Sprout Social Review

Can Sprout Social help you grow and manage your social media presence, even on a large scale?

With built-in publishing, trend-watching and engagement tools for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, it looks like a promising solution for both individuals and teams.

Check out the video review below to see what Sprout Social is really made of:

Sprout Social Video


Quick Notes

  • Beautiful interface, very smooth and easy to operate.
  • Great messaging features.
  • RSS reader a bit sluggish, unfortunately.
  • Good tools for discovering and connecting with influencers.
  • Auto-scheduling is a let-down compared to Buffer and Hootsuite. Sprout wants $99/month/user before smart auto-scheduling becomes available. With Buffer, you get it for free (tweroid connection) and with Hootsuite you get from a 10th of the price.
  • Amazing stats and demographic insights (including Google Analytics integration)

Bottom line: fantastic user interface, beautiful and very detailed stats, great tools for team collaboration and tools for finding and engaging influencers make Sprout Social a very cool tool indeed.

Get a free trial of this tool here!

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About the Author Shane Melaugh

I'm the founder of ActiveGrowth and Thrive Themes and over the last years, I've created and marketed a dozen different software, information and SaaS products. Apart from running my business, I spend most of my time reading, learning, developing skills and helping other people develop theirs. On ActiveGrowth, I want to help you become a better entrepreneur and product creator. Read more about my story here.

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  • Thanks for such a thoughtful review of Sprout Social, Shane! Loved hearing about your experience with the app and completely agree with your point about social media metrics – the data is only useful if you take action on those results. We do our best to make that data easily digestible, so users have more actionable insight into their social media presence.

    While our Queue feature is similar to other products’ offerings, we use our patent-pending ViralPost technology to look specifically at your individual followers to determine optimal send times (I believe most use aggregate data). This software is expensive to run, hence the higher price point. However, users of all plan levels still have the option to queue posts to send throughout the day (as you mentioned).

    Again, thanks so much for taking the time to check us out and share your thoughts! Much appreciated.

    Brit Thompson
    Social Marketing Manager | Sprout Social

    • Shane says:

      Thanks, Brit!

      ViralPost is pretty interesting. I don’t know the details of how other tools handle this. And not for lack of searching, either. I’ve found it quite difficult to find information about the auto-scheduling features in most tools.

  • Steve Pots says:

    There are many ways to skin a cat but for 99 bucks or even 30 something a month it is hard to say who is skinning who here. I don’t think a blogger will dump hootsuite for this and the lager social media managers will need more than 50 accounts so I do think they need to rethink their target market. This sort of reminds me of one of those tiny sports cars that is too expensive for the average motorist and is too small for a fat cat to fit into and still look cool. Yay for two cat references in one post. Meow!

    • Shane says:

      I agree that the pricing doesn’t compare well to Hootsuite, but you have to take a look at both ends of the spectrum to see where Sprout positions itself.

      On the low end, you have Hootsuite as well as many free and freemium tools like TweetDeck and Buffer. On the high end, you have enterprise level social media management tools that cost 4-5 figures per month.

      Sprout Social is definitely not on the low end and I doubt they have many bloggers and solopreneurs as customers. At the same time, they are a cheaper solution than an enterprise tool for medium sized businesses. I agree that increasing the account cap would probably make sense, when targeting social media managers, though.

  • Steve Pots says:

    Well I would be interested to know what social media tools cost 4 to 5 figures a month. Besides that… the most important part about social media is interaction with your followers so in this area Sprout might look better than most but I don’t think it outperforms any other social media tool here. Auto-scheduling is a reach killer on Facebook and Twitter followers who actually read tweets (less than 10% of users) hate spammed Tweets. Basically all social media tools that attempt to duplicate human interaction are instantly handicapped because at the end of the day social media is about being social and followers want to see that a human is communicating with them not a tool. Sprout does look like it is useful for sure and yes they do look good but they are just among the many who are out there proclaiming the benefits of social media while not really offering anything new. I also have to admit that I have not used the tool so my opinion here has no value so yes I will give their tool a try and see what I think of it after a month. As always Shane you gave us the no BS review on a tool and it is up to each of us to go formulate our own opinions now. I do look forward to your next review.
    Ps. Have you considered coming up with a plugin for WP that can auto promote posts on a bunch of social networks, free blogging platforms and bookmarking sites? Something that can put each and every posts everywhere will save bloggers time and help them gain actual traffic and possibly better SERP. Great selling points to anybody who works with sites and blogs is “Saves you time” “More traffic” and “Better SERP” You combine those three things in one plugin and you will be doing your future videos from the inside of a yacht rather than your closet. lol

    • Shane says:

      There’s a post about enterprise level SMMS that you might find interesting, here.

      Auto-scheduling is awesome, in my opinion. But it’s awesome for one reason only: it allows me to batch-process one part of social media activity. I can go through my reader and queue up links to stuff I find interesting in one session. Plus, add a few links to my own stuff. I can do that in one session, instead of spamming the messages all at once or trying to remember to share new stuff regularly.

      There are at least two other parts of the equation: engaging with the right people and answering questions/interacting. Those can’t be automated and they shouldn’t be automated. You’re right about that.

      I think the kind of plugin you have in mind already exists. For example, check out Social Networks Auto-Poster or WP Syndicator. I tested the latter when it was new (which is a while ago). It was very good, but I don’t know if it’s been kept up to date.

  • TJ Greene says:

    Sprout Social does look like a good option for established sites with deep pockets, but definitely not an option for the majority of bloggers, IMHO. And, because MY main market consists of mostly new bloggers (0 to 3 years blogging), I look for products/services that will serve them well, at an affordable price.

    As for WP Syndicator, I stopped using it awhile ago because it had some issues that weren’t being addressed by the developer, and it wasn’t regularly updated.

    I am currently using the free version of SNAP on one of my sites and am happy with it so far. It takes some set up, but any plugin of this nature does.

    SNAP is constantly being updated with bug fixes and new features. I will probably upgrade to the premium version soon to get support for multiple accounts and to be able to auto-post to G+. Since Google hasn’t yet provided a public API, SNAP’s premium version is one of very few options available for auto-posting to G+. From the looks of it, even Social Sprout doesn’t provide this ability.

    I am currently looking into a combination of SNAP, Hootsuite, and IFTTT to fully manage one’s social media activity.


    • Shane says:

      SNAP plus Hootsuite plus IFTTT sounds like a powerful combo!

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