My $1.50 view (again) –
I'll say it again. Demographics. Know your audience and how they socialize. FB is a medium that many continue to use for some aspects of socialization. FB stocks took a hit recently because they were not addressing mobility, but they have re-energized by putting more focus in their mobile apps and are now seeing more "traffic." Does this mean they make a great marketing resource? No.
However, they are a good vehicle for reaching communities of people and getting them to talk about you. Again, this does not mean they are going to run out and buy tickets, but it is an important aspect of branding (that other marketing exercise that is so hard to monetize). If you want to get people talking, give them something to talk about that isn't a commercial for your haunt (some commercialization is expected, but not 100%).
A lot of the FB pages I look at are nothing more than commercials about the attraction offering discounts and looking for actors. People look for haunted attractions and discounts in the fall (there are exceptions of course). Provide interesting facts and topics that interest your audience, and you are likely to see your traffic increase. Forget the "Likes" by the way. FB does provide stats on how many people see your postings, etc. That will give you an idea of how many people you are reaching.
All this talk about FB though is missing the point. There is not one solution that meets all your needs. Its a combination of tools likeFB that gets your brand out there, and gets your message out there. Twitter, WhatsApps, Instagram; these are all social media outlets that your audience uses to communicate with their community of friends.
But they also read the paper (in some areas). In our rural community, the local paper is still a major advertising consideration because everyone reads it and looks for local events in the paper. We dont put a lot of advertising dollars into the newsprint, but we spend some.
Likewise for the local radio station. At $10 per 60/sec spot, it doesnt hurt to spend a little here too, during the right programming time.
And appearing at local events, doing the physical appearance thing. It brought a lot more people to us last year, so we will definitely be planning on doing more this year. To sum it up,
1. Dont rely on one medium alone, like FB, and know that you are not going to sell tickets through these vehicles. You are branding.
2. Know your audience. Every area is different. You need to understand how the people in the areas you are marketing socialize, and hit them there.
3. Make it a year long effort. Branding throughout the year to build the hype, and then advertise through whatever channels work for your community of interest when it gets closer to time to sell tickets.
I think this is the longest post I have ever made on here, so sorry guys. Marketing is what I do for one of the largest companies in the world (sorry, not going to say who). Even though I have experience I still have the same challenge as everyone else, getting the word out there!
Travis "Big T" Russell
Big T Productions Inc
Owner and Operator of "The Plague" and "Camp Nightmare"
Customer Quote of the year: "Damn, I pissed myself"