For anyone who knows me, it’s no secret that I’m excited about the recent return of ABC Family’s original programming, including this week’s winter premiere of Pretty Little Liars and the midseason premieres of The Lying Game, Switched at Birth and Bunheads. And, like me, fans of the shows didn’t just tune in on their television screens – they also joined in on the fun on their phones, computers and other digital devices.
Watching ABC Family shows has become a decidedly social experience as viewers gather on blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other social media channels to discuss episodes of their favorite series. For example, the season three finale of Pretty Little Liars made waves acrosssocial media this past summer, generating more than 709,000 tweets and peaking at an impressive 36,000 tweets per minute.
I recently got the inside scoop on ABC Family’s social media efforts from Dalia Ganz, senior manager of digital and partnership marketing for ABC Family. “Pretty Little Liars is filled with plot twists, lots of romance and a ton of mystery, all of which inspire our fans to chat in the social media space,” she says. “Our role in the social space is to really amplify the buzz, and all of the tactics we implement are toward that goal.”
In addition to joining the online conversation, ABC Family also looks to add new content and drive engagement with fans across the country.
Dalia shares, “A large part of our strategy is talking to fans in the way they want to be spoken to. We use an authentic millennial voice when we’re talking to our fans – we interact with them as if they were our friends, and they appreciate the authenticity of those exchanges. We also have a 365-day-a year-strategy, posting to pages frequently, and not only when a show is on the air, to keep the conversation going.”
ABC Family also brings on series talent to discuss episodes as they air. In fact, on Monday and Tuesday of this week, the network hosted “Tweetapalooza!,” a live social media event, featuring fan favorites tweeting and participating in blog parties. Throughout the two-night affair, fans had the opportunity to chat with some of their favorite stars, like Switched at Birth’s Gilles Marini and Bunheads’ Sutton Foster.
Dalia adds, “We see across all platforms that many of our fans become aware of our programming through our social media posts. Our social media strategy is successful because every department within ABC Family understands the value of social media buzz.”