Last week I took part in a breakfast debate in London organised by Mediatel on the topic of social media.

Along with fellow panelists (left to right in picture above), Sharon Braude of Disney, Renee Mellow of Mediacom, and Monica Manoras of Twitter, we covered a lot of ground including real-time integration, sequential messaging, and campaign attribution.

We also touched on a number of thorny issues such as brand safety and viewability but got hung up on one particular area of social – should we even be calling it “social?”

I elaborated on this further in a recent column but the net net is that if we refer to everything from Facebook to Snapchat to Pinterest as social media then we’re missing what’s most unique about each of them as platforms and what’s most opportune about each of them as marketing channels.

Sure, 4C is partially to blame here as we streamline workflow across Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and Snapchat in a product called 4C Social. And we analyze key trends across all of them in a quarterly report called The State of Social (the most recent edition of which is now available for download so click the link and get it now)­.

But we also always advise our clients to approach each platform differently when it comes to strategy, creative, and targeting. And, of course, we recommend moving budgets to placements and platforms that are performing best against campaign goals.

That said, at the heart of all “social” platforms are people. And at the heart of any good marketing are audience empathy and value delivery.

In the case of the six platforms we support in 4C Social, the commonality is that content and utility of each one is oriented around the connections among people. So let’s call them all social media if it’ll help keep the focus on the audiences.

As the expression goes, “Call me what you want…. just call me.” And if the 129% year-over-year growth we saw across the board in our Q4 State of Social report is any indication, brands are calling social quite a bit.

Now it’s time to call on the rest of 4C’s Insights.

Read the rest of 4C’s Insights Volume 79 here.

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