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    Dashboard Wars: HootSuite vs Sprout Social

    July 22, 2012

July 22, 2012

Dashboard Wars: HootSuite vs Sprout Social

What are Social Media Dashboards?

Social media is inescapable, even if you don’t want to use them websites in 2012 want you to connect via: everything. In the landscape of web 2.0 websites having social media connections aren’t even a second thought just expected. Clever social media icons pepper footers and top bars of websites everywhere; and the expectation is you have the accounts to connect to and use them. Before 2008, having multiple accounts, or many pages started to make managing your social persona quite the time consuming task. Thankfully we have two answers to help manage everything social, glean awesome insights into your online influence and all from an easy to manage, central “dashboard”.

*Note: This post might contain some affiliate links. Don’t be scared! That just means if you like what you see and purchase something, you’ll help me out too, and it’s really appreciated.

so·cial me·di·a dash·board ::

An “all-in-one” tool which sync’s a user’s social media accounts/information/metadata for easy management from a single, web based control panel. Ranging from free to premium Social Media Dashboards allow individuals or teams of individuals to manage from single up to an unlimited number of social media accounts all inside a single location.

A major contender in the social media dashboard scene, Hootsuite beautifully organizes your social media accounts into Tabs, inside each tab you can add a stream. These streams come from your connected social media accounts and its completely up to you how you want to customize the look and display of your dashboard.

[tabs style=”tabs-left”][tab title=”Facebook Insights”]

Facebook Insights

Facbeook Insights Screen Shot
Monitor and measure your fans, likes, comments and page activity right from the dash. Drill down into your fans based on demographic, region, language, and post source. Optimize your messaging with per post insights, including reach, engaged users, “talking about this” and virality. Plus, historical comparisons allow you to see trends over time.


[tab title=”Google Analytics”]

 Google Analytics

Google Analytics Screen Shot
Using Google Analytics and URL parameters, trace revenue and web conversions to your social outreach. Drill down into site traffic data including source, and region. View sparklines for page views, bounce rates and more.


[tab title=”Twitter Profile Stats”]

Twitter Profile Stats

Twitter Profile Stats Screen Shot
Gain an overview of your Twitter account by tracking the number of followers, following, lists, mentions, and more. Do more with your monitoring by comparing keywords over time and Twitter sentiment.


[tab title=”Ow.ly Click Stats”]

Ow.ly Click Stats

Ow.ly Click Stats Screen Shot
Choose between individual and aggregated click stats for your shortened ow.ly URLs. Drill down by region and date, track referers and popular links, and compare link summaries over time to help optimize your social media tactics.


[tab title=”Google+ Pages Analytics”]

Google+ Pages Analytics

Google+ Pages Screen Shot
Google+ Page Analytics are also integrated into HootSuite, providing teams with five analytic modules to directly measure results, such as daily growth, number of users added to circles, +1 shares, and posts per day. * This analytics module available with HootSuite Enterprise


[tab title=”Organization Analytics”]

Organization Analytics

Organization Analytics Screen Shot
Create reports based on your Organization’s metrics such as posts assigned, sent, and resolved. Stats are available for individual users activity and aggregated for the entire team. * This analytics module available with HootSuite Enterprise


If you’re looking for a different approach then check out Sprout Social, with all the tools you need in one powerful package. Sprout Social emphasizes the four components of social media effectiveness; Monitoring, Engagement, Measurement and Growth. In addition to communication tools, Sprout Social offers contact management, competitive insight, lead generation, reporting, analytics and more – all in a package that’s intuitive and easy to use.

