Sprout Social

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Sprout Social, Inc.
Sprout Social Logo.png
Type of business Private
Type of site
Social media management
Social media analytics
Social CRM
Social media measurement
Available in Multilingual [1]
Founded Chicago, IL (2010)
Headquarters Citadel Center 131 S. Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60603
Area served Worldwide
Founder(s) Justyn Howard
Aaron Rankin
Gil Lara
Peter Soung
Key people Justyn Howard (CEO)
Aaron Rankin (CTO)
Gil Lara (CCO)
Scott Brandt (CMO) [2]
Industry Internet
Products Social Media Management
Social Media Marketing
Social Customer Service
Social Media Analytics
Employees 200 [3]
Slogan(s) Social Media Management Software for Business
Website sproutsocial.com
Users More than 15,000 [4]

Sprout Social makes social media management, advocacy and analytics software for businesses. Sprout helps brands communicate with customers on social channels, collaborate across teams and measure the effectiveness of their efforts.

Sprout’s platform offers users the ability to integrate with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, Zendesk, UserVoice, Feedly and Google Analytics. Bambu by Sprout Social, launched in August 2015, is a social media employee advocacy platform that enables organizations to curate content so that their employees can read and share it across social networks.[5]

Sprout Social was founded in 2010 by Justyn Howard, Aaron Rankin, Gil Lara and Peter Soung.[6] Sprout is a privately held company backed by the venture funds of Goldman Sachs, New Enterprise Associates and Lightbank.[7] Customers include Hyatt, Marvel, Microsoft, Uber, Zendesk and Zipcar.[8]


In late 2009, current Sprout Social CEO Justyn Howard was employed at an enterprise software company and was looking for a tool that would help him use social media to connect and communicate with customers. He found that the current solutions in the market focused on consumers and lacked the business layer that would make social media really work for brands. Therefore, he decided to build a solution to that problem and worked with current Sprout CTO Aaron Rankin, current Chief Creative Officer Gil Lara and current Director of Web and Mobile Engineering, Peter Soung to do it.[9]

Sprout Social, Inc. was founded in April 2010. The company has raised a total of $60 million, including an initial $1 million in 2010 from Lightbank, a Series B round of funding that brought in an additional $10 million from New Enterprise Associates (NEA) in February 2011, and a Series C round that raised $42 million from Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Division and NEA.[10][11]

In November 2011, Sprout launched S2, the second edition of the platform which is basis of the current model. This edition included personalized dashboards tailored to each user’s specific social media responsibilities, multi-user support, iPhone functionality, several integration options for strategic partners and other features.[12][13]

In April 2015, Sprout launched in-app support of Spanish and Portuguese languages.[14]

In August 2015, Sprout launched Bambu by Sprout Social, a social media advocacy platform for employees. Bambu enables organizations to curate selected content that employees can read and share using their personal LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook profiles.[15]

In March 2016, Sprout launched Landscape by Sprout Social, a free tool that resizes images for seven different social networks as well as for custom dimensions.[16]

Software & Services[edit]

Available via web browser, iOS and Android apps, Sprout Social’s namesake engagement platform is a web-based application that provides users the ability to manage multiple social profiles across a variety of social media networks from a single interface.

In 2015, software review site G2 Crowd named Sprout Social the top-rated social media management tool in customer satisfaction.[17]

Social Media Marketing[edit]

Sprout enables teams and users to execute a social media marketing strategy by creating, scheduling and publishing content. The Sprout Queue enables users to schedule content while patented ViralPost technology distributes content at an optimal time. Sprout integrates with Google Analytics to provide insight into social media campaign ROI.[18][19][20]

Social Media Engagement[edit]

Sprout’s Smart Inbox is a unified stream of messages that gives users a comprehensive view of incoming messages and actions across their social networks. This function allows users to monitor, respond and take action. Users can create custom brand keyword searches to capture and monitor all mentions of their brand. Users can tag and filter messages, assign messages as Tasks to their team members, identify sales leads and mark messages as complete.[21]

Social Customer Service[edit]

