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The No. 1 Mistake That Even Some Brilliant Social Media Marketers Make

by Peter Friedman  |  
January 21, 2015

Here's a common scenario: A social media team develops the plan for an innovative social program. The team members race enthusiastically toward the finish line, putting all their energy into the many creative, technical, and logistical issues involved in designing a program and getting it online. Finally, just weeks or days before launch—or in some cases, even the day after launch—suddenly someone remembers, "Oh, yeah. All programs need legal approval."

The program is then dropped in the laps of the lawyers as a near fait accompli.

Enter Company Lawyers

Company lawyers may not know much about social. Moreover, they aren't given much background about why the program is important or how the company will benefit. All they can see is exposure to new and uncertain risk, and a marketing department that doesn't seem to take the risk seriously or to proactively manage the issues. A company lawyer's job to protect the company from risk, including risks that shoot-from-the-hip employees haven't considered.

All that translates to a quick no.

In the case of one Fortune 20 brand, a $10 million campaign involving network television, print, packaging, digital, and social was brought to legal just three weeks before launch.

Unfortunately, neither the team nor the creative digital agency had considered that the centerpiece of the program—photos uploaded by customers—might need to be moderated. Legal shut this one down in seconds.

Protecting your company while getting a social program launched requires, first and foremost, that you build a strong collaborative partnership with your legal team. Companies in regulated environments have learned how to partner with legal not just to avoid a "no" but to make a better program with fewer mistakes.

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Peter Friedman is the founder, chairman, and CEO of LiveWorld, a trusted social media partner to some of the world's largest brands. He is the author of The CMO's Social Media Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide for Leading Marketing Teams in the Social Media World.

Twitter: @PeterFriedman

LinkedIn: Peter Friedman

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  • by Wed Jan 21, 2015 via web

    People need help becoming better communicators in their personal lives, and it is not different in the business array. The communication between team members, departments, employees and so forth should be a priority for the organizationís management team since it could increase revenues and improve the work environment while making employees more productive at every level of the hierarchy or project. Recognize the issues in your organization if any and then take steps to prevent, improve, or resolve the problem.

  • by James Hughes Thu Jan 22, 2015 via web

    Hi Peter!
    Your post has really helped me develop a deeper understanding of the internal dynamics of a media marketing team. Great informative post.

  • by Rachel Cornish Thu Jan 22, 2015 via web

    Your comments on legal could just as well have been on security. Steering clients towards solutions that are secure for themselves and their clients data can take time.

    Above: In this context, good lawyers don't say no. They say, "OK, we have this managed. Now, it's a business decision.

    Security: In this context, good It security experts don't say no. They say, "OK, we have this managed. Now, it's a business decision.

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