Sprout Social is a cloud-based social media management service that enables companies of all sizes to manage their audience interactions and marketing routines. Some of its key features include automated posting, conversation/engagement tracking, social media content management and social media metrics analytics.
What does this mean for the busy social media manager? Well, it means that rather than updating and working with each business’s social media account individually, you can use Sprout Social as your one-stop shop for managing everything related to social media, such as content curation, scheduling, publishing, reporting, engagement and analytics. Does this app live up to its promise? Read the rest of our Sprout Social review to find out.
About Sprout Social
Sprout Social is the brainchild of four young men who saw the need for businesses to leverage social media for growth. It was established in 2010 after raising an initial $1 million in seed funding.
Eleven years down the line, it has won numerous awards and recognitions from the watchdogs that matter in its industry. Some of these recognitions include G2 Top 100 Products (Best Software Awards in 2021) and Best Workplaces (Chicago, USA), 2021. It was featured in The 2021 Capterra Shortlist: Brand Management Software category.
Sprout Social is on a mission to help brands to connect with their customers by helping them be open, stay real and empathetic on social media. Keep reading this Sprout Social review to find out how this social management software is able to do all this.
Which social networks does Sprout Social integrate with?
When people search for Sprout Social reviews, this is a common question they ask. Sprout Social integrates with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Reddit, TripAdvisor, Google My Business, and Pinterest.
It also integrates with numerous other software such as Zendesk, Google Drive, Shopify, Canv, Google Analytics, HubSpot and much more.
You can integrate Sprout Social’s API to your website, but unlike with similar software, it’s available only as a paid service. If you’d like this feature, you can contact Sprout’s support about it.
Sprout Social Main Features
Next on our Sprout Social review, is its features and what they can do for you. So, what are the benefits of using this social media management tool? Sprout Social comes with an impressive array of features that make it worth considering. We’ll take a lot at most of them in this part of our Sprout Social review.
Sprout Social’s scheduling and publishing tool
You can create, schedule and publish brilliant content for your business, across multiple social channels with this brand and social media management software.
Here's a quick run-through of the scheduling and publishing tool’s features:
- Scheduling — Save time with this feature by queuing posts you’d like to publish, across multiple social media accounts, at a future time.
- Optimal send time suggestions — Thanks to Sprout Social's algorithms, you can schedule your posts to go out at any of the suggested optimal send times and expect them to be seen by a large percentage of your audience. The optimal send times are teh periods of the day that Sprout Social has observed your followers to be the most on social media.
- Content suggestions – With this feature, you’d be hard-pressed to run out of content ideas. Sprout Social will search social media for the most relevant and engaging content and suggest them to you.
- Asset library – All your assets are stored here. Create, sort, edit and publish them across multiple social media accounts from this library.
- Shared content calendar – This is a fantastic tool for teamwork. A content calendar that everyone on your team can see and access can help you manage your company's postings and campaigns.
- Content approval workflows – The tone and message in your content should be consistent. This is where this feature shines as workflow approval ensures that all post ideas go through the correct channels for evaluation before being published, ensuring that no mistakes are made.
- URL tracking – This allows you to include tracking pixels in your posts so that you can measure their performance with Google Analytics. This lets you see which of your posts perform well.
Sprout Social's social engagement tool is built around a feature-packed social inbox. It goes well beyond a basic social inbox and does far more than some of the “social streams” offered by some other services.
Here's a quick run-through of the Social Engagement tool’s features:
- Smart Inbox – It allows you to have and respond to messages from all of your social media accounts in one place. It’s one of Sprout Social’s most popular features..
- Message tagging – Managing all of the messages you get across all of your social media accounts can be difficult. With the Message Tagging feature, you can use labels to categorize and sort messages.
- Message spike notifications – Get notified when the volume of messages you receive suddenly increases. It can act as a signal of an imminent time-sensitive issue.
- Social CRM – Allows you to previous track and refer to past conversations you've had with a follower.
- Task assignment – You can assign work to many team members with this feature. It's a great way to boost your social media team’s productivity.
- Team reports — Do you want to know how well your team members handle all of the messages that come in? This feature provides information on how quickly your team responds to messaging.
- Review management – This tool allows you to go through your online reviews from the public on your Google My Business, TripAdvisor or Facebook accounts in order to improve your social media presence.
- Help desk integrations — You can generate, track, and manage support issues for your social media accounts with Zendesk or HubSpot.
Social media listening with Sprout Social
For the best results, it’s generally good practice to use software or services that are made for social media monitoring to perform social media listening. Sprout Social, however, packs a pleasant surprise in its efficient social media listening tool.
Here's a quick run-through of the social media listening tool’s features:
- Audience analysis – This helps you discover the kind of content that your audience finds relevant so you can provide it for them.
- Customer feedback & sentiment research – With these features, you can learn how your customers feel about your brand and use the information to make adjustments where necessary.
- Consumer research – Provides valuable insights into your target market. It’ll give you data on your target audience's age, location, devices and other demographic information.
