9 Minute Read

SproutSocial: The Guide to Help Them All

By Stevie Howard

Social media is everywhere, and it’s something that companies need to take advantage of. In fact, the number of worldwide users is expected to reach some 2.95 billion by 2020, which is around a third of Earth’s entire population. Whether to represent your brand, talk to customers, or show off that awesome company culture social media has a place for everyone. It’s important to, “Set your strategy up for success right out the gate by choosing the best social networks for your brand.” Sadly, not everyone knows how to use it, and that’s why I was so excited to hear that SproutSocial has come out with an informational, interactive guide for those social media novices out there.

The number of #socialmedia users is expected to reach 2.95 billion by 2020. More here: Click To Tweet

As someone who knows about social and is keen on spreading the word of its greatness, I wanted to check this guide out for myself and see if it provided the insight I was hoping for. Here are my thoughts:

Read: How to Encourage New Social Media Tool Adoption

Selecting a platform

One of the main concerns when working with social media is knowing which platform to use. All social networks are not the same, nor does every social platform gravitate towards the same demographics. So, how do you find out which one works best for your company?

Sprout Social has you covered with a quiz right at the beginning (brilliant!) before providing any additional information. You go through, answer demographic and content questions, then POOF! There’s their recommended social media outlet. This helps you concentrate on social networks that will be the most profitable for your business.

Just for funsies I went through and filled out the quiz based on what we do here at Red Branch. Turns out our best platform would be Facebook (which I feel we manage fairly well). Since Facebook caters to a good amount of both the younger and older generations, it is a great start to almost any business.

Once you have your platform, by choosing the corresponding tab underneath your result, you can see numerous stats and way to use this platform to your advantage and get the most out of your time and energy spent working with it. A few of my favorites that SproutSocial touch on is Pinterest, Snapchat, and Google+. This is because these three are either platforms most people would not think to use, or because they are still fairly new to the scene.

Even so, these outlets all have their own particular reach and demographic they cater to that companies can use to their advantage. For example, Pinterest is mostly centered around young women 18-29 and is best used for retail shops or DIY business. On the other hand, those that use Google+ are mostly older aged males living in the United States. Given such differences, I figured it would be interesting to see what SproutSocial had to say about how each could benefit a company, and it was! Here is an example of one of them:


After giving a little background about the platform, the guide goes into talk about how it is being used by social media marketers. This states that “Although it slowed down a little after the explosion of Instagram, Pinterest is still a highly-used platform with plenty to offer for social media marketing.” This is shown to range from using pins and boards to drive sells, content promotion, and simply using it for the ability to target a much younger audience demographic.

With stats to back up the claims, it goes on to explain what you should be sharing or doing to make the most out of the application, and how to be the most successful at it including keywords, tactics, and resources. Next, SproutSocial offers advice on how to advertise and the best metrics to follow after doing so. Want to see an example of this in action? No worries, SproutSocial also offers you a glimpse into some of the best companies out there! Like how Jetsetter hosted a Pin contest and increased their page views by 150%.

Find out how @jetsetterdotcom increased their page views by 150%: Click To Tweet

Learn: 10 Tasks of a Social Media Manager

Putting It All Together

After deciding which platform works best for you, and how to use it to its full capabilities, it’s time to put together your Social Media Toolkit! SproutSocial goes on to provide you with resources to create, monitor and source content. Once all this information is together, the hardest part can be actually convincing the higher ups to make the investment into social media. But, I have good news, SproutSocial helps with that too and gives you specific insights to help you give drop some knowledge!

What’s In A ToolKit

  • Social Media Dashboard (your hub for social marketing)
  • Graphic Tools (to help improve visuals)
  • Content Sourcers (helping you find the best content out there to fit your industry)

The last and final step is wrapping it all up and being sure to create the best content to showcase your brand and product. This can range anywhere from photos, videos, landing pages, etc. It really all comes down to what works best for you and shows off what you’re selling to the public. However, do keep in mind what SproutSocial Writer Dominique Jackson had to say, “One thing to keep in mind is not every type of content performs well on social media.” Now, the guide also includes the best types of content and how to create your own content calendar (pretty cool, huh?). If you’re new to this sort of thing you might be wondering, “What the heck is a content calendar?”

What Content Works the Best

  • Industry News
  • Tips and Tricks
  • In-depth Guides
  • How-To Articles
  • Company Insights

Well, let me explain. It really is exactly what it sounds like – a way to organize and send out content via social media. This way you can plan ahead and get things rolling without having to hustle and get it done last minute. Speaking of which, Sprout Social also has a great reference page to help explain in better detail and get your calendar moving in the right direction. Take a look at the photo below as an example!


So, what do you think? This all sounds like a great first step into introducing your company to the wonders of social media, plus Sprout Social offers a number of tools you’ll need during your journey. Want to take a look for yourself, or even just see what all the buzz is about? Check it out and figure out what works best for your company!