That said, real, nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror exists at many firms (and in particular in their legal departments) when contemplating encouraging just this sort of behavior ... having consumers join and often lead discussions about the product.
It shows up in odd places. Just as marketers leap for joy to learn a celebrity uses their product, caution is suggested when reposting from a major news outlet. As experienced social media executers get with the flow of their particular niche on Twitter, nervous managers advise everything be run by legal. Even worse, in a crisis, too many companies, unprepared, let the naysayers take hold of the message ... as they see it and broadcast it across the web.
I'm not advocating a reckless "anything goes" approach, especially for brands with significant equity. We do, of course, live in a litigious society. But by being too cautious one runs the risk of ignoring those moms who can be your biggest advocates and your best defense in a crisis situation.
So truly engaging the alpha moms, the influencers, the early adopters means letting them speak for your company. It's not so far away from the traditional relationship that we've had with trusted media outlets ... we shouldn't be afraid.