I think brands will have to go beyond a conversation – though that’s a good start – they have to be willing to develop and maintain a relationship/friendship with their customers over the long-term. And I think companies are looking at these sites all wrong. Advertisers, marketers, product-makers are trying to figure out how to exploit and use all the people on these sites – when they should be studying what these folks are doing and try to figure out how they can help these social sites be better for their users. Not more cluttered with their ads. If your product and brand don’t really fit in – stay out. Know your customer and respect your customer – that’s it.
At the risk of being repetitive – marketing is not about interrupting or intercepting people, it’s about assisting them!