Twitter can be an excellent platform for entrepreneurs to catch up on industry trends, as well as connect with customers and professionals in their field. But using the platform also can be challenging: It is easy to lose track of time while reading comments and posting your own, rather than working on other tasks. Members of YEC were asked:

When using Twitter, what is a good strategy that busy entrepreneurs can use to make the best use of their time, especially when time — and resources — are limited.

Here is what they advise:

1. Follow and Interact With Your Clients

Twitter can be a real time-drain if not managed properly. For this reason, our team uses Hootsuite to post updates, but more importantly, curate lists of users that we want to follow and interact with regularly. Our most notable list is that of our active clients. We do our best to share their news and updates, boosting their brands and ultimately boosting interactions with our own page. – Keith Shields, Designli

2. Use Mutes And Blocks

Twitter is a valuable tool, but it will eat time if you let it. Be clear what you want from Twitter — industry news, marketing opportunities, customer relations — and aggressively filter the stream so it contains more signal than noise. Unfollow, mute or block accounts that don’t contribute to achieving your goals for the platform. – Justin Blanchard, ServerMania Inc.

3. Focus on Key Conversations

Instead of following/unfollowing people and syndicating content, most of the exposure from Twitter will actually come from conversations. Follow a handful — 40 to 50 — key people in your industry who have high engagement, and make sure to participate in the conversations they start and the conversations they jump into. It’s the power of association and a great way to leverage others’ audiences. – Karl Kangur, MRR Media

4. Have A Set Check-In Time Every Day

It can be surprisingly easy to lose half your day on Twitter. What I do to make sure that doesn’t happen is to have a regular time period during which I check in each day. I log in at the high-traffic time of 10 a.m. every day, and spend maybe half an hour catching up on notifications and reading and sharing interesting articles. Then I log off, and don’t check in again until 10 a.m. the next day. – Amy Balliett, Killer Infographics

5. Reach Out To Five New Connections Each Day

Create a Google sheet full of Twitter handles of your ideal connections. Every day, spend 10 minutes going through five people, connecting with them, commenting on their posts and sending a personal message. If done consistently, you’ll quickly build your network with minimal effort. – Connor Gillivan, FreeeUp

6. Outsource Your Personal Twitter Account

Hand off your personal Twitter account to your marketing team or social media manager. You’ll drive yourself crazy trying to manage social media accounts when there are more pressing matters at hand. Find someone you can trust with your password and ask them to spend 20 minutes per day retweeting thought leaders and promoting your business. – Jeff Pitta, Medicare Plan Finder

7. Keep Track Of Relevant Hashtags

Instead of wondering where your target audience is or what the latest industry trends are that you can build content on, use Twitter hashtags to stay in the loop. It’s important to track industry hashtags and branded hashtags specific to your business to eliminate wasting time scouring different keywords, hoping to find the information you need. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

8. Set A Hard Time Limit

Set a time limit for yourself on Twitter. Sometimes we can get sucked into social media and spend way too much time scrolling the feed, checking out the competition, etc. But, by setting a time limit, such as 15 to 20 minutes on Twitter each day, you’ll get in, do what you need to do and get out. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

9. Study Your Analytics

Looking at your Twitter analytics will allow you to quickly make more effective decisions regarding your social media strategy. Instead of guessing what will be engaging for your audience and wasting time on strategies that don’t work, by using analytics to discover your most popular posts, it will allow you to create content that’s an instant hit with your audience. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC

10. Divide Up Your Twitter Tasks

Handling your social media is a part of the job, so treat it like one. Divide your tasks and dedicate the specific amount of time for each. When using Twitter, make time for scheduling tweets (and making any changes later if necessary), checking updates, responding to comments, etc. Just don’t randomly scroll the feed; this won’t work. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

11. Assess Whether Twitter Is Worth Your Time At All

Depending on whether or not it makes a difference in your company or business’s social media outreach and engagement, Twitter may or may not be worth your valuable time. Therefore, you should seriously ask yourself if it is. If the answer is yes, then prioritize it over Instagram, Facebook or any other social network you may have a presence on. – Bryce Welker, Crush The CPA Exam