Why You Should Use Twitter to Conduct Interviews

I just finished up the first of five nights of a live interview I'm conducting with Michael Hyatt, Chairman of Thomas Nelson, entirely on Twitter.

Quote from an interview with Michael Hyatt on Twitter
Quote from a Twitter interview I did with Michael Hyatt. He said that this piece of advice, given by a professor, was some of the best he'd ever received.

Out of the first conversation came a few nuggets, including:

  • When I asked Mike what the best leadership advice he had ever received, he answered: “You are not as smart as you think, but you have more potential than you can imagine.”
  • When I asked him how long he'd been blogging, he said “13 years” and added: “I don't know what I think about something until I blog about it!”

I'll continue to interview him each night for the next four nights (tune in at #twichat on Twitter or follow the conversation on Tweetchat).

I threw out the interview idea as a random thought to Mike and for some reason he liked it. We're both having fun with the experiment and are excited to see what comes of it.

As I prepared for the interview, I did some research and found out that there was actually some precedence for doing interviews on Twitter. I've only just started, but I already think you should consider using Twitter to conduct interviews with a leader you admire.

Reasons for using Twitter to interview

Here are a few reasons why you should use Twitter to conduct your next interview:

  • Brevity distills the best content. Twitter allows you a maximum of 140 character, so both the interviewer and interviewee do not have the luxury of being wordy.
  • Limited commitment required. Interviews can be exhausting. Twitter allows both parties the opportunity to engage briefly for a meaningful exchange without wasting time.
  • Anyone can listen and engage. All conversations on Twitter (other than direct messages) are public. This means that your audience can actually participate in the interview as it's happening!
  • Twitter remembers. If you add a hash tag to your interview (we're using #twichat), you can track the conversation over a period of time without getting lost in other ongoing conversations.
  • Technology supports it. There are some great tools available for you to do interviews on Twitter, including Tweeterview and Tweetchat (which we're using).
  • Celebrities and high-profile leaders are accessible. If you've ever tried to connect with a busy leader, you know that these people tend have “gate-keepers” to protect their time. Twitter is a great way for you to bypass the “red tape,” and gain access to these influencers.
  • Twitter organically causes more conversation. Already, people are commenting on our interview and retweeting snippets, and we're only two questions in!
  • It can grow your influence. Because the conversation is public, interviewing someone on Twitter can result in increased influence for both the interviewer and interviewee through drawing an audience into the conversation and continuing it long after the interview is over.

Have you ever considered conducting interviews on Twitter?

You can read the transcript of my interview on Twitter with Michael Hyatt here.