Case Study: Brighton Asylum

Brighton Asylum – A Social Media Takeover

New Jersey’s legendary Brighton Asylum opened to the public again after shutting down in 1952 and has been operating as a haunted attraction in Passaic since 2011. Brighton has been featured on The Today Show, Cake Boss, Buzzfeed, and even visited by celebrities like James Franco! With that being said, Brighton Asylum is no stranger to the limelight, of course. However, that kind of attention doesn’t come around consistently. So, what do you do with a brand of that caliber when things are feeling a bit ‘stagnant’ on social media? The answer is: YOU SHAKE THINGS UP!

September 2018 Organic Facebook Insights Review

  • Followers – Just broke the 35k mark with 35,036 followers on page
  • Reach on some posts appeared to be stagnant around or below 1k, with a current monthly organic average of 5,380.
  • Engagement numbers were low but fluctuating organically from 33 – 548.




  • Increase brand awareness for Brighton Asylum on Facebook
  • Increase audience engagement with content that captures and keeps the attention of current page followers
  • Content must belong to the Brighton Asylum brand, and support the identity as it stands currently
  • Be more prominent within our market’s News Feed
  • Get more likes, reactions, comments, shares and followers



  • Lack of brand Facebook LIVE use
  • Low post engagement values
  • Introducing content in a new format could cause negative reactions, page hides or unfollows if the content isn’t engaging or of interest to current page followers.


The Idea

  • While reviewing social trends in the entertainment industry, we discovered a hashtag: #SocialMediaTakeover
  • During research and discovery, we found a production company on Instagram that had given access to a film’s social media account to an actress starring in that movie.
  • This sparked an idea: what if one of the asylum characters was to “takeover” Brighton’s Facebook for a week?

Since Brighton Asylum is full of committed, crazy patients, this idea quickly sparked and began to take shape. Could one of the inmates find a cell phone, steal it, and go on a crazed social media rampage until caught? The answer was simple, of course that could happen!

We ironed out a few details, and approached the owner, our client, Rich Gonci with the idea. He loved it, and had just the actor in mind! You wouldn’t want to give access to a social platform on a level like this to just any haunt acting rookie. And thus, we approached Frankie.


Selecting a Time Frame

  • Stirring up social media in October for a haunted house can be trying because of all of the competition.
  • The results of this must affect October sales and generate buzz

We selected the first week of October to implement the Social Media Takeover. This felt early enough in the season to ignite and fuel the coming weeks.



We prepped the team at Brighton with a few conversations, messages, and a phone call. After discussing the technical details and creative plan, we left the rest up to the crew at Brighton to execute, and boy did they deliver! We were given some great content by the team, and we began putting together our initial graphics and videos for the social event.

Since the creative plan included a few LIVE videos, we prepped the team at Brighton on how to best execute those, and the rest is Facebook Insight History!


What Would Frankie Do?

The presentation and execution of this project was designed with one question in mind: What would Frankie do? We made sure any post copy that was presented as ‘from Frankie’ had an erratic, abnormal feel to it. Random letters were capitalized, and sometimes there were long drawn out words to communicate an uncaring, personable approach. This stood out comparatively to the voice of the attraction itself, which was a very important detail. We decided that Frankie would change the profile picture to one of himself. He also might upload a cover photo that seemed to have a hand-drawn message on it.




  • Page Follower increase: 35,036 to 35,540
  • Increased engagement: Spikes noted in comments, reactions, and shares
  • Increased reach of posts: Reach peaked at about 4 times what we were seeing in the majority of Brighton posts for September 2018.
  • We also recorded a notable increase in the amount of recommendations Brighton received after the first week of October.
  • Our exclusive promo code for this campaign was also the second highest redeemed the entire season.
  • Results were organic. No ad spend was used in promotion of this campaign.




“I’m definitely renewing again! The FearWorm team is just AWESOME! ”
– Rich Gonci of Brighton Asylum

The Facebook Live takeover videos were responded to with excitement by Brighton’s target market. The increased engagement and reactions to the posts/videos released created more opportunities for Brighton to socially entertain and captivate their audience. The outpouring of comments and concern with/for Frankie was overwhelming! Brighton Asylum’s Social Media Takeover not only accomplished every goal, it surpassed them! The flooding of follower attention created an offer opportunity: We released a ‘SAVE FRANKIE’ discount during the hype that boosted ticket sales leading into the second week of October for Brighton.

In conclusion, the Social Media Takeover for Brighton was a huge success. We look forward to more creative social content solutions like this one for our Social Media Management clients this 2019 Halloween season! We’re ready. Are you?