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There’s no doubting the fairly universal appeal of Sprout Social, which has been around long enough to have developed into a formidable tool. It’s great for covering social media management tasks but also offers sizeable analytics and reporting options. That makes Sprout Social a fantastic all-rounder, although users will want to opt for the Professional edition or head further up the product portfolio in order to fully exploit all of its potential.
Sprout Social has been around for a while now and, as a result, it has become one of the go-to software options for anyone with the need for social media management or SEO tools. The package comprises a heady blend of social tools and marries those to a potent analytics edge, which produces a great all-round package for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
Anyone looking to take on social media channels for the first time or to beef up their levels of participation will find Sprout Social offers plenty to get stuck into. There’s a neat dashboard-style management setup, which allows for easy co-ordination of social affairs while the ability to lets multiple users access it means there’s appeal for larger organisations too.
While Sprout Social comes with a potent yet user-friendly array of social media management tools it is still an affordable and good value option. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it therefore continues to be a hit with many business owners who might not necessarily warm to something like the comparable Hootsuite.
Plans and Pricing
You can try Sprout Social for free using the option of a 30-day trial, without the need for any credit card details, if you’re simply keen to explore the interface and feature set. Following on from that, Sprout Social comes in three different packages. This starts out with the Standard edition, which currently costs $89 per user/per month and this is billed annually. Alternatively, you can choose to pay for the Standard package on a $99 month-to-month basis.
Stepping up to the next package, the Professional edition of Sprout Social is its most popular plan and this currently costs $149 per user/per month and again, this is billed annually. There is the option to pay $169 month-to-month with this one too.
Meanwhile, an Advanced edition of the Social Sprout package can be had for $249 per user/per month, again, billed annually. This has the option to pay $279 on a month-to-month basis if preferred. If you’re concerned about whether or not there will be enough benefits from the higher-end packages it is also possible to request a demo, where a member of the Sprout Social team can talk you through the various features and functions.
As you’d expect from a Standard package, the entry-level edition of Sprout Social is more of a slimline edition of the software. Nevertheless, this edition does come with a decent array of tools aimed at users with lesser social media management needs than bigger businesses.
So, the Standard edition bundles in 5 social profiles, an all-in-one social inbox, lets you publish, schedule, draft and queue posts and features a social content calendar. You can also carry out review management, monitor profiles, keywords and locations as well as deploying social CRM tools. Reporting offers up group, profile and post-level options plus there’s the ability to deliver paid promotion tools to boost Facebook posts.
You’ll really want to invest in the popular Professional edition of Sprout Social to benefit from more power tools. That will involve additional costs but the set of features does cover an awful lot of bases. Lookout for more social profiles, 10 in all, plus everything that comes packed into the Standard edition.
On top of that there is competitive reporting for Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, incoming and outgoing message content tagging as well as custom workflows for multiple approvers. More advantageously, there’s scheduling for optimal send times and the benefit of response rate and time analysis reports.
Crucially, pro users get trend analysis for Twitter keywords and hashtags and the benefit of paid social reporting for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Also useful for larger concerns is the helpdesk, CRM and Social Commerce integration capabilities offered.
Of course, larger business frequently have the need for even more power tools and added functionality. This can often be a needless requirement for smaller concerns, and obviously incurs additional expense.
Nevertheless, Social Sprout’s Advanced package features add a lot more muscle to the software, especially for companies with a major push going on with their social media management needs The Advanced package comes with everything in the Professional edition, offers 10 social profiles and than adds on the likes of Message Spike Alerts for increased message activity email and push notification alerts when traffic is high.
There’s a digital asset and content library and chatbots with automation tools too. Advanced users can also work with saved and suggested replies, make use of an inbox rule builder for automated actions and enjoy automated link tracking. Twitter surveys to define CSAT or NPS come bundled in for good measure.
Analytics and reporting
By the same token, the reporting aspect of Sprout Social is as impressive as ever. Users can create detailed insights into social media campaigns, get a handle on what works and what doesn’t as well as producing shareable information that should work a treat in the board room. Naturally, it’s easy to export said reports in popular file formats, including CSV and PDF, meaning that the distribution of data is universal.
Sprout Social has always been handy with its chunky analytics tools and this is an aspect that has become stronger in recent years. The higher-end bundles pack in lots of advanced features for helping combine analytics with lead generation and suchlike, adding value. In fact, sales and marketing teams should find it invaluable while a feature like the ChatBot tool should help improve efficiency too by allowing administrators to build an assistant to help customer needs.
Interface and in Use
Sprout Social has been in existence for quite a while now and it has therefore evolved into a great on-the-go tool for anyone needing to manage their social media out in the field. This can be done using either the iOS and Android mobile apps, both of which have been nicely produced and offer more than enough functionality for most needs, even on the basic edition. Considering its impressive feature set, Sprout Social is still fairly straightforward to setup and configure.
Even in its desktop incarnation you’ll find Sport Social to be fairly logical with its layout, especially considering all of the tools that come contained within. There are quick access menu options to commonly used tools like Messages, Tasks, Feeds and Publishing. Similarly, you can get to those vital reporting tools with relative ease too. There are practical considerations too, with a settings area that lets you configure language settings and suchlike for users in other geographical territories.
Anyone getting to grips with Sprout Social for the first time will find a whole host of great content at the online help center. There are tips, tricks and tutorials covering every aspect of the software, along with more advanced tools for helping to get the best from Sprout Social. If you need to get in touch there is a phone support number, the option to submit a request online or you can simply reach out via social media.
Social media management tools are reasonably plentiful and, if you’re working to a tight or non-existent budget some of them can be had for free. Small business owners might struggle to justify the cost implications of the beefier editions of Sprout Social. Bearing that in mind, head for something like the basic edition of Hootsuite, but there’s also the likes of Buffer, Hubspot, Zoho Social and Agorapulse to ponder over too.
If you’ve got advanced social media management needs then Sprout Social offers plenty of appeal. There’s the ability to ramp up your efforts even more than that with the additional premium solutions offered by the software company. However, all of those extra features and functions add to the price tag, which for smaller businesses can soon make a Professional package seem like a sizeable investment.
Nevertheless, if you’ve got any kind of serious inclination to boost your standing in social media circles, and enjoy the data produced by Sprout Social you’ll find this is a package that rarely disappoints. Even the Standard edition offers up a surprisingly potent dashboard of delights, via an interface that’s a joy to use, especially if you’re making full use of the app edition.