The real value of participating on the social web comes from original comment, delivered with credibility, backed up by data.
The contexts change, but these three tenets always apply.
In marketing, the focus is on how your service or product will improve things for the prospect. Credibility will come from the networks of influencers feeding into the person you’re talking to, and you will have to back your claims up with hard information, otherwise they will be ignored.
In sales, the focus is on the deal and how it will deliver on the promise previously made through marketing.
In service, the focus is simple: fix the problem, or provide an alternative deemed credible and valuable by the customer, not by you.
In politics, the focus is on votes, in non-profits, on donations or memberships.
Sitting behind all these contexts are shared stories and endorsements, freely made, across the social web and through other channels.
And the more original, valuable, helpful and credible you are on the social web, so you become more connected, exert more influence, the better your products and services are regarded, and the more appealing and relevant they become.
All supporting the goal: more sales/votes/members.