedure, right?