Blockbuster Swinging Social Media Like a Stick at Netflix

Blockbuster recently initiated an interesting Twitter campaign aimed at its competitor Netflix. The idea: to get Netflix users (or former users) to express negative opinions on the service and why they are unhappy with it—and then make it appear that thousands were tweeting all about it.

Cleverly, or perhaps deceptively, Blockbuster invites users to vent their opinions using a form on its home page. The form automatically appends whatever the user writes with the hashtag #HelloBlockbuster, and with the user’s permission, then re-directs each post outward via the user’s Twitter or Facebook account. Social media purists may cry foul over the “fake” nature of how the comments are re-directed as tweets (or how Blockbuster’s own page hosts a dubious tweet stream mock-up), but there’s nothing fake about the messages themselves.

Social media campaigns between rivals and competitors are nothing new, but this most recent example should serve to warn that social media can be a powerful weapon. And as with all weaponry, weild it with care.

What do you think?

How would you respond if your competitor launched a social media campaign against your company? Leave your honest-to-goodness thoughts in a comment below. 

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