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Best Marketing For 2013... what is the best way to market your haunt.

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  • Best Marketing For 2013... what is the best way to market your haunt.

    Someone emailed me and asked what is the best way to market your haunted house with so many options now... I wanted to get your guys take on that. I can tell you this SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT IT... you should read my article on the subject in the last hauntworld magazine. Don't waste hardly any money promoting on social media sites... just use what they offer free and run with it. Also don't put a lot of time posting on it on an hour by hour basis thinking some magical amount of tickets will be sold... won't happen.

    Facebook is really a great place for people to think they have a voice, complain about a movie, talk about social issues, let people know how they feel or whatever... but how many people are actually looking or listening? Not many... there are more people talking about their opinions or thoughts than their are people reading what others are saying.

    Traditional marketing will still be the main way to promote your business... don't ever be fooled by perceptions go with the tried and true until it fails you. I do think everything has taken a hit including radio there are just way to many ways now to get music especially through phones. So yes its effectiveness is weakened but still strong. TV has been watered down to an unreal level... so my advice is don't waste your money on buying a lot of frequency and focus on first run shows like Walking Dead or WWE or something along those lines. Yes it cost more but more people will see it without TIVO!

    Newspapers are worthless... forget it!

    However your local newspapers website is NOT worthless... lots of traffic there but they charge a lot for it. Marketing is tough now!

    PR will probably by king what you can get for free will sell many tickets. Focus on it!

    Another thing that will really work this year is trying to expand your market... reach outside your normal area and find new customers.

    The biggest thing going forward if you ask me is going to be SPONSORSHIP... getting to work with stores that have high traffic counts will be essential to ensure a high level of impressions.

    Now what do you think this year?

    Larry Kirchner

  • #2
    This year we are trying something brand new!

    Text Message Marketing!

    We signed up with Slick Text and are using it to both communicate to our actors as well as sending out special offers to our clients! We figured this would work for us because we have 5 attractions up and running this October. So assuming everyone won't do them all in one night and will come back with friends, we want to help encourage people to come back using this new text marketing platform. We are going to have someone with a iPad collecting numbers to sign up as well as putting the sign up word and number to text to on all of our promotional papers.

    I'd like to partner with other local haunts as well to get more numbers in the system and allow anyone who partners up to end out special offers. So one hand kind of washes the other, get it? I just hope other area haunts think its a good idea, we're the only ones with more than one attraction but it'd be beneficial to get more people to haunted houses nonetheless!


    • #3
      What does the text system cost?


      • #4
        Not much, you can try a free version with no credit card required that allows one keyword (ours is SCREAM) and 50 texts/month. (1 text equals 1 text to 1 person, so if you had 5 people and sent two texts, that'd use 10 texts).

        Then it's something like $50/month no contract and that allows you to begin rollover texts (so if you don't use them one month, they roll over into the next month). No overage charges, no commitment, it's month by month. They have an $80 plan I like that I'll probably upgrade to in September. For the price of less than 10 people, you can't beat it. Everyone reads any text they get, most people just trash any emails you send them to advertise, so I like this idea, it's worth a shot. is who I'm using.


        • #5

          I will say this We did a poll with everyone who came through Disturbia last year because I wanted to see where my money was working and where it was not. I hired 2 people and their only job was to ask each person as they came in how they found out about us and document it and here is what we asked and the numbers I will just say we surveyed over 15,000 people and here is the actual results

          We asked where did you hear about us at
          1. Newspaper or Magazine
          2. Radio
          3. TV
          4. Facebook/Social Media
          5. Our Website
          6. Halloween or Haunt Sites
          7. Other

          Here is the break down
          1. Newspaper - 0% .......... I will say this I do very little Newspaper or Magazine
          2. Radio - 19% ........
          3. TV - 9% ........
          4. Facebook - 41%....... ALMOST FREAKING HALF SEEN US ON FACEBOOK OR A FRIEND DID!!!!
          5. Website - 28%
          6. Halloween Sites- 3%
          7. Other- 0%

          So Larry I will respectfully disagree that social media don't work and I will agree that paper and TV as well as some others does not. I can't speak for anyone else but I can say it did and does for Disturbia! Flat out and what makes me sick I spent not one damn penny on Facebook NOT ONE PENNY! All the other places I spent thousands and it brought me in the least as far as where people seen or heard about us. I am not knocking where people spend their money or how because what works for one may not work for anyone else and these numbers are based on DISTURBIA ONLY! I wanted to bring this up a long time ago but I did not want it coming off as I was knocking any site or how people spend their money but to say I was shocked was an understatement and it will be the basis of how I spend my money in the future. I rather have it in my pocket or a nice donation than just throwing it out the door. I honestly think with Social Media and Facebook they have changed the way people advertise now. I know it was a wake up call for me. I am thinking of buying some ads on Facebook to see how much it pushes my percentages up in the future. Shane and it's I want to hear more myself!
          Last edited by graystone; 07-15-2013, 06:42 PM.


          • #6
            Way cool Shane,

            Radio is about dead for us, I'm going to try Pandora and Spotify for advertisements this year.

