5 Successful Instagram Influencer Marketing Campaigns from 2020 [Backed by Data]

Top 5 Instagram Influencer Marketing Campaigns from 2020 [Backed by Data]

Are you still on the fence abot whether Instagram influencer marketing campaigns are right for your brand?

Well, let’s think about it for a second. 

More often than not you will seek out the opinion of your friends and family before you purchase something. 

Why is that so?

Easy: Because you trust them. 

You probably pay more attention to a brand whenever you see a rave review from someone you know and admire – even if you’ve never met them in real life. 

So, it’s no wonder influencer marketing has been one of the biggest buzzwords in digital marketing for the past few years. It has especially become one of the most effective ways for brands to promote their products on Instagram. 

What is Influencer Marketing?
Why Instagram Influencer Marketing?

Top 5 Instagram Influencer Marketing Campaigns in 2020
UberEats, Chipotle and Hinge X Rebel Wilson
McDonald’s X Travis Scott
HelloFresh X Micro-influencers and Mindy Kaling
Biossance X JVN
ASOS X Micro-influencers (#asseenonme)

What to Look for In An Influencer?
Amplify Your Reach with Instagram Influencer Marketing

What Is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing strategy that sees brands collaborate with influencers.

We can define influencers as trusted content creators with the power to affect how their audience makes purchasing decisions. They also have a significant well-engaged following in their niche.

Influencers can endorse or make product mentions and share their opinions with their audience. So all a brand needs to do is find influencers on Instagram and other social media platforms who are a good fit and partner with them.

To show you influencer marketing in real action, today we take a look at the five most successful Instagram influencer marketing campaigns from 2020.

Each approach sheds light on proven techniques that you too can use and capitalize on the value of Instagram influencers. All these brands incorporated unique Instagram influencer campaigns in its social media strategy in 2020 and it paid off. 

But first, let’s discuss why you should implement Instagram influencer marketing.

Why Instagram Influencer Marketing Campaigns?

Instagram influencer marketing campaigns are exploding by the day and for a good reason. 

Influencer marketing ROI is stronger than ever. So it comes as no surprise that marketers believe that this industry is bound to double its worth to $15 billion by 2022

Already, this marketing tactic is yielding a $6.50 return on investment for every dollar spent.

According to social media influencer statistics, only 1% of millennials trust advertisements. But, 33% of them trust blog reviews when it comes to making purchases.

When purchasing products online around 40% of people will buy a product after seeing it used by an influencer on Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube.

And what do influencers think about their impact?

71% of influencers believe that what keeps their audience engaged is an honest and authentic voice. All these stats are a clear indication of why influencer marketing is red-hot right now. 

Now that you know the whats and whys of Instagram influencer marketing, let’s see them in action.

Track influencer metrics & measure campaign performance easily

How to Do Influencer Marketing Campaigns?

There are 10 steps to build a great influencer marketing campaign:

  1. Set your goals by visualizing what success would look like to determine your key metrics.
  2. Identify the target audience you want to reach through your influencer.
  3. Determine your budget to identify how many and what tier of influencer you can afford.
  4. Choose your channel(s).
  5. Choose an Influencer Tracking & Managing tool.
  6. Identify & choose your ideal influencers.
  7. Reach out to your influencers to reach an agreement.
  8. Track and evaluate the campaign and optimize when needed.
  9. Compensate your influencers fairly.
  10. Measure and evaluate the success of your campaign.

If you want a more detailed guide of what each of these steps look like, visit our influencer marketing guide.

Now, we understand that this seems like a lot! However, using a tool like Keyhole can take care of finding the perfect influencer, optimizing your influencers’ campaigns, tracking all your influencers’ performance in a single dashboard in real-time, and measuring the impact of your campaign.

Keyhole Influencer aMarketing & Analytics

The 5 Most Successful Instagram Influencer Campaign Examples from 2020

1. Uber Eats X Chipotle X Hinge X Rebel Wilson

What do Uber Eats, Chipotle, and Hinge have in common? 

Perhaps a desire to be loved by a certain demographic who is also looking for love – at least for cuffing season.

The three brands found the best way to reach young adults who use dating apps and food delivery services through a celebrity Instagram influencer campaign.. 

Using the “Chipotle Cuffing Season Menu” the brands ran a collective campaign that gave their customers a chance to win dating advice from the hilarious celebrity and “How to Be Single” star Rebel Wilson. 