The Social Customer Service function enables social users and customer care teams to connect with customers, view conversation history, solve issues and create brand advocates. Sprout’s tasking feature allows users to assign messages to the appropriate team member. Sprout’s Suggested Replies feature offers responses to incoming messages based on previous replies.[22] The social CRM feature logs all conversation history between the profile and the user. Sprout integrates with Zendesk and UserVoice.[18][23]

Social Media Analytics[edit]

The Social Media Analytics function provides audience intelligence and benchmarking capabilities. Sprout’s reports include Group, Engagement, Team, Task Performance, Facebook Pages, Twitter Profiles, Trends, Twitter Comparison, Twitter Listening, Instagram Profiles and Sent Messages, and incorporates Google Analytics and Bitly tracking.[24]

Employee Advocacy[edit]

Bambu by Sprout Social is a platform for employee advocacy that provides employers a central platform where they can add, curate and organize content to update employees about company and industry news. Employees can then share approved content on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and employers can track the types and impact of content shared.[25]

Social Media Image Resizing[edit]

Landscape by Sprout Social is a free tool that allows streamlined image resizing for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube and custom sizes.[26]

Network Integrations & Partnerships[edit]

Sprout Social’s partnerships include:

  • Facebook Marketing Partner (since July 2012)[27]
  • Twitter Official Partner (since November 2012)[28][29][30]
  • Google+ Pages Certified Third-Party Management Tool (since May 2013)[31]
  • LinkedIn Company Page Partner (since September 2015)[32]
  • Instagram Partner Program Member (since November 2015)[33][34]

In November 2015, Sprout partnered with Twitter for its relaunch of the Twitter Official Partner Program, working together to further technology solutions for social customer service.[35][36]

Additionally, Sprout Social integrates with:

  • Zendesk[37]
  • UserVoice[38]
  • Bitly
  • Feedly
  • Google Analytics[39]


In 2015, Sprout Social was named one of the Chicago Tribune’s Top Workplaces based on an employee survey conducted by a third-party.[40] In April 2014, Sprout Social was named one of Crain’s Chicago Business’ Best Places to Work as the No. 2 Best Place for Millennials.[41]

Sprout Social has grown quickly since its founding in 2010, outgrowing its office and moving into 64,000 square feet in Chicago’s Citadel Center in February 2014.[42] Founder Justyn Howard cites “open communication creates progress” as his motto.[6]

Jim Conti, Director of Talent, gives an explanation of Sprout Social’s approach to workplace culture: “[it] means that you are comfortable coming into work, that you're doing a job you're proud of and that you're doing it with people you really enjoy.”[43]



  • Chicago's Fast 50: Sprout Social (#2) | Crain's Chicago Business [44]
  • Most Innovative Social Media Marketing Platform | Marketing&Tech Innovation Awards [45]


  • No. 78 Overall, No. 8 Software Company | Inc. 500 [46]
  • No. 21 Overall | Deloitte Technology Fast 500 [47]
  • Chicago Tribune Top Workplace [48]
  • Best Use of Technology in Customer Service (Bronze) | The Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service [49]
  • Top Social Media Management Tool for Customer Satisfaction | G2 Crowd [50]
  • Most Innovative Social Media Marketing Platform (Finalist) | The Hubbies [51]


  • 40 Under 40: Justyn Howard, CEO | Crain's Chicago Business [6]
  • Social Media Monitoring Award (Silver)| WOMMY Awards by Word of Mouth Marketing Association [52]
  • Best Places to Work for Employee Engagement (#2) | Crain's Chicago Business [53]
  • Best Places to Work for Millennials (#2) | Crain's Chicago Business [54]
  • Techweek 100: Justyn Howard, CEO | Techweek Chicago [55]
  • Techweek 100: Aaron Rankin, CTO | Techweek Chicago [55]
  • Startup of the Year | Moxie Awards by Built In Chicago [56]
  • CTO of the Year: Aaron Rankin | Moxie Awards by Built In Chicago [56]
  • Rising Star Award | CityLights by Illinois Technology Association [57]
  • Top 100 Digital Companies in Chicago | Built in Chicago [58]
  • Chicago's Coolest Offices (Runner-up) | Crain's Chicago Business [59]


