Let’s face it: Social media is not a great way to make direct sales for most businesses. However, there is something that a brand can gain on social media that they would struggle to find anywhere else. It is basically the Internet’s version of “street cred.” When you engage consumers on social media, it can dramatically affect brand perception and awareness.

A Counterintuitive Form of Marketing

Let’s take the wedding industry as an example. Say you are a wedding planner. What do you post on your social media accounts? You may actually provide tips on how to save money when planning a wedding. Isn’t that counterproductive? Why encourage your potential customers to try and save money?

Your prospective customers may determine that you are the right planner for them, based solely on the fact that you know these tips and tricks—and aren’t afraid to share them. Your article may be the first contact they have with your business. Without the social post, they may never have even come into contact with your brand. And so the relationship begins.

Can Your Business Use Social Media in this Way?

That’s a simple example, but you can apply this to any type of business. For example, a food cart may provide recipes on their social sites. Does that mean no one will ever come to their food cart again because now they can make similar dishes at home? Of course not. People grab lunch on the go more often because it is convenient than because they can’t do it themselves. The recipe engages consumers, shows off expertise, and introduces the cart to those who may not have been aware of it before.

Now the world of social media suddenly starts to take on new life. Before, you may have wondered how social media fits into your marketing strategy. Now you can begin to see that social is less about selling—and more about giving consumers something to share with others. By focusing on shareability instead of profitability, your social media accounts will attract more attention, and also be a good influence for the consumer’s perception of your brand.