As a talent leader working for a non-profit organization that is heavily vested in social media, I'm constantly looking for new tools and resources that increase our efficiency and enable us to have a greater impact in our recruiting and employment branding efforts. My budget is limited which generally steers me towards free, or nominal cost, platforms. It has to be a pretty valuable tool for me to make an exception to that rule. Sprout Social is one of them.
Founded in 2010, Sprout Social is a social media management platform that allows you to actively manage a variety of social media channels. The platform features robust analytics and a reasonable price point for SMB's and non-profits (pricing details below). Sprout is a private company backed by the venture funds of NEA and Lightbank.
I've been using Sprout for several months now, and it's become one of my 'must have' social media resources. The biggest value for me is efficiency and time-savings. I'm involved in the management of nine social media platforms (across Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn). I also manage three hashtag communities. The 'smart inbox' feature is an invaluable time-saver that aggregates all of that content into one stream I can review through the web or a mobile device. Sprout also provides the ability to 'pin' tasks. If you have multiple users managing your social media accounts, you can use this feature to delegate follow-up and assign tasks to team members.
There are some limitations that in my mind prevent Sprout from being an all-in-one social media platform. I prefer Buffer for scheduling as it allows more flexibility in scheduling send patterns for multiple channels. I also feel HootSuite and TweetDeck are better real-time social media monitoring platforms with their multi-column displays.
The above limitations notwithstanding, Sprout has become the most valuable tool in my social media tool belt. While there are other enterprise platforms out there that do all of this and more, Sprout's feature-rich capabilities and price point make it a solid tool for many organization's social media management efforts.
- Website: http://www.sproutsocial.com
- Cost: Pricing starts at $39/user per month for the entry-level 'Standard Plan'. You can expand your feature set at two other plans, including Deluxe ($59) and Premium ($99). Full pricing details can be found here. *Note: they do offer non-profit discounts, so if that applies to you be sure to ask.
- Mobile Friendly: Very - they have Android and iOS mobile apps for iPhone and iPad that are feature-rich and deliver almost all of the functionality of the website.
- Recruiter Benefits: Numerous. Managing multiple social media accounts, hashtag community management or tracking, keyword monitoring, built-in RSS reader, boomarklet for easy sharing, engagement analytics and reporting, conversation history, scheduled publishing and more. The 'smart inbox' is the single biggest time saver if you actively manage multiple accounts.
- Rating: 9/10