Cable and broadcast television networks are asking fans of their shows to “check in” via social media between seasons. The entertainment companies are tying their direct marketing to the initiatives. 

ABC Family, NBC and Lifetime have recently launched initiatives allowing viewers to check-in, earn badges, share their interest with friends, and interact with programming. ABC Family, for instance, is using direct mail to further interact with fans, sending them physical “badges” for their off-season loyalty. 

The network encouraged consumers to unlock stickers that contain a secret about the show Pretty Little Liars. The strategy is consistent with the show’s plot, with characters that harbor secrets, says Danielle Mullin, VP of marketing at ABC Family. 

The series is based on young adult novels that follow the lives of four coming-of-age girls. The Disney network launched the initiative during its hiatus from cable to keep viewer interest and engagement high while the show is off air. 

“We believe our viewers will continue to crave interactions with favorite shows on multiple platforms beyond linear television, and we know that social networking is an important part of their daily lives,”  says Mullin. “In order to keep our programming relatable and relevant,  we need to engage viewers on these platforms in a way that is interactive and fun.”

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