            Other than that, I'm surprised Facebook did so well for you! From what I heard, Facebook advertising is a total waste of money, the way they reach people is by what they've even searching for, who they're friends with and what demographics they say they are. So most of the people who will get advertisements for Disturbia, have most likely already looked for haunted houses in your area and know about Disturbia. The pay per click on Facebook is almost disgusting. Same with Google Adwords.

            I don't think there's better ways to advertise than free! Facebook, Twitter, hell male a VINE for your haunt, and have your characters have Facebook pages with their character name and cool photos and have those pages promote your haunt as well! Then the next efficient form is probably billboards, followed by tv and radio.

            But the BEST marketing you can do is HAVE A GOOD HAUNT. Bad word of mouth will put you out of business in this industry. Good word of mouth will make you thousands!


            • #7

              Like I say I have never bought an ad for Facebook it was just from our fan page! 100% FREE!!!!! But does make me think about the ads but like I say I do think FaceBook is powerful! Shane and it's convinced me!


              • #8

                People are Glued to their phone. I have been collecting phone numbers and I am going to ficus on anything that will show up on the phone. I was looking for a text message option. That slick text will be a main focus for us. Thanks Bobby. You should see your muscle suit we are using as a promo device. People love it. Anyway, Im also toying with trying Google Plus. And we are going to saturate our market with flyers with coupons. We are going to hit other markets hard. Thats our plan.
                Fear Asylum Haunted House



                • #9
                  Way cool! Glad people like it, from what I've been hearing from other customers its been one heck of an attention getter lol. And yeah I shopped around for a bit to find the most affordable plan, and SlickText beat the competition and since I joined I got a nice phone call from the founder who wanted to see if I was happy with the service so far and if there is anything else he could do for me and whatnot, they got their customer service down to a T. Can't wait to see how it really works.


                  • #10

                    I hate to be the bearer of bad news but you are dead wrong my friend...

                    1) You claim that 40 something percent found you on facebook that couldn't even be close to the truth. Fact you only have 7000 something facebook friends. So that would be the same as you saying customer wise last year you didn't even do 10,000 customers. Math here simply proves this statement is wrong.

                    2) I have almost 53,000 facebook friends for so I think I would know a bit more about how I got business. I know what it took to get 53,000 friends and trust me when I tell you that I utilized it to its fullest... I was posting on it several times a day but what I did to prove its worth was spent a lot of money on it trying to drive online ticket sales.

                    IT DID NOT WORK! I have the facts and the evidence not just saying around talking to some kids at the exit. Facts are things you can prove... not doing a handful of exit polls. No one is doing full on exit polls talking to every customer who has time for that. Ahhh on the busy nights no one.

                    3) Last year it cost me about $8.00 to sell one ticket through facebook. At the end of the day all that matters is what you spend and what you get back not what percentage something was or wasn't used. The percentages of overall return will always be based on what you put into to start... if you put the lions share of your money into TV then TV should return the most business however did it give you the highest return rate... maybe maybe not.
                    So you can't say one thing gave me the highest exit poll and this gave the lowest... again if I put up a poll on my facebook right now what radio station did they hear my commercials... if I spend 50k on one and 10k on another I shouldn't hear that many say the one I spend 10k on. Makes sense?

                    4) Social media is general is so watered down that you can't really invest money into it.... other than your time. Mean its free so just take advantage of that aspect the same as you would say flyer a high school football game or make an appearance at a zombie race and hand out flyers or something. Social media is so ever changing that we can't even say that facebook will be popular in two years... right now the kids don't even use facebook shane. You wouldn't know that because you don't have kids who are teenagers. I do and I'm surrounded by kids all the time...

                    NO ONE USES facebook anymore not kids they use INSTAGRAM... kids aren't looking at ads they don't care. They are just trying to socialize with their friends. Adults are probably using facebook and business owners more so than our target demo at this point. MySpace was something I preached against... you are wasting your money putting tons of money into MySpace to build friends because I could use my brain and see there was no real way to get a return on the investment... the people using the site didn't show any concern for your page other than to say they liked once.

                    People don't follow your every post on social media in fact probably less than 3% maybe 5% see any post you ever make on the site... sorry Shane but I have the data to back that up.

                    Lastly Facebook is facing the same challenge selling that marketing from people who actually do understand marketing a lot better than any of us... Facebook can't get the big advertisers because it doesn't work. That is why they focus on people falling into the traps of trying to build your fans with money... getting more fans on your facebook is the same thing as saying MY BLANK IS BIGGER THAN YOURS!

                    People get obsessed with building their fans and they spend a lot of money trying to do it...

                    At the end of the day can Facebook help you? YES IT CAN ... #1 its a search engine powered I think by google. I promise you that 80% of every click you get from facebook wasn't from your page but their search tool powered by google. So essentially google...

                    Should you have a facebook page... SURE! Should you try to build your likes... SURE! Should you promote it on your site... HMMMM I GUESS SO!

