Sprout Social Review (Feb 2023): A Guide to Sprout Social
Meta: In today’s Sprout Social review, we’re looking at one of the more powerful social media management tools on the market for business leaders. Here’s what you need to know.
In today’s Sprout Social review, we’re taking a closer look at some of the feature of one of the most popular social media management tools on the market.
Designed to meet with the needs of countless online companies, Sprout Social ensures companies can optimize their social media efforts with insightful analytics, scheduling support and listening tools.
Though it’s far from the cheapest option on the market, Sprout Social goes above and beyond to deliver a premium experience. The tool provides a range of features other software solutions lack, including influencer identification, and in-bult customer relationship management (CRM) functionality.
As an added bonus, an intuitive user interface makes it easier to navigate your social media marketing efforts even if you don’t have a lot of expertise in the area.
Let’s take a closer look at everything Sprout Social can do for your business.
Sprout Social Review: Ease of Use
Sprout Social first emerged in the social media market in 2010, making it one of the older tools for business leaders, and a veteran in its field. Being one of the original solutions for social media management has given Sprout Social excellent opportunities to grow and evolve over the years.
Listening to its target audience, the company has refined its feature set and functionality, providing deeper analytics and meaningful insights. All the while, business users don’t have to compromise on things like user friendliness and functionality.
As soon as you open your dashboard with Sprout Social, the system asks a number of pop-up questions to help determine your specific needs within social media. This means you can shape your set-up experience to suit your goals.
A clean and streamlined user interface makes it easier to find all the tools you need in moments. At the top of the screen, you’ll see a Productivity bar where you can find tabs for messages, tasks, feeds, listening, publishing, reports, and bots. There’s the option to switch seamlessly between different social profiles, invite team members to your system, or view tasks.
If you click on the “Settings” button, you’ll be able to switch between different languages for your platform, which can make it easier for business leaders from around the world to get the insights they need. Speaking of insights, the “Reports” section has it’s own dedicated screen, where you can scroll through custom reports, and Google Analytics information, provided you have your profile connected.
If you’re using the Advanced plans on Sprout Social, you can even create a report with customized branding at the click of a button.
Sprout Social Review: Features
Sprout Social is a comprehensive social media management tool with a huge selection of tracking options to choose from. You can hook into Twitter, Facebook, Feedly, Google Analytics, Instagram, and LinkedIn. The main features of Sprout Social fall into five sections: Listening, Publishing, Engagement, Analytics, and Advocacy.
The Listening tools on Sprout Social are how you get a behind-the-scenes insight into your target audience, competitors, and wider market. When you click on the “Listening” tab, you’ll get a comprehensive dashboard where you can integrate all of your social media accounts into your platform, and determine specific keywords you’d like to track.
There are insights into audience and industry trends, so you can get a closer look at what your customers are talking about most often. Sprout Social also has dedicated “listening” reports for competitor analysis, industry insights, brand health, event monitoring, campaign analytics, and custom topics. The core features of the “Listening” section include:
- Audience analysis: For tracking customer preferences and trends
- Customer feedback: To monitor conversations related to your brand
- Customer research: For tracking vital audience demographics
- Influencer recognition: To identify thought leaders and influencers
- Sentiment research: For optimizing positioning based on customer feelings
- Campaign analytics: To capture audience reactions to marketing campaigns
- Competitor comparison: For identifying industry gaps and share of voice
- Trend identification: To monitor customer behavior based on specific topics
Overall, the tools are ideal for building a comprehensive understanding of your customers, your marketplace, and where you stand in comparison to competitors.
The publishing and scheduling tools from Sprout Social make it easier to deliver your social content according to your audience’s schedule. The tool allows you to create your social posts within the platform itself, and access guidance on how to improve the quality of your content.
There’s also a comprehensive calendar where you can maintain a complete overview of everything you’re going to be posting to different channels. You can pull various multimedia assets from a shared library, and add product tags and links to posts by connecting Facebook, Instagram, and Shopify product catalogs. There are even automatic insights into the optimum posting time.
The powerful scheduling and posting features allow you to promote your content anywhere, at any time, with access to features like:
- Scheduling: Import and schedule various posts across different networks and platforms.
- Optimal send times: Use optimization algorithms to schedule posts at the best times.
- Asset library: Organize, create, and edit assets from a central location.
- Content suggestions: Find engaging and timely content across social media.
- Message approval workflows: Create workflows to guide the review, submission, and approval of messages among your team.
- Message tag: Categorize and group messages based on marketing strategies.
- Shared content calendar: Manage individual posts and campaigns in a collaborative calendar.
- Social commerce: Add converting and engaging sales opportunities to content.
- URL tracking: Append tracking data into links to identify social traffic easily.
- SproutLink: Use a link in bio solution to drive traffic from Instagram to your website.
- Campaign planner: Plan and execute your campaigns in a convenient interface.
- Media integrations: Implement videos and images from Canva, Dropbox and Google Drive
There’s even a dedicated mobile app available for Sprout Social so you can keep track of your content calendar and publishing efforts on the move.
