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I’m moderately active on Twitter. I follow experts, creative thinkers and other people I like. I reply and retweet fairly often. I even had a long conversation with an author friend of mine using Direct Message (when we could just as easily spoke on the phone!)

I also use Twitter to, frankly, promote my business. If you follow me, you may have noticed that when I come out with a new article – like this one – I post a couple of tweets about it.

For example, to spread the word about my last article, Create Your Own Crowd, I tweeted the following:

  • A few years ago, I couldn’t find a convenient way to get in front of a new market. So I created a way: [link]]
  • Can’t get in front of your target audience? Maybe you need to create your own crowd. Here’s how: [link]
  • Use opportunities that already exist to reach your target market. But if none exist? Create your own crowd. [link]

Each of these tweets fall into a distinct category. I call the first one a “Personal Story” tweet, the second a “Problem-Solution” tweet, and the third a “Tip” tweet.

Which do you think got the most clicks?

Yes, I was curious about that too. So I checked my analytics (which clearly is something I should do more often!)

What I discovered wasn’t too much of a surprise, but still revealing.

The “Tip” tweet received the fewest clicks. The “Problem-Solution” format did much better. It got about twice as many clicks. But the big winner was the “Personal Story” tweet. Not only did it get more clicks – two and a half times as many as the other two combined – it was also retweeted and “liked” more.

Tweet

Now, I realize it’s a mistake to jump to conclusions looking at just one example. But I’ve noticed a similar pattern with tweets for many of my other articles.

The “Personal Story” tweet almost always wins out.

The reason, I suspect, is that the Personal Story tweet seems more authentic. And it is. It’s not saying, “Hey, you’ve got a problem and I’ve got the solution.” That’s a little like saying, “Hey, you’ve got acne. Buy my facial cream!” Nor is it saying, “I’m a smart guy and I’ve got a tip for you.” There are a gazillion tips on the internet. Instead the Personal Story tweet is simply saying, “Here’s a problem I’ve run into a few times. And here’s how I dealt with it. Maybe you can learn something from my story that will help in your business.”

It’s clear that people are far more interested in real-world examples and stories than they are pitches and advice. I know I am. Your target audience is probably like that, too.

Does that mean you should use the Personal Story format every time you tweet about one of your blog posts or newsletter articles?

That would be very difficult to sustain.

Here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to continue to post the most genuinely helpful tweets I can, in a mixture of Problem-Solution and Tip formats.

But I’m also going to make an extra effort to incorporate more personal stories, examples, and lessons from my own business in my tweets. (And in my LinkedIn and Facebook updates, too.)

Maybe that makes sense for you to do, too. If it does, tweet about it!