Twitter can be a valuable marketing tool, when used the right way. First it’s important not to let Twitter manage your life; only 1.5% of your day should be spent tweeting or scheduling tweets, which adds up to less than two hours each week. Several Twitter management tools will help you fit into this time limit, like Hootsuite, TweetDeck, Twitterfeed and Nambu.
Next, make sure your tweeting isn’t done in vain: tweet interesting things! The rule of thumb for keeping your tweets engaging is the 4-1-1 rule: tweet four pieces of interesting content from others for every one relevant retweet and one self-promoting tweet. This can sound a little counterintuitive to marketers who want to get the word out about their great company or product, but it’s a tried-and-true way not to annoy your followers!
Overall, Twitter isn’t about marketing yourself as much as it’s about joining the conversation. When you distribute content in thoughtful ways (instead of merely self-promoting), you establish yourself as a thought leader in your field. So now when you tweet an article link, try adding a comment your followers will find helpful – they’ll thank you for it!