Take for example Brandt Andersen, the owner of the NBA Development League team the Utah Flash, who is trying to restore his team's image after a social media experiment gone awry. In an NPR interview, Andersen said, "What we didn't think would happen, actually happened," after posting messages on Twitter that Byron Russell would play Michael Jordan during half-time. Andersen goes on to say, "We were testing some viral media stuff. That started to set a crazed expectation."
Well, Mr. Andersen, when you tell people that Russell and Jordan are facing off during half-time, expect that people will believe what you are selling. Using viral media may seem easy and fun, but just like any other form of advertising or journalism, don't forget who the audience is. And never underestimate the backlash of negative press coverage.
As Anderson begins to make reparations, might I make a suggestion? Hire a social media manager who advises on how to correctly use social media, viral media, and 21st century journalism for increased positive brand reaction and maintained image in the future. Even if hiring a media manager is too much, the most basic of any business plan should be don't lie to, cheat, or steal from the customer.