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How much time should you spend on twitter every day?

I get asked this all the time and as someone passionate about the keeping my social and business connections alive through platforms like twitter.. I guess I’m an extreme case when I say sometimes I can use twitter up to 3 hours a day.

This is a different question to “How long do you spend online?” As on busier days when involved in projects/blogging etc, I may well be online for 8 hours +

If you asked me how much of this is mobile and how much at a desk you will get different stats again. If I’m in a queue and the people around me are not talkative.. I tweet. If i am a passenger in a car or on public transport and the conversation has hit a lull, I tweet.

Being connected whilst mobile means we are learning to multi-task better than ever before. There is no excuse why you can’t be building your networks, answering queries, learning from others or just being entertained whilst engaged in other activities.

Twitter is only 140 character bursts of information that occasionally require no more than 140 character responses. Sometimes If there is a link to a more in depth blog or video, I click a little button called ‘Read Later’ and the link is saved on my home computer in my instapaper link or on my iphone for later.

If you asked me how much time you needed to put aside to effectively manage a twitter account I would say you can get by on 15 minutes a day. 10 minutes listening and responding in short to a few in your closer network and five minutes engaging with people you don’t normally talk to and telling people what you are up to.

You don’t need to spend hours saying “Check out my blog, check out my blog.” Your blog should be linked in your profile. You just need to be interesting. If you are interesting and engaging people will want to know more.

I will add that the more you put in the more you will get out but there is a cut off point were you will be perceived as a spammer if you are tweeting uninteresting stuff 24/7.

If you can spread this 15 mins over the day dipping in and out you will reach a more varied group of people. I go to my ‘@’ replies before i do anything else and see replying to my ‘@’ replies as important as replying to emails. When it’s required of course.

This 15 mins a day though is just ‘getting by’. If you feel you can spare 40 mins of your day.. do it. This seems to be what most are doing and most are doing just fine.

The larger your network becomes the more time you may find you have to put in.. That said, you may find yourself in your email box a whole lot less and your digital footprint/network growing exponentially… I know I do.

Here is a Poll I threw on posterous to see how much time people are spending using twitter..

How Long Do You Spend On Twitter In A Day? http://j.mp/tweettime

Or you can go straight to the poll here.. http://poll.fm/1d143