Hey Amanda. I think it's great that you disagree with me. It means something is creating friction and, fortunately, friction changes how things are perceived.
I think you're pretty right with your assumptions. But I do think both approached this post form a different perspective, you're talking about brands and businesses and I'm plainly talking about people. And this makes a huge difference on the whole context.
Anyway, long time I had no awful experience with brands nor people. All works great here. Follows if used correctly have a long lasting positive effect. Unfortunately, we have overvalued this kind of practices.
"Brands understand that for the most part "likes" and "follows" aren't the ultimate goal of connecting--it's the conversations and formation of relationships that matter."
I couldn't be more in agreement with you.
The core of this is at the middle (more or less) of the post. Empathy, ethics, connectiveness, choice and attention, some of the biggest human assets we have to create human interactions (on the Internet and out of it)
This reflects what happens when you work with different organisations, advice board members, connect with people from different cultures, backgrounds, countries for different purposes. Nothing applies 100%, but this is a common pattern we have identified over the years.