Lynette Rice
June 20, 2014 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Sure, it’s not much to look at — just beige carpeting, a wall-mounted TV, and a standard-issue conference table — but every Tuesday evening this unassuming space in ABC Family’s Burbank headquarters transforms into the Pretty Little Liars war room, where half a dozen or so social-media mavens harness the power of 2.2 million Twitter followers.

On this particular night — the season 5 premiere — ABC Family’s vice president of marketing, Danielle Mullin, and her team are frothing up fans with homegrown hashtags like #EzraAwake and a visit by cast member Janel Parrish (a.k.a. Mona), who’s answering viewer questions. ”Ever since we saw how fans used the platform to talk about TV, our approach has been all hands on deck,” Mullin says. And that strategy continues to pay off: The June 10 premiere, which drew 5.8 million viewers, generated 42 unique trending topics and 1.04 million tweets, besting the recent season finale of The Walking Dead. ”We’ve created this fantastic base of superfans,” says Mullin. ”They’re huge evangelists.”

Janel Parrish | Actress Mona | Pretty Little Liars

7:59 PM Here we go! #PrettyLittle Liars Season 5 starts now! Tweet me your questions at #PLLchat

8:10 PM .@Briezanna Don’t worry. Mona always has something up her sleeve… #PLLchat

8:16 PM .@mysticbenzo I love Ezra! Cried when he got shot #PLLchat

8:36 PM Guys things are about to get cray. #PLLchat

8:44 PM Here it comes…major moment… #PLLchat

8:44 PM Freaking out yet? #EzraAwake #PLLchat

8:59 PM Thanks for joining me guys! Hope you loved the Season 5 premier of #PrettyLittleLiars!

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