It's a great question – and something we obsess about!
While no one knows exactly how many 3rd party marketing platforms are actively maintained around today's dominant social channels (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, Pinterest) -- and certainly no reliable benchmarks of such platforms that focus specifically on social content management and e-commerce -- a conservative estimate would put this number somewhere north of 2,000+. It's a noisy field and a mess to navigate for marketers searching for programs that can help them report effective gains over a 3-6 month timeframe.
So Why Candid?
Given this huge range of options, and given that content-management for social media is really still in its infancy, we wanted to take a minute here and describe in low-level detail what believe constitutes an "enterprise-grade" content engagement system for UGC.
So what separates "Indie" social plugins from the robust automation and workflows that deliver business results without requiring ongoing babysitting?
A content management system is much more than the published social displays consumers see, it's about workflow automation, flexibility and streamlining the daily experience of managing and publishing community content; a system that works for SMB brands is not necessarily one that works effectively for some of the most spammed hashtags on the planet.
What sets Candid apart is:
- Established in 2012, we have a 3-4 year lead on clones entering the visual marketing/commerce field in 2015/2016 (both in functionality & data)
- Content Mapping Rules (create "auto pilot" rules that determine which media is approved, what it maps to and where it's published)
- Advanced Content Filters
- Infinite Views (create filtered and personalized social displays throughout your property, all with their own custom orderings and layouts, but manage status/consent centrally)
- Team-based Management (involve multiple people in the moderation and mapping process with roles/permissions and audit trails)
- Flexible Rendering Engine (dozens of themes/skins to choose from and the framework to build custom experiences in minutes)
- Internal Notes (enable internal team-based discussion in the approval workflow)
- Multi-stage Approvals (loop in various stakeholders to move media through various stages of approvals, not just Pending/Approved)
- Drill-down Capabilities (zoom into media collections across dozens of dimensions, including keywords, locations, users, hashtags, likes, comments, etc)
- Rights Management (secure full rights to copy/reuse media in ads or across other campaigns)
- Direct Messaging (easily identity, track and keep in touch w/ top contributors)
- Auto Responders to Improve Participation
- CRM integration (for B2B marketing or high-priced products)
- Predictive Alerts (what content are you most likely to approve based on previous actions)
- REST API for personalization (serve different displays to different audiences, integrate with native iOS and Android apps)
We spend a great time of time obsessing about process improvements behind the scenes to better support marketing teams in their work to build and maintain stunning community displays.
If you have any suggestions, don't hesitate to let us know. You'll be surprised at how quickly feedback finds its way into the product.
DAMS vs. CMS
You may often see the terms DAMS (Digital Asset Management System) and CMS used interchangeably which leads to some confusion about what each one is and how they are used. Content Management Systems were initially created to improve productivity and personalization around web publishing, their core focus is the presentation and publication of information in the most effective manner. DAMS, on the other hand, deal primarily with digital assets and the rights surrounding their use. Increasingly basic levels of DAM functionality are being incorporated into Content Management Systems and Candid is a great example of this. Within our CMS, we provide the infrastructure for preserving and managing digital assets, with search facilities to help marketers identify and retrieve the ones that are most relevant to their needs.