The theory that people want to engage with brands online and share their enthusiasms with their friends and that their friends will share their enthusiasms with other friends through social media channels has turned out to be an infantile fantasy.

In fact, what social media sites are rapidly becoming is just one more channel for traditional paid advertising.

Here’s what you need to know about social media:

The hundreds of millions of people using social media are interested in interacting with each other.

Not brands, not ads, not you, not me.

Email remains a more effective way to acquire customers than social media.

Nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined.

When someone chooses to share your content, this demonstrates two things.

1) The reader has found enough value in your content to recommend it to the people he or she knows.

2) Now more people are likely to read your post. After all, at the end of the day, people would rather take recommendations from their friends, than from a brand.

Once you see your shares sky-rocketing, you’ll know you’re doing something right.