[toggle title=”Dashboard”]
Social Media Dashboard - Sprout Social

  • Complete social progress at-a-glance
  • Engagement & Influence Scoring
  • View Top performing Posts
  • View follower demographics
  • Everything you need in one place


[toggle title=”Monitoring”]
Social Media Monitoring - Sprout Social

  • Track relevant keywords
  • Filter results by news, blogs, etc.
  • Competitor & industry tracking
  • Article & Blog monitoring
  • Never miss an important message


[toggle title=”Analytics”]
Social Media Analytics - Sprout Social

  • One click PDF & CSV reports
  • You choose what to report on
  • Group-level reporting
  • Track campaign effectiveness
  • Integrate Google Analytics


[toggle title=”Publishing”]
Social Media Publishing - Sprout Social

  • Send to multiple networks at once
  • Schedule messages
  • See optimal send times
  • Integrate RSS/Atom feeds
  • Track message performance


[toggle title=”Discovery”]
Social Media Discovery - Sprout Social

  • Find perfectly targeted customers
  • Monitor competitor activity
  • Search Twitter bios by keyword
  • Discover customers by interest
  • Increase targeted Twitter followers


[toggle title=”Management”]
Social Media Management & Team - Sprout Social

  • Create groups & add users
  • Control access for each user
  • Assign tasks to team members
  • Create notes on tasks
  • Get sent message stats


[toggle title=”Mobile”]
Social Media Mobile Apps - Sprout Social

  • Never miss another conversation
  • Assign tasks to team members
  • Cross-post updates from anywhere
  • Monitor your brand
  • Publish/schedule messages


[toggle title=”HelpDesk”]
Social Media Helpdesk - Sprout Social

  • Full Zendesk® Integration
  • Turn messages into support tickets
  • Track and resolve tickets
  • Respond to customers directly from within Sprout Social


[toggle title=”CRM”]
Social Media CRM - Sprout Social

  • Add notes to contacts
  • Add/edit contact information
  • Set reminders per contact
  • View contacts’ social media presence
  • See all past history with contacts



Both HootSuite and Sprout Social offer features that benefit anyone looking to master their influence and connectivity online. Personally, after using both platforms simultaneously I would have to say I’m leaning towards Sprout Social, but only ever so slightly. I love both for different reasons. I enjoy Hootsuite’s organization of streams on the homepage and the ability to customize my reporting outputs give kudos towards Hootsuite, but the reporting layout of Sprout’s metrics and their light-themed dashboard layout I just find more pleasurable to look at, and when you spend as much time as I do using the services it starts to make a difference. Also, Sprout Social’s “Discovery” features personally gives it a leg up against all other competition. Knowing who isn’t following you but is influential in your network is a fantastic metric to help you connect better and achieve higher quality followers.



  • Brittany at Sprout Social, July 25, 2012 Reply

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience with Sprout Social, Al! So happy to hear that you enjoyed the app (and that we won by a slight margin :)). We have some incredible new features coming, so it'll just keep getting even better.

    Out of curiosity, what kind of reporting outputs are you looking for? Our reports can be exported to CSV, so can easily be input into other applications.

    Thanks again for the kind words!

  • Connor from HootSuite, July 25, 2012 Reply

    Well written comparison Al, thanks for sharing. There are definitely lots of great tools out there for managing social media. We appreciate the kind words (although we may not see eye to eye with your "winner" :) ).

    -HootSuite Community

  • Vip3rousmango, July 25, 2012 Reply

    Thanks for the comments!

    I've realized that trying to really come up with a winner is a hard decision as I do love both services for different reasons. I have another article about Social Media Mobile Apps and will be featuring both Hootsuite and Sprout Social again in the mix, you'll just have to wait and read it to find out the results!

    Thanks again for the feedback! Hope you enjoy and find other topics that catch your interest.


  • Edgar, August 29, 2012 Reply

    We use both Hootsuite and Sprout Social to manage our clients. I like Hootsuite's alerts in the iPhone app, customizable reports and streams on the dashboard. I prefer Sprout Social's interface, ease of adding and managing users, print quality of reports and completeness of iPhone app. If it could all be rolled into one service we'd be ecstatic! In the meantime we will continue using both.

  • url shortener, January 4, 2013 Reply

    I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.

    Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do
    it for you? Plz respond as I'm looking to construct my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. appreciate it

    • Al Romano, February 11, 2013 Reply

      Thanks for the input, I'm glad you like my theme!

      I made this website myself using WordPress, a slew of plugins and some good 'ol fashioned spare time. If you're interested in something similar for your own blog just shoot me an email from my Contact Me page and I'll be happy to help.


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