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    Breaking Ground: The latest Sprout updates you need to know about

    If you can believe it, Sprout recently celebrated its 14th anniversary. Thinking back on what social media looked like in 2010—Pinterest and Instagram had just launched, Vine and Google+ weren’t even around yet—it’s safe to say our industry has endured more than one evolution over the last few years.

    Through that time, our north star has always been to help our customers not just manage but maximize the power of social. It’s the reason why we are constantly, thoughtfully investing in our platform—because our industry doesn’t move forward unless we’re equipping our users with the tools they need to do exceptional work.

    Which is why I’m thrilled to share that Sprout has launched Breaking Ground: a new quarterly program to keep our customers up to date on everything you need to know about our latest product advancements, so that you can drive more business impact from social.

    Here’s a glimpse at what we’re releasing this quarter.

    Advancing AI to make space for human creativity and connections

    Social media teams are at max capacity. Our recent Social Media Productivity Report found that almost half of social marketers feel they sometimes or rarely have enough time to get their work done, and even more (63%) agree that manual tasks prevent them from doing high impact work.

    At Sprout, we embrace a human-centric philosophy to developing AI capabilities that empower the people behind your brand to work faster and smarter. Over the years, we have consistently invested in AI and machine learning at Sprout, but 2023 marked a significant leap forward with the introduction of numerous AI Assist capabilities.

    Our latest AI and automation capabilities build on this momentum, helping you focus on what matters most: the creativity and strategic thinking no machine can emulate. Listening customers will be able to tap into Analyze by AI Assist and Summarize by AI Assist, new widgets that will help you distill content and surface important conversation trends faster. For customer care teams, updates including AI conversation summaries, Response Recommended and Message Intent will make it easier for agents to get an at-a-glance view of incoming messages, ensuring the most urgent ones get routed and responded to promptly.

    Breaking Ground: The latest Sprout updates you need to know about

    AI has been vital in helping Thailand-based Minor Hotels expand its online presence to match its growing physical footprint. Before using Sprout, their social team had minimal insight into how their efforts were performing—whether their campaigns were resonating or bringing in new customers. In a fiercely competitive travel and tourism industry, they needed a way to grab analytics more frequently and uncover market trends.

    Enter Sprout. With AI Assist and Listening, Minor Hotels increased the frequency of their reporting twofold and saved over 192 hours annually on pulling reports. Today, our AI capabilities allow the Minor Hotels team to proactively monitor performance, adapt their social content and inform business strategy.

    On the content front, we’ve also introduced Generate by AI Assist. This innovation automatically produces alt-text for social post images, making it easier to build a more accessible social presence.

    “Working to make my social content accessible to all has been a top priority of mine for years, so Sprout’s new AI-generated alt text feature has been a major win. The detail picked up in the description is impressive and much more accurate than I’ve experienced with other AI tools. This saves me time and mental focus on each post, which I can put back into the content,” said Jessie Brown, Social Media Specialist at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

    Telling a richer story about how social impacts the business

    Connecting your social strategy to business-wide sales and revenue goals remains one of marketers’ most elusive challenges—especially for those lacking the right tools. Almost twice as many social media marketers who use a dedicated social media management platform say their brand’s social efforts contribute significantly to revenue compared to those without, according to the Social Media Productivity Report.

    Which is why we’re excited to roll out new capabilities like My Reports, a new Premium Analytics reporting interface that lets users dig even deeper into their data. Users can customize their reports using a breadth of data points—including post-level performance, customer care and even Employee Advocacy metrics—to tell a more detailed story about social’s impact on the business.

    An example of a cross-network performance summary created using Sprout's My Reports functionality.

    For iHeartRadio Canada, which manages a portfolio of over 300 social accounts, Sprout has been essential in not just scaling but proving the power of their content strategy. As Clayton Taylor, National Content Manager – Digital Radio, explained, “In terms of ROI, Sprout helps us gain recognition with our direct audience while also demonstrating value to our branded partners and sponsors. We can also show our music label partners why it makes sense for them and their artists to work with iHeartRadio Canada.”

    Drawing a clear line from influencers to revenue

    How do you typically measure the impact of your influencer marketing efforts—Post views? Impressions? Comments?

    These are each reliable ways to quantify the power of influencers, but the truth is this: Influencer marketing has a greater impact on conversion and sales than we give it credit for. Almost half of all consumers (49%) make purchases at least once a month because of influencer posts, according to The 2024 Influencer Marketing Report.

    With Tagger, Sprout Social’s influencer marketing platform, we’re making it easier to track how influencer partnerships add to your bottom line. Instagram Tap Tag mentions will allow influencers you partner with to organically integrate product tags directly into their posts. On the reporting side, users can track engagement, reach, and conversions—helping you develop long-term relationships with the influencers driving both awareness and sales for your business.

    Consider the role influencers played in Lovesac’s 25th anniversary campaign, “Rewriting the Rules of Comfort.” With help from their agency KWT Global, they used Sprout Social Influencer Marketing to recruit long-time brand fans and new influencers (including celebrities like Olympic snowboarder Shaun White, Brandy and Travis Barker) to show how they rewrite their own rules of comfort at home with Lovesac styles.

    As Erin Ally, Vice President of Social Media and Influencer Marketing at KWT Global explained, “We wanted to be able to find influencers proactively, report effectively and easily on influencer successes to stakeholders, and manage it all through one platform that is intuitive and anyone on our team could learn to use…After evaluating various solutions, choosing Sprout Social’s influencer marketing platform was a no-brainer for us.”

    An example of a Topic Report in Tagger, Sprout Social's influencer marketing platform, calling out the earned media value stat.

    With our platform, Ally’s team can tell a stronger story about the success of campaigns like Lovesac’s—which was particularly impressive. The months-long effort generated $8.48M in earned media value, 57 million impressions and a 14.3% increase in Lovesac Q3 sales year over year.

    Helping brands meet their audience in more places

    Today’s social media ecosystem is made up of a growing list of networks, each with unique algorithms, content formats and audiences. Consumers are using a mix of them all to consume content and connect with their communities. In fact, 38% of consumers plan to use more networks this year compared to 2023, according to a Q4 2023 Sprout Pulse Survey.

    One of the latest networks captivating consumers and brands alike? Threads.

    Marketers across industries have experimented with the community-centric platform since it launched in July 2023—but now they can elevate their approach with Threads scheduling, engagement and reporting capabilities in Sprout. In less than a year, Boston-based public media producer GBH has started posting to Threads across 15 production units—growing an audience of nearly 180,000 followers.

    A cross-network post analysis widget in Sprout, showing performance data from Threads posts.

    “Now that Threads publishing and scheduling has been added to Sprout, GBH’s social media managers—who are responsible for growing and engaging audiences for their specific productions or units—can more easily and efficiently leverage the platform to build and deepen connections with our communities,” said Zack Waldman, GBH Social Media Strategist.

    Ready to break barriers?

    Our vision at Sprout is to be the social platform powering the world’s most innovative brands. But we only get there by building software that exceeds our customers’ needs both now and in the future. We can’t wait to see the ground-breaking work marketers and customer care professionals accomplish with some of these latest releases.

    But again, these are just a few highlights of the product updates we have and will be unveiling this quarter. Learn more about these releases and our Breaking Ground Q2 2024 launch event.

    The post Breaking Ground: The latest Sprout updates you need to know about appeared first on Sprout Social.

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