While it might seem like you can “just start doing social media,” in reality, as a business you should start with some sort of strategy. You need to find the best channels to be on, the best types of content to post, the best times to post, and to schedule it into your work schedule (or delegate the task!). Even if you already have a social media strategy in place, it’s never too late to set some social media goals for your business so that you can get the best return on your efforts.

Here are 5 simple strategic social media goals to build into your social media strategy, whether you are just getting started, or you feel like you have plateaued.

#1: Engage Daily

Social media isn’t something you say you are going to do and then you only go one once per week. It takes commitment but you should be engaging with your followers and potential follower on a daily basis. This is how you will build relationships with customers and potential customers online. If you can’t commit the time to social media (at least 15 minutes per day), then it isn’t worth starting a strategy.

The idea is that you would increase your online presence by generating dialogue about your brand. If you start the conversation and it is compelling, chances are people will join in the conversation. You want to make sure you are fostering that excitement about your brand daily.

Make sure you track your increasing engagement through specific and measurable metrics such as brand mentions, retweets/shares, Likes, Review ratings, etc.

#2: Create Unique Content

This one can seem to be tricky, but you can make it easier on yourself if you start with a great brand foundation. If you have clear messaging in place and a strong brand identity, you should be able to put out a great mix of both owned and curated content. Set a goal for yourself to put aside a certain amount of time every month to create interesting graphics, visuals, and written content that is all your own.

#3: Raise Brand Awareness

Even if you aren’t pushing a hard sell online through social media (which you should only do sparingly anyhow!), you should focus on raising brand awareness. The more people know about you, the more you will be top of mind when it comes to buying what it is you are selling. They will also be more likely to recommend you to others if they see you are active online.

Use your time on social media to increase your influence through thought leadership so you establish yourself as a leader in your industry. This is your chance to highlight what makes you different from your competition. Through this exercise you can build a stronger and more valuable brand.

Not only can you raise general awareness of your brand, but you can also highlight other marketing tactics you are using as part of your overall strategy. If you have media coverage, post it multiple times so you are seen. If you are engaging through experiential marketing, post live from the event and have your guests post from the event as well. There are many ways you can incorporate this type of cross-channel promotion into your strategy.

Metrics you can use to measure your success could be increased engagement on your content (likes, retweets/shares, etc) and increased followers.

#4: Drive Traffic To Your Website

Make sure your digital brand profile flows easily across channels. A huge component of this, especially if you engage in eCommerce, is driving people to your website. Post new content regularly to your website (ie. A blog) that links back to your site. If you are running a sale, change the link in your Instagram profile and drive people to that link in your promo posts.

Track metrics such as website traffic numbers and your click through rate.

#5: Plan Ahead

This almost doesn’t need an explanation… Almost… While you may think that flying by the seat of your pants works well for you, a certain level of planning will help shape your overall strategy. If you want to be extremely structured, schedule your content a month in advance and reserve your daily time on social media for pure engagement. Programs like Hootsuite will allow you to schedule posts ahead of time. You can’t just set it and forget it though. You need to make sure your content is topical and hasn’t inadvertently become offensive (ie. Mourning a public death and you talk about how cheery the day is). You should also make sure that you follow along with what’s trending on social media to capitalize on opportunities that make sense for your brand.

If you prefer a less structured strategy, I would still recommend planning at least a week in advance. This way, even if you get really busy one day and you can’t set aside time for social media, you will have something going out. It’s all about making your life easier.

Let 2017 be the year you conquer your social media strategy by setting smart social media goals.

A version of this article was originally posted to the SongBird Marketing Communications Blog.