My Honest and Unbiased Review of Sprout Social

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Disclaimer: I wasn’t paid to review this, I review this on my own free will and nobody put a gun at my puppy head asking me for a review. (oh don’t get any ideas)

If you notice at the side bar, there is an image from Sprout Social, that is because I know some people from Sprout Social and they are amazing people, they were kind enough to give a chance to play around with the tool.

So… Ask me what I think of Sprout social

I like it…

Ask me again what I think of it.

I reaaally like it

Okay ask me what i reaaally think of it.

Okay, if you insist.. here are my unbiased review of what i REALLY think of Sprout Social.

Sprout Social Review

Pros

Affordable -  One thing that makes this tool attractive is the price. I recommend small businesses to try this tool. If you’re wary, there is a 30 days free professional account or business account (not affiliate link, its a tracking link). If you like it, you will only need to pay a small fee of $9.00 a month for a pro account and $49 for business account. All you need to do is sacrifice 3 cups of coffee for a pro account, which is definitely worth the tool seeing what you will get from using this.

Easy and beautiful report - I understand that companies that manage social media accounts for clients are always seeking for report because they have to send to their clients. With sprout social, it will ease your work by a ton as it automatically creates a beautiful and colorful report with your company logo.  So even if you don’t have an eye for design, you’ll still be able to generate a report with a click of a button.

Compare with competitors - You can also compare yourself with a competitor. Comparison will show the number of daily mentions, % engagements, and you’ll also see who’s talking to them and find out if you’re following them or not.

Conversation history - Sometimes it’s through to remember every conversation you had with a customer. With the history function you’ll be able to check past conversation with your customers. What a great way to show your appreciate to a customer by remembering every conversation!

Search - This is definitely a feature that all social management tools has and one of the most important feature in social media. Listening. You’ll be able to search based on location or country.

Customizable inbox - You’ll be able to customize what you want to show in your inbox such as mentions, DM’s, retweets (from the retweet feature from twitter) and new followers. For small businesses, you can thank new followers for following you when they just followed you.

Influential users: Want to know who’s influential? This tool shows you by putting a star symbol in the conversation. Star = Influential. Remember that. This star will be shown on tweets as well as DM’s.

Location Manager – It’s a feature that allows you to find out who checks-in at your location. I don’t use it but I just registered a location to review it. (will update about this soon). What I notice is you’ll be able to find influential people who checks in. More on this soon….

Other features includes

  • Scheduling
  • RSS (Automatically post when there is an update)

Cons

Certain features are slow - I notice navigating some features is slow. Either that or I have a really crappy internet connection (which I do).

Influencer user search: I think what’s missing is the ability to search for influential users. What I would like to do is insert a keyword, and I’ll be able to find influential users according to sprout social or klout in a particular location.

No Facebook search - I think the Facebook search would be a great additional tool to Sprout Social. This is because Facebook search is really bad. If you think finding a needle in a haystack is tough, try using Facebook search function. However I understand there is a problem with Facebook api’s.

No Mobile app - Mobile will be HUGE in 2012. Currently there is a no mobile app for sprout social yet compared to hootsuite or cotweet for business.

Oh.. There is also no sentiment analysis search at the moment.

Conclusion

Overall, in my honest opinion, sprout social (not affiliate link) is a great product designed for small business owners. The price tag makes it affordable any small business to use and compete with the big guys. Best part is you’ll be able to try it for 30 days free.

How about you? Have you tried Sprout Social yet? I’d love to hear what you think!

 

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  • markwschaefer

    Sold! I’ll have to try it out!

  • AskAaronLee

    @markwschaefer Awesome Mark, let me know what your thoughts when you try it :))

  • DaveGallant

    I’ve used SproutSocial for awhile and loved it. The only downfall has been trying to pay through paypal. Doesn’t seem to work for me :(

  • AskAaronLee

    @DaveGallant Hopefully someone from the Sprout Social team can address to this. I love payment via Paypal because for some reasons credit cards from my country gets rejected a lot. Its tough for me to pay for amazon and 1shoppingcart. Glad to hear you love it Dave. Cheers

  • http://sproutsocial.com/ Brittany at Sprout Social

    Thanks so much for the review, Aaron! I think you hit on some really great features of Sprout Social. And hold tight, the iPhone app is right around the corner!