Everything looks and feels incredibly professional, whether you’re on mobile or desktop, so it takes very little time to get used to the interface, even as a complete beginner. The AI-enhanced suggestions really help to optimize your posting efforts.
Sprout’s social media engagement features are designed to help you reach your target audience and connect with them on a deeper level. The technology includes a simple toolset for onboarding new staff members focused on customer care. You can provide customer support training and equip your new users with all the details they need about your small business.
There’s a unified inbox, where you can track messages from all of your customers, and monitor social activity alongside your social listening tools. Automation features are also built-in, with the option to create custom workflows for responding to social media channels.
The user-friendly system is designed to increase team productivity with helpful communication and collaboration tools. You can assign tasks, approve social media content, and prioritize messages based on their level of importance.
The analytics tools and insights also ensure you can build more consistent relationships with your community by getting an insight into their profile information, audience data, and context behind conversations. Features include:
- Smart inbox for all of your messages, to create a convenient help desk
- Message spike notifications to alert you of urgent situations
- Review management for your marketing teams across Google my Business, Facebook, and Trip advisor
- Chat bot builder to help you manage your social inbox and respond to questions
- Task assignment to streamline social media strategy to-do lists
- Message tagging and labelling for context
- Team reports as part of your social media analytics insights
- Seamless integration with commerce, CRM, and helpdesk tools
- Social CRM functionality built in for customer profiles
The analytics tools built into Sprout Social are some of the best of any social media management platform. Although you only get a handful of reports on the standard plan, they’re still extremely useful. You can use Sprout Social for compiling data about your target audience, gathering experience information and data, and boosting customer experience.
The easy-to-use toolset comes with plenty of visual reports to help you maintain a complete insight of all your social profiles from one location. There’s also the option to compare your performance on social to competing brands, to see how well you’re performing in your industry.
Sprout Social’s reports are also excellent for directly tying the data you receive about your customers to your business results. This makes it easier to show shareholders and business leaders the impact of your campaigns. Features include:
- Profile performance reports for high-level overviews of all connected accounts
- Tag reports for measuring the volume of your inbound and outbound messages
- Post-performance reports with cross-channel analytics
- Competitor reports for tracking the efforts of other companies and benchmarking efforts
- Team and task reports to see how often users reply to individual messages and tasks
- Paid performance reports for tracking you’re your ad spend
If you upgrade to the advanced package, you get a wider range of customized reports, so you can create your own insights into the metrics most important to you. There’s a report builder, with additional insights across hundreds of metrics.
The advanced package also comes with interactive charts and graphs, selectable metrics, and advanced filters, so you can sort through content insights based on tags, content, and even the type of messages being sent.
The final section of Sprout Social is dedicated to advocacy. This ensures you can use your social media scheduling tool to track the tweets and social messages shared by your team to enhance your content marketing efforts. The advocacy tools are some of the best social media capabilities offered by Sprout Social. You can even create a content library for your team.
Employee advocacy tools allow you to promote your social media posts across social networks to attract the attention of a wider audience. There’s also a dedicated section within this environment where you can track the performance of your paid campaigns.
The advocacy features ensure you don’t have to rely on add-ons when expanding your social media strategy across multiple accounts. It’s a great added option which many other software solutions overlook when helping you to expand your Facebook pages, Instagram profiles and Twitter accounts.
Sprout Social Review: Pricing
When it comes to choosing a social media management tool, from HootSuite to Zendesk and Buffer, it’s always important to take budget into account. Sprout Social pricing options are divided into three packages, depending on the level of support and functionality you need.
- Standard: $89 per month (billed annually) for 5 social profiles, all-in-one social inbox, publishing and scheduling, content calendars, review management, profiles, keywords, and location monitoring, CRM tools and tasks, group and profile reporting, and paid promotional tools. There’s also iOS and Android apps.
- Professional: $149 per month (billed annually) for 10 social profiles, all the features of Standard, plus competitive reports for Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. There’s incoming and outgoing message tagging, custom workflows, optimal send times, and response rate reports. Plus, you can access trend analysis for hashtags and keywords, alongside various integrations with leading tools.
- Advanced: $249 per month (billed annually), for everything in Professional, plus message spike alerts, content libraries, chatbots, saved and suggested replies, inbox rule building, and automated link tracking. You can also use surveys for NPS and CSAT tracking.
Additional premium solutions are also available for social listening, premium analytics, and employee advocacy, all at another expense.
Sprout Social Review: Verdict
Sprout Social is easily one of the most powerful social media management and scheduling tools out there, but you’ll need to be willing to pay a little more for the functionality. Sprout Social definitely isn’t the cheapest product out there, but it can help you to save some significant time and money on managing your social channels.
With social listening to give you a behind-the-scenes insight into your audience, powerful analytics, and even employee advocacy tools, you can definitely take your digital marketing plan to the next level. You just need to make sure you have the cash to spend.