Sprout Social Review, Pricing & Features

What Is Sprout Social?

Sprout Social is an all-in-one social media management platform used by over 20,000 organizations to manage Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and other social media channels. The platform comes with numerous features for customers to publish social media content, engage their audiences, track social performance, and streamline internal workflows.

Why Do Customers Use Sprout Social?

Today, most companies have a presence on several social media channels. Managing these channels individually is time-consuming and ineffective. In addition, the social media platforms only provide basic feature sets. For example, the analytics dashboards inside of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are extremely limited and difficult to navigate. Sprout Social allows companies to manage all social media channels from a single platform, which includes performance-enhancing and time-saving features.

What problems does Sprout Social solve?

  • Social media platforms lack important features like asset libraries, post scheduling & robust analytics
  • Managing each social media platform individually wastes considerable time
  • Lack of coordination across social media platforms

Top Sprout Social benefits

  • Stronger connections with customers
  • Improved performance on social media channels
  • Increased marketer productivity

Sprout Social Pricing & Cost

Sprout Social offers three plans priced from $99-$250 per month. You can purchase additional profiles for $25 per month per profile.

  • Standard: $99 per user per month for up to 5 social profiles.
  • Professional: $149 per user per month for up to 10 social profiles plus features like scheduling, paid social reports, and a helpdesk integration.
  • Advanced: $249 per user per month for up to 10 social profiles plus features like message spike alerts and a asset library.

Listening is not included in any of the plans above. Customers can purchase either Basic or Advanced Listening as an add-on feature.

To start your free trial with Sprout Social, visit its website.

Table of Contents

Full Review: Sprout Social

Sprout Social was founded in 2010 by Justyn Howard, Aaron Rankin, Gil Lara, and Peter Soung. At the time, Justyn wanted to use social media for sales, but could not find software to help him execute. The company has grown considerably since its founding, and now has over 20,000 customers across all industries. Sprout Social is based in Chicago, Illinois and has approximately 700 employees.

Sprout Social's social media management platform allows its customers to publish social media content, engage audiences, and analyze performance across all major social media channels. The system integrates with Facebook, Google, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TripAdvisor, Twitter & YouTube.

The two primary benefits of Sprout Social are improved social media marketing performance, and increased employee productivity. With Sprout, social media marketers can spend more time producing social media content and interacting with audiences on social media platforms. Customers of Sprout also save considerable time scheduling new social media posts and responding to social media messages through the Sprout platform.

Since its founding in 2010, Sprout Social has established itself as a leading social media management solution. Sprout's primary competitors in the SMB market include Hootsuite and Buffer. It also competes with Sprinklr in the enterprise market. We recommend that all SMBs evaluate Sprout Social in their search for social media management software.

Key Features

Below, we'll discuss the key features of Sprout Social, and how they would benefit your business. We'll also share some photos of the actual product to give you a sense of its design and layout.

Sprout Social Integrations

Here are the social media channels that Sprout Social integrates with:

  • Facebook
  • Google (Google My Business)
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • TripAdvisor
  • Twitter

Social Media Publishing

Sprout Social is a valuable tool for streamlining your team's social media publishing processes, and allowing you to manage all of your social media channels from a single location.

Creating Social Media Content

Sprout Social makes it easy to create text and image-based content to post on all social media channels. Content is created using the editor below. In the editor, you can select your desired social media channels, add images, import content from your asset library, add your location, tags, and set up approval workflows.

Sprout Social content editor

Sprout Social comes with an asset library that you can use to store text, images and videos. The interface gives you options to sort and filter your assets, including by custom tags. We found that storing text was particularly helpful to ensure that our team used the same block of text in all marketing, and saved time not having to re-write copy.

Sprout Social asset library

Social Media Scheduling

Sprout Social has a calendar that displays all your scheduled posts by channel and date. This provides a helpful overview of your upcoming social media campaigns. From this view, you can edit, duplicate or delete any post.

Sprout Social schedule

Sprout also comes with two other important scheduling features: the Sprout Queue, and ViralPost. Posts added to the Sprout Queue will be posted automatically at preset times, which you can define for each of your profiles. This features saves your team time, and increases the consistency of your social media posts.

