While growing to the next level in my business, I decided to do some research on CRM, Social Media Management Tools, and Project Management Software. I have used a variety of platforms for years for managing each of these areas. Times change. Some platforms were the “best” years ago, but have since slacked as the media landscape transitions so quickly. So I chose not to be a “know it all” by just doing my own research; and I asked my Twitter community which platforms they recommended.
I put out 5 tweets on Twitter:
1. “Help Please: I need some experiences and opinions on what you think is the best online Project Management software?”
2. “Also, Please Help: Which do you think is the best CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Software on the market?”
3. “Question: So which tools do you prefer for social media management?”
4. “re: CRM & ProjectMgmt: I have 50 choices in front of me, including ones I have been using, but want to see what my tweeps recommend”
5. “Question: Any last minute recommendations for Project Management, CRM, Social Media Management Tools? Closing responses in 30 minutes”
And I got plenty of answers back! I read something in the Good Book years ago that said “In a multitude of counselors, there is wisdom” … and I am so glad that social media provides a great network of friends and contacts with a wealth of knowledge at my fingertips.
These are the answers I received:
1. Via @matthewrayscott: “@GSocialMedia Per your request: I’d recommend Basecamp for your project management. We’ve tried “everything” and Basecamp seems the best” (In response to my question #1)
*My evaluation and response: Many of my friends and colleagues use Basecamp for Project Management, which also has Highrise for CRM, both owned by 37 Signals. It is a proven program with many satisfied users. But beginners sometimes say that they have a hard time getting used to this system. It is more of an advanced PM tool to many.
2. Via @strexer: “@GSocialMedia Salesforce.com” (In response to my question #4)
*My evaluation and response: Salesforce was one of the 1st programs I tried. I liked it a lot, but the cost for every little thing was a little too high for me back then. One time my secretary forgot to cancel our free trial 2 days late, we were not using it anymore, but they would not let up. Personal experience, we were late on the cancellation, so our fault, but don’t trap me! I have several friends that use this platform and are completely satisfied.
3. Via @carpdata: “@GSocialMedia Salesforce, Basecamp for just project management” (In response to my question #4)
4. Via @manifestdani: “@GSocialMedia We use Paymo. It’s friendly and allows comprehensive reporting. Cool timer (desktop+mobile): Paymo.biz (In response to my question #1)
*My evaluation and response: Paymo is more of a time tracking and billing software with a Project Management system built into it. Looks very easy to use and I liked the interface.
5. Via @postnetnc141: “@GSocialMedia ACT was recomended 2 me for CRM & Zoho for projectmgmt. I need something for task/project mgmt myself!” (In response to my question #4)
*My evaluation and response: I remember buying ACT desktop years ago, and I just realized after this tweet that they were still around. Looks like they are moving forward and have some updated features. Zoho is a great tool to use that has many apps and options. They seem to be improving all of the time and growing steadily.
6. Via @howardlewinter: “@GSocialMedia Definitely check out @Nimble!” (In response to my question #2)
*My evaluation and response: Nimble looks like a great social CRM and was glad that it was recommended to me. They have several key features that I would use and greatly benefit from. They responded to me on Twitter too, so very nice monitoring.
7. Via @yojulito: “@GSocialMedia have then a look at @SocialBro” (In response to my question #3)
*My evaluation and response: SocialBro is a Twitter management tool that really caught my attention. A lot of nice features and great interface.
8. Via @innovograph: “@GSocialMedia Hi Gary, evaluating CRM & PM ICT solutions is hairy. Easy to eliminate Basecamp & SF on $. Contact me via LinkedIn” (In response to my question #2) He later emailed me and recommended Podio.
*My evaluation and response: I was totally like WOW when I saw what Podio had to offer. As far as Project Management and CRM at a great price, this has my attention greatly. They also have an armada of apps to choose from and you can also create your own to make your workflow easier. Seems like the “social” PM and CRM of choice in my opinion.
9. Via @marcpalud: “@GSocialMedia My #CRM recommendation is a self-promoting tool for salespeople AceOfSalesCRM.com” (In response to my question #4)
*My evaluation and response: Ace of Sales is more of a contact manager and newsletter/card service which is not exactly what I am looking for, but they do have a nice thing going on.
10. Via @therobinjames: “@GSocialMedia Hi sir. Here are some good project management software alternatives you could look at: http://blog.timedoctor.com/2011/02/02/43-project-management-software-alternatives” (In response to my question #1)
11. Via @topfloorstudio: “@GSocialMedia Sprout Social, Google Analytics, Raven, WebCEO, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Facebook Pages App” (In response to my question #3)
*My evaluation and response: Sprout Social has always been on the forefront to me, as their social media management tools seem extremely superior in the industry. I have used them and have been very satisfied. Plus, they are following me on Twitter and they talk/talk back, which creates the type of sociable influence that I am looking for on the more personal level. I use Hootsuite regularly as well, great platform, but (pet peeve) they need an automatic tweet shortener for retweets, and I have many friends that use Tweetdeck and love it too. Raven and Web CEO are both great SEO tools to use.
12. Via @socialhelptv: “@GSocialMedia I swear by Podio, I love using Hootsuite. Sometimes I lean on Tweetdeck for twitter related management” (In response to my question #3 & #5)
13. Via @cincydrum: “@GSocialMedia have you tried SproutSocial? I dig HootSuite, but SproutSocial had some cool social metrics too– I just can’t justify the price range” (In response to my question #5)
I also took at look at these other platforms on my own:
1. Sendible: A Social Media Management platform that has some really nice features. Definitely on my great list.
2. Landslide: A CRM platform that looks tremendous. I will be keeping an eye on this one.
Actual software companies that answered on Twitter were:
1. Via @sproutsocial: “@GSocialMedia Hey there! Let us know if we can answer any questions for you about Sprout. Happy to help!”
2. Via @nimble: “Thanks G! Looking fwd to your feedback RT @GSocialMedia ..”
My conclusion was WOW! Great answers from everyone. Thank you so much to all of the participants of this CRM, Social Media Management, and Project Management Software tweet conference!!!