Social tools let you innovate faster in two ways: by ‘listening’ to what people might want from a business / brand like yours and by collaborating to create the new (whether that’s a product, service or marketing campaign) when you want to and how you want. And with people inside or outside of your business, in real time. And these tools can be free or at low monthly fees for all but the largest ‘enterprise’ usage.
Be open minded
Choose the tools that work for you
On the listening tools front I have tended to use SproutSocial (with some clients) because I like the clarity of the interface and its listening / reporting functionality. But I’ve also used Hootsuite, Vocus and a couple of others where client needs dictate – and all are robust platforms. That’s not to say that aren’t others that would suit you and your needs better.
For collaboration I use Google docs a lot but also have been part of Basecamp projects where mixed client / agency / freelancer teams have been involved and have also used Minigroup on two client campaigns.
Making time, allocating resources
Your time is valuable and you’ll need a lot of it get the most of out of social listening or social collaboration tools to really get the insight that creates winning strategies for business growth. And you need to factor in the resultant time needed to create any marketing initiatives that will be driven by those insights.