Social Media Management With Sprout Social [Video Review]

This week I've taken a deeper look into Sprout Social's social media management software. I've been using their tools for around 5/6 months now and I'm really impressed. Before this, I was using Hootsuite but I didn't really like the interface that much - this is where I believe that Sprout Social really excels. If you're looking for a fully integrated social media management and analytics tool then this could be worth checking out. Anyway, check out the full video review and tutorial below and see for yourself...

Video Transcript

Hi this is Matt from Find My Blog Way. I'm going to show you the Sprout Social social analytics tool that you can use to manage all of your social media accounts, track performance and do a few other little things that I'll show you within this tutorial.

Here is the overview dashboard for Wow Internet, You can link up your Twitter account and your Facebook account. I've got my personal LinkedIn account, and I'll show you why I have that linked up there. A really good recent feature is you can link up your Google+ accounts, which is fantastic, and also your [Google] Analytics.

Once you've logged in you can set up all of your sites in the settings area in the top right. Really easy to do. Adding all your accounts takes a couple of minutes, so you can have everything within this one area. If you've got multiple accounts that you manage, you can create multiple groups and it's really simple to do so you can have all of your clients or all of your different websites, all in one area that you're managing through one simple dashboard. You can also have team members who login which is another great thing if you're with an agency, or just work on projects together with people. I'll talk you through this dashboard page so you can have an overview.

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Your incoming messages, which are mentions of your brand, messages or tweets through the twitter page, or Facebook page messages, sent messages, etc. This is just within the past week. So if we do the past month, we can have a little look at some interactions we've got. We get a nice overview here of the Facebook and Twitter demographics. Straight away you can login and say, Twitter followers, we've got 77 male followers, most of which are between that 35 and 44 age group. Probably due to the fact that we have a lot of SEOs following us. We've got our Facebook impression demographics, so again quite a large male following. A nice breakdown so if you wanted to pull off reports, Sprout Social does have loads of reporting options which I'll get on to, but these can be nice little screen grabs if you just want quick snippets. You can go down and see the Twitter page.

Sprout has its own metrics that it uses. It's engagement metrics, it's influence metrics, out of 100 so how engaging you are. What's the type of messages that you're sending. Are you just tweeting information and talking at people or are you actually engaging with people. This could be really good especially when we do cross comparisons between accounts.

It has a quick overview of how many extra page likes or page unlikes, the actual impressions coming through. Likewise with Google+, you can have a quick overview. How many +1's we've had, some comments and re-shares of our posts on the Wow Internet Google+ page and how many +1's we've got on there. So a really good overview dashboard which is great. You can see here, there's another little bookmark which you can use for Sprout Social which is fantastic. You can connect Feedly now, this a new feature so you can sink up all of your RSS feeds which you'll see in a moment why that can be particularly useful.

Lets go through to the messages tab. Messages are essentially any kind of interaction that people have had with you. We have recently been tweeted by O2 Business, this has actually to do with a competition that we won, and we've been mentioned within that blog. We've got the Institute of Asian Businesses coming through here tweeting us. We've got some new followers, so as you can see there's loads of stuff here that's all coming through. Some people tweeting us, Victor Pan tweeting us, loads of stuff here that you can see everything in one place. Now, you can also filter this stuff down. Maybe I don't want to see the private messages on Facebook, or any of my user comments or user wall posts. I don't want to know about new followers, I just want to know when we've been mentioned in tweets. Quickly straight away you can see all the mentions in tweets and when they were done. From here I can then instantly reply to that tweet. I can reply to all and I can do this straight away, attach an image, add to the post. I can view O2s profile, view any history that we've had with speaking with him, just in case other team members have spoken to him, I can view a full history. I'm not going to respond just yet, but that's great. I can also create a task, so like you would within your CRM, you can assign this to either yourself or to other people and you can say, “Follow up with this twitter user”, and you can mark that as a general task, a sales lead, a support issue, mark it high priority. I can assign it to myself or if I add some other members, I can add it in there, and then you can save that. Really good team based CRM stuff that you can do here.