The limited-time Chipotle Cuffing Season menu was available exclusively on Uber Eats and featured meals inspired by Hinge dating habits and Chipotle’s most popular dishes. 

To take advantage of their influencer relationship, the brands offered 10 lucky people who ordered from the exclusive menu a chance to win dating advice from Wilson.

2020 Instagram influencer campaigns: UberEats X Chipotle X Hinge X Rebel Wilson

In addition, Hinge added a new profile prompt in the app for daters to be able to connect over their specific Chipotle orders. Users also got $20 off their next 3 orders of Chipotle delivered using Uber Eats!

The campaign gave the brands’ target audience the incentive to order from the limited-time menu, increase Uber Eats orders, and at the same time, it raised awareness for Hinge’s brand.

Why it works?

Rebel Wilson is the ideal celebrity influencer to reach a young adult audience because she is authentic, and she is relatable. While we expect Internet influencers boast unattainable flawlessness, Wilson can point out her flaws with humour and celebrate them. 

In a similar way, the irony of having the “How to Be Single” actress give dating advice, allowed the brands to advertise Cuff Day in a fun, unexpected way. 

Each of the two ads on Wilson’s Instagram account was viewed over a million times. Much more than the average engagement that all these companies get on the platform.  

2. McDonald’s X Travis Scott (#cactusjack)

Popular fast-food brand, McDonald’s teamed up with Astroworld star Travis Scott to promote Scott’s favorite McDonald’s meal for a limited time.

The month-long deal featured a quarter-pounder with cheese, bacon, and lettuce. It also came with a medium order of fries and BBQ sauce dip.

As part of the campaign, Scott ran a new line of merchandise under his label, Cactus Jack, a line was inspired by McDonald’s. The merchandise included denim shorts, t-shirts, a nugget body pillow, hoodies, a burger tie, Egg McMuffin-branded boxers, and a Cactus Jack basketball jersey.

The two brands also supported charitable organizations throughout the partnership. 

Instagram influencer marketing campaigns in 2020: McDonald's X Travis Scott #cactusjack

Why it works?

With a following of over 73 million on Instagram, Scott’s posts had the potential to receive an average of 10 million views amplifying McDonald’s brand significantly. 

Not to mention, the amount of hype it would generate in social media. In the second half of September, the term Cactus Jack acquired 124.4K posts and over 426 million impressions.

Cactus Jack Impressions

3. HelloFresh X Micro-influencers and Mindy Kaling (#hellofreshpartner)

HelloFresh has a very photogenic product. The bright-green box, delightful pre-packaged ingredients, and tasty finished meals are a great fit for Instagram influencer marketing.  

Also, HelloFresh has fully embraced the value of influencer marketing and has mastered the art of finding micro-influencers on Instagram spanning across different fields.

The brand partners with thousands of such micro-influencers to promote its products within their target audience. So you are likely to see the #hellofreshpartner hashtag as you scroll your Instagram timeline. 

HelloFresh micro-influencer marketing campaign 2020

Occasionally, HelloFresh uses celebrity influencers. Recently, the brand partnered with actress and writer Mindy Kaling. The busy celebrity mom of two will share cooking tips and how to have fun while at it. 

For the partnership, Mindy will star in a four-episode video series titled “Meals with Mindy.” The series will begin airing across social media and digital ads in January 2021.

Each webisode will feature Mindy teaching viewers, in her humor-filled fashion, about the art of cooking. For the purpose of illustrating how HelloFresh helps her create easy, but delicious meals.

Instagram Influencer Marketing Campaigns: HelloFresh X various micro-influencers and Mindy Kaling

 Why it works?

The brand works with a variety of lifestyle, motherhood, and cooking influencers to share their experiences with HelloFresh on Instagram. All of which fall within their target market.

The influencers also ask their followers to sign up for the service using a unique promo code that offers them a discount on their first month. 

This kind of influencer marketing tactic drives sign-ups and makes it very easy for HelloFresh to track each influencer’s ROI.

HelloFresh, using a host of  Social Media analytics tools, can see which influencers generated the most sign-ups and can then use them for future campaigns.

4. Biossance X Jonathan Van Ness

The sustainable skincare brand Biossance has a secret weapon. And it is none other than Queer Eye and Gay of Thrones grooming guru Jonathan Van Ness.

The brand chose to work with the popular TV personality to promote the brand in an authentic way. JVN’s personable nature, approachable style to beauty expertise make him an ideal influencer.