Your second option for post scheduling is Sprout Social's ViralPost. ViralPost is an algorithm developed by Sprout Social that uses your audience's most active time on Twitter to determine when to post to Twitter, and uses global optimal send times to optimizing post timing on non-Twitter channels.

Social Media Engagement

Sprout Social also comes with a set of engagement features for community management and customer care.

Smart Inbox

The Smart Inbox is a single stream that aggregates all recent activity across your social media channels. This is the central part of Sprout Social's product where your team will spend the most time engaging customers.

Sprout Social Smart Inbox

In the Smart Inbox, your team can:

  • Respond to messages
  • Turn any message into a task
  • Tag messages
  • Mark messages as complete and hide completed items
  • Monitor progress towards completing all messages

Bot Builder

Sprout Social's Bot Builder allows you to create chatbots that respond automatically to incoming messages. Sprout comes with pre-built templates for customer care, lead generation and shopping that you can modify for your business.

Here's a look at the Bot editor. You can see the decision tree that customers are walked through depending on their responses. Conversations from the Bot are moved into the Smart Inbox to ensure a seamless transition.

Sprout Social Chatbot

Social CRM

Sprout Social also maintains a profile for each contact with their conversation histories. For each contact, you can see the person's direct messages, tweets, followers, and add contact information. You can also add users to lists to tailor how your team engages them.

Sprout Social CRM

Review Management

Sprout Social allows you to view and respond to reviews in one centralized platform. It pulls reviews from Facebook, Google My Business and TripAdvisor. While this is a valuable feature, Sprout Social's review management functionality is not as robust as full reputation management systems. For example, Sprout Social does not help you generate more reviews and filter the best to Facebook and Google.

Help Desk Integration

You can integrate Sprout with your help desk to improve collaboration between your social media and customer support teams. This integration allows you to create support tickets in Sprout, and manage support issues directly inside the Sprout platform.

Social Media Listening

Sprout Social has a listening component that allows you to generate insights from consumer activity happening across the social media platforms. Access to Twitter comes with a typical subscription; access to other social media platforms requires the purchase of the Advanced Listening add-on.

Some of the insights you can generate with the listening tool include:

  • Identify conversations about your company to understand consumer attitudes.
  • Understand feelings on specific keywords, topics, other companies and more.
  • See online behavior for specific topics to identify trends.
  • Identify audience demographics such as: age, gender, geographic location and device usage.

Here's a screenshot of Sprout's conversations tab and sentiment summary:

Sprout Social CRM
Sprout Social CRM

Social Media Analytics

Sprout social comes with multiple reports and metrics that will help your team monitor KPI performance and add data-driven rigor to your social media programs. The Sprout Social analytics package is a big improvement from the analytics offered inside the social media platforms themselves. The analytics dashboards in Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are not robust or intuitive.

There are a few different types of reports available inside of Sprout Social. For each, you can filter data by date.

  • Performance reports for all social media channels that are helpful for measuring the success of your team's social media efforts.
  • Competitor reports to measure your social performance against your competitors.
  • Engagement report with performance data on how quickly and consistently your team is responding to messages.
  • Team and task reports to see how well individuals on your team are replying to social messages and completing tasks.

Here's what the main reporting dashboard and the competitor report look like in Sprout Social:

Sprout Social CRM
Sprout Social CRM

Sprout Social Alternatives & Competitors

Here's a list of the top alternatives and competitors to Sprout Social:

Is Sprout Social right for you?

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.

To start your free trial with Sprout Social, visit its website.

Bruce Hogan

Bruce Hogan is Co-founder & CEO of SoftwarePundit. He leads the team's research and publishes content about software products and trends. Bruce has experience investing at multi-billion dollar private equity firms, leading teams at venture-backed technology companies, and launching new businesses. You can connect with Bruce on LinkedIn.

Bruce is an expert in several software categories including:

  • Dental software
  • Mental health software
  • SEO software
  • Social media software