  • AskAaronLee

    @Brittany at Sprout Social My pleasure Brittany, again thank you for connecting with me and allowing me to try it. YES! I heard the iphone app is around the corner. Looking forward to it.

  • npturner

    Hey Dave! I just started following you on Twitter (@npturner). DM me your email if you want to try to work out the PayPal issue. Thanks!

  • http://justicewordlaw.com/ Justicewordlaw

    Thanks for sharing this Aaron. I have been looking at joining Sprout Social for awhile now and trying to figure out if it would be a good fit or not. Maybe I will check out this trial to see if I like it or not.

  • AskAaronLee

    @Justicewordlaw Sure, its definitely worth trying out. Do check the features to see if it fits your needs. Let me know what you think after you’ve tried it mate

  • SharelOmer

    Go @AskAaronLee :)

    Thanks for sharing great tools, and enable all of us to make better social media efforts :)

    The big problem is that after trial they ask you to upgrade or delete the account, i wish they would add also a free version :)

    Go Aaron, keep sharing great tools for all of us :)

    Sharel

  • AskKim

    This looks like a really interesting blend of two tools I currently use, Connected (now owned by LinkedIn) and CrowdBooster. I’d been saying they’d be happily married into one product LOL. Currently however, the features I use in both are free so it would take a lot more than meeting that feature set to get me to pay for that. I’d definitely be interested in having a look at this though as it seems it could be an interesting tool. Thanks for the reveiw.

  • http://sproutsocial.com/ Brittany at Sprout Social

    @AskKim Hey Kimberly! I’d love to set up a demo for you, if you’re interested in checking out Sprout Social. Might be helpful to see all the features of the tool and how they apply to you. Feel free to email Sprout Social or DM me (britmorse ). Have a great day!

  • bettis

    Last week, I did a ‘walk through’ of Sprout Social with a member of their sales team. I, too, am impressed. He told me that Sprout Social 2 is due out this week or the next. He said that the second version included a mobile app, Facebook search, Google+ support, and the ability to set up an identities without a twitter account (Currently you must have a twitter account associated with any identity, which limits usage for folks who exist primarily on Facebook, etc.). Just wanted to pass that along.

  • AskKim

    Hey Brittany, I sent you a DM with my email address. I’d love to have a look inside a demo. Let me know by email if you need anything else. Look forward to having a look under the hood!

    Kim

  • http://sproutsocial.com/ Brittany at Sprout Social

    @AskKim Got it! Thanks Kim.

  • socialamateur

    I have been using Sprout Social for a few months now (maybe 4?), and I absolutely love it. I can’t imagine NOT having it any more. I recently wrote about all the reasons at http://www.socialamateur.com/2011/12-reasons-to-love-sprout-social/.

    Not having a mobile app is definitely a down side for me right now. While I access the full site on my ipad, I just cant do it on my phone, which means I’m back to just using individual network apps. The only other issue I have with Sprout Social is tweetchats. I refresh and refresh – sometimes it works for a bit, but then it just seems to time out. I’ve gone to tweetchat.com for most of these now.

  • Sharingforce

    Love it! I’ve been using it for about a month and it is absolutely fantastic. Their customer service is way beyond my expectations. I love the shortcut keys. Just hit 1-7 (i think) for different commands on your taskbar. #6 takes us to our twitter timeline, which I love.

    Obviously, a mobile app would be a great improvement, but honestly, I just dont think I’d use it that much. At least for me, my laptop is so portable, that I almost always have it with me. That said, I would for sure love the option. Especially if wifi service is not available.

    Great review.

  • http://sproutsocial.com/ Brittany at Sprout Social

    Happy to hear that you were impressed with your Sprout Social demo, @bettis ! What features did you find most useful or impressive?