  • Best Young Companies to Work For | Turnstone [60]
  • Best Software Company | Moxie Awards by Built In Chicago [61]
  • Top 50 Gen Y Employer (#4) | Brill Street [62]
  • Techweek 100: Justyn Howard, CEO | Techweek Chicago [63]
  • Top 100 Digital Companies in Chicago | Built in Chicago [64]
  • Technologist of the Year: Justyn Howard, CEO | Illinois Technology Association [65]


  • Best Mobile App | Moxie Awards by Built In Chicago [66]


  • Tech 25: Justyn Howard, CEO | Crain's Chicago Business [67]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ "Introducing Sprout Social in Spanish & Portuguese". Sprout Social. Retrieved 13 June 2016. 
  2. ^ "Sprout Social Crunchbase Profile". "Crunchbase". Retrieved 13 June 2016. 
  3. ^ http://fortune.com/2016/02/17/social-media-management-sprout-social/
  4. ^ http://careers.stackoverflow.com/company/sproutsocial
  5. ^ [1]. MarTech Advisor. Retrieved on 2016-13-06.
  6. ^ a b c Justyn Howard of Sprout Social is on Crain's Chicago 40 Under 40 2014 list. Chicagobusiness.com. Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  7. ^ [2]. Chicagobusiness.com. Retrieved on 2016-13-06.
  8. ^ [3]. Fortune. Retrieved on 2016-13-06.
  9. ^ Interview with Sprout Social founder Justyn Howard. DoesWhat (2013-04-22). Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  10. ^ Sprout Social Gets $10 Million From NEA – Digits – WSJ. Blogs.wsj.com (2011-02-22). Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  11. ^ Sprout Social snags new funding, continues to shake up social media management. Thenextweb.com (2011-02-23). Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  12. ^ Sprout Social launches giant new edition of its social media toolkit. Thenextweb.com (2011-11-09). Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  13. ^ Sprout Social Releases New S2 Edition of Social Media Management Platform. Business Wire (2011-11-09). Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  14. ^ [4]. Sprout Social. Retrieved on 2016-06-14.
  15. ^ [5]. MarTech Advisor. Retrieved on 2016-13-06.
  16. ^ [6]. Marketing Land. Retrieved on 2016-13-06.
  17. ^ [7] VentureBeat.com. Retrieved 2016-14-2016.
  18. ^ a b SMToolbox: Manage Your Social Media with Sprout Social. Social Media Today (2014-02-23). Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  19. ^ 10 Questions to Ask When Measuring Your Social Media ROI. Entrepreneur.com (2015-03-18). Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  20. ^ [8]. Google Patents. Retrieved on 2016-06-14.
  21. ^ 8 Incredible Features of Sprout Social (And How to Try Them). nrmedia.biz. Retrieved on 2016-06-14.
  22. ^ Sprout Social Targets 'Twitter Stress' with Suggested Replies. CMSWire.com. Retrieved on 2016-06-14.
  23. ^ Sprout Social Helps Brands Improve Customer Service – 'Net Features. Website Magazine. Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  24. ^ Social Media Tools Review: Sprout Social. Peakinboundmarketing.com (2014-08-26). Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  25. ^ Sprout Social Introduces Bambu to Enhance Social Advocacy for Employees. MarTechAdvisor.com. Retrieved on 2016-06-14.
  26. ^ Sprout Social’s Landscape optimizes images for the social web. MarketingLand.com. Retrieved on 2016-06-14.
  27. ^ [9]. Facebookmarketingpartners.com. Retrieved 2016-06-14.
  28. ^ Twitter Adds Sprout Social To Elite List Of Certified Products. Businesswire.com. Retrieved 2016-06-14.
  29. ^ Having Already Wooed Facebook, Sprout Social Now Gets Twitter Love, Too. Fastcompany.com. Retrieved 2016-06-14.
  30. ^ Already Facebook-endorsed, social management specialist Sprout Social is now one of Twitter’s Certified Products. thenextweb.com. Retrieved 2016-06-14.
  31. ^ Sprout Social Introduces Google+ Pages API Integration. Businesswire.com. Retrieved 2016-06-14.
  32. ^ Start Publishing to Your LinkedIn Company Pages from Sprout. Sproutsocial.com. Retrieved 2016-06-14.
