After signing up for your 30-day free trial of Sprout Social, you may be wondering, what should I do next? To answer that question, our team of support client attorneys and account executives have compiled a weekly list so you can get the most out of your Sprout trial.
Read on for our expert guide to the most important information to focus on each week of your trial. We’ll show you how to easily compose your first post in the Compose window and immerse yourself in the insights that social listening has to offer for your campaign.
Connect your social profiles
The first time you sign in to Sprout, you will be asked to connect a Twitter profile. Once you’ve done that, there are still a few social profiles to connect to, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, as well as ad accounts for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. A full list of Sprout integrations can be found here.
To connect new social profiles, click the + icon in the top right corner of your Sprout screen and follow the instructions to connect the selected profile.
Once you’ve connected your profiles, you can start using the Sprout features.
Pro type: If you are connecting an Instagram business profile, make sure you complete the double-connecting process on Instagram.com and Facebook.com outlined in this Sprout help article.
Publish your first post
To start creating a post, click the green Compose button in the upper right corner of Sprout, which is always available to you.
In the Compose window you have the option of selecting one or more social profiles in the upper selection bar. Once you’ve entered text, media, and other post elements, a network preview appears on the left of the window. From this window you can also choose a location for your post, send the post for approval, add tags to track message types, and much more. You will learn more about these features over the course of this article and your trial.
You can also choose scheduling options for new posts, such as: For example, Publish Now, Add to Queue, Schedule Manually, or Save As Draft. For more information on each of these post types, check out our Introduction to Publishing to Sprout.
Reply to a message in the Smart Inbox
Not only can you create new content for your social network, but you can also edit incoming messages in Sprout’s Smart Inbox, which combines incoming content from Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. You can reply to an incoming message or like it to keep engaging with your audience.
Pro tip: In the inbox’s right sidebar, you can choose which social profiles will be filtered into your inbox at any given time and select “Hide Completed Items” to clear messages you’ve already replied to from your current view.
Add competitors to your competitor reports
Similar to reporting in your own profiles, the best way to get the most out of your competitor reports is to add your competitors as soon as possible because data on these reports is available from the moment you connect. You can find these reports by selecting the respective network on the Reports tab in the left sidebar.
You can add up to 20 competitors in both the Facebook Participant Report and Instagram Participant Report at the same time. For the Twitter comparison report, you can track 20 competitors and switch between views to see each competitor.
When data is populated on this report, you can start your competitive analysis by reviewing audience growth, engagements, and even top posts from your competitors to see which post types are performing best in your industry.
Pro type: You can find competitor reports in our Professional and Advanced plans. If you started your trial with our standard plan, you can still try out competition reports by going to Settings> Billing & Plan and upgrading to a free 30-day pro or advanced trial.
Check out Sprout’s Getting Started page
Would you rather see a video walkthrough for these features? See the getting started resources for short videos on adding profiles, posting content, and replying to messages.
You can also download our Sprout 101 guide for quick read or distribute across your team.
Invite your team
Why keep the #SproutLove to yourself? Invite your team by clicking the icon in the lower left corner of Sprout.
From there, you’ll need to enter the email address (es) for your new users and choose which groups and profiles they should have access to. Here you can read our in-depth guide on adding users and configuring permissions.
Pro type: In Sprout’s Professional and Advanced plans, select the “Needs Approval” permission for new users and set up message approval workflows to keep track of each post before it is published.
View your reports
In addition to inviting your team to Sprout, you will see reports for profiles such as Twitter and Instagram starting the second week of your trial. You can find these reports on our Reporting tab and select the appropriate network in the left sidebar.
These reports show metrics at the profile and page level. This will give you and your team an overview of the overall performance of your profile or page for that month. With totals received directly from the native social platforms, these reports capture all the engagements, impressions, and other metrics that your profile or page received, regardless of when the post was originally published.
To see a full list of messages sent and post-level metrics for each social platform, go to Reports> Cross-Channel> Message Sent Performance.
Pro type: Set up scheduled reporting in Sprout’s advanced plan to keep stakeholders informed of your team’s progress.
Download the Sprout Social Mobile App
We know our users are often on the go, but still have great ideas for new posts or want to reply to the latest message in their inbox. To keep up to date even when you’re away from your desktop, you can find the Sprout mobile app on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store by navigating to Settings> Utilities & Goodies in the Sprout app.
In addition to many of the features already available in the web version of Sprout, there are some helpful features for the mobile app. These features include previewing the Instagram grid, failed push notifications for easy reposting, and republishing Instagram feed posts or stories with multiple images.
Pro type: Click the gear icon in the top right corner of the mobile app> Notification Settings to make sure that any notifications you want are turned on, e.g. B. Message spike notifications or successfully scheduled post notifications.
Add branded keywords and Instagram hashtags
Sprout allows you to keep track of branding keywords for Twitter so you can know and participate in the conversation even if your brand’s handle isn’t directly mentioned. For example, if a user on Twitter says, “Sprout Coffee Co. has the best coffee!” however, does not directly mention @sproutcoffeeco in their post, a branded keyword created for “Sprout Coffee Co.” would drag this tweet into Sprout for the team to reply.
To create a new branded keyword, open the Messages> Inbox> tab and scroll down to Branded Keywords in the right sidebar. There click on add keyword> enter your keyword> click on save keyword to start tracking!
Check out the Sprout Learning Portal
After you have familiarized yourself with the platform, you will find more ideas on how you can use all the functions of Sprout in our learning portal. You’ll find on-demand sessions on anything from analytics to publications to social listening. You can also register for our Intro to Sprout series of live webinars. Our product training team is ready to share their Sprout expertise with you, followed by time for live questions and answers.
Create tags and start tagging
Now that you’ve seen how Sprout can help your workflow for engagement, publishing, and more, start tagging messages on our professional and advanced plans for additional insight into your incoming and outgoing messages.
For additional tagging strategies, our team has compiled a guide to message tracking best practices and how Sprout’s social team uses message tagging to build better customer relationships.
Pro type: Create automated rules for Sprout’s advanced plan to instantly tag incoming messages with specific keywords, and even send an alert to your mobile app when key influencers mention your brand.
Find out what social listening can do for you
In addition to all of the great features included in your trial version, Sprout has a listening add-on that can help you engage even more with your audience.
Sprout’s Listening lets you create topics to find the conversations related to your brand or industry. You can then review the Topic Insights to understand the patterns in your queries.
If you’d like to learn more, you can read our Social Listening Guide and request a listening demo.
Do your #SproutLove officially
Not ready to give up Sprout’s great features in your workflow? Now that you’ve had the chance to try Sprout for yourself, sign up for your chosen plan! If you’re looking for tips, product updates, or support on the go, follow Twitter @SproutSocial and join our Facebook community groups to meet other social media experts.
These steps are just the beginning of how Sprout will optimize your workflow. If you haven’t used your 30-day free trial of Sprout, start one today and use this article to delve into our features.
Once you do, we’d love to hear from you! Whether you’re just getting started on your Sprout journey or you’ve been with us from the start, let us know how to get the most out of Sprout on Twitter at @SproutSocial.