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What is Sprout Social?
Sprout Social is a SaaS software that promotes communication between businesses and people. It also streamlines communication between a business and its customers, prospects, and enthusiasts. Through its three main functionalities (publishing, engagement and analytics), a company can effectively progress in social communication.
It’s a solution that lets you build and maintain your community by making it easier to start, join and monitor social conversations. It allows you to build a better relationship with your clients with fast responses to any questions or problems they may have. You will also be able to efficiently work with your social marketing plans as SproutSocial offers a variety of tools to optimize them. Finally, it enables you to improve customers’ return on social media and easily manage your entire portfolio from a single tool.
Sprout Social’s Features
Undoubtedly, Sprout Social contains all the features you would expect from an enterprise-level solution, and then some.
We could split the average company’s social media software requirements into two groups.
First, businesses want the software to simplify their daily list of tasks. It should help them get things done, rather than add a new set of complications. This accounts for workflow, publishing, and reporting tools within a social media management software package.
Next, they want the software to help them make sense of their data. It is easy to locate lots of data these days, but what does it mean? Is your performance ‘good’, compared to the competition? What should the business do next, based on these results?
Sprout Social’s core, historic strength has been in delivering on the former. As we will see below, it excels as a robust solution for complex social media management.
It has introduced a host of new, compelling features to cater to the latter group, including trend analysis and advanced automation.
However, these are only accessible at an extra cost.
We will begin our review by looking at the central features available to all users, before assessing the premium features.
Team workflow tools
Sprout Social does a fantastic job of helping teams get things done. It retains a healthy focus on this aspect of social media management, even with so many advanced features to show off.
Users can set different permission levels for different members of their teams, which provides a great way to customize the interface based on each sub-team’s responsibilities. Otherwise, it is all too easy to get distracted by the myriad, fancy features on offer.
Sprout Social’s Smart Inbox is one of the platform’s hallmark features.
It concatenates messages from across a company’s social networks into one, manageable feed.
This can also be split into different feeds, based on each business’ priorities. For example, some users can be assigned to handle incoming Twitter messages, while others can focus their efforts on Instagram.
Insightful reporting templates
A key consideration for marketing teams when assessing social media software is the usefulness of the platform’s reporting dashboards.
Although reports seem neutral vessels for data, their design can guide us to innumerable different conclusions. Sometimes, they create so much confusion that we are left in a state of decision paralysis.
Sprout Social’s dashboards demonstrate an acute awareness of this reality. The templates are thoughtfully curated, based on various marketing goals.
Sprout Social truly shines as a social listening platform. Social listening permits businesses to monitor and analyze social media posts about their industry or products, to gain an understanding of consumer trends.
The more effective social listening tools will not only gather this data, but also help to illuminate its meaning. This includes assessing whether the audience sentiment is positive or negative about a topic and identifying new trends that have just surfaced.
Sprout Social contains an intuitive process for setting up these reports.
Once users create topics that are relevant to their business or industry, the tool will start gathering data from qualifying Twitter posts. This works using simple search operators and the set-up process includes a handy preview tool, so you can see whether the results match expectations before finalizing your reports.
For a glimpse at the future of social media management, we should look no further than Sprout Social’s growing suite of automation tools.
Businesses can create a Facebook chatbot from within their Sprout Social account. The configuration is relatively straightforward, containing a drag-and-drop functionality and an array of pre-populated response options.
Sprout Social Pros & Cons
- Efficient workflow for creating, scheduling and publishing social media posts saves considerable time
- Ability to respond to all customer messages from one interface saves considerable time
- Analytics help your team monitor KPI performance and add rigor to your social media programs
- More expensive than alternative social media management tools
- Not a full-featured replacement for managing paid social campaigns
- Some marketers prefer multiple stream inbox over Sprout’s single-stream inbox
Sprout Social’s pricing
Sprout Social offers a free 30-day trial, with no need for credit card details.
Beyond that period, there are three subscription levels.
Sprout Social plans begin with the Standard package, at $99/month per user.
This entry-level subscription has increased in price considerably over the past few years, but it does provide a wide range of vital features. For example, the Standard package contains the Smart Inbox, social content publishing and calendars, and integration with up to five social networks.
The Professional package, at $149/month per user, includes ten social profiles and increased customization, along with a host of additional reports.
At the Advanced level, which costs $249/month per user, businesses can access the content library, chatbot creation, and even Twitter surveys to help gather Net Promoter Score data.
It is an impressive list of features, but the numbers start to escalate quickly once new users are added.
Benefits of Sprout Social
Sprout Social excels as a social media software adjunct that helps teams get more done, with more impact. For businesses at the cutting edge of social media strategy, with a budget to match, Sprout Social makes for an ideal strategic partner. Its technology provides time-saving automation, content marketing insights, and invaluable social listening tools.
The platform interface is designed from the user’s perspective, offering an effortless experience across desktop and mobile. This is all the more impressive when one takes into account the sheer quantity of features on offer.
Sprout Social is a popular choice for large social media teams and it offers the support one would expect at this end of the price scale. As a consequence, it is a safe selection for businesses that spend a lot of their day managing their social media strategy.
Sprout Social Alternatives
Here’s a list of the top alternatives and competitors to Sprout Social:
Sprout Social is an excellent all-in-one social media management solution. Its messaging and scheduling workflows are very intuitive and huge time savers for social media marketers. In addition, the system’s analytics package is best-in-class. With that said, the tool is slightly more expensive than most alternatives. We recommend comparing it to leading alternatives such as Hootsuite and Buffer to ensure its the best tool for you.