  33. ^ [10]. Instagrampartners.com. Retrieved 2016-06-14.
  34. ^ Sprout Social introduces Instagram integration to its platform. thenextweb.com. Retrieved 2016-06-14.
  35. ^ Sprout Social Partners With Twitter on Customer Care Initiative. PRNewswire.com. Retrieved 2016-06-14.
  36. ^ With Customer Care, Twitter Wants To Sharpen Its Profile As A Platform To Do Business. TechCrunch.com. Retrieved 2016-06-14.
  37. ^ Sprout Social and Zendesk partner up for social media-fueled customer support. thenextweb.com. Retrieved 2016-06-14.
  38. ^ Sprout Social Integration with UserVoice Helpdesk Connects Social to Support. uservoice.com. Retrieved 2016-06-14.
  39. ^ SMToolbox: Manage Your Social Media with Sprout Social. socialmediatoday.com. Retrieved 2016-06-14.
  40. ^ Chicago Tribune's Top Workplaces: Sprout Social. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2016-06-14.
  41. ^ Subscription Center. ChicagoBusiness.com. Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  42. ^ Subscription Center. ChicagoBusiness.com. Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  43. ^ [11] fox32chicago.com. Retrieved 2016-06-14.
  44. ^ [12] ChicagoBusiness.com. Retrieved on 2016-06-14.
  45. ^ Most Innovative Social Media Platform: Sprout Social. dmnews.com. Retrieved 2016-06-14.
  46. ^ http://www.inc.com/profile/sprout-social
  47. ^ Deloitte's 2015 Technology Fast 500 Ranking. deloitte.com. Retrieved 2016-06-14.
  48. ^ Chicago Tribune's Top Workplaces: Sprout Social. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2016-06-14.
  49. ^ http://www.stevieawards.com/pubs/sales/awards/426_2281_25576.cfm
  50. ^ Best Social Media Management Tools: Spring 2015 report. About.g2crowd.com (2015-03-18). Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  51. ^ The Hubbies | The Hub Convene | Tech Events | The Hub. Thehubcomms.com. Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  52. ^ WOMMA on Twitter: "Congratulations @SproutSocial on the Silver Social Media Monitoring Implementation #WOMMY for Sprout Social + @TechSmith". Twitter.com (2014-11-18). Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  53. ^ Subscription Center. ChicagoBusiness.com. Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  54. ^ Subscription Center. ChicagoBusiness.com. Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  55. ^ a b The Techweek100 – the most influential people and organizations in technology. Techweek.com. Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  56. ^ a b And the 2014 Moxie Awards go to.... Built In Chicago (2014-06-21). Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  57. ^ ITA. Illinoistech.org. Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  58. ^ The 2014 Top 100 Digital Companies in Chicago. Built In Chicago (2014-11-02). Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  59. ^ Crain's Chicago's Coolest Offices of 2014. Chicagobusiness.com. Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  60. ^ The 15 Best Startups To Work For. Business Insider (2013-10-08). Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  61. ^ The Moxie Awards 2015 | Celebrating The Best in Chicago Tech. Moxieawards.builtinchicago.org. Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  62. ^ Brill Street Announces Top 50 Employers for Gen Y Emerging Talent in Chicago – CHICAGO, Dec. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/. Prnewswire.com (2013-12-17). Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  63. ^ Sprout Social on Twitter: "Our CEO Justyn Howard is in great company! Techweek 100". Twitter.com (2013-04-05). Retrieved on 2016-06-14.
  64. ^ http://www.builtinchicago.org/blog/top-100-digital-companies-chicago
  65. ^ ITA. Illinoistech.org. Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  66. ^ http://www.builtinchicago.org/2012/06/22/congratulations-moxie-award-winners
  67. ^ http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20111001/PAGES/110929913/crains-tech-25

External links[edit]