Throw Out Hootsuite and Use Sprout Social? | RazorSocial

Throw Out Hootsuite and Use Sprout Social?

sproutsocial reviewAre you looking for an alternative social media management tool to replace Hootsuite?

Hootsuite is a useful tool, but the interface and reporting could be a lot better.  Sprout Social offers a viable alternative that is simple to use, has a really nice user interface and has some great additional functionality.

In this article, we take a detailed look at Sprout Social.


What are the main features?

The following are the key features of Sprout Social:

  • Supports Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn personal profiles and Google+ company pages.
  • Integrates with Google Analytics –  This is very useful because you can track your social media updates to see the traffic that is generated and the results of this traffic.
  • Integrates with Feedly – Feedly collects all the blog posts from the sites you subscribe to.  It’s a really useful tool and it’s handy that this is incorporated as part of Sprout Social functionality.
  • Sprout queueing – You can specify specific times for scheduled delivery of content so you or your team can just share content as you find it and not worry about specifying what time it should go out.
  • Team-based functionality – You can operate Sprout Social as a team and assign tasks to different members of the team.
  • Discovery functionality – You find relevant people to follow on Twitter, search for keywords on Twitter or Facebook, search for keywords related to tweets in a particular location, or discover accounts on Twitter you should not be following any more.
  • Reports – There is a good range of standard reports available that are presented very well visually, have good information and can be exported in pdf or csv formats.
  • Content sharing anywhere on the web – There is a Chrome extension that allows you to share out content as you are browsing.
  • Social CRM functionality – For any contact you communicate with, you can add some profile information (e.g. email address, company, phone number, etc.) so this is available next time you look at the contact record.  You can also view the history of any interactions you have had with this contact on social media channels (e.g. tweets you exchanged).


How does it work?

The functionality is broken down into the following 4 tabs:


You use the Smart Inbox to view all incoming messages from your various channels.  On the right-hand side, you’ll see an option to filter your messages, e.g. just look for specific mentions.


smart social smart inbox
This is where you monitor activity on your account


When you want to send out messages, you click the ‘compose’ button on the top right of the screen.  From there, you are able to send messages to one or many of your profiles.  You can send immediately, save to draft, schedule for a later time or add to the ‘Sprout Queue’ so the messages are automatically sent out at specific times.


These are tasks that require some action and have been created by you or assigned to you by a team member.  The tasks are categorized into General, Leads or Issues.


This is for the feeds of content you may want to monitor:

  • Twitter – This shows everything that is coming into your Twitter account.  However, you are more likely to use your Smart Inbox for this type of functionality.
  • LinkedIn – You can view LinkedIn messages from your contacts.
  • RSS – Sprout Social supports integration with Feedly, so if you use Feedly to subscribe to blogs, you can display all the content within Sprout Social.

sproutsocial feeds
From here, you can view content from the blogs you subscribe to, and then share it through Sprout Social



This is where you can do/view the following:

  • Scheduled – View all posts that are scheduled to go out.
  • Sprout Queue – View content that has been added to the Sprout Social queue.  This is content that will automatically be sent out based on times you preconfigure.
  • Drafts – View, edit and send the drafts that you have already created (through your Smart Inbox).
  • Post via RSS – Set up blog content that will be automatically posted on your social media accounts.  For example, you may want your blog posts to be sent out automatically when they are published.


This allows you to do to the following:

  • Find new people to follow – For example, it will highlight people who follow you on Twitter who you don’t follow back, or those who have mentioned you.
  • Clean up – Remove people on Twitter who you follow who are not active or don’t follow you back, or people who have suspicious activity on their account.
  • Keyword search – Perform a keyword search to find conversations on Twitter or Facebook that might be worth engaging with, or people who might be worth following.


View a range of standard reports for your profiles.  Each report has some basic customization available, for example you can choose to view the report for a period of 60 days, 90 days etc.  You can also export the report to PDF or CSV format.


sproutsocial report
An example of an overview report of the performance of your connected channels


The reports are visually appealing and nicely laid out, but you are limited to the reports they provide and you can’t create new reports from scratch.