- Influencer recognition – See the influencers who are your brand's most powerful influencers and thought leaders.
- Campaign analysis – Wow the higher-ups in your team and your clients by providing data that reveal how your target demographic responds to your social media campaigns.
- Competitor comparison – This feature allows you to see what your competitors are doing on social media. The resulting information can be used to improve your own campaigns.
- Identifying trends – Keep up with trending conversations and hashtags with this feature so that you’re never behind on the hot stuff.
Sprout Social Analytics and reporting features
Like all of Sprout Social's other features, its reporting and analytics tool packs quite the punch. Now for a quick run-through of the reporting and analytics tool’s features:
- Report builder – Create custom social media reports based on the metrics that are most important to you.
- Additional insights – Provides more metrics across owned and paid media so you can get a better picture of your return on investment.
- Interactive graphs & charts – Add interactive charts and graphs to your reports to make them more accessible and interesting.
- Selectable metrics – When creating reports, you may choose which metrics to include to ensure that they are in line with your company's objectives.
- Advanced filtering – You may highlight the social metrics that matter to you by filtering categories, content, and message type.
- Custom comparison – This useful feature allows you to compare and contrast data across a specified time period so that you can track changes or improvements in content performance.
What we like about Sprout Social’s features
- First off, we love how Sprout Social’s dashboard is visually appealing. In spite of all the action it has going on it doesn’t leave users feeling overwhelmed.
- It has amazing reporting capabilities, especially when you connect multiple accounts from various social platforms and compare performance across them. While researching for this Sprout Social review, we found this to be a favourite feature.
- The actionable intelligence given by the social media listening features can make a social media manager look real good before their clients. It’s also awesome for business owners who want growth.
- Another plus is how the ability to add custom tags to posts and analysis of which types of content are generating the most reach and interaction helps teams collaborate better.
- The post scheduling and publishing feature is easy to use, the process is short, simple and effective.
What we don’t like about Sprout Social’s features
- For all of its upsides, Sprout Social doesn’t give you a preview of posts which means that you don’t really know what they’ll look like until they’re published.
- Getting reports from paid posts and campaigns can be problematic.
- The team collaboration feature would be better if more than one team member (the admin) is able to access all of Sprout’s features.
Sprout Social pricing: Is Sprout Social free?
Yes – but only for the first 30 days (the free trial period). At the end of the free trial period, you’ll be notified and prompted to pick a plan and enter your billing info – there’s no credit card required to sign up for the free trial hence the need for this at this stage.
Sprout Social has 3 pricing plans which include: Standard, Professional and Advanced. We’ll show what each plan comes with in this part of our Sprout Social review.
Standard – At $99 per user per month (or $88 when you choose annual billing), you can:
- connect up to 5 social profiles
- access the Sprout’s popular social inbox
- schedule, queue and publish posts
- view social content calendars
- monitor profiles, locations and keywords
- social CRM and task management tools
- reporting on groups, profiles, and posts
- boost Facebook posts with paid promotion tools
Professional – At $169 per user per month (or $149 when you choose annual billing), you get everything in the Standard plan plus:
- 10 social profile connections (instead of 5)
- Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter competitor reports
- Message tagging
- Multiple approvers and steps in custom workflows
- Optimal send time suggestions
- Reports on response rate and time analysis
- Twitter keyword and hashtag trend analysis
- Social reporting for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn
- Helpdesk integrations
Advanced – At At $279 per user per month (or $249 when you choose annual billing), you get everything in the Professional plan plus:
- 10 social profile connections (same as with the Standard plan)
- Message Spike notifications
- Content and asset library
- Chatbots and automation tools
- Saved replies
- Inbox trigger builders for automated actions
- Automated URL tracking
- Twitter surveys for audience feedback gathering
What we like about Sprout Social’s pricing
- The 30-day free trial period is quite generous. It’ll give you enough time to test out the software and see the results before deciding to upgrade.
- The plans are well-defined making it easy to tell what you’ll be getting with each plan.
What we don’t like about Sprout Social’s pricing
- Truth be told, it’s quite pricey and that could be a barrier for small businesses. As we gathered data for this Sprout Social review, we found a lot of users shared our sentiments.
Our Sprout Social review bottom line
Businesses can benefit from Sprout Social's social media marketing, social media management and social media analytics tools. Sprout Social's products assist businesses in effectively and efficiently managing their social media operations.
We want this Sprout Social review to be balanced so we'll say this: Sprout Social doesn’t come cheap. This means that smaller businesses might not be able to afford it. Compared to most other social media management services, Sprout Social does give more value for every dollar invested in it. This is because Sprout Social aims to be a one-stop shop for all your social media management needs.
So if the money isn’t a problem, by all means, get onboard the Sprout Social ship. If it is, we recommend checking out other services, there’ll be one that’ll be great a great fit for where your business is at right now. We hope this Sprout Social review was helpful. You can check out our Hootsuite review if you'd like an alternative to Sprout Social.