While many of us always seem to say that its not just enough to join or participate with users on the web as brands, it really isn't enough to create one, or many conversations, but to do so within many communities.
Nike is a prime example of how it does this well. In the U.S., while Nike's display ad spending is alot smaller compared to other premier brands, the shoe company certainly spends time providing content to niche communities and create conversation around sub brands such as Jordan, 6.0, and NikeID. Whether its leaking the location of where the next pair of limited edition Dunks are going to drop, or releasing a bootleg of the Nike Skate video, the brand understands that this content will create buzz that will ring from one community to the next, until it reaches the mainstream and other conversational channels such as Twitter, which is becoming the echo chamber of choice.
Helge Tenno and Mark Earls are some really smart folk who've said similar things with regards to igniting conversation and starting lots of small fires on the web.
Flick photo by wonderlane.