Social media can be a lot to take in all at once, especially when you’re just starting out. Here is a quick compilation of some of my social media tips to set you up for implementing a killer social media strategy. These are the 10 must haves for a strategy that builds an authentic, engaged social media community for your brand.

1. Define Clear Goals

This is the foundation of your social media management or campaign strategy. Defining goals (and objectives) gives you direction, purpose and will help you narrow down the main themes your content will revolve around.

2. Get To Know Your Audience

This will be one of the most important parts of your social strategy. Get to know your audience demographics, but beyond that get to know what makes them tick. Ask them what their pain points are, find out what publications they read, and were they hang out. All this info will help you craft content that really resonates with them and helps you build an engaged community.

2. Choose the Right Platforms

Do your research and get to know how each social media network operates and choose the right ones for your brand. Is your target audience active in the network? Do you have the resources to create the content required for the specific channel?

4. Create a Content Bank

Now that you have your objectives laid out and the networks you’d like to be active on, create a content bank. Review all of your offline marketing efforts, and how you can support them online with content. Create or source content that supports your objectives. Oh the time and headaches you’ll save yourself!

5. Identify Keywords and Hashtags

A little more research here, but collecting a bank of the top industry keywords or hashtags your audience is using will make for easier messaging composition. Finding the right hashtags is key to reaching your target audience. Learn how to search for keywords and hashtags here.

6. Create a Content Schedule

After you have your bank of content you need to create a schedule. Based on your objectives, and the amount of content you have decide how often you’d like to post on social media and on what days. I suggest using a mix of live and scheduled posts for a balance of your content and to remain current with topics in the industry or that relate to your audience. Learn how to create a social media content schedule here.

7. Set Up Social Tools

For a little help saving time, set up all your social media tools. Some of my favorites are Hootsuite or AgoraPulse for planning and scheduling posts. I use for shortening and light tracking of links. Everyone will have a preference of tools, so be sure to try a few and go with the ones that make the most sense to you.

8. Set Your Analytics

I love analyzing what is working and what’s not working across all my clients’ accounts – it’s an essential part of tweaking and improving your social media strategy. Navigating analytics can be confusing since each network has so many metrics to keep track of. In general I suggest you pay attention to your follower growth, reach of your posts and more importantly how engaged your audience is with your content. Pay attention to what days and what times perform best (getting your timing right is essential to extending the reach of your posts).

9. Conduct a Social Media Audit

Make it a habit of conducting a social media audit on your channels periodically. A self audit can help you catch inconsistencies across channels, what campaigns worked (or not) review benchmarks, and maybe even set new goals, allowing you to consistently improve your social media strategy.

10. Keep an eye on the competition

You can learn so much from watching others. Watch what your competitors do well, and what flops so you don’t make the same mistakes.

As a bonus – make sure your images are as high quality as possible (and think about creating a theme for your accounts for you more advanced users). I hope this collection of tips give you a good base and clarity to get started on creating a social media strategy.

To get all these points organized, you can download my Social Media Strategy Checklist here.

This post originally appeared on Dhariana Lozano’s blog.