Are you seeking Sprout Social alternatives that offer more affordable plans, faster customer support, and smoother internal publishing and approval processes?
There are plenty of social media management tools on the market that are diverse in their features, budget, and focus. In this article, I’ve gathered the eight best Sprout Social alternatives to help you streamline your social media strategy.
Why do you need Sprout Social alternatives?
Sprout Social is an all-in-one social media management platform that handles social scheduling and planning, social listening, monitoring and analytics.
One of Sprout Social’s key features is its built-in social CRM. You can use it to access and organize customer contact details and monitor conversations. You can also add internal notes so team members can get up-to-date with the customers’ issues and provide relevant answers.
The platform’s employee advocacy tools help expand your social media reach by allowing team members to easily share curated content under their social accounts. But this functionality comes as an extra add-on, which brings us to the platform’s drawbacks.
Sprout Social’s pricing can be a deal-breaker for many small businesses. The platform’s packages start at $249/month, and they’re available to one user. If you want to add team members to the platform, you’ll have to pay an additional $249, $399, or $499/user/month (depending on the selected plan), which can significantly bump up the platform’s costs. As a result, many marketers consider Sprout Social alternatives that won’t break the bank.
Moreover, Sprout Social puts some functionalities, like social listening and premium analytics, behind a paywall.
Here’s what a G2 reviewer had to say about Sprout Social’s pricing plans:
What do you dislike about Sprout Social?
The price is most than 200% than other solutions and scales really poorly. The pricing is just way too much. There are so many other systems out there that allow multiple users for 1/3rd of the cost. This solution does not grow with a larger team.
There’s also a steep learning curve due to the platform’s complexity, while users report that Sprout Social’s publishing tools can get a little awkward: you need to tag users manually on each post by typing in their name or selecting them from a dropdown menu, which can take a while to scroll through.
Supported platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, YouTube, Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business).
Pricing: Plans start at $249/month with a 30-day free trial available.
Having covered the basics, let’s get into more details and examine Sprout Social’s calendar, collaboration, and approval functionalities — crucial features for effective social media management.
My take on Sprout Social’s publishing and collaboration features
Sprout Social’s calendar is available under the Publishing dashboard. You can view scheduled content either weekly or monthly and choose between a compact or expanded view.
The expanded view offers a preview of each post’s visuals and captions. The compact view only reveals the number of posts you have scheduled for a specific platform at a given time, which is excellent for maintaining a clean interface on busy calendars. Sprout Social also offers a list view, along with a graph that shows the volume of content you’ve scheduled on specific days.
The platform allows you to easily preview, leave notes, or add internal comments directly within the calendar interface. As for filtering options, you can sift through posts by social profile, post type (like queued, scheduled, or to-be-approved posts), and labels.
Other notable features include the ability to share calendars with external stakeholders via shareable links, PDF exports, or email. Sprout Social also offers ideal sending time suggestions.
In terms of drawbacks, I found that post labels aren’t visible straight away. A labeled post is signaled by a tag icon, but it doesn’t specify its exact label (like high-priority or awaiting approval). You’ll instead need to hover your mouse to see each post’s label, which will get cumbersome once you schedule high volumes of content.
You can collaborate with team members by leaving internal comments under each post within the calendar or media asset library. The platform also includes custom user permissions, giving more control over who can access or edit media assets.
Sprout Social’s inbox manager allows you to turn specific customer messages into tasks and delegate them to the appropriate team members. You can leave notes next to each message to give the assigned teammate a general idea of how to communicate with the customer in question.
Sprout Social offers a clear overview of your workflows by showing tasks on a team or individual user level. Other notable features include team performance reports, version control, and live team activity updates.
Sprout Social facilitates multi-step workflows. You can create multiple approval stages and add team members to each specific level. The platform allows you to select between saved approval workflows directly within the post composer, adding an extra layer of convenience.
A post won’t be published unless it goes through all the set workflow stages. This functionality is excellent for ensuring error-free content. You also have the option to skip workflow steps if you have full publishing permissions — a nice touch if you’re a one-man army.
Posts awaiting approvals are found in the Needs Approval tab within the Publishing dashboard. From there, you can approve, reject, leave feedback, and browse through posts via various filters (like author, post type, tag, and more).
Sprout Social is packed with features, making it a great choice for large organizations seeking to manage multiple aspects of their social media strategy. However, its steep price tag and learning curve make the platform out of reach for independent social media managers or agencies with a tighter budget.
That said, let’s go over eight Sprout Social alternatives you should consider.
1. Planable: best Sprout Social alternative for collaboration and approval
Content management and collaboration are what define Planable. The tool offers immense team collaboration features, including comments, real-time discussions, and multi-level approval workflows. Altogether, it makes content creation as inclusive and efficient as it gets.
With Planable, marketers tackle all sorts of written content: from social media posts to blog articles and newsletters. It’s a comprehensive visual tool that aids busy social media marketers stay on top of their content game.
Planable has helped make our entire approval process so simple. Before using Planable, I had tried Hootsuite, Sendible, Sprout Social, AgoraPulse, and a couple others to schedule our clients’ content. None of those schedulers have simplified our approvals and scheduling process the way the Planable has.
Planable allows for multiple-step approvals, so my organic strategist can create the posts within Planable, alert me that they’re ready for review, then I can alert the client that they’re ready to approve. The client can then pop in and edit and/or approve individual or all posts. By approving, the post is automatically scheduled for publication. No more copying and pasting posts in google docs or spreadsheets or emails for approvals – everything is done on a calendar within Planable.
