Is going viral always a good thing?

Recently, you might have noticed a viral video going around that is marketing-themed, instead of involving the usual cats and babies. Social media marketing-themed, specifically. It’s called “Let’s Get Social 2014,” and if you haven’t seen it, here you go (just don’t say I didn’t warn you—it involves an earworm you probably won’t want):

If you had the same experience as me, you were cringing the entire time, yet couldn’t look away.

According to the description on the video, this performance came about as a warm-up to a keynote by author Jay Baer at the recent Social Media Marketing World conference. The song was performed by the 22-year-old Mary McCoy, a marketing associate at IT services company Continuum, and written by Phil Mershon (who can also be seen in the vide0).

While the video has gone viral, the bulk of the attention it has received has been negative, with most commenters calling it cringe-worthy and embarrassing.

Despite that, McCoy, the video’s star, is finding the attention to be a positive thing. In an interview with Dan Lyons of the Huffington Post:

“”I think it speaks to the power of social media,” she said. “People might put this video down, but either way they are reacting or interacting with it. They’re contributing to social media. What matters is the conversation. I think it’s great. Businesses can look at this and say, ‘Wow, social media can really make a difference. Just look at how my content can get out there.'”

This video got me thinking: Can “going viral” come at too high of a cost? Is the awareness and engagement that comes with this type of viral video worth the negativity that can go along with it? Personally, I’m not sure that there’s a right answer that applies to every situation, and in some cases (as I expect is the case with this one), the parties involved might not even anticipate the possibility of going viral. I do appreciate McCoy’s attitude about the situation, though.

What about you? Would you have the same attitude as McCoy if you were in her shoes?

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