                    At the end of the day Shane I'm probably the only haunt in this entire industry that has devoted himself fully to the web, and selling tickets online... I'm up to 50% of every ticket sold is from my website. I've grown my web traffic to heights unheard of... between August and early NOvember A HALF A MILLION VISITS to

                    Trust me I analyze everything and facebook is a small player ... and if you put the kind of faith you showed in your recent post you will regret it big time.

                    Larry Kirchner


                    • #11
                      Shane I have looked over your facebook page...

                      The MASS MAJORITY OF POSTS on your Disturbia page has NO replies and maybe an average of 15 likes ... I could spend an hour milling through it but on first glance that would be the case.

                      In fact a few weeks ago you made this post ...

                      Christmas in July!!!! if we have 7400 fans by Midnight Sunday July the 14th were going to give a poster Autographed by Kane Hodder aka Jason! Share with your friends and tell them to come here and post Merry Christmas under this post and we will draw from the names who said " Merry Christmas!"

                      Well you didn't get to 7400 fans and its July 16th now... so I guess you won't have to give away that Kane Hodder autograph. Shane the point to you here is this... NO ONE SAW YOUR POSTS! They liked your page but they don't really follow it... this should prove to you that just posting on facebook does very little if any good.

                      Its FREE so do it... but to think it will bring you 40% plus is probably one of the worst things I've ever heard... you just can't back that up with facts and I'm proving to you right now with your own facebook page it isn't happening. You can't even GIVE AWAY something free because no one is paying attention.

                      The more facebook friends you get the more replies you'll get but it still be relatively low compared to the overall base of friends...

                      Larry Kirchner


                      • #12
                        Posting too much.

                        What Shane and Larry don't see is that if you post 15 times a day like Larry said, then people will get tired of seeing the same boring posts or meaningless posts and hide the page. Also, Facebook made it so that you have to go to the page and click under settings SHOW IN NEWS FEED.

                        For Larry to say that no one use Facebook anymore, where is he getting this bullshit information? Look at any smartphone, computer or tablet. Facebook is on there. It is the home page for most people. Just because Larry says it doesn't make it FACT. I know he is the CREATOR of this site, but come on.

                        I'm sure I will get a "warning" about this. Facebook works. People go to Facebook and see the posts and pages that their friends like. It is a snowball effect.

                        A little knowledge can be dangerous when it is read the wrong way. For it to cost you $8.00 for each ticket you sell on Facebook, you are doing something wrong.

                        Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and websites are all great online tools. I am sure that next year the NEW MySpace will be something that people are commenting on.

                        Larry IS correct that flyers at events like football games, runs, festivals and such are great to promote your haunt. Never should a haunt STOP promoting.

                        Different strokes for different folks. Not everyone uses the same things.
                        Sean Hughes - National Sales Manager
                        312.613.7326 Mobile
                        847.550.6560 X 102 Office
                        844.44.PIXEL X 102 Toll Free

               - The nations leading printing and design company for the haunted industry.


                        • #13

                          Done called and fussed on me LOL. I will say this as I told him I did not say we had tens of thousands of fans not everyone clicks the like button. I am one of them but when asked the questions we asked I posted the results from this past season. Again we got the bigger percentage said they seen it on Facebook and what I posted was the results I did not say we only polled our fan that's liked our page. Many I feel do as me just get on facebook and look many times they never click the like button it could be a friend of a friend, of a friend, of a friend's friend bla, bla but that's where they seen it or heard about if from FACEBOOK . Shane and hope that clears it up!
                          Last edited by graystone; 07-16-2013, 02:26 PM.


                          • #14

                            Saying no one visits facebook anymore is not accurate and not what I meant... its part of posting experience. Clearly people visit the site... but kids are NOT doing the facebook thing anymore like they were before, or myspace before that they are moving onto Instagram or the host of other things...

                            Facebook is now losing more accounts on a monthly basis than they are gaining them, additionally as we all know Facebook stock dropped like a rock. I'm not saying nor have I ever said its totally worthless nothing is totally worthless... but you need to learn how to evaluate marketing results. Your problem is I think is that you perceive things to be true so they are... but what are you facts to back up your statements.

                            If you and I sat down and shared facts, data, and results you'd quickly learn that I'm 110% right. As I conversed with Shane earlier and I think he understand now...

                            The best way Facebook can help your business is simply by YOU HAVING A GREAT HAUNTED HOUSE. Facebook can help you build word of mouth... when someone visits your haunt and posts about it their friends might pick up on that and visit. Reality is though if you post you like Shanes haunt MAYBE 3 to 5% of your friends will even see the post but still if you get 1000 people loving your haunt and post something on their pages it helps build positive word of mouth.

                            IF your haunt sucks it can have the reverse effects... bottom line is YOUR PERSONAL facebook page does little very little to help sell tickets to your event or even promote your event. Very few people will read your posts, follow your page, unless you are willing to PAY a FEE to facebook to put those posts on top of the log in page.

                            These are facts my friend...

                            Perception isn't always reality and in this case its a fact...

                            Larry Kirchner


                            • #15

                              Hey oh yeah thanks for Sharing the nude photos Larry with the critters man did not know you had it in ya!! Shane and it's man yall should see what he was doing to that chicken!