    Also, just wanted to clear up a few things up! We are keeping an eye on Google+ to see how it can benefit businesses, but it is not currently part of our next release. Regarding setting up identities without a Twitter account, we will be adding a new account structure, which will allow for more flexibility in how you organize your accounts. New users will still need a Twitter account initially to sign up, but you can group your profiles together after that and not be restricted to a Twitter account for each group.

    Again, glad that you had such a great ‘walk through’ of Sprout Social and are so enthusiastic about the new improvements!

  • http://sproutsocial.com/ Brittany at Sprout Social

    @socialamateur Thanks for being such a huge fan, Melissa! And the iPhone app will definitely be part of our next release, so it’s coming very soon.

  • http://sproutsocial.com/ Brittany at Sprout Social

    Thanks for the Sprout Love, @Sharingforce ! And excited to hear that you’ve had such a positive experience with our support team (I think they’re rockstars, too!). Mobile apps are coming soon, but happy that you’re still enjoying the web version!

  • rayhiltz

    I have tried it and especially liked the reports. I’m a long time (as long as you can be on social media) Hootsuite user so for awhile, I was sending clients Sprout Social reports and managing the accounts on Hootsuite. I couldn’t rationalize using both and since Hootsuite was a little less expensive, dropped SS. I think the issue I had was scheduling.

    Based on this review, I think I’ll give it another shot because I really did like the interface and reports very much.

  • phillipdodd

    I am a huge fan of Sprout Social. I’ve been using it for five days, and it’s already become an invaluable part of my workflow. It makes replying to any mentions or DM’s super simple, and having folks who follow me show up in my inbox waiting for me to decide whether or not to follow them back is fantastic.

    Currently, I use HootSuite to keep up with my various streams and to schedule, and I use Sprout Social for its analytics, and inbox, as well as keeping my followers/following list clean. I dig their suggestions as well.

  • phillipdodd

    @rayhiltz Nice running into you! :D

  • phillipdodd

    @Brittany at Sprout Social@Sharingforce I’m glad to hear that there are mobile apps on the way! Exciting :)

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  • gwenmorrison

    Thanks for posting this! I just signed up a few days ago for the free trial and am finding it a huge time saver for reporting. I also use it for quick snapshot of analytics (GA) for myself and for clients. Totally worth the investment if you manage several accounts.

  • AskAaronLee

    @socialamateur Hello. Wow, those are really good reasons, thanks for sharing. Its great that Spout social is listening to every comment and taking action. Hope to play around with the mobile app. Will definitely make things easier. I agree with the tweet chats, for some reason i always prefer using twitter.com for tweetchats and not applications/tools.

  • AskAaronLee

    @AskKim Thanks for stopping by Kim, we will never have enough of tools. I will definitely try connected and crowbooster. I have heard about them but have not taken the time to use it. Thanks for commenting and my pleasure for the review :))

  • AskAaronLee

    @SharelOmer Hello Sharel, my pleasure. Yeah but i think the price is definitely worth it seeing that you get tons of great features.

  • AskAaronLee

    @bettis Wow, that would be great additions. Definitely will wait to see what is coming in Sprout 2.0. thanks for sharing,

  • AskAaronLee

    @Sharingforce Thanks! thank you for stopping by and comment as well. Wow, I didn’t know there was a shortcut key. Will definitely play around and will definitely make things easier.

    Glad you like it too. Quite true seeing that laptop is portable but I think it would be great addition for those who travels in the subway/mrt a lot. (like me lol). Its too crowded for a laptop.

  • AskAaronLee

    @phillipdodd Yeah, hope to review the mobile app soon. @Brittany at Sprout Social @Sharingforce

  • AskAaronLee

    @phillipdodd Yes i agree with your point, i think the inbox showing new followers is great, small businesses will get to connect with new people/follow them in an instant. Customers will definitely be happy and feel appreciated.

  • AskAaronLee

    @rayhiltz Awesome, let me know what you think when you try again. The report is definitely beautiful and clients will appreciate for sure.

