My Sprout Social Review & Testing

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By Ewen Finser

Last Updated on March 25, 2024 by Ewen Finser

If you are trying to figure out if Sprout Social is the right social media management tool for our business, I’ll help you figure that out.

Today I’m going to be taking a close look at Sprout Social to see if it fits some of the common use cases in my businesses. Beyond that, I’ll recommend some uses cases where it makes the MOST sense and some alternatives that may be better fits for certain users.

I’ve had Sprout Social on my radar for quite some time, but haven’t given it an earnest shot in years. It’s one of MANY platforms in the social media landscape, but as I’ve learned, there’s a wide degree of variance when you get down to the implementation.

How Would I Describe Sprout Social in a Nutshell?

Whereas some platforms I’ve used are “specialists” like Later (for Instagram) and Tailwind (for Pinterest), Sprout Social is a true omnichannel social media platform.

Sprout integrates widely and provides advanced analytics tools, social listening, and even influencer management in one dashboard.

In this way, Sprout Social is best suited for established or fast growing brands that are looking to integrate diffuse customer touchpoints under one roof.

Top Sprout Social Features that Stood Out (to me)

Rather than going through an exhaustive list of ALL of the features (there are many), I’ll highlight some of the top ones that stood out and separated Sprout Social from the pack in my view.

  • Best In Class Integrations: Sprout Social integrates with all of the standard social integrations like Facebook, Insta, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc… but what I really like are their integrations OUTSIDE of the expected, including BI tools like Salesforce, Tableau and marketing suites like Hubspot, Marketing, Microsoft Dynamics, and comms tools like Teams and Slack. This makes it an especially valuable platform for growing SMBs with differentiated teams and mid to larger enterprises.
  • Social Listening: Of all of the social media platforms I’ve tried, I’m most impressed with Sprout Social’s “social listening” abilities, featuring an easy interface to monitor all kinds of networks (not just social, also forums, blogs, etc…). You can pick almost any source and filter using their “Query Builder” based on keywords (and negative keywords) to create the perfect filter for what you care about.
  • Workflows Built for Teams: While many social sharing platforms try to please everyone, Sprout Social is built for how modern teams (whether corporate, SMB, or agencies) work. I particularly like their publishing workflow with a built in mini-project management element for “approvals” and team input.
  • Built-in Link in Bio: This might seem like a small feature, but there’s entire platforms built for JUST this purpose & it’s great to have this included in their standard packages.
  • Smart Inbox: For those who don’t know, a “smart inbox” aggregates all of the latest posts across ALL of your integrated social platforms and lists them in one central view. This feature alone is quite valuable for figuring out what to action, just like a traditional email inbox. Sprout Social’s is really intuitive compared to other platforms I’ve tried.
  • Strong Reports & Analytics: Sprout Social goes beyond your standard social media reporting (e.g. post performance, etc..) and really builds a personalized social media marketing intelligence platform. In these views I can not only track my own insights, but also keep tabs on competitors!

Sprout Social Platform Integrations

Because integrations are SO important to gauge the utility of a social media platform like Sprout Social, I wanted to cover the core platforms a bit more closely.

Sprout Social has among the most expansive integration lists both in terms of social media platforms and third-party platforms.

Sprout Social directly integrates with the following social platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • Threads
  • X (formerly Twitter)
  • YouTube
  • Reddit
  • Tumblr

And they also integrate with these third-party business platforms:

  • Google Analytics
  • Tableau
  • Bynder
  • Adobe Experience Manager
  • Canva
  • Dropbox
  • Feedly
  • Google Drive
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Slack
  • Facebook Shops
  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce
  • Glassdoor
  • Google My Business
  • TripAdvisor
  • Google Play Store
  • Yelp
  • Apple App Store
  • Facebook Page Reviews
  • Facebook Messenger
  • WhatsApp
  • Google’s Business Messages
  • Salesforce
  • Hubspot
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • Zendesk
  • Marketo

All in all, Sprout Social has one of the deepest direct integration lists and has very intentionally integrated with the highest use platforms for mid to large organizations.

What Could Be Improved

No platform is perfect and I can definitely see some areas where Sprout Social might need some work to appeal to different business use cases.

That said, overall this is a really solid platform, so these critiques are more “wish list” oriented and less problems I can’t live with.

