If you need to create a social media marketing plan for your business in 2013 you’ll be smart to cut these three strategies completely out of your budget, providing they meet these “tough love” performance criteria.

This is the year when content marketing and social media focuses like a laser on leads and sales. Or else. 

Give yourself a promotion; grow your business’s revenue to new heights, win that new job, start making social media sell for you this year.

Convert your social media marketing plan into a social media sales plan. Cut content marketing that flat-out doesn’t net you leads and sales like clockwork. If your social marketing makes you look like a money-spender rather than a money-earner and eats up precious budget dollars ditch it!

Up for the hatchet are:

#1 Updating your Facebook page

It’s probably time to quit unless a majority of your updates are designed to provoke reactions (from customers) that are connected to a process: a way to capture sales leads and bring them toward a transaction.

If your updates are not provoking customers and prospects to take action in ways that bring them and your business joy you’re wasting precious time, energy and budget. Cut it loose or get it re-focused on direct response-style marketing.

If your updates are creating responses that give you leads—and your customers a taste of results in advance—give yourself a big pat on the back.

#2 Blogging to tell stories

Engaging stories about your business culture or personality don’t cause sales often enough, on their own. 2013 is the year where your blog posts, videos and/or Facebook interactions need to make the sale. That means they need to focus on a process that creates high levels of confidence in buyers.

Here’s how to test yourself. Are your stories giving blog readers these two things?

  1. A way to fulfill a specific need or desire and…
  2. …something to ACT on that ultimately gives them confidence (in themselves) as buyers?

If they aren’t your stories stink.

Ultimately you’ve got to connect your product or service to the story in a way that earns a sale. So if you’re not fulfilling a desire and giving customers something to act on your story won’t be a discussion. It’ll be a monologue.

If your story doesn’t lead a prospect toward an action (ie. signing up for a free Webinar, video series, etc.) that has material impact on their lives it won’t build their confidence. Worse, you’ll forfeit the opportunity to earn the customers’ trust.

Take a moment right now to make sure each of your stories are helping illustrate a point or bring to life an example and supporting your ability to create a response from your target reader/viewer. If they’re not make them or consider not telling the story at all until you can work them into a social media sales strategy.

#3 YouTube videos

Likewise, if YouTube videos aren’t helping you take customers on a journey toward answers they need (or experiences they desire) hit pause. Be sure to fly a red flag, throw a card or blow a whistle if the video lacks a clear, compelling, irresistible call to action.

Again, tough love time. Let’s be honest. Your customers probably don’t need to know how your product or service actually works or look behind the scenes as much as they need a problem solved or a way to better understand the BEST FIT for their needs. They need these things far more than a look at your culture, have a laugh or experience your “human-ness.”

They consider these kinds of (important) things more when they decide who to do business with.

Doing for customers is stronger than telling them you can do it

Telling someone “I can solve your problem” through a story is weak as compared to the other option:

1. Getting their attention with a good story,
2. helping them make better decisions, learn a new skill, avoid dangerous risks and
3. delivering that knowledge in ways that builds confidence in customers, trust in your brand and results in a sales lead.

So pull the plug on Facebook, blogs and videos that don’t give customers answers to burning questions or a sample of the experience they’re craving—and a way to act on them that creates a sales lead for you.

If you do you’ll be one step closer to making social media sell for you.