Social Media and the Rise of Consumer to Consumer (C2C) Marketing


Share on LinkedIn

I have seen several examples of marketers in both, Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) segments, trying to use the same old B2B or B2C strategies when it comes to Social Media marketing. Marketers are failing to take advantage of unique characteristics of Social Networks by not modifying or re-engineering their business processes for Social Media and are merely “fitting” Social engine to their existing business processes instead and this is bound to fail. In fact, i wrote about this more than a year back in a post titled Social CRM: Thinking Outside the “Call Center” Box.

Companies must understand that Social Media channels empower customers to find & connect with other like minded individuals, interact with them in a “public” way and this is Consumer to Consumer interaction (C2C). Companies must leverage this C2C interaction for marketing rather than using B2B or B2C marketing techniques on consumers who are interacting with other consumers (C2C) on Social Media channels.

We need fresh outside the box thinking to take advantage of unique characteristics of Social Media and C2C interactions. For example, instead of trying to respond to each and every tweet or Facebook posting by customers, something not practical for a medium or large business, the emphasis should be on creating advocacy and building trust among consumers, keeping in mind the “Social Context” and C2C potential of the medium. No where this is more evident than in support communities, where brand advocates/loyal customers help other customers out by answering their questions or suggesting solution (C2C) rather than company Reps trying to answer all the question.

What do you think? Do you agree that marketers need to re-engineer their business processes to take advantage of Social Media’s C2C marketing potential or can they continue to use their “good old” B2B or B2C methods for Social media marketing?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Harish Kotadia, Ph.D.
Dr. Harish Kotadia has more than twelve years' work experience as a hands-on CRM Program and Project Manager implementing CRM and Analytics solutions for Fortune 500 clients in the US. He also has about five years' work experience as a Research Executive in Marketing Research and Consulting industry working for leading MR organizations. Dr. Harish currently lives in Dallas, Texas, USA and works as a Practice Leader, Data Analytics and Big Data at a US based Global Consulting Company. Views and opinion expressed in this blog are his own.


  1. Harish –

    There’s little to disagree with here, and your points are certainly well made. Studies are showing an increasing amount of direct and regular social interaction by consumers in media such as online communities, at up to three times the rate of just five years ago. Some assessments of the impact of social communication on consumer decision-making of b2c products or services suggest that up to 90% may come through peer-to-peer dialogue.

    Companies can no longer absolutely control, through traditional push marketing, the level of customer advocacy behavior which exists in the ether; however, as you suggest, they can manage the degree of trust and openness their organizations create as well as the relationships between themselves and their customers. Among the most direct ways to achieve this goal are through optimized product and service experiences, employee ambassadorship, two-way communication, customer-centric cultures, and proactive customer processes.

    The only area where greater balance might be suggested is in the widely held belief that much of this consumer dialogue and leverage takes place through online social media. These channels are rapaidly growing in both usage and importance, and they draw a tremendous amount of attention. But, much of the communication, and the decision-making influence, continues to be offline, even among younger consumers.

    Michael Lowenstein, Ph.D., CMC
    Executive Vice President
    Market Probe (


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here