re: Choose Your Social Business Strategy Before Your Tools
Great question and I do find that pilots can be useful in validating a social business strategy, as long as they involve enough stakeholders and are able to foster a critical mass of participation.
In find that most social business efforts involve at least two phases: The "training wheels" phase where they employ simpler tools and learn what social is all about, and then more serious effort to overhaul the way they work to be more social that is more deeply transformative to business processes. The first phase in this journey could also be called a pilot.
So, either way, organizations can and should validate that their social business strategy is heading in the right direction through real-world experience.