We can also look for brand mentions, so if we type in Wow Internet within here, as you can imagine, the results you get with that really vary depending on your brand. With Wow Internet, the huge internet provider in the US that is also called Wow Internet, we get a load of stuff coming through from there. But on top of that you can also have stuff that you could be specifically tracking certain mentions. So if there's a specific hashtag that you put out, maybe you want to just track that specific hashtag, there is a huge potential here for picking up on stuff that you wouldn't normally; where you haven't necessarily been mentioned by a twitter handle. Which is quite often the case. You can also archive things, we've got nothing in the archive at the moment, but if you wanted to archive specific things to have a look later, press this button and then you can put that through. Can be particularly good if you're using that for stuff that's going to be put in a report at the end of the month, or a follow up on things.

You've then got the tasks here. We've got no tasks to display here, but what you can do is once you've assigned a load of tasks whether that's to your team or to yourself, you can view a nice overview of them here, see what type of task it is. If it's just a support issue, if it's a general task, if an actual lead ... So if you're doing a lot of stuff through your Twitter which a lot of big businesses are, that is focused around customer service, this could be fantastic. You can really have a rapid response on all of your social media follow up. You can have a look at completed tasks or tasks across your whole team, so you can have a good overview of what's going on there.

Next is the feeds column. You've got your whole Twitter feed, so you don't even need to go and log into Twitter which is great. You can also have a look at specific lists that you've made. Lists that you follow, which is another fantastic feature. Maybe we want to just view people within Birmingham. Here we go, some social media Twitter users that we follow within our lists. So we can quickly go in and what we can then do is we can reply to those who use this. You've got other options where you can retweet, favourite, quote the message, email the message, translate it if you needed to, report it as spam. There's loads of other options that you can do. Lets have a look at the members of that list. Are you following this user? No, ok I can follow it straight away there. View their full profile, so lets say I want to ... here, and then I can add some more contact information. Maybe I know Allen personally, I can add in some stuff about the company, what his position is, his personal email, his phone number. We can then add him to a Twitter list, so you really have a lot more than just a social media dashboard. You've essentially got an outreach platform built in here as well. It can be really really powerful especially when you combine this with something like ...

Now, here's why I have my personal LinkedIn assigned onto this account as well. I can actually view my LinkedIn feed, so all the people that I'm connected to on LinkedIn I can see all the stuff that they're sharing and I can then interact. Maybe then share that across some of our other accounts. If you've connected your feedly accounts, you can then go into the RSS reader, view your whole feed. You can click over here in the top right hand corner, compose a message. Do I want to send this directly to my LinkedIn account? No I don't. I can send it to the Wow Internet Twitter account. I can do it straight to Google+ account or the Facebook account. And you can even do, for example, within Facebook, advanced targeting. You can target specific locations, languages, so it's not just very basic in that sense. When you've written your message, you can then schedule this to go out at specific dates or times. It's, as you can imagine, a really powerful tool. Then when you start scheduling in all of your posts, you can view a full publishing calendar, and so you can have a look what's going on ... you can have a look what's going on with what your other team members have posted, what's been posted from the RSS feed, any drafts that are there. You've got a full overview of your content schedule going through social media.

