Sprout Social: A Team-Friendly Approach to Social Media & Analytics

Sprout Social is a social media integration service that integrates with Twitter, Facebook pages, FourSquare and LinkedIn. They have a 100% free trial, where you don’t even need to give them your credit card number to subscribe.

They have two plans that are catered to small business owners: The “Small Biz” package, which comes in at $39 a month, or the “Deluxe” package, which comes in at $59 a month.

Here are some of the things that Sprout Social has to offer:

  • Message scheduling. Instead of having to post your updates live, you can schedule them to be posted at a later time.
  • Google analytics integration. See your traffic stats all in one place, instead of having to log into Google separately.
  • Custom branded reports. If you need to send a client a report, it’ll have your logo on it rather than Sprout Social’s.
  • Social media integration. Integrate many different social media accounts all in one place.
  • Live support. Have a question? Sprout Social is there to answer your questions.
  • Tools for collaboration. Work with your team to get the most out of your social media campaigns.

Here’s how to use Sprout Social to integrate your social media.

Step 1: Begin Your Trial

Click “Start Your 30 Day Trial” to begin the signup process.


Step 2: Select Your Plan

Select the plan you want to use. If you’re a small company, usually the “Small Biz” version is enough. You can always upgrade later.

Sprout Pricing

Step 3: Create Your Profile

Create your account. Sprout Social will tell you when your trial account is good till on the right hand side.


Step 4: Sign In on Your Twitter Account

Click the “Sign in with Twitter” button to connect your Sprout Social account with your Twitter account.


Authorize Sprout Social to use your Twitter account.

 


Step 5: Business Details

Enter your business details.


Once you’re done, click “Continue” and you’ll be taken to your main dashboard screen.

Step 6: Adding More Profiles

If you want to add more profiles, go to the right hand sidebar and click “Add.”


 

Sprout Social will pop up a box allowing you to choose which social media profile you want to link up.


 

Step 7: Add Team Members

To add more people to manage your account, click “Invite Team Members” on the right hand side.


 

Enter the name and email address of the person you want to add. You’ll need to pay extra to add team members. You can add each person as either a standard user or as an administrator.


 

 

Step 8: The Dashboard

When you first log into Sprout Social, you’ll be presented with your dashboard. Here you can view your new Twitter followers, new Facebook fans, Twitter mentions and so on.


 

Step 9: Messages

To access your messages, click the “Messages” tab in the top navigation bar.


 

Your messages will be displayed in the center. If access messages from different accounts, click the account on the right hand side. To compose a new message, click “Compose” in the upper right corner.

Step 10: Feeds

To access your feeds, click the “Feeds” button at the top. By default, you’ll see your Twitter’s feed. You can also add a LinkedIn feed or an RSS feed.


Step 11: Scheduling

To schedule a message, click “Schedule a new message” in the “Scheduler” tab.


 

The scheduler will pop up. Here you can attach images, write your message and pick a time for your message to be posted.


 

Step 12: Discovery

Want to discover new people to follow or get in contact with? Click the “Discovery” button along the top navigation bar.

Sprout Social will then give you a list of people that they recommend you connect with. Take a look at their profile and if it makes sense, follow them or send them an @mention.


Step 13: Reports

Want to get more details about how your social media campaigns are working? Click “reports.” You’ll be able to view data on both your Twitter accounts and your Facebook Pages accounts.


You can view data on your retweets, incoming messages, new followers and even compare the performance of multiple Twitter accounts.
That’s how to use Sprout Social to manage your social media. Sprout social makes it easy to manage feeds, messages, scheduling and various social media networks from one easy to use interface. They also make it very easy to involve the rest of your team in your social media plans.

Hootsuite – The Largest Social Media Integration Site

HootsuiteHootsuite is the largest social media integration and management platforms on the internet. It’s sent over 700 million messages to date and has over 3 million registered users. It accepts a wide range of social media platforms, including Google+, Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, Mixi, WordPress and more.

Hootsuite was founded by Ryan Holmes in 2008 and was valued at $200 million in its last fundraising round, as of March 2012.

Hootsuite’s features include:

  • Easy view of all your contacts. Hootsuite will display their follower and following count, as well as their Klout score all in one screen.
  • Self-branded analytics reports. You can do complex analytics reports, put your own logo on it and send it to your clients as a self-generated report.
  • Schedule messages to be sent days or weeks in advance.
  • Create a wide range of different feeds and view them all on one screen. You can create feeds from mentions, retweets, direct messages and more.
  • Share your Hootsuite account and social media accounts with different members of your team. This makes execution of a complex social media strategy much easier. (Requires paid subscription.)

Hootsuite is used by many world class organizations. It’s used by TheGap, Facebook’s own social media team, Obama’s white house administration, the South by Southwest conference and more.

Here’s how to use Hootsuite to manage your social media.

Step 1: Sign Up for Hootsuite

Start by filling in the signup box on the front page.

Hootsuite

Step 2: Add a Profile

Add a profile. To add a Twitter account, click “Add a Twitter profile.”

Hootsuite

 

Click “Connect with” Twitter to create the connection. You can also choose to add a less mainstream social network on the left.

Hootsuite

 

Hootsuite will need authorization before it can link up your accounts.

 

Hootsuite

 

Step 3: Browse Your Feeds

To browse your feeds, select the social media account from the top subnavigation bar.

Hootsuite

 

The various feeds associated with that account will be displayed. You can drag and drop these feeds in any order you like.

Hootsuite

 

Step 4: Adding a Stream

To add a new stream, click “Add Stream” in the upper left corner.

Hootsuite

Then choose what kind of stream you want to add.

Hootsuite

 

The new stream will be added to your dashboard.

Step 5: Publishing and Scheduling

To access the publisher screen, click “Publisher” in the left sidebar menu. Hover over any symbol on the left to make the menu popup.

Hootsuite

Click “Compose a Message” to begin scheduling messages.

Hootsuite

 

The message box and the scheduler will pop up. Just write your message in the box, then choose when you want the message to go live.

Hootsuite

 

Step 6: Analytics and Reports

To create a new report, click “Analytics” from the left sidebar.

Hootsuite

 

Once you’re in the reports tab, click “Create New Report.”

 

Hootsuite

Then select the type of report that you want to create. Some reports are free to create, while others require payment.

Hootsuite

 

You can then brand the report yourself, so that your name and your company’s logo appears on top of the report.

Hootsuite

 

Step 7: Contacts

To access your contact list, click “Contacts” from the left navigation bar.

Hootsuite

All your contacts will be listed, along with their follower count, following count and Klout score.

Hootsuite

Now you know how to use Hootsuite to view multiple feeds, schedule posts for the future, generate branded reports and browse your contact list in an information-friendly manner. Hootsuite is free for the most part, with only a few features requiring payment. If you’ve never tried it before, why not give it a shot?