Every business needs to be on social media these days. It's obviously a great way to lift a company's profile in the marketplace and engage with consumers. But it can be a double edged sword. Pretty much every week there's another story about how some unfortunate event has occurred at some business or other, the news of which has gone viral on Facebook and Twitter.

There have been several local examples, including the clash between local real estate identity Paul Tonich and the Wild Fig Cafe. The most recent one is this mice infestation at Hoyts Carousel in Perth.

A couple of filmgoers actually managed to take a photo of the ugly little rodent that tried to nick their food. They then shared the snap on social media. It's now a public relations disaster for the company.

The photo itself is all over the net now. And there are numerous snarky comments on their official Facebook page such as this one from Andrew Martin: "Hi, I here you're showing Stuart little in 3D at your carousel cinema can you tell me what time it's showing, Cheers."

While the cinema management obviously has a problem that they seriously need to address, I do feel some sympathy for them. People certainly don't hold back on social media. And the scale of the reaction seems to be over the top.

In the days before social media, events like this might have been reported in local and citywide newspapers. They might have even made it onto TV bulletins on slow news days. But that was about it. They would usually have been forgotten pretty quickly, causing little or no lasting damage to the company's reputation.

But these days everyone with an internet connection knows all about such a happening instantly! Pretty much everything online is permanently accessible, too. Also, the fact that it has gone viral is a story in and of itself, so mainstream media outlets are sure to keep milking it for all it's worth, resulting in even wider and more prolonged exposure.