sprout social vs agorapulse

laptop-handshake-social-web_dreamstime_saniphoto.jpgWhen you are on more than one social networking platform, a good social network management tools is essential

I started with HootSuite, great network engagement panel showing all your feeds in one window, unfortunately their scheduling system was weak and their pricing structure far too complicated.

Switching to Bufferapp, I got great scheduling however the network engagement element was weak and the pricing structure for getting reports was again far too complicated.

This brought me to where I am now, an active sprout social user, this has good network engagement with great scheduling and clear pricing.

So why take a look at agora pulse?

Well, their content marketing strategy is working because I am seeing and engaging with lots of great content from them plus as I am grandfathered into sprout social monthly payments at $59, to recommend sprout social to you, I appreciate the true investment is $99 per month.

Thus could you and I save money without losing performance by switching to agorapulse?

For me the simplest way to answer this question was to see what each menu had to offer, the results are in the table with explanatory notes below.

sprout social (ss) agorapulse (ap) Winner
Member level Deluxe* Small
Social Profiles 5 5

Draw

Team Members 1 2

AP

Messages

Messages

Single social feed stream

filter by platform and message type

dropdown menu for detailed respond options

can pin message and user for further action

Inbox

tab for each platform

filter by message type

fewer response options

can flag message and user for further action*

SS

Tasks

Tasks*

Pin message, allows free text tasks describing required actions

Flag option

flag message or user*

SS

Feeds

Feeds

Can filter social media streams, Twitter lists, LinkedIn groups, Feedly RSS reader

no similar function found

SS

Publishing

Publishing

Single schedule window

Can post to multiple platforms simultaneously

2 text variations, Twitter and other platforms

Country target for facebook

Added images can be edited directly from here*

add to pre-defined queue or schedule per post

Timezone set by either browser or SS user settings. works for both queue and schedule

 

Publishing

Single schedule window

Can post to multiple platforms simultaneously

Same or unique text variation for each platform

Country target and language target for facebook

No image editing

Add to pre-defined queue or schedule per post*

Timezone set by browser*

Instagram posting possible via AP mobile not tested.

SS

Audience Growth

Discovery

Twitter engagement opportunities only

Monitoring

Each platform has a dedicated tab

AP

CRM

Messages

No real CRM function

No list of followers

Need a message from them or to search their name for this to work

Can add notes against them, see their bios and your interaction with them

Users

Split into platform tabs

Lists all your followers

Can add notes against them, see their bio’s and your interaction with them.

Inbox user flags are carried into this section

AP*

Reports

Reports

Multiple predefined reports

overview report: all platforms, audience growth, Twitter audience gender and age plus engagement section by content type

Facebook stats available

Post stats are only accurate for unique posts

Reports

4 report sections per platform tab

no, all platform overview report

Audience: growth, top followers by name

Engagement: content response, top content, top hashtags,

Awareness: mentions, shares, top ambassadors by name

Management: how well are you engaged with your audience

Facebook report is an extraction from Page insights not available as new page has less than 30 followers

AP*

Competition

Reports

there is Twitter comparison

needs time to generate from live activity

Competitors

only for Facebook

Not available in trial

sample data only

looks like a great feature

only updates once per day

DRAW

Others no other menu options

Apps

Facebook app design for campaigns

AP

 

Explanatory notes:

Membership Levels: sprout social, I have been a sprout social user for a few years and because I am “currently in the grandfathered Deluxe Plan” I can add 10 profiles instead of the 5 for new Deluxe level members, however I currently only use 4.

Messages and Tasks: agorapulse, I raised a query on this as I could not get their flag system to work. Appears the flag icon near the persons details only flags the message. Supports recommendation, was to use the flag with action describing tags, such as visit website, social platform connect and so on.

agorapulse-flag

To flag a person and add a task note, you have to click on the username, a lightbox window appears, it is in here you can add user flag plus a note. This note will then be shown in the Users section when the flag filter is applied.

Messages and Tasks: sprout social, single tasks area for all tasks rather than being split into user and message task sections. I gave the win to SS due to the higher number of response options.

The difference between tasks and flags is a system flow and familiarity issue, each system will most likely work just as well for those familiar with them

Publishing: sprout social, image editor, only available on desktop version, for serious marketers should not be a feature of interest. Content should be planned and prepared prior to implementation in your content strategy and not done on a whim, for live events using your mobile, this feature is not available, where it would have been of use.

Publishing: agorapulse,  As I live in Saudi and market to New York, I found scheduling does not work as expected. I raised a ticket and got the following response “we developed the timezone setting only for the queue, as our current system for scheduled items is working for 95% of our users, i.e using the machine local timezone.” Scheduling to other countries, you will have to do the time zone conversion calculation manually. For example, if I want to post at 1pm New York (EDT Eastern Daylight Time) , I schedule the post for my local time, 8pm Riyadh (AST Arabia Standard Time), times are based upon computer time, VPN’s have no effect on this. Not a show stopping issue, however I know this could catch me out at some point.

The ability to create unique text per platform and preview the post per platform is a very useful feature. In sprout social you would have to create unique posts for each platform. I would give the win to agorapulse if it were not for the timezone issue.

CRM: Now I understand the agorapulse workflow their CRM makes sense. Sprout social does not have this feature rather it has a message history for users you are currently engaged with or those whose names you have searched for.

Reports: agorapulse wins due to the higher level of actionable data generated. Named audience members rather than general data, allowing you to identify people you can focus engagement activities on. Cannot comment on individual post stats.

Reports: sprout social, repeat post stats are not to be relied upon as they are engagement totals for every instance of those posts, this does not affect single shot posts. Does not provide highly actionable content in any report.

As both platforms connect to Bitly for URL shrinking, I use Bitly stats in sprout social for content performance indication.

Conclusion:

agorapulse scored more wins however these were not in my key activity areas. The one area it did really well was in the reports actionable content, the only issue was with the scheduling timezone. All other issues were down to the different work flows each platform has in place.

Sprout social does audience engagement and follow up action really well plus it will allow you to schedule content accurately from anywhere in the world, something agorapulse confirmed they cannot yet do.

In the areas where there was a draw, this was down to the heritage of each company. Each started development from one social platform, sprout social with Twitter and agorapulse with Facebook.

So which one should you select?

It really comes down to your current situation or long term plans, are you going to be using a team to manage elements of your networking activity or are you happy to do it on your own?

This is important as sprout social gets really expensive when a team comes onboard.

Also consider how many social profiles you are going to manage?

Sprout social with 10 social profiles and a single user, the monthly price is $99. This rises to $500 per month when a max of 3 team members come on board.

Agorapulse is priced at $200 per month for all the features, 20 social profiles and a team of upto 10. You can drop the price to $99 per month, 10 profiles and a team of 5 if you remove the team workflow option. “Team workflow allows you to assign posts to teammates, for easy reviewing and replying so that you don’t miss anything. It’s available on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.”

For teams, agorapulse is the better option.

If you are a solo entrepreneur, as I am, agorapulse has a slight edge.

It is $10 per month cheaper at Small versus Deluxe levels with very similar features.

For long term growth, agorapulse is the better option due to its pricing and feature structure being designed with your company growth in mind. As your company grows, you’ll need to bring more team members on board, then it’s simply a matter of stepping up to the next level.

 

With sprout social, there is no development path, you’ll have to struggle on your own until your balance sheet allows the $500 per month investment for 3 team members.

4 Comments

  1. Torsten Mueller September 17, 2016
    • igor September 17, 2016
  2. Lisa KalnerWilliams September 17, 2016
    • igor September 18, 2016