He also shares a passion for sustainable beauty and is a champion for inclusivity. These happen to be the same values that the brand stands for. 

Instagram Influencer Campaigns in 2020: Biossance X JVN

The Fab 5 member is no stranger to brand partnerships. Of course, every brand would like to be promoted in a way that is authentic, fun, fabulous and unique – and JVN succeeds in doing all these and more.

It also helps that JVN has over 5.3m followers, an engagement rate of 373% and an average of 200.7K engagements per post. In other words, he is a unicorn among influencers.

Why it works?

While JVN is the influencer version of a dream boat, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he could work with any brand. One of the reasons why he is so influential is because of his fierce commitment to his personal brand.

For Biossance, it is a match made in heaven. As we mentioned, the brand’s values align perfectly with JVN’s values.

JVN is also an expert authority on beauty products. He can give you compelling reasons to buy Biossance products in his own words and based on his own expertise. 

This is the ideal in Instagram influencer marketing: to find an influencer that is knowledgeable and passionate about your brand, and can express so in their own words.

You don’t need an influencer matchmaker to find the right influencer for your brand, especially if you use a social listening tool like Keyhole. Keyhole will surface the most influential voices that mention your brand or the conversations you are tracking, and let you take a peek at their followers, engagement and sentiment.

5. ASOS X Micro-influencers (#asseenonme)

ASOS typically attracts all shoppers of all ages, sizes and backgrounds thanks to its approach to inclusivity. 

The brand’s Instagram influencer marketing campaign strategy is to collaborate with a wide audience through its Insider influencer program. In this program, ASOS partners with 29 influencers who have distinctive looks and communities.

Instagram Influencer marketing campaigns 2020: Asos

Each of these influencers has ASOS-branded Instagram and Pinterest accounts. ASOS also has a dedicated landing page that features their style guides. In doing so, ASOS makes its brand welcoming for all shoppers. 

The influencers offer so many different styles to choose from. Which in turn, makes it easy for every ASOS shopper to find their perfect look. 

instagram influencer campaigns in 2020: asos

Why it works?

This tactic is effective because shoppers trust the content. That is because it comes from real, stylish people – and not directly from the brand.

Having such a diverse audience is any brand’s dream. However, it can be difficult for brands to maintain a strong identity, while representing a wide range of individuals.

ASOS uses its Instagram influencer marketing to do this flawlessly. First, it identified the essence of the brand that appeals to its wide audience: fashion and style. Then, it found key influencers that can inspire this love for fashion and style to their own communities.

“With Keyhole at your disposal, if someone has a large following and they’re mentioning your keyword, you’ll be the first one to know about this person and the first one to reach out.” Neil Patel, 4 Best Tools for Social Listening

Finding The Right Influencers for Your Instagram Influencer Campaign

You don’t want to work with just any influencer, you want to work with the one that will bring you the highest ROI. 

Also, there’s more to an influencer’s success than their follower count.

To find the right one, these are qualities (and the metrics) you need to focus on when finding the right influencer for your brand.

1. Brand fit

Before you pick an influencer as yourself this question: What type of influencer is best for my campaign? Who is the JVN to your Biossance?

The answer that you come up with will help you pick the influencer that is a brand fit. 

When deciding your brand fit, you want to focus on influencers who have a genuine interest in your niche and line of products. This way, your influencer partnership will be more authentic and genuine from a consumer’s perspective.

Basically, the better the fit, the more likely your influencer is to inspire trust. In return, you will have more ROI potential from your campaign.

With a social listening tool, you can surface the most influential accounts for your followers, as well as organic brand advocates, which are the most likely to be a good fit for your brand.

Influencer Marketing in 2021 - surface influencers

Try Keyhole social listening today and find the best influencers for your brand.

2. Engagement rate

As we mentioned before, influence is more than just the follower count. A high number of followers does not necessarily result in high ROI. You want an influencer with highly engaged followers. 

The more engaged an audience is the more likely they are to be influenced. Take advantage of a profile analytics tool and pay close attention to engagement rates, reach, and engagement per post. 

3. Clear communication

Once you start pitching a potential influencer, take into account how they handle communication. Do they take eons to respond to you? Do they give you the information you ask for? Are they prioritizing your brand? 

Clear communication is vital to success in Instagram influencer marketing campaigns. Especially, when it comes to your goal expectations and results. Using an influencer tracking and analytics tool will track goal-based metrics and will give you transparency into your influencer’s performance metrics and will let you .

