I've only been using for a relatively short time (about a week) but I can honestly say that Sprout Social is awesome. If you're looking for a low-cost social monitoring solution, this is a great tool. As a lot of you know, I monitor the social media efforts of Hinda Incentive. Over the last year, I've bounced around from tool to tool, mostly using Hootsuite and Postling along the way. Both of those are great tools but I've really become fond of what Sprout Social has to offer.
Dashboard Is Easy on the Eyes
The home dashboard gives a really user-friendly approach to social monitoring. It gives you recent messages, follower demographics, a virtual scorecard of mentions, engagement and new followers. Most importantly, it gives a list of your recent followers. Click on their icon and a nice profile pops up to do your homework on that account. For anyone wanting to engage a new and possibly interested prospect/customer/fan, it's a great way to know who to welcome into your Twitter family. With Hinda, I've been able to have some great engagement activity with recent followers that I wouldn't have before.
Great Analytics Overview
It's not the most detailed set of analytics I've ever seen but it does the trick. It does however give a good enough overview to be able to present a bit of information to anybody wanting to know an analysis of the online work you've been doing. It lists clicks, retweets, mentions, demographics, the type of updates etc for Twitter. It also provides a good list of data for Facebook, which is data similar to what you would find in Facebook insights. You can export the data as a PDF, giving data for the last 7, 30,60 or 90 days.
If you are a business with multiple locations, you can also engage with those who check in. If a customer checks in to any of your establishments via Foursquare or Gowalla, you can engage with them right from the application. It's awesome. Appears to work similar to PlacePunch, except a little more comprehensive.
Other Fun Stuff
Like any good social media client, you don't actually have to leave the application to make and schedule updates. Everything can be done within the application. You are able to view your Twitter stream and respond to tweets and Facebook comments straight from the system.
Want to research your competition and certain terms? There's an app for that too. You can save searches for Twitter or even the whole web to see who is talking about you, your competitors or similar products. There's also a function that allows you to compare your online activity and stats with your competitors so you can see how your social efforts are stacking up.
From a B2B standpoint, this other feature is cool. Sprout Social has one other tab that keeps a rolodex-like feature of all your online connections. You can pull up a connection's profile and add in other information like email, phone, job title, company name or contacts you all share. If you are trying to do some online follow up and relationship building of a B2B prospect, this is a really handy tool to keep track of your conversations with someone.
The price features are what makes this cool. After an optional 30-day free trial (which I'm still using right now), there are two relatively low price levels. If you are a small business with only one location (like many), you can get a $9.95/month plan. If you want to manage multiple locations, unlimited profiles and tap into its geolocation features, it's a $49.95/month, which still isn't that bad. It's a good middle ground between stupid cheap and really expensive.
Below is a video from Sprout Social on how to use their tool to grow an audience. What do you think about Sprout Social?
- Sprout Social Picks Up $10 Million (socialnetworkingwatch.com)
- Sprout Social snags new funding, continues to shake up social media management (thenextweb.com)
- 5 Reasons Why Sprout Social Is My New Favorite Tool (carriewriterblog.com)