The discovery tab is a particularly good tab. This is fantastic for finding new twitter followers and also flushing out some of your other twitter followers that may be inactive, or if there's any spam accounts that have been added on there. Sprout will actually say, you're not following these people, this is who you should have a look at following because we think that these are relevant to you. You can also filter these by influential people. There's none in there at the moment. But you can quickly go through and start adding people, have a look at who they are, see exactly how many followers they have. People who you've conversed with, this is something that I find particularly useful. So we've conversed with a few of these people, or they have conversed with us. For example, James AK, we haven't actually added James yet, but we've spoken to him before on Twitter, so lets follow James now. He's been added to the Wow Internet's Twitter account. You can see loads of ways that you can stay on top of all of your people that you're engaging with and not miss out on opportunities for outreach. This is something that we do each day actually, going through and adding up some people. Likewise, people who have mentioned us. We've got these people that have mentioned us that we haven't actually added yet. So we can start adding some people through. Another great feature is the silent accounts. These people have displayed little or no activity recently. Sometimes if you've added ... of people which have actually become inactive accounts, you can then unfollow these guys straight away, so that you don't just have inactive and spamming accounts coming through to your account. This is a really good tool that you can use. Irregular usage as well, is ideal for spotting spam accounts. There's none showing in here at the moment. You've got ones where people that aren't actually following you back, but you are following these people on social media. You can have a quick overview of that as well. There's also the smart search feature, where you can discover new customers by searching for keywords that are related to your business. For example, SEO, lets just have a look here. Once that does a search, it will be looking across Twitter and Facebook. Again you can drill down here, for example, Birmingham UK within 50 miles of there, just Twitter users. Quickly and easily we can find people within our area related to our niche that we can then quickly add or engage with on Twitter. Find out what they're tweeting about quickly and easily in one dashboard. This is a particularly good feature of Sprout Social.

Now looking at the reports tab. Probably one of the strongest points of Sprout actually, in my opinion, is how good their reporting system is. You've got an overall report, so lets say the past 30 days. You can imagine if you've got clients that you're managing SEO, Social Media, and just in general, digital marketing for, and you want to get some more analysis done into a nice little report that you can hand over to them or just for personal use. This is fantastic so, you've got the group stats here. Having a look at how many of your messages have come through, how many things have been sent by yourself, new Twitter followers, and new Facebook fans. How many interactions, unique impressions and users. You've got demographics of your followers, how many male followers, how many female followers, what age they are. Have a look at daily mentions and retweets across the month. See how many in total, how many new followers, there's loads going on. Facebook stats, another really good graphical overview of seeing how many new followers, also the impressions per day. This can be particularly handy. Looking at how many impressions you receive on specific days of the week so that you can optimise when your key posts are going to be going out. Sprout also breaks down your impressions into organic, viral, and paid features so you've got a quick way of seeing exactly what sources of traffic you've built through to your social media accounts. Impressions by gender as well, this is another great feature, and also by location. You can download these reports into a really nice PDF, or to a CSV, and they look really good. You can have specific Facebook reports which go into a little more detail on Facebook stats. You can see how many people are sharing your content, the content that's performed well, and the kind of engagement you're getting on it. The top posts that you've had, how many people were reached, and how many were engaged. Likewise, Twitter has all sorts of features going on here. What I was talking about before with Tweeting behaviour was how much is actual conversation, how much are you engaging with people, and how much is just updates when you're maybe sharing a link to something or talking at people as opposed to talking to people which is really important. From there, they've put together an influence score which is how people react to that and how many people are engaged. So, this is another good metric that you can use for matching them. Then you've got some Twitter comparisons. You can put in some of your competitors. We can have a look at one of our local competitors, you can see ... engagement on our influence scores, where we can improve, what we can do. Another one of our competitors, we can get full reports pulled off here, you can see that we're doing a lot better than one of our competitors. You can imagine, if you've got a client that you're managing this for or you're working with a partner that you want to show how you're doing against some of your competitors, fantastic reports that you can straight away show an exact competitive performance report. Again, export that to PDF and CSV.

One disappointing thing about Sprout, is that although they have integration for Google+ they don't actually have any reporting which is quite strange. I would have thought they would have integrated that. And when the Google+ update came out, I thought that was going to be one of the first things that they did. But still nothing coming on that front. Hopefully it will be something that they add in the future because there is a distinct lack of external tools to use for Google+ reporting.

So that's Sprout Social. I hope this has been helpful. Check it out!