4. Genuine love for your brand

At the end of the day, you want to work with an individual who authentically loves your brand. See if the influencer has been promoting your brand or products like yours without a sponsorship. 

You want to partner with someone who will genuinely promote your product and not just see your campaign as another form of income. Pay attention to the influencer’s messaging and see if it could match your own.

Amplify Your Reach with Instagram Influencer Marketing Campaigns

Influencer marketing is not a new concept and it isn’t going away anytime soon. 

As you can see from these campaigns, when done correctly, the potential of this digital marketing tactic is huge. 

People are continuously paying attention to influencers who are just like them and not just celebrities, family, or friends. 

By finding the right influencer for your brand, you get the power to bring your brand to new heights. Now you have the tools and examples of how to do this the right way.

So go on and run your own Instagram influencer marketing campaign in 2021. We can’t wait to feature your brand as one of our success stories!


Keyhole is a Social Media Listening & Brand Monitoring Solution that helps marketers unlock data-driven business insights. Its visual dashboard is simple and shareable with your clients. Start your free trial today and get the metrics you need.

Social Commerce: 5 Secrets to Boost Sales with Social Media

Social Commerce: 5 Secrets to Boost Sales

You’ve probably heard about social commerce, and perhaps wondered if it’s a fad or if it’s something to start implementing. Well, we’re here to break it down for you and set you up for success, so read on.

Did you know? A long and confusing checkout process is one of the top 5 reasons why people abandon their carts. And who could blame them? 

When you’ve decided to buy something, you probably want to finish the purchase process as quickly and as easily as possible. Social commerce makes that happen by allowing shoppers to finish buying things directly through social media.

In this post, you’ll discover what social commerce is and why you need it in your social media marketing strategy. You’ll also learn a few tips that can help you get started with social commerce for your business. 

And of course, we’ll provide some real-life examples for inspiration.

Jump Links

What is social commerce?
Facebook shopping
Instagram shopping
Pinterest shopping

Why you need social commerce?

5 social commerce tips to get you started
Start with low-cost offers
Use hashtags to drive product discovery
Take advantage of UGC
Get your timing right
Build trust with reviews

Sell more on social

What is social commerce?

Simply put, social commerce involves selling things directly on social media. Unlike social media marketing, you’re not redirecting people to your website or product pages. Instead, you’re giving them the option to checkout right on the social media platform they’re using.

With social commerce, shoppers go through the entire purchase funnel on a single social media platform. 

For instance, they may discover a tagged product through your ad, feed post, or Stories. Then, they can learn more about it on the same platform by clicking on the product tag. If they decide to buy it, they can simply tap on the “checkout” or “buy now” button to finish the purchase.

This streamlines the buying process, as it just takes a few clicks to complete a purchase. You can currently get this type of social shopping capability on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Twitter introduced the buy button in 2014 but then decided to ditch it in 2017.

Let’s discuss how each of these work?

Facebook Shopping

With 1.62 billion people using Facebook daily, the platform opens up an excellent opportunity to reach a massive audience base. 

Social Commerce - Facebook

The platform now has a feature to set up a full-blown Facebook Shop to showcase your featured products. This way, people can browse through the products in your Shop and buy them on the same platform.

Instagram shopping

70% of shopping enthusiasts go to Instagram to discover new products, making the platform a great option to drive social commerce. 

Social Commerce - Instagram

Instagram gives you the option to create shoppable posts, where you tag products in your photos and videos. People can click on these product tags to learn more about the product and/or buy it right on Instagram.

You can even create Shoppable Stories, but you can only tag one product per Stories post. When people swipe up it will take them to the product page.

Social Commerce: Instagram Stories

Like with Facebook, you even have the option to set up a full-blown Instagram Shop to further promote Instagram selling. People can browse through this Shop to discover products to buy and complete their purchase without ever leaving Instagram.

Pinterest shopping

83% of Pinners have bought something based on Pins that they saw. Pinterest is the go-to destination for creative inspiration, so it’s no surprise that it also inspires buying decisions.

Taking advantage of this, Pinterest allows brands to create rich pins where people can learn more about a product. You can even create shoppable pins so people can buy the product without leaving Pinterest.

Social Commerce: Pinterest

Earlier this year, Pinterest introduced a “Shop” tab that users can access from their boards. This tab showcases products featured in the user’s boards so they can easily find something to buy.

Why you need social commerce

Now you may want to know why social commerce is so important and why you need it for your business.

