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

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?



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