Social media has the changed the world in so many ways, there’s hardly anybody that hasn’t experienced its impact, no matter how big or small. Twitter in particular has opened doors to celebrities that us commoners never imagined. Why wait for a star outside a restaurant in Beverly Hills to get a scribbled autograph when you could just get a shout-out from them on Twitter? And it has worked for many.

An AP story got us thinking about how fans now interact with their favorite stars. When you tweet at a celebrity you follow, and you actually get a reply from them, think of it as a digital autograph. Now, it’s not guaranteed every celebrity will reply back, given the millions of followers many high profile stars have but for some fans, it’s worth trying.

Followers of Shaq and LeBron James have had their favorite athletes wish them Happy Birthday. New England Patriots wide receiver Chad Ochocinco even took an entire class from Emerson College to dinner when they made contact with the Boston-area celebrity as part of their marketing project. Shaq says he usually tries to respond to 20 or 30 tweets daily from fans, “especially if they say something funny,” says the basketball legend. We checked his Twitter profile to see if he was true to his word, and lo and behold:

Shaq replies Twitter

Getting a shout-out on Twitter can also get you, the fan, far more bragging rights than a signed piece of paper. Have you ever gotten a re-tweet or a reply from a celebrity? Let us know in the comments.

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