If you’re wondering, isn’t it enough to market your social media and send people to your website? Here’s a quick look at some of the top reasons why social commerce is so important:

Reduce friction and drive conversions

People are already using social media to discover and research things to buy. 43% of global social media users research products online using social networks. And for 13%, a “buy” button would make them more likely to buy something.

https://www.smartinsights.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/How-social-media-informs-purchase-decisions.png
Smart Insights: Global social media research summary August 2020

Also, according to a Facebook-backed study, Instagram fuels product discovery for 83% of users and helps purchase decisions for 80%. After seeing a product or service on Instagram, 65% visited the brand’s website or app. And 46% made a purchase online or offline. 

What does that mean? People are making their buying decision on your social platform. So, giving them the option to buy directly on the platform will turn them into customers.

The goal of social commerce applications is to reduce friction and minimize the steps to complete a purchase. People can easily go from discovering your products/services on social media to buying it. 

So there’s a lower risk of abandoned carts and losing a sale since the process is shorter. And you have a good chance of driving more conversions with the help of social commerce. 

Enhance the customer experience

Customers using social commerce benefit from a quick and easy checkout process. With fewer steps needed to visit a brand store and complete a purchase, social shopping enhances the customer experience. 

In fact, people value efficiency and convenience the most in their customer experience. And that’s exactly what social commerce offers.

https://www.pwc.com/us/en/services/consulting/library/consumer-intelligence-series/future-of-customer-experience.html
PWC: Future of Consumer Experience

Improve social ROI

When you have a Facebook Shop or an Instagram Shop, people can browse through them and find products they like. This means that they’ll likely spend more time engaging with your brand on social media.

The same goes for product tags and rich pins, as people will spend time looking at the product info. And with an easier checkout option that will boost your conversion rates, you’re bound to see your social ROI soar.

In other words, you’ll be getting much more out of your investment in social commerce. Make the most of robust social media analytics tools to track your ROI and see the impact in real time.

5 social commerce tips to get you started

Now that you know how your business can benefit from social commerce, it’s time to bring it to fruition. To help you get a great start, take a look at these tips and best practices. 

We’ve also provided you with a few social commerce examples of brands that got it right. So take in the inspiration.

1: Start with low-cost offers

When people browse social media, they’re not really looking for things to buy. They’re there to engage with other users and pass the time.

After all, that’s the purpose of social media. So, maybe it’s not the best time or place to bombard them with offers for major purchases and high-cost products. 

For instance, you may not necessarily buy a car directly on Instagram. But you might be interested in buying accessories like dashboard cameras, car organizers, etc. 

ThreadBeast, the clothing subscription service, does exactly this with its Facebook Shop. The company highlights plans that cost less than $150 and occasionally promotes a plan over $200.

Social Commerce to Boost Sales: ThreadBeast

Similarly, ensure social commerce success by luring your customers in with your best, low-cost offers first. You can include the occasional high-priced item.

However, the main focus should be on promoting things that people would want to buy immediately without much second thought. 

2: Use hashtags to drive product discovery

You can’t sell stuff that people can’t see. So product discovery should be an essential aspect of your social marketing strategy.

Hashtags are crucial for driving product discovery, especially on Instagram. When you tag your posts with relevant hashtags, it allows the posts to show up in searches for said hashtags.

That means when people click on a certain hashtag, they could come across your shoppable post and end up converting. This works for Facebook too but it’s even more effective on Instagram.

On Instagram, your post could show up in the Explore page of relevant users when you use the right hashtags. So. improving your Instagram SEO with relevant hashtags will drive product discovery, which will likely end up in conversions.

Check out how Pottery Barn uses hashtags like #interiordesign, #homestyling, and #interiorinspo in their shoppable post. They also mix it up with branded hashtags like #potterybarn and #mypotterybarn.

Social Commerce - Pottery Barn Instagram

If you’re using branded hashtags like Pottery Barn does, don’t forget to monitor and measure your hashtag performance. This will help you measure your brand reach and engagement, which are essential metrics of your social ROI.

Pro tip: To find popular hashtags, use the Keyhole Market Research platform to look for trending topics and conversations. This will give you an idea of what your target audience is interested in right now. 

Then come up with relevant hashtags that people are most likely to use and search based on those trends. You can also use this trend discovery and prediction feature to brainstorm content (and even product) ideas that you know people love.

3: Take advantage of UGC

People trust people more than they trust brands. In fact, 92% of consumers trust other people’s recommendations.