    As for scheduling tweets, seeing that you’re a long time user of hootsuite there is a lot of getting used to. I’m a cotweet user and I prefer to schedule tweets using cotweet. However sprout social has different advantages for sure compared to cotweet and hootsuite.

  • AskAaronLee

    @gwenmorrison I agree, i’ve tried other tools and not many can produce a report like what I have in spoutsocial. thanks for stopping by and commenting Gwen.

  • rayhiltz

    @AskAaronLee The scheduling aspect was the one that I found myself going back to Hootsuite for. Just downloaded SS again; it’s pretty ;-)

  • AskAaronLee

    @rayhiltz I know right. I think you’re gonna love SS 2. Its prettier.

  • katiecolihan

    I’m giving the 30 day free trial a go as well. The fact that you can have up to 5 identities is great. The only Con for me thus far is the lack of a mobile app. In order for Sprout to stay in the game, they definitely need to incorporate that ASAP.

  • SharelOmer

    @AskAaronLee Indeed, great features…

    while reading your post i started thinking… We all use daily the social media clients to manage our feed, tools like co-tweet (we know you love them :) ) or hootsuite, tweetdeck etc, how do you see sprout-social compared to them? does it replace them all together or complete them ? we have now many tools to solve different pains in SM and it will be very interesting to see where you position this compare to the others :)

    Thanks,

    Sharel

  • phillipdodd

    @katiecolihan I agree. Using the Inbox feature mobile style is an exciting concept to me.

  • phillipdodd

    @gwenmorrison Same here, Gwen. Folks that I deal with like to keep a close eye on things, so it’s great to be able to provide a ‘quick snapshot’ as you said!

  • phillipdodd

    @rayhiltz@AskAaronLee Being pretty is definitely important. Haha! Can HootSuite set up recurring tweets? If so, I’ve missed learning how to do that.

  • SharelOmer

    Hi @Askkim,
    Thanks for sharing, this is really interesting :)
    How do you see CrowdBooster & Connected (which are great) give you value compared to social media clients like hootsuite, tweetdeck ? what will be your vision of blend of tools ?
    Thanks,
    Sharel

    Thanks,
    Sharel

  • maxinemaxxy

    I’ve been a paying customer of sprout social since Jan 2011 and it’s so great I’ve moved a lot of our work over to this now. The main benefits for me are the ways to interact with clients whilst working on the day to day stuff such as the email link.

    Interesting you make the point about search and listening and this is the biggie for me with Sprout as I really enjoy the discovery alerts by geographical radius.

    I don’t use the location based services features too much as they aren’t relevant for me. I use the people search by twitter profile a lot along with the linkedin updates.

    I have to say the support team are super! They have always responded to all manner of feedback professionally and quickly.

    A thing that I would like to see soon would be more for Youtube to add in alerts, subscribes, messages, comments and ratings etc.

    I also find that I keep discovering new whizzy stuff on sprout too :)

  • rayhiltz

    @phillipdodd@AskAaronLee It can, but I find it cumbersome (csv sheet etc), so end up doing it manually. Which might be a good thing as it dissuades one from over automating.

  • http://sproutsocial.com/ Brittany at Sprout Social

    @rayhiltz@AskAaronLee Hey guys! We’re always looking for ways to improve, so feel free to send suggestions to support [at] sproutsocial [dot] com (like how to make the scheduling feature even better). Love hearing all the great feed back though… and flattered you think we’re pretty! I’d like to think we have beauty AND brains though ;)

  • http://sproutsocial.com/ Brittany at Sprout Social

    @katiecolihan The iPhone app is coming very very soon, Katie! It’s currently in beta testing and will definitely be part of our next release. Hope you’re enjoying the web app in the mean time!

  • AskAaronLee

    @katiecolihan Hi Katie, thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts, i agree with the mobile part to stay in the game, like what @Brittany at Sprout Social commented below, the mobile app will be here soon. I sense its going to be good.

  • AskAaronLee

    @phillipdodd There will be a new navigation soon i think. It will be easier to navigate and much prettier :)) @katiecolihan