With Halloween lurking creepily around the corner, retailers are making last-minute preparations to capture their share of a projected $9 billion in consumer spending. But social media conversations may provide omens about which retailers will generate the most revenue throughout the shopping day. The retailers attracting the most social engagement as of Oct. 16, according to data from Crimson Hexagon, include:
- Etsy: 607,773 posts;
- Target: 273,821 posts;
- Amazon: 123,178 posts;
- Walmart: 76,432 posts;
- Party City: 24,264 posts;
- Hot Topic: 33,691 posts; and
- Urban Outfitters: 8,268 posts.
Retailers selling candy and costumes can gauge the popularity of products based on these social conversations. For example, more than 200,000 social posts in 2018 included mentions of classic costumes such as vampires, ghosts and zombies, compared to nearly 30,000 “sexy costumes,” 18,000 superhero costumes and 19,000 TV characters.
The social chatter leading up to Halloween 2018 reveals a divergence in costume trends from last year — classic costumes make up approximately 70% of the total share of social conversation, well above the nearly 60% share last year. Classic costumes have been becoming more popular as sexy costumes have been losing popularity, from approximately 20% social share in 2017 to 10% this year.
Overall, shoppers discuss costume purchases on social media far more than any other in October 2018:
- Costumes: 128,158 posts, (59% share)
- Candy: 48,935 posts, (23% share)
- Decorations: 23,456 posts, (11% share)
- Alcohol: 13,522 posts, (6% share)
Product Publicity Is Not Always Positive
In measuring social media posts, retailers need to know that context is vital to understanding consumer sentiment around a product. Over the last five Halloween seasons, candy corn has been the subject of nearly 280,000 posts — 5X the number of the next most-talked about candy, Milky Way at almost 50,000.
But the divisiveness of candy corn’s taste appears to be the main conversation driver. Candy corn had a positive sentiment score of 39%, but a negative sentiment score of 24%, making it the most despised candy over the last five years, just ahead of Laffy Taffy (23%) and Mounds (23%). Milky Way had a positive sentiment score of 36% but had very little negativity surrounding it (9%).
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