So it’s no wonder that 87% of brands are already taking advantage of user-generated content. 72% even believe that UGC helps them engage their customers better. 

This makes sense since seeing the product on real people or in real homes can set realistic expectations. It puts the item in context and helps people picture how it’ll look in real life. So if you’re going to enjoy the full impact of social commerce, you’ll need to leverage UGC too. 

H&M does a great job of implementing UGC in its shoppable posts. Most of the brand’s Instagram shoppable posts come from style influencers and real customers.

Social Commerce - H&M User Generated Content

4: Get your timing right

Timing is everything, especially on social media. Facebook sees 14.58 million photos uploaded every hour. While Instagram sees 995 photos uploaded every second. So your posts can easily get lost in a sea of posts from other users.

If you want people to notice your posts, you need to reach them at just the right time. For this, you’ll need to test out different post timings to see when you get the most engagement. Then create a content calendar and posting schedule based on these findings. 

Don’t forget to use social media scheduling tools to help you get your posts out at the right time.

5: Build trust using reviews

Remember when we mentioned that people trust people? 

Well, online reviews have influenced the purchase decisions of 93% of consumers. So they could significantly boost your conversions and therefore, your returns on social commerce. 

Encourage your customers to leave reviews and then share those reviews through social media. You could share product reviews through your Stories for one. 

Better yet, find a way to incorporate reviews into your shoppable posts. For instance, you could include an image overlay of the review on top of the product photo.

Social Commerce - Glossier Reviews

Glossier shared reviews of its most popular products through Instagram Stories. This coincided with the brand’s Cyber Week sale as it was intended to inspire purchases during the sale week.

Sell more on social

Social commerce opens up an incredible opportunity to boost your social ROI. As it shortens and simplifies the conversion process, it reduces the risk of losing a sale. In the end, it helps you drive higher conversions in the long run.

Who doesn’t want that?

While you amplify your social selling efforts, don’t forget to research trending topics and conversations using Keyhole. This will help you figure out just how to create posts that resonate with your target audience.

Sign up for a Keyhole demo and jumpstart your social commerce campaign.

We Analyzed A Million #Halloween2020 Social MediaPosts – This Is What We Learned

Halloween Social Media Analytics

Despite restrictions, Halloween made a splash this year, at least on social media. There were over 963.7K posts with the hashtag #Halloween2020, which resulted in 5.5 billion impressions this past October, showing that people were still excited about the beloved holiday.

But most importantly, what are people talking about?

Halloween Social Media Posts 2020
Halloween Social Media Impressions 2020

#TrickorTreat

192.4K Posts and 589.9M Impressions (September – October 2020)

Remember how exciting it was to be a kid on Halloween? Getting your costume ready, staying up late, and getting to eat more candy than you could all year?

Those were the days!

Halloween Trick or Treat Meme

This year, however, people were on the fence about it. Recent polls show that at least 38% of parents planned on allowing their kids to trick or treat this year, while for 31%, it’s a hard pass.

Curiously, 62% of poll respondents said that they would be handing out candy this year, while only 23% said they would go trick or treating. And well, having extra candy around is not such a bad thing.

Halloween 2020 Survey results

Some candy brands came to save the day – and their profits – by finding creative ways to ensure that kids get a trick or treating experience this year.

Contender 1: Mars Wrigley

Mars Wrigley created a completely online experience with Treat Town. This new app – created in partnership with Disney Parks –  would allow users to engage in various Halloween-themed activities including virtual trick or treating.

The confectionery giant also partnered with the National Safety Council in creating a guide for parents to safely participate in Halloween.

Using their hashtag #bettermoments to promote the app on social media was a questionable decision. It is quite difficult to track a hashtag that most people would use in a context that is completely unrelated to your brand.

The #bettermoments hashtag is quite popular with topics such as pain, breakups and suicide prevention. These associations are the exact opposite you’d want as a candy brand.

Hashtag tracking #bettermoments

Lesson learned – hashtag choice is crucial when using social media to track and measure your campaigns.

Alternatively, Mars Wrigley’s sub-brand Skittles used the #DareTheRainbow to promote two campaigns: a giveaway – with AMC’s The Walking Dead – and a zombie-prank challenge, resulting in 1.4 million impressions.

The beloved brand Snickers played it cool this year. After all, being voted as America’s most beloved Halloween candy gave the brand enough bragging rights. 

After a contentious battle between Snickers and Reese’s – Snickers took the crown. And the results were surprising, considering the number of Americans with peanut allergies has tripled since the 90’s.