  • Pricing: While I understand the positioning towards mid to large enterprises, I wish there was an affordable “solo operator” version of Sprout Social. A lot of the tools could still be leveraged by a smaller company or individual, just in bite sized portions (and pricing).
  • LinkedIn & Instagram Specialized Features: For any ONE platform, Sprout Social might not be the best option out there. For example, Later caters more towards Instagram, with specific features that prolific marketers on that platform can benefit from (visually focused tools). Similarly, for LinkedIn power prospectors, there are some better dedicated tools to maximize that specific platform.
Deal Alert
Save on Sprout?

If you want to give Sprout Social a shot but are nervous about the pricing, take advantage of their 25% annual pricing discount right now.

Save 25% Today
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Who is Sprout Social NOT Right for?

You’ll get my take on who Sprout Social is RIGHT for at the end, but it’s worth mentioning who is likely to be disappointed by Sprout Social at this point.

  • Solo Operators: If you are just looking for a social automation platform to better leverage your time and maximize distribution, Sprout Social is probably overkill for you. You might not even be able to action a fraction of their (great) features anyway and it only starts to make sense once you have a team around you.
  • Platform Specialists: Similarly, if you are primarily using just 1 or 2 social platforms to drive most of your results, you might be better served by something more bespoke to these platforms AND something less expensive with less breadth.

So if one of these profiles seems closer to where you are at, it’s not that Sprout Social is a bad platform, just that your unlikely to maximize the value of it.

Next, I’ll take a look at some of the options you may want to consider instead OR just keep in mind to contrast Sprout Social against…

Sprout Social vs the Competition

I’ve used a LOT of social media tools over the years, starting with pioneers like Buffer and Hootsuite “back in the day” when social media automation was just starting to be a thing.

So, I’ve included some near-peer competitors that may give you a different look, price point, or use cases depending on your objectives and resource constraints.

  • Later: If you are power using Instagram and TikTok, Later is a more specialized platform (started just for Instagram) that may be worth a look. Read my full Later review for more details.
  • SocialBee: SocialBee is a good budget alternative if you are managing dozens of accounts across multiple brands. This would be a good option for a HoldCo with multiple brands OR (most likely) an agency or marketer with a portfolio of clients. Full SocialBee review.
  • SocialPilot: SocialPilot is a good option for growing Agencies who want similar features, but at a slightly better pricing scale. Not as deep on social listening or business intelligence, but some good native tools for LinkedIn and other areas where Sprout Social might be a bit weaker.
  • Brandwatch: If you like the business intelligence aspects of Sprout Social or want to dive deep into influencer identification and marketing, Brandwatch is one of the heaviest “data driven” social media management platforms out there. It’s almost to the point where the social sharing is an afterthought. BUT, if this is what you need, Brandwatch might be a good focused social intelligence alternative.
  • Sprinklr: Similarly, if the main value added for you is social listening, Sprinklr goes DEEP here and is worth a look. You could pair it with a more traditional social sharing option like Buffer or Hootsuite.
  • Sendible: If you are looking to white label social media services & tech, Sendible is a good alternative.
  • Tailwind: Similar to how Later is built for Instagram, Tailwind started as a deep platform management tool for Pinterest, specifically. If Pinterest is your main game, Tailwind is worth a look.
Deal Alert
Save on Sprout?

If you want to give Sprout Social a shot but are nervous about the pricing, take advantage of their 25% annual pricing discount right now.

Save 25% Today
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Who is Sprout Social Right For?

So who should use Sprout Social? I really hate when I read reviews without this type of qualification. It’s not perfect for everyone, so my “review” does really depend on the use case.

  • Do you have multiple business platforms and teams? If you have a larger enterprise or organization with different functionalities or teams, the integrations and data pipe from Sprout Social is invaluable. If this sounds like you, Try Social First (demo or 30 day free trial).
  • Is “social listening” important to your business? Sprout has some excellent social listening and reputation management tools built right into the platform. If monitoring your brand is important, go with Sprout Social.
  • Managing influencers and leveraging influencer marketing? Sprout has really made strides here with their unique influencer marketing platform to identify, engage and measure content creators. If this is something you can leverage, go with Sprout Social.
  • Running an agency? The breadth and depth of Sprout Social’s tools, as well as the more premium pricing, make it a great value-add for agencies to offer their clients as part of their services. If you are a growing agency, give Sprout Social a demo.

That’s all I have for today, thanks for reading! If you have experience or feedback to share re: Sprout Social, let me know in the comments.

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