Every Twitter user has had the experience of logging in late on a weeknight and seeing in the “Trends” section something along the lines of #PrettyLittleLiars. For some, it’s an annoyance. For others, it’s a reminder that they need to tune into ABC Family. For Dalia Ganz, it’s a way of life.
The 30-year-old Johns Hopkins University graduate is ABC Family’s director of digital and partnership marketing. What that means in layman’s terms is that she’s one of a unique generation of professionals present for the inception, rise and expansion of social media’s connection with the “old media” sphere.
“My role didn’t exist when I started,” Ganz says. “Social media was part of my job, then it became my full-time job, then it became a job for a full team of people, and now I lead our social media strategy at ABC Family.”
Here’s a basic rundown of how Ganz and her team attacks social media. Ganz is apprised of major story arcs, sees episodes and scripts in advance and sits down with her team to lay the framework for a broad-strokes strategy. In some cases, such as a major plot reveal, they build Facebook apps. And when the show comes on, Ganz and her team are on as well.
“We actually have a huge war room here. When Pretty Little Liars is on, it takes a full room of people to manage the social space. Everyone is on a different platform. I’m often live-tweeting. Somebody is putting GIFs up on Tumblr. Somebody is monitoring trends. We don’t just monitor trends that relate to our show, we often see commercials trend. We like to showcase that back to the advertisers, to show that our audience is engaged. We often have talent come in.”
Her job may sound stressful, but she’s good at it. In 2012, with Ganz at the helm, an airing of Pretty Little Liars became the most-Tweeted-about episode in television history.
“In some ways, we think of social media and our roles as a mini-newsroom,” Ganz says. “We’re breaking news; we’re posting content 24 hours a day.”
Ganz gushes about her love for social media generally and ABC Family’s programming specifically. “I’m in the perfect job,” she says. She’s cheery, bright, and enthusiastic—but she has to go. After all, she has a war room to run.