What about the second runner-up?

Contender 2: Hershey’s

Hershey’s did not disappoint this year, by going all out and creating a robot-operated door that travelled to various American neighborhoods and offered a contactless trick-or-treat experience.

With little promotion, the #REESESDOOR hashtag gained about 385.3K impressions, and the story was picked up by many US publications. A single post from a TikTok influencer had over 35K impressions.

And despite gloomy expectations, recent data shows that candy sales have climbed 13% from last year. Halloween chocolate purchases alone are up by 25.3%.

Halloween 2020 Candy Sales

Arguably, the increase in candy purchasing might have little to do with trick or treaters, and more to do with treating ourselves after a hard-knock year.  

While many might miss out on the trick or treating fun, parents and non-parents alike are not letting the holiday go to waste and are bringing the spook home. Data proves that you don’t need a party or trick or treating to partake in the festivities.

“Halloween Decorations” 

279K Posts and 915.8M Impressions (September – October 2020)

Halloween Decoration posts have been incredibly popular in social media, and also 53% of survey respondents indicated that they would be decorating their homes.

In terms of spending, decorations and costumes have the highest total expected spending this halloween ($2.6 billion each).

Halloween Spending 2020

It isn’t too surprising. Halloween decorations are one of the safest ways to go all out when celebrating Halloween.

Out of 27.7 million Halloween social media posts, this neighbourly shout-out and this COVID-inspired house decoration were among the tweets with the most engagements in October.

And the Halloween decorations brand that is killing it on social media is none other than Home Depot.

Contender 1: Home Depot

Halloween  2020 Social Media - Home Depot

That’s right, Home Depot mentions acquired 1.4 billion impressions in the past two months. In case you haven’t heard, their 12 ft. skeleton became the most coveted decoration this year.

Once social media posts started to go viral, sales went through the roof. Even with a hefty $300 price tag, Home Depot quickly sold out of the big-boned decoration. People wanted them so bad that ebay auctions were going for over $800.

So what does giant skeleton envy have to teach us?

Aside from tremendous entertainment, there are a few lessons we can get from the 12 ft. skeleton’s success.

First, visibility and impact – it is really hard to miss and ignore a gigantic skeleton in plain sight. With more than half the world using social media, if your product makes a visual impact, there is a chance that people will post about it.

Halloween Social Media Lessons - Home Depot

Second, exclusivity – after selling out for good, the skeleton became even more desirable. Home Depot was very hushed about how many skeletons they sold, and simply communicated that they would no longer be available. 

Let’s be honest – we have a primal instinct to want what we can’t have. Indicating that your products have limited availability will make them more desirable to consumers.

“Halloween Makeup”

138.9K Posts and 688.5M Impressions (September to October 2020)

Speaking of desirability, most industries can only wish to have the social media success that makeup has had. In fact, it was the makeup industry that helped us realize the power of influencer marketing.

But is it successful across all social media platforms?

YouTube

YouTube has been the largest social medium for makeup-related content with the success of makeup tutorials.

To exemplify the power of YouTube and makeup influencers look no other than James Charles’ Halloween makeup video featuring Kylie Jenner.

The video has over 12 Million views, and it was engaged with over 818K instances. And while few brands could possibly afford a celebrity or mega influencers, collaborations with different influencers based on your budget can make a huge impact.

But what about other platforms?

Instagram

Instagram has become another great medium for cosmetic brands. The brand Anastasia Beverly Hills was a pioneer in turning its focus to Instagram over YouTube.

The brand amassed a 20M following on Instagram, leveraging short videos to create mini tutorials featuring their products and using contests to boost engagement.

This year, one of the posts gathering the most engagement (77K) was French makeup artist Marion Moretti’s post. While she showed her stunning The Mask rendition, she also invited engagement both online and offline.

Halloween Makeup social media posts

Moretti, made sure to tag all of the makeup companies she used for her look, and even created her own hashtag (#camelloween2020) to encourage user generated content.

TikTok

A new great opportunity for cosmetic brands, and really any brand, looking to use social media as a way to showcase their product is TikTok.

Elf cosmetics launched the contest #eyeslipsface in October, asking TikTokers to “give face” while using their commissioned song. The catchy song and giving TikTokers the freedom to be creative paid off: the #eyeslipsface has over 6.6B views.

So what can we learn from cosmetic brands’ success on Halloween?

