Let’s face it: If your business doesn’t have a social media presence in today’s world of global marketing, you are rapidly being left behind. Harnessing the power of social media marketing can take your business to new heights, but getting started without any experience in social media can be challenging.

Once you incorporate social media marketing into your business plan, you’ll find that the whole process can get very complicated, very quickly. There are a ton of helpful programs, gadgets and apps out there to help simplify the marketing process, but navigating this technical jungle of templates and auto-publishing programs can quickly become a nightmare in its own right.

Not to fear, however. There are quick, efficient ways to painlessly make your social media marketing easier, both for you and for your customers.

Simplicity Is Your Friend

If you sign up for and try to actively keep up with an account on every social media site out there, you’ll have a world-class case of burnout in short order. It is far more productive and profitable to keep it simple. Rather than spend a small amount of time on a mountain of sites, spend your time building your company’s presence on the major social networking sites. Choose no more than five sites that you think will be the best fit for your business.

Know Your Target Audience

Do a bit of homework on the demographics of the various social platforms, then make your decision on which sites to use.

Schedule Your Social Media Time

Having a social media presence for your business doesn’t mean you have to be glued to your social media app for hours a day. With a little prioritizing and some helpful tools, you can invest no more than a few hours a week. This small investment of time can produce phenomenal results for your bottom line. As with any other important task you plan for each week, you’ll need to add an entry on your calendar to remind you to update your web presence. A stale social media presence doesn’t look good for your company—if you don’t think your business is worth a few hours of your time each week, why should your customers?

Sync Your Social Media Sites

Linking your social media sites together—and linking them to your primary website—can save you time in duplicating copy. Most blog sites and media sites have a “share” feature of some sort that lets your visitors easily share your content and attribute it back to you. If you set your social media profile links to your website, people can click through to follow you elsewhere.

Monitor for Social Site Tags

Paying attention to what people are talking about on social sites can help you interact with customers and stay abreast of what people are saying about your company. A good monitoring tool can track mentions of your company or brand name, as well as keywords related to your industry in general and your company in particular. If you’re tracking mentions of your Twitter handle, for example, you will see opportunities to connect with current and potential customers, as well as to head off customer complaints before they can do damage in the social media sphere.

Your presence on social media won’t spring up overnight. But in the long run, establishing a social media presence will be time well spent, drawing in additional customers and building stronger relationships with existing ones.