Crown Media Family Networks planned, conceptualized and launched several creative tactics including live-Twitter parties for every episode premiere of one of its most popular and longest running series, 'When Calls the Heart' to drive tune-in and increase engagement with the fan base (#Hearties). Live-Twitter parties were promoted and executed along with talent and cast members also participating every Sunday night from Feb 5 through April 22, 2018. The objective was to create awareness, conversation, ensure the official hashtag of the show #Hearties trended during each premiere and ultimately drive tune-in. Episode 5 saw the culmination of the love story between school teacher Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow) and Mountie Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) at their wedding, which the fan base (#Hearties) has been waiting for over 5 years and broke all Twitter records!
Social promos, teasers, gifs and assets were specifically created to incentivize fans to live-tweet for the premiere promising an episode they wouldn't want to miss. The night of the premiere, the official Hallmark Channel along with talent from the show live-tweeted throughout the day until late in the night after both Coasts aired to keep up with the excitement of the fan base. The social team also worked with key talent providing them with custom assets, images and gifs to encourage them to live tweet including Lori Loughlin, Erin Krakow, Daniel Lissing, Paul Greene, Jack Wagner, Pascale Hutton and Josie Bissett to name a few.
The strategy was to tap into the word-of mouth conversation on Twitter and other social channels to ensure the fan was watching live and catching up on DVR recordings for every episode.
●Fans loved hearing about the behind-the-scenes insights from the talent, many of whom were interviewed on Home & Family in the days leading up to the wedding episode. The social team highlighted key nuggets such as the fact that Daniel Lissing and Erin Krakow wrote their own vows for Jack and Elizabeth, which had the fan base more excited for the episode to air.
●A special digital invitation was created that lived on HallmarkChannel.com, and was promoted socially asking fans to RSVP and even choose their preferred meal choice for the wedding. Fans that RSVP'ed and opted into receiving newsletters, received a custom newsletter reminding them about the episode air date and gently reminded them to live-tweet.
●We also did a giveaway of the dress Erin Krakow (Elizabeth) would wear at the wedding, encouraging fans to enter the sweepstakes. Fans were really excited to do so and social posts promoting this reached over 100k people on an average organically.
● Social assets highlighting key scenes from the episodes, tweets with images, video, memes and gifs were scheduled on the Hallmark Channel Twitter channel to engage with fans, drive tune-in and encourage engagement through West and East Coast premieres.
● Post each episode air, key highlights from the episode were reposted teasing and incentivizing fans to catch up on their DVD recordings to be part of the fun conversations (In case they had missed it). Highlight videos from the episode were also rolled out encouraging the fan base to share their favorite moments from the episode.
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