One of the crazy things about using Twitter and other social networking sites is that the more you connect with people the busier you can get with managing the continual stream of content and the connections that you have met. I know for me that it is physically impossible for me to connect with all of my followers on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. There are people I know who literally sit in front of Twitter for 8 hours a day going through the information that passes through the site. I do not have time to do this, and am sure that I am not alone in wanting to be more effective with my time.

Here are four suggestions to help you become more effective while using Twitter and other social networking sites:

  1. Get to the point – a lot of people on Facebook are time wasters. The best way to do this is to eliminate those people and applications that take away from your day instead of adding to it. For example, one of the time wasters that I have noticed is Facebook chat. It is cool to use when you need to talk to someone quickly, or are prospecting for clients. However, when I turn it on I get bombarded with all types of weird requests. It takes away my ability to move quickly through Facebook and to help customers, because I get stock in these conversations that in a lot of cases are pointless. That is why I have it off most of the time. It is your job to determine which sites to use due to their effectiveness.
  2. Delegate it- So what about more important tasks? The tasks that are too vital to your business to just be eliminated? How do you handle that? At this point, you need it in assistant or an automated system to help you out. If you need small jobs, you can go to sites like Scriptlance, Amazon Turk, or AskSunday (Please note: I am affiliated with AskSunday and Amazon). They have virtual assistants who can help you with a wide variety of tasks.
  3. Automate It-Additionally, you can use automated programs, such as Tweet Adder (Affiliated) and Social Oomph. Tweet Adder is a program that helps you automate your following of other twitter users. I Actually have the program going right now for five of my accounts while we are talking. It does the tedious work of following people, so I can focus my energies on communicating with current prospects, network partners, and clients. Social Oomph is a good program to use, because you can schedule tweets in advance and even upload a number of tweets to the system. I also like it, because I can use it for Facebook and my blog as well. Finally, it has a nice follow back feature, which I use for twitter. Automated programs are great for people who want to stay in touch with their current audience, but are not able to do it on a consistent basis. Consistency is the key to all business success, and that is why I use these programs.
  4. Set time limits – I love using to keep me on track throughout the day. It is a cool site, where I type in a certain time period such as 15, 30, or more minutes to set an alarm to notify me when I should be finished with a task. Having a time limit makes me work quicker, and think about being more effective with my time. Right now I have a little over 9 1/2 minutes left to finish this article. So I’ve cut out the fat to make it doable.

Use these four strategies together to become more effective when using social networking for your business and your personal life. Twitter is a great tool for your business; just do not let it consume your business.