Pretty Little Liars (PLL), a show renowned for its industry-leading social media strategy, aired its Season 5 midseason premiere last Tuesday. And the fans came ready to Tweet. PLL garnered 103,573 Tweets with an emotional reaction on Tuesday evening. For context, this figure is 1,425% higher (you read that correctly) than the average reaction volume for primetime TV programs and 1,404% higher than the TV drama average.
Because such a high percentage of PLL viewers Tweet about the show during its live airing, we have an especially clear window into how the audience feels about the show. We took to Canvs to dive deeper into the real stories emanating from this extremely accessible audience.
Hashtags Make the Heart Grow Fonder
One of the reasons PLL has such an engaging and effective social media strategy is because of the wide variety of promotional hashtags used throughout the show. Like any show, the official hashtags (#PrettyLittleLiars and #PLL) were used frequently, but a handful of other hashtags tell more interesting stories about audience sentiment.
#PLLSocialHour, for instance, received 7,693 emotional reactions, which represents over 7% of total reactions. This hashtag is used as part of a promotion that features tweets on the screen during the encore airing of the episode at 7:00pm ET the following Tuesday. (New episodes air at 8:00pm on Tuesdays.)
#PLLayWithShay is Shay Mitchell’s (Emily) official PLL-related hashtag. During last week’s episode, the hashtag attracted 3% of all reactions about the show.
In the chart below we break down volume and emotional reactions to the top hashtags.
*#PLLWinterPremiere and #NoEscApe were promotional hashtags for this week’s episode.
Haters Gonna Hate ... Unless You’re Hanna or Spencer
In last week’s episode of PLL, 13% of reactions fell into a hate category. This does not necessarily mean that fans hated the show, but rather that fans may have hated specific plot points, characters, or actions. From our perspective, as long as fans are engaged with the show, it’s a good thing.
We dove into this category and broke down the most hated characters during the episode. Ali, who the Liars suspect to be the anonymous villain of the show (A), drew the highest volume of hate reactions. Most of the hatred stemmed from suspicion that Ali killed Mona.
Aria, Emily, and Paige also drew high hate reaction volume for things they did during the show. Hate reactions about Aria focused on her use of a rape whistle to avoid a confrontation with Ali. Most hatred associated with Emily and Paige was from people who did not like their relationship and wanted it to end.
Hanna and Spencer drew a comparatively minuscule 356 hate reactions combined.
See the chart below for a Canvs analysis of hate conversation about the main characters.
Impact of New PLL Snapchat Account
We would be remiss if we did not mention PLL’s newly created Snapchat account. The account went live on January 6, the day before the midseason premiere. Although mentions of the Snapchat account drew less than 1% of emotional reactions on Tuesday night, 41% of those reactions expressed love. We are excited to see if this account attracts a following that is as engaged and active as the Twitter following.
Though we may not confirm who A is anytime soon, we will be following the PLL social media strategy closely as the season goes on. Until then, we anticipate #NoEscApe from PLL’s mind games in the near future.
Tweet Source: Nielsen. Relevant Tweets captured from three hours before, during, and three hours after an episode’s initial broadcast, local time.