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@Peter - we're bad customers. In fact, as customers we suck. As businesses though we have the increasing challenge of attracting customers amidst a sea of choices. Hence why a whisper -- and not a pitch, even when done with a conversational intro -- may work better. Great content can help you connect with your customers, which is where caring comes in. Helping me? Comments, dialogue, critical thinking. I was made for conversation. Love it!

@Adrian - we generally find fewer things to say when we're busy doing. I love it when people get ideas I share here done. Love hearing about them, of course. That's why we have an "about you" page.

@Online Reputation - "manipulate" is such an exploitative term. Your comment is confusing.

@Courtney - darn, wish I have publicized my own educational Webinar. You beat me to it!

I am a big lover of engagement and participation because I feel like the companies are coming to me. It isn't a sales pitch but help answering a question. For instance, I put on Twitter once that I had some eye trouble and a doctor responded. I DM'd with him for a while. If he had been a general practitioner I would have changed doctors but I still think of him first when I have a health question.
I guess I am a lead for that doctor. He used engagement on social media to find new clients even if he as never asked me to come in it created trust.
I would like to encourage people to use social media not just in B2C but in B2B situations as well.
I know White Horse is doing a webinar on how to use social media as a lead generation tool for B2B. It gives options on how to make the process more effective and easier. If you are interested register here: http://bit.ly/aBa6g3
I think it can show you how that social "whisper" can become a sold product.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

Great post! Reagarding your question, I think over time loyal engagement brings with it a level of intimacy in the realtionship between customers and brands. It is about how a brand can take advantage of human emotions and manipulate them, how they can make their brand part of someone's life..and that is not by giving them what they want, offering them a unique experience.

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