Whenever a group of business owners get together to network and discuss issues, without fail I’ll hear the comment, “I just don’t get Twitter.”
I was a panelist for a Women Are Gamechangers event and sure enough someone cried this familiar lament.
Judging by my audience, I knew not everyone would get the analogy I was about to share but I would share it anyway.
I told them Twitter was a lot like the Ham Radio or CB radio and yes, I lost the majority of the room. There were a few participants who were reluctant to admit they could relate but I think the lament-er got it.
Baby boomers and even some Gen Xers are familiar with the CB radio.
What’s a CB radio?
A CB radio is a communication device that allows the general public to talk to each other using a radio frequency. It was used primarily by truckers in the beginning since the equipment was relatively expensive. Still, this amateur radio movement experienced growth and saw clubs and groups form across the world.
Some Gen Xers may remember CB radio from the 70s TV show The Dukes of Hazzard or the movie Smokey and the Bandit.
The CB radio and Twitter have a lot in common.
Use Twitter like a CB radio enthusiast or trucker would use their radio. Use it to communicate important information. Truckers would let other truckers know if there was a speed trap approaching or the location of a fuel station. You can use Twitter to spread information about your business or even better, do as the truckers and spread info that is of importance to your audience and/or colleagues.
CB radios were used to engage in conversations and they still help in emergencies today much like Twitter. People used Twitter during Hurricane Sandy to report damage and connect with loved ones. Twitter even helped to tell the story of those protesting various Middle Eastern regimes.
Twitter users also have their own language just as CB radio users. Here’s a list of Twitter lingo to help you get started.
Twitter allows you tell a story in a 140 characters, pass along useful information, participate in specific public discussions called Twitter chats and connects you to a worldwide audience – much like the CB radio you may or may not want to admit you remember.