Keep these digital marketing tips from ‘Pretty Little Liars’ to yourself!

“Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead” goes the theme song of one of my favorite shows of all time, “Pretty Little Liars” (PLL); the show begins its final 10 episodes on April 18th. For those who don’t know, the series revolves around four friends (Aria, Spencer, Emily and Hannah) who are being taunted by a mysterious “A” who starts blackmailing and tormenting them after the “death” of their friend, Alison. Though people who were thought to be dead are really alive and vice versa, one thing is a constant: someone (“A”) is out to get the girls. They receive ominous and frightening texts, mail, email and packages that make them do things to keep their secrets from being exposed; “A” knows all and is in control. Going into the final half of the seventh season, the hit show is filled with twists, turns and cliffhangers that have captivated viewers like myself since 2010.

The appeal of the show didn’t just make it a fan favorite; it made it the most “Social Show of 2016.” Accord to Variety:

  • For truly rabid social fans, nothing on television came close to #PLL this past year.
  • Freeform’s ‘Pretty Little Liars,’ which will enter its seventh and final season next year, far and away was the No. 1 show in terms of overall social engagement across major platforms, according to an analysis by research firm ListenFirst Media for Jan. 1 to Dec. 15, 2016. In fact, engagement for the show increased 25% versus the same period in 2015, to register more than 256 million interactions for 2016.
  • ‘PLL’ has consistently been at the top,’ said Meghan Cahill, ListenFirst’s head of TV strategy. ‘The storyline, especially going into their final season, has helped amplify their social engagement despite the algorithmic challenges from each of the platforms.’ The teen drama does particularly well on Instagram, which accounted for 82% of its total social engagements, she said.

Whether you watch, don’t watch or have never even heard of the television series, there are lessons to be learned from the most social show on TV. Keep reading for digital marketing insights from the girls of Rosewood.

Guest Blogging

Use guest blogging as a tool to become an industry expert and increase web traffic.

As I mentioned above, “A” is out to get the girls. At least nine characters on the show have assumed the identity of “A” for one reason or another. The different incarnations of “A” and the different motives behind them make for an interesting and intriguing storyline; a changeup in action kept the show from going stale and becoming tedious.

In the Three Girls, A Dog & A Marketing Blog, we have gone over the benefits of blogging for your small business. Two of them include:

  • Establishing Industry Credibility

By publishing blog posts regularly, you’ll establish yourself as the go-to expert in your field. Some simple ways to do this are to share how-to posts, tips and tricks, industry best practices or answer frequently asked questions. By providing free information to your customers, you’ll show them you are on top of your game and can offer something of value.

  • Increasing Website Traffic

Business blogging can help drive traffic toward your website, resulting in increased readership. In addition to helping improve your search engine ranking, you can also use the blog posts to help market yourself via social media.

If you find yourself struggling to post regularly, but still want to receive the benefits of establishing credibility, consider a guest blogger.

What is guest blogging? Guest blogging is just what it sounds like: having other people write posts for your blog. This can be a great way to remove some of the digital marketing demands from your plate and delegate to your employees. Share the task of blogging and have team members post about their thoughts on your industry; you may find you can learn something from your employees. Another way to make sure you’re blogging regularly is to attract writers to create content for your site. How do you do that? Here are 7 tips to attract guest bloggers to your site:

  1. Create a Page Outlining How to Get Published on Your Site
  2. Showcase Your Website Contributors, Including Guest Bloggers
  3. Link to Your “Guest Bloggers” Page from Other Pages on Your Site
  4. Make Yourself Available for Communication (Email/Contact Page)
  5. Focus Your Energy on Becoming an Authority in Your Industry
  6. Creatively Share Your Opportunity on Social Media
  7. Offer an Incentive for Quality Articles

On top of saving you time and brainpower, guest bloggers may also:

  • Attract New Readers

When someone writes a guest post, they’re likely to share it with their community and social networks. Once you publish a post written by a guest blogger, send the author a thank-you email with a link to the post and encourage them to share it on their social media channels.

  • Cover More Topics

You have a lot of expertise, but there may be topics that can be discussed in greater detail by another great mind. Invite them to fill in any knowledge gaps you may have; this could provide an educational opportunity for both you and your readers.

Different ideas, mindsets and creativity levels can make for an interesting blog that will keep readers coming back for more.

Post on Social Media Often

There have been hundreds of messages to the girls from “A” and each one is more horrifying than the next. If “A” didn’t torment the girls regularly, how entertaining would the show be? The texts and messages keep the drama, intrigue and mystery going because you never know what secret will be exposed and whose life will be on the line next.

Knowing how often and when to post on social media is critical to engaging followers.

During the second half of the sixth season, viewers experienced a time jump that found the show taking place five years in the future. The “liars” have all gone off to college, started careers and new lives outside of the world knew without any threats of “A.” Following a request, they all came back to their hometown and after a tragedy, the mysterious texts resumed. As my favorite Rosewood detective said to Emily, “All the time you and your friends were away, no murders…but when everyone gets together, I just think that’s just a very interesting statistic, don’t you?” Just as no “A” means no drama, no social media posts mean no followers.

To keep your social media followers interested and engaged, here are suggestions from CoSchedule on how often you should post on the different platforms:

  • Facebook: One to two posts per day, one post is recommended.
  • Twitter: One to 51 posts per day, 15 posts are recommended.
  • Pinterest: Three to 30 posts (or pins) per day, 11 pins are recommended.
  • LinkedIn: Zero to one per day, one post is recommended.
  • Google+: Zero to three per day, two posts are recommended.
  • Instagram: One to three per day, one to two posts are recommended.

Timing was also everything when it came sending a threat and throwing the “liars” for a loop; follow this guide to learn when to post on each social media platform to reach and engage with your audience.

Facebook: The best days and times to post on Facebook are Thursdays and Fridays between 1 pm and 3 pm.

Twitter: The half-life of a tweet is just about 24 minutes. For best chance of likes and retweets, post at 12pm, 5pm and 6pm Monday to Friday. Since the life of a tweet is so short, you can share the same content multiple times a week or so later without looking like you’re repeating yourself. Just make sure you introduce the blog post, infographic or meme in a new way.

LinkedIn: Surprisingly, the most effective time to post on LinkedIn is Monday to Friday evenings; the best time to post is between 7pm and 10pm. It may be tempting to post during business hours because of the professional nature of LinkedIn, but users are generally busy working during the day.

Pinterest: The two best days of the week to post on Pinterest are Saturday and Sunday, with 8pm and 11pm being the most popular times for engagement. It is also important to spread your pins out to not flood your followers’ feeds.

Instagram: This platform has a wide-open timeframe for posting; anytime on weekdays expect from 3pm to 4pm are good for engagement. This gives busy business owners plenty of time to get a post in during the day.

Be Like “A” Liar

Well, maybe don’t threaten and stalk your followers, but the most social show on TV with a quarter billion mentions on social media in 2016 can provide a lesson or two. Knowing when to outsource brainpower can provide a new and interesting twist to your blog, and creating the right amount of content and posting it at the right time can increase your visibility and engagement on the different social platforms.

If you’re like me, starting April 18th, your next 10 Thursdays are booked as you experience the “End Game” of the hit show, ‘Pretty Little Liars’.