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Sprout Social Website Review

The Sprout Social website is an innovative utility to manage multiple social network presence, from a single and efficient platform.

Gauging by client feedback, this clever little package is proving itself a resourceful and increasingly popular tool. Sprout Social qualifies the idea that, application simplicity and functional sophistication can exist inherently, in a well-designed application.

Clients are able to manage brand communication in the various social media forums with ease – effortlessly publishing, monitoring, and measuring outcomes across networks. Wide-ranging reporting and expedient analytics lend further value to this product, with data delivered in slick, presentation-ready reports. The simplicity of the platform and ease of use will be appreciated by many a “stretched-too-thin” PR manager or “stressed-by-deadlines” ad executive.

Background

The company was founded in 2010 and the domain, which has been operative for a little more than 3 years, draws high volumes of international traffic, and is funded by venture capital stalwarts, NEA and Lightbank. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Sprout Social currently has a dedicated staff compliment of 35 employees. The domain is 3 years old and draws large volumes of Traffic with a global viewership.

Customers, Ratings & Reviews

Sprout Social  has a worthy list of international clients  including Yahoo, Microsoft, Logitech, McDonalds and Greenpeace, to name but a few.  Red Mango, a national US franchise uses Sprout Social to manage over 150 Facebook pages while Social Katy (a pure play social media marketing agency) uses the platform to handle the online presence for clients across all social media channels. Developers have cleverly included video clips and plenty of comments from happy customers in their portfolio, with feedback providing a good sounding board to assess Sprout Social’s customer satisfaction levels. Katie Holland, Social Media Supervisor for McDonalds USA, finds that the platform provides “…easy-to-use functionality… being able to track conversations, assign tasks and search keywords….” Annette Penney from Inspire and Acquire claims that she: “couldn’t manage…  client’s social media accounts without Sprout Social…” Editorial reviews are also positive. Ask Aaron Lee  is a blog, which advises companies how best to agitate business growth by leveraging social media.

The author, Aaron Lee finds that Sprout Social has many benefits for small businesses such as competitor comparisons, simple and “beautiful” reporting, and a Location Manager that allows you to find out who checks-in at your location. The author cites navigation in certain features as being “slow”, and would like to see the inclusion of an “Influential User” Search utility. We tend to concur with Aaron about sluggish navigation in certain areas.

Trust Indicators & Analytics

According to Woo Rank  Trust Indicators,  Sprout Social  sits comfortably in the upper ninety percentile scoring a 95% Trust Rating,  while Scam Advisor gives it a 100% Safety Score.

Sprout Social scores an overall 82.1 Site Rating on Woo Rank. Diagnostics further identifies “zero room for improvement”. The site’s Alexa rankings  shows it as ranking at the 6,855th most visited site in the world, and the 3,602nd most visited site in the US. The site appeals more to Caucasians, with visitors consisting mostly of childless women and college graduates, aged 24-35, browsing from work and earning above $30,000. Its Google page ranking gets a Medium Impact rating and tested against the keywords: “Sprout Social, sproutsocial, and social sprout,” it is ranked at #1. Woo Rank lists competitors in Google as:

Analytics show Sprout Social to be very popular on social networks. @SproutSocial has an impressive 34,177 Twitter followers with loads of interaction and re-tweets. Its Facebook Fan Page received a 1780 likes and 990 shares from fans. . It is included in 3275 circles on Google+  and has a well-connected LinkedIn profile.

Security

Sprout Social uses SSL 128-bit encryption, 100% of the time on every device. It is also a Twitter Certified Product and a Twitter Certified Products Program partner for Engagement and Analytics. Facebook validates Sprout Social as Preferred Marketing Developer in the areas of Facebook Page management & Insights. Google Safe Browsing diagnostics clears it as a Safe Browsing site and the certificate can be viewed at:

http://google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=http://sproutsocial.com

Design

Good design and super ease of navigation gets skillfully blended with simple and impact-full copy, which leaves viewers with a clear idea of what Sprout Social offers. Unique selling points of the service are delivered in unfussy bullets of easy to digest copy. Brilliant marketing is employed to engage the audience and overall, the site’s trendy, upbeat design is spot-on for the market it speaks to.

Pricing

Pricing presents some concern as to whether the offering may be effective in large companies and established ad agencies with bigger (and ever growing) client bases. The Standard Package (@ $39/user) is positioned toward small businesses. It manages up to 20 profiles and includes basic reporting & analytics, social inbox and some brand monitoring. The Deluxe Package (@ $59/user) is geared at “growing companies “and manages up to 40 profiles (20 additional profiles for the $20 increase in cost) and includes extras such as Complete Audience Engagement and Google Analytics Integration. The Premium ($99/user) package facilitates up to 50 profiles (only 10 more profiles for the $40 increase in price) and even more features.

Granted, some nifty extras are allowed for with each increase, which should affect price (see detailed breakdown on the Pricing Page). However, constraints of a 50-profile ceiling in the deluxe package could pose a problem. A typical large agency collaborates across many disciplines (strategic planning, media buying, copy, design, and production) to develop, produce, and coordinate various promotional campaigns. Notwithstanding the varying levels of engagement in each area, a $99/user/month scenario may prove costly while possibly just falling short of servicing the full range of users due to the profile ceiling.

Trial Policy

To their credit however, one must weigh this concern against the high customer satisfaction levels. Furthermore, the 30-day trial offer should prove effective in addressing these concerns. Like everything else about the site, signing up for the test run is beautifully simple and there is no trick need to furnish credit details upfront.

If you’re happy with the product after 30 days, you’ll asked to submit your billing details and will then be billed monthly for the service. Should you change your mind later you cancel at any time. If you cancel before the end of a billing period, you will retain access until that billing period is over.

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