While at the Pubcon online marketing conference last month I listened to a keynote by Jay Baer, author of a book named “Youtility”. Jay says stop trying to sell so much and start trying to be useful and transparent to build trust and business. When you help someone you create a customer relationship and those relationships can pay you back with business over the long run.
Jay gives an example about Hilton which uses Twitter to help people with travel questions. They don’t try to sell Hilton. They just try to be helpful. They are building relationships and good will that will likely pay off in the future when these people are looking for hotels for another trip
You can read an overview of Jay’s keynote, with pictures of some of his slides, on Bruce Clay’s blog at http://www.bruceclay.com/blog/pubcon-keynote-jay-baer-youtility/