How Aamir Khan Played with Twitter Hashtags!

It’s not a secret. People are using it everyday to find a quick audience. And no small audience, but audiences of a scale and magnitude of huge population in Twitter. Aamir Khan did it, recently for 3 Idiots.

Twitter has a feature called Trending Topics which shows a list of the most talked about terms in Twittersphere at the moment. And this list shows up on every twitter search page as well the homepage itself. Implies what? That means huge.. huge.. huge number of people are talking about the topic. What Aamir Khan did recently was, come out and offer a live chat with his fans via Ustream ( Watch the video below ). And this is how Ustream snowballed the effect of Aamir Khan intelligently! They made the hashtag “#AamirKhanLive” trend on Twitter as follows (Observe the technique closely as it would be very useful for those dumb cos still trying to figure out how to use Twitter):

Since it’s Aamir Khan, a fairly large number of people turned up for the chat, and signed into the chat widget with their twitter ids, which Ustream allowed. Now once Ustream had their twitter login credentials, every line of that public chat, everything that people said to Aamir Khan, was tweeted from the individual profiles of those people into Twitter. Effectively, a chat being held in the closed widget on a website was broadcast to the whole  Twittersphere which again allows re-tweeting (RT). Ala, chain reaction!

Still not clear? Consider this: The effort of Aamir Khan alone from his Twitter id would not have been enough to scale into a trend, had the tweets just come from a single user broadcasting the chat. But when several tweets with  hashtag #AamirKhanLive were coming in from a layer of profiles of ordinary users who had interest in Aamir Khan, and the conversations again getting re-tweeted by the followers of the first layer combined, is when one got an effect called Twitter Trend. Now this means a really large audience, because then even those people who had no interest in Aamir Khan or his live chat were now an audience to a subset of the public chat via just someone they happened to be following on Twitter. And hence a richer conversation and larger in magnitude than the one in the actual live chat widget on Ustream.

Each of the tweets generated through Ustream from the users’ profiles (lo and behold) had the Ustream live chat link ( http://ustre.am/8RtD ), “@aamir_khan”, and “#AamirKhanLive” in them, along with the actual chat text that was entered by the user.

Here are some examples:

mughii Hey @aamir_khan hi (#AamirKhanLive live ›http://ustre.am/8RtD)

kileyHoldridge9 Hey @aamir_khanhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii.. gud luck Aamir…:) (#AamirKhanLive live ›http://ustre.am/8RtD)

These and others were the tweets that started the conversation and kept coming in automatically for as long as the live chat with Aamir Khan continued (infact even after Aamir left). Now, Twitter lives in the moment. It feeds on what happens right now, in real time, and forgets soon after (even the searches on Twitter return “Older tweets are temporarily unavailable.” days later). But the mark is made, the mark is made in the time that the conversation happened, and attracted attention.

These auto-generated tweets turned up on so many people’s updates and live feeds that it started conversation, retweets, replies, and all of the retweets bearing that very hashtag #AamirKhanLive. The hashtag it was, hence, that turned up on Trending Topics, and we saw another great Twitter phenomenon: The Snowball. As the name suggests, the snowball is an unrestrained growth of something stuck in a positive feedback loop. After the term #AamirKhanLive trended, many people got to know of Aamir Khan internationally. Who probably saw his name for the first time in wonderment. And their wonder made other people wonder about it too, and thus the positive feedback loop continued for a few hours, as long as everybody noticed.

Here are a few revealing tweets that followed:

rockstah why is #AamirKhanLive trending

TheBitch58 Why do you think#AamirKhanLive is important?

thebollywoodfan Just realized#AamirKhanLive was a trending topic earlier. For what it’s worth, is this a first for a Bollywood actor? @filmfare @Faridoon_S

primaaa lmaooo lotta browns must bee tweeting cuz… #aamirkhanlive is a TT lmaoo..but not anymore ppl chill.

bysarahkhan #aamirkhanlive is trending? i love AK but what does that even mean? brown people are overtaking the world, one tweet at a time.

tanmaybarve #AamirKhanLive india has become third biggest twitting country i guess

No India has not become the biggest tweeting country yet, but what happened here was a very successful marketing gimmick that made some impact. The secret to Twitter Marketing is a sustained stream of tweets from as varied people as possible, so that you get not only those people, but even their followers as audiences. And since on Twitter, the audience is not just an audience, it is also your promoter (with just one click from them), the Snowball isn’t as hard to achieve as it is by other mediums. There lies your holy grail on Twitter. Your path to glory, in a short time frame, will have made its mark to millions, even billions of people if it trends long enough.

Article contributed by Mr. Anup Bishnoi of Lattice Purple Technologies, Noida.