Like any makeup guru will tell you – “when in doubt, keep blending.” Not blending into the background, but blending different elements together to make them cohesive.

Make sure you blend your content and strategy with the medium you’re using. Fit is everything in social media and every platform has its own metrics and formulas. 

For example, Instagram can help consumers discover your brand and make decisions about your products. On the other hand, TikTok will help you connect with a younger audience and encourage engagement with  your brand. 

Instagram Business Stats

As for influencers, fit is even more important. In order to be successful, it is important to be authentic. So, influencers will have control over the message and the audience. 

Find an influencer that will be able to deliver his/her message about your brand in an authentic manner. Also, pay attention to their followers and determine whether this is the audience you want to reach.

“Halloween Costume”

1.9M Posts and 9.3B Impressions (September to October 2020)

Which leads us to Halloween Costumes – in our humble opinion – the true spirit of Halloween. 

Bear with us now..

Humans around the world and history have used costumes as a way to celebrate their cultures. For example, Jewish people wear costumes for Purim, during Carnival people dress up in the Caribbean, Venice and Switzerland.

Costume Social Media Posts

We wear costumes to create the fantasy of inhabiting a new persona. For a day, we get to absorb the positive attributes of our character. Clinging tights on any given day might make many men feel emasculated but that wouldn’t be the case if it’s part of a superhero costume.

There is an important insight from this. Thinking about consumption has enormous psychological implications. More often than not, people consume a brand because of what it makes them feel about themselves, not necessarily for the benefits of the product.

In many western cultures, Halloween is the day to dress up in costume. And today, sharing your costume in social media has become the norm.

This is why an average $3.4 billion is spent on Halloween costumes every year. Men spending $96 on average, while women spend $77 – which is surprising, since women usually pay the pink tax.

So what costumes were popular for Halloween 2020?

According to Freightgeist – Google Trends report on Halloween costumes – the top 10 Halloween costume searches are as follows:

  1. Witch
  2. Dinosaur
  3. Harley Quinn
  4. Rabbit
  5. Clown
  6. Angel
  7. Fortnite
  8. Devil
  9. Ninja
  10. Spiderman

Which leads us to the Halloween costume social media post with the most engagement for October

Halloween best social Media Posts

Which leads us to pet costumes, Americans spent about $440 million to dress up their furry friends. And this trend continues to grow by about 16% each year.

While popular human costumes are witches, princesses, villains and superheroes. These are the 5 most popular animal costumes:

  1. Pumpkin
  2. Hot Dog
  3. Superhero
  4. Cat
  5. Bumblebee

This year, posts featuring cats with the #Halloween2020 was among the most popular this year, whether it was costumes for cats, or black cats. In fact, the Instagram account Meowed by 9GAG had a great month on Instagram: total engagements were 19M – that’s 11M more than September.

So is the real winner of #Halloween2020 the noble cat? At least those cats that had the patience to be dressed up and photographed by their owners.

Halloween Social Media Pet Costume Stats

The greatest contender is of course, the dog. While dog costumes are not among the top posts of #Halloween2020, there are fewer dog costume posts (21.8K) than cat costume posts (39.2K). 

Halloween Social Media Pet Costume Stats

Dog costume posts, however, had 126.8 M impressions in the past two months, making them the true social media winner of this Halloween.

If you’re wondering why, just look at this picture and try not to smile! If you’re wondering why, just look at this picture and try not to smile!

So what did social media teach us about Halloween in 2020?

This Halloween taught us that even when facing curveballs and adversity, new opportunities can be created. Not only for marketers but also for people who want to continue enjoying their favourite holiday.

The most creative brands – and people – have one thing in common: adaptability. All the brands we mentioned were able to get a good perspective on the situation to understand what people really wanted and then created a solution.

Practicing social media monitoring and listening can help identify trends and inform our process to create opportunities. It also allows us to track our performance and adapt as needed.

Both in marketing and in life, we can take this important lesson into consideration. Pay attention to what is happening, inform yourself as best you can, and be ready to create your own solutions.

Do you have any 2020 lessons you’d like to share with us? We’d love to hear from you!


Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that helps marketers make decisions by gathering with social media data. Try Keyhole for free with a 7-day trial.


About The Author

Mariana O’Connor is heading content and email marketing at Keyhole. She has a Masters degree in Marketing from the Schulich School of Business. When she’s not reading or writing about the latest marketing trends, she is usually out and about, working out, learning a new skill or watching RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Life is short and the internet is vast.