With a killer social media campaign, ABC Family has been able to create a social media whirlwind around its cutting-edge young adult drama, Pretty Little Liars, according to the LA Times. ABC has used the approach of Twitter and Facebook to draw viewers to the show.
With Facebook Fan Pages and Twitter hash tags, ABC was able to bring in 4.2 million viewers to a midseason premiere of the show. For the young network, this is a huge win. The show, based on a novel series by Sara Shepard, is in its first season and has managed to become the a top trend on the Web.
Using tactics such as streaming online video of Shepard answering questions from the show’s fan page and inviting series creator Marlene King to engage in a Twitter Q and A with fans, the show has created a strong and passionate following.
Although the 4.2 million viewers are no Super Bowl audience, the major win for ABC Family has been the strength of its social media contact. Pretty Little Liars’ midseason premiere managed to scoop up three of the top 10 spots in US Twitter trends and also a volcanic rating in Google Analytics.
The social media success of Pretty Little Liars has compelled the network to roll out social media campaigns for its other shows aimed at young, tech-savvy audiences like Greek and The Secret Life of the American Teenager. I’m interested to see how the success of other shows’ social media campaigns will play out.
It’s hard to determine so early in the show’s lifespan how its approach via social media will propel it long term. Do you think its a coincidence that Pretty Little Liars has had such great social media success? Would a show that engages beyond its episodes on TV get you to watch? Does an overnight social media success mean long term viewership loyalty, or will the Twittering trend die out … along with the show? Like the drama itself, we will just have to wait until the next episode to find out what happens next.