A competitor tries to piggyback on another company and intersect the stream and inject “look at me – my thing is good also” into the mix. I haven’t decided if this is brilliant or stupid, but after chewing on it a little it felt like a derivative of astroturfing to me.
My concern isn’t the one off dynamic, which I don’t think has much real impact. It’s when this becomes a social media strategy. It’s inevitable that this will scale up and pollute the conversation, changing the signal to noise ration. The awesome thing about Twitter is anyone can follow you. But they can also @reply to you.
Of course, they have to follow the other person copied for them to see the message, but that’s an easy thing to do. Once someone builds this into a social media dashboard and automates the “identify-keyword, add, @reply-message” function, it’ll get yucky fast. Especially when political campaigns get hold of the idea and really start astro-twitter-turfing.