I've been tweeting for a couple of months now, and I've figured out a few things. I've stopped being a Twitter pig.
A pig eats nearly anything, and that is what I was doing. I was following anybody who followed me, and anybody who was suggested to me by Twitter, with very few exceptions. My Twitter notifications become too many, and my Twitter feed was filling up with some really nasty junk. I was also getting too many Direct Messages wasting my time with spam, mostly selling Twitter followers or music.
I now don't automatically follow anybody who follows me. I don't even necessarily respond. I go to the site first and decide if I can stand what they are tweeting. Really bad English and cussing turns me off. So does sex and nudity. So does selling Twitter followers. Hip Hop musicians were a major source of bad English, cussing, sex and nudity. Sellers of followers are everywhere.
If I decide that a new follower qualifies, I tweet "Thanks for following!" and add a teaser with hashtags and a link to an article. If one is not following but is merely a prospect, I leave off the thanks. I still don't follow until one responds by replying, favoriting, or retweeting, which also brings a "Thanks for" the response, and another teaser and link. This seems to eliminate auto DMs. Replies get answered first, and then I reply again with a new article.
I have a lot of writing on several subjects to spread around: water use; litter philosophy; gardening; home remedies and 33 Marijuana speeches. I have lists of articles on each subject, each article followed by a list of people I've sent the link to. I look for a clue on a person's site to choose the subject of one's first tweet. I send them out in their listed order to those who respond. I might favorite or retweet a tweet from one's site while checking one out, if it appeals to me.
I'm not on Twitter to read tweets; I tweet links to my writing for others to read. It seems that most people on Twitter are tweeting rather than reading, advertising whatever they are selling. Relatively few are actually reading, but they are everyone's target audience.
Most readers probably skip over obvious ads unless they are actually interested in the product. Too many ads and too little interesting stuff probably gets over-advertisers unfollowed by such readers, so it pays to retweet interesting tidbits to keep up reader interest. But if one is putting out interesting stuff like News You Can Use, Twitter can be very effective at building an audience.
Following all comers was wasting my time on people who were not responding to my writing. Sooner or later, I will probably unfollow those who have never responded and would not qualify to be followed now. I will be watching my feed for objectionable material, unfollowing and muting those I don't like.
If one actually wants me to read a tweet, one has to use my Twitter handle. For that reason, I send out very few general tweets. This article will be one. It will be interesting to see who responds.