Sprout Social: A Review
Recently, I was asked by Sprout Social to review their social media dashboard. I did not hesitate because I love testing out things that I have not previously used, and also because, if you read this blog regularly, then you know that I am a die hard HootSuite fan. If you are anything like me, you rely on social media dashboards for not only your own social media management, but also the management of many different client accounts as well. Anything that makes this process the come together cohesively into one place is worth a try. This is a non-bias opinion, Sprout Social did not give me any sort of compensation to do this review, only a month free trial to have the proper amount of time to do a thorough review.
As soon as you log in, the dashboard itself is neatly organized, nicely displayed, easy to find where you need to go. First, you set up your accounts in different “groups”, which I find to be a blessing in disguise, because it eliminates any mistakes you could have posting to the wrong account. Once everything is set up, you can go to the “Home” tab to see all of the analytics for the particular group you are in. Your group view can be changed easily in the top right corner of the page. It gives you your group trends, demographics, and separate social network statistics. This would be a great feature, but you cannot customize it. What if I wanted to see what links I posted that week were the most popular? Also, you can only view them for the past week or the past month, sorry, no custom date ranges.
Next is the “Messages” tab. This is where all of your social media networks come together. In the “Smart Inbox”, you can see all of the activity that is centered around your brand; who is following you, who is interacting with you, and how you are interacting with others through social media. This tab is also where you can see your tasks if you are working with teams. Here, you can see your tasks, assign tasks, and invite team members. Also, you will be able to see all of your sent messages for each particular group in this tab.
The “Feeds” tab is where you can see everything that is coming in from Twitter, and whatever other account (LinkedIn) you have attached to the particular group, but not Facebook. Here is a feature that MarketMeSuite got right. They have an Inbox that connects all of the social media accounts in a group, and you can see the feeds from all of the accounts in one tab. In Sprout Social, you cannot see Facebook, and you have to click between the tabs on the left to see Twitter in one, and LinkedIn in another.
In Sprout Social, you can schedule messages to go out to which ever social media account you want, or more than one at a time. This is a great feature that every social media dashboard now has and is convenient if you do not have all day to spend on Twitter. The down side? When you are in your feeds tab and want to retweet someone, you cannot schedule that retweet or add comments. This is a feature in HootSuite that I could not live without. I want to send things when I want to send them, not when my social media dashboard tells me too.
The “Discovery” tab is a cool feature that Sprout Social came up with for Twitter to be able to see people that follow you, but you do not follow them. It also offers a way to cleanup your profiles; it shows people who do not have much going on or that do not interact very much, and you have the option to unfollow them. There is also a great search feature to see if people are talking about your brand. This feature is still inferior to HootSuite, in that, you have have tabs in HootSuite that you can setup to see if people are talking about you or your brand, instead of having to search every time.
Once you have arrived at the “Reports” tab, here is where you can basically see the same things you see on the Home tab. It still is not very customizable, but here is where you can see specific date ranges of analytics and you can export the data.
You can get all of this for $39 a month, or you can go with HootSuite and have more and better features for Free (Basic) or Pro for only $9.99 a month. If you would like a thorough overview of all of the features HootSuite has to offer, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!