Blanket statements like this drive me absolutely nutso. The fact is, promotion finds it’s way into almost every facet of our lives, it goes where we are. There’s no denying it, there’s no controlling it. The best you can do is accept it and try to make it into something that people might be interested in.
To say that people participating in social networks don’t want to be promoted to may be true, but that’s like saying marketers shouldn’t be on TV because people only watch TV for information and entertainment. What is TV like without promotion? Look at CSPAN – have you ever watched CSPAN?!?!? I would use public television as an example, but even public television has elements of promotion.
I think everything has to be balanced, the company I work for does a very good job of balancing promotion with entertainment, expertise and customer service. I think a lot of companies struggle to find that balance.
The best advice I can give: keep it personal and transparent.