(This next entry comes courtesy of the Kindle All-Stars Consigliera, Laurie Laliberte. Laurie is a contributor to RESISTANCE FRONT (Available now for .99 on Kindle and the Nook, also featuring Harlan Ellison, Alan Dean Foster and many more. All profits go to the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children. Get it now if you haven't already.) and co-editor of the upcoming KAS 1.5. She is a Twitter power user and also runs the extremely successful Big Girl Blog.)
There are hundreds of ways to use twitter. The key is finding one that works for you and your schedule. I'm literally at or near my computer almost every waking moment with about 20 tabs (email, facebook, etc.) and apps (kindle, Google calendar) open constantly so I can access them whenever I need to or have a second to play.
I've been using twitter for about 3 years. I recently surpassed 5400 followers. According to Klout, at least 60% of those followers are bots. I do use a couple of tools to manage my account, but I don't use TweetAdder. I'm cheap; get over it.
I visit justunfollow.com once a day to follow back anyone new and to unfollow anyone who is no longer following me. Two minutes and done.
I use TweetDeck to categorize all of them into columns:
ALL (aka the column I ignore) -- Shows every follower in my timeline and scrolls faster than the NYSE ticker in a bull market
MENTIONS and DMs -- So I know who's talking to me
VIPs -- This is basically everyone I WANT to keep up with. It includes only about 70? people.
VIPs who tweet too much -- (like me) I still read their tweets but they mess up the important stuff
Plus special columns for any hashtags I'm monitoring. These columns are always changing depending on what's going on in my world.
In general I don't seek out new followers by following anyone first. I sit back and ignore the bulk of what's going on. I don't intentionally add followers and I do not use a service to do it for me.
I have, however, made some great friends and connections on twitter because I can be a fairly active participant with those friends. I'll give you the scenario that's played out more than once:
Someone decides to follow me for whatever reason.
I follow him/her back via justunfollow.com, but he/she doesn't hit my radar until they send me a mention or a DM. If I connect with that person in a good way more than once, I may add them to my VIP list so I remember they exist.
We become friends and live happily ever after.
When it comes to promotional tweets and Follow Fridays, I'm inconsistent. If I have something very important to me that needs promoting, I'll use TweetDeck to pre-program tweets every couple of hours so I don't have to even think about whether to send promos. When I'm not promoting so much, I'll manually send out a couple of tweets each day.
On "Follow Friday" I'm the same way. If someone has been quite helpful to me during the week, or a friend is promoting a new project, I'll send out a tweet about why my followers should follow that person and tag it with the #FF.
So, if you're a newbie, feel your way around twitter, chat with some twitter veterans and see what works for you.