What are the limitations?

  • It doesn’t support LinkedIn business pages or groups.
  • Although it’s nice having Feedly integration, Sprout Social doesn’t support the level of functionality that Feedly supports. This means you may end up still using Feedly itself.
  • There is some basic customization available for reports but it would be nice if there was more flexibility, particularly the ability to create your own reports.
  • No app directory – Hootsuite has an ecosystem of other applications that are integrated with Hootsuite that add to the functionality available.



Price starts at $59 per user and, with additional features and support for more social profiles, this goes to $99 and then to $1,500 for an enterprise user with at 10 accounts included in the package.



Sprout Social is a nicely designed social media management tool with lots of useful features.  Hootsuite has a free offering that provides a lot of Sprout Social functionality, but if you don’t like the user interface and find that Sprout Social’s additional functionality adds a lot of value to your business then it’s worth considering.

Are you tempted?

What’s the tool you usually use for these tasks? Are you thinking about making a change?

Tell us in the comments below, and don’t forget to share this post – using your social media management tool of choice!!


Related Post

The following post gives you an idea of other social media management tools worth considering.  Worth checking out:

Social Media Management Tools

Balance scale and Girl images by Shutterstock

24 Responses to Throw Out Hootsuite and Use Sprout Social?

  1. To be fair, under your limitations it says LinkedIn business pages are not available on Sprout but they are not available anywhere as far as I know. This is a limitation on LinkedIn’s end.
    After looking into Hootsuite and SproutSocial (among others) I just couldn’t justify the cost of SproutSocial at this stage. I pay roughly $500 a year on Hootsuite and that would cost $1400 at least for same features on Sprout.

    • With you on the cost-side, @disqus_gW0nVYYORQ:disqus! But as an aside, we do use Hootsuite to post to LinkedIn company pages (just had to nip back to check!), but it’s not perfect – eg doesn’t post images as well as posting them directly & @mentions don’t carry through.

    • Thanks for the support and happy to hear you gave Sprout a whirl, James! Understand we won’t be a fit for every budget, but hope you enjoyed your experience and will keep us in mind for the future.

      Regarding LinkedIn business page integration, it is something we’re currently working on and know is a feature our customers would *love* to have. As with all of our integrations, we want it done well and not feel bolted on, so taking extra care to ensure that. It’s in the pipeline though 🙂

    • James – Linkdedin business pages and groups are available on other platforms – MavSocial is one of them that supports it

  2. Thanks for the feedback @iancleary:disqus. We’re always trying to listen to our community and make Hootsuite a better tool for everyone. Reporting is something that constantly comes up. We realize this and are taking steps to improve this side of Hootsuite.

    @dennislistsuk:disqus – thanks for the clarification (to @disqus_gW0nVYYORQ:disqus) regarding LinkedIn company pages and Hootsuite.

    -Connor from Hootsuite

    • Hi William, yes it’s work very well.

      People find it very hard to compare different platforms. Sproutsocial have a bit client base. They have a much nicer user interface than Hootsuite and better reporting options (as part of their default package) but it’s hard for me to justify the price when Hootsuite has more functionality! Ian

  3. One of most annoying features of hootsuit and sprout social are their publishing interface. Worth checking for more simple and easy to use social media publishing tool

      • It’s developed mainly for publishing needs. With socialpilot, you can post your content in unlimited FB groups and linkedin groups.

        You can also schedule your post to be published at any time in any timezone. You can also use RSS automation feature of socialpilot to read new blog post from other website and queued to be posted in your define social media profile.

  4. I love Sprout it is much cleaner than Hootsuite and when working with multiple accounts more cost effective as reporting is not an additional cost. Why though – same with hootsuite – do they now display the images in the Feeds. They don on the iPad App but not on the PC. It frustrates me as the images are a huge part of getting our attention.

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