Rachel G. CEO & Senior Strategist, verified G2 review
Planable offers a free plan with 50 scheduled posts. Teams can upgrade for only $11 per user per month based on the number of users and workspaces. You can register for free in 30 seconds without needing a credit card.
Even though Planable offers an intuitive social media analytics feature, it doesn’t cover social listening or monitoring.
Planable vs. Sprout Social
Planable’s content calendar brings more features to the table. For one, you can organize upcoming content via color-coded labels, which are fully visible in the calendar interface. Planable also offers more filtering options as you can browse through posts by their authors or feedback, for instance.
Most notably, you can see how posts would look on both desktops and mobiles before publishing — a feature unavailable in Sprout Social.
Aside from list views, Planable offers grid and feed layouts. The feed view follows a similar layout to platforms like Facebook, or LinkedIn, allowing you to visualize precisely how posts would look on these platforms.
Other noteworthy functionalities include the option to approve posts and leave feedback directly within the calendar via comments or notes, as well as posting content on one or multiple social media platforms simultaneously with the sync on/off feature.
Team collaboration happening right next to social media post in Planable
Like Sprout Social, Planable allows you to collaborate with team members via internal notes, mentions, and comments in context.
However, Planable’s collaboration tools extend beyond social media posts. As mentioned, you can leave feedback on any type of written content you wish through the Universal Content posts.
Another stand-out is Planable’s mock-up builder. This functionality allows you to create fully-fledged custom social media pages for any of the platforms that Planable supports without having them go live — perfect for showcasing work to prospects without connecting to real social media accounts.
Other than that, Planable includes version control, custom user permissions, shared media libraries, and the option to collaborate with external stakeholders through shareable links.
Like Sprout Social, Planable offers custom approval workflows. You can select between four types of approvals: none, optional, required, and multi-level.
I found Planable’s multi-level workflow builder better structured. It’s highly visual, giving you a better overview of the approval process. Rather than adding approvers by selecting team members from a dropdown menu, Planable follows a drag-and-drop-based format, which makes the process more straightforward.
Additionally, Planable allows you to approve content with just one click. In contrast, Sprout Social requires you to either open a secondary menu on each post and click Approve or head over to the Needs Approval tab — a few extra steps.
I love the tool. Very good user interface. I enjoy it more than Sprout Social. It’s so easy to propose content to clients. It adds value, and it makes the process super simple.
Planable vs. Sprout Social final takeaway
Although Sprout Social includes more features, like social inbox management and analytics, Planable’s approval system is better fleshed out — you can approve posts with a single click while its multi-level approval workflow builder is highly visual and easy to use.
Planable is also more versatile in collaboration, as you can work and collaborate on written content beyond social media posts. Then there’s the pricing: Planable’s $11/user/month (annually) starter package is much more affordable than Sprout’s $249/month Standard plan.
Overall, Planable is the best Sprout Social alternative, especially for teams that aim at collaborative processes and building streamlined content workflows. It’s more flexible and can be tailored to fit the needs of any social media marketing team.
2. Hootsuite: best look-alike Sprout Social alternative
Hootsuite is a social media tool with much in common with Sprout Social. It provides an all-encompassing view of social media presence across multiple accounts. Hootsuite balances out a social media scheduling tool with social media reports and a sprinkle of social listening.
Hootsuite’s key features are:
- Publishing calendar to schedule and publish social posts across multiple social media platforms.
- Smart recommendations on peak engagement time.
- Social media monitoring tools to stay on top of trends, including mention tracking and competitor analysis.
- Actionable insights and reports to track the results of social media campaigns.
Hootsuite’s paid plans start at $99/month after 30 days of a free trial.
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, TikTok, and YouTube.
Although Hootsuite is cheaper than Sprout Social, it still leans toward the upper price category. The platform’s UX is sometimes clumsy.
Hootsuite vs. Sprout Social
- Same as Sprout Social, Hootsuite has many built-in reports, including a side-by-side comparison of the key metrics and competitors’ benchmarks reporting feature.
- Both tools offer content suggestions and inspiration to find new ideas for social campaigns.
- Hootsuite is cheaper than Sprout Social ($99 vs. $249) and provides more features in its most affordable plan.
Among all Sprout Social alternatives, Hootsuite is the most similar social media management tool: the platforms share the same features in analytics, manage multiple clients, and streamline social marketing efforts. However, Hootsuite is cheaper, and if you have a mid-sized team, it can be your optimal choice. If you’ve tried Hootsuite and it didn’t tick all the boxes, check these six Hootsuite alternatives we’re tried and tested.
3. Agorapulse: best Sprout Social competitor for social inbox management
Agorapulse has got you covered for all the primary social media needs, like post scheduling, reporting, social media listening, and team collaboration. Marketers favor this Sprout Social alternative for its advanced social media inbox, including labels for raving brand fans, filters, and saved replies for direct messages and comments.
With Agorapulse, you can:
- Edit, schedule, and publish social media posts across multiple platforms.
- Leverage smart social inbox and streamline your brand’s user interaction.
- Label your conversations and keep track of crucial feedback from your target audience.
- Follow the analytics and reports on your social media activities and get recommendations based on your results.
You can use Agorapulse for free or opt for one of their four paid plans that start at $49/month.
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, TikTok, YouTube, and Google My Business.
Agorapulse doesn’t support Pinterest and blog post creation, and you’ll need to subscribe to their more expensive plans to get additional features, such as collaboration tools.
Agorapulse vs. Sprout Social
- Agorapulse requires less onboarding: it has a straightforward interface and comprehensive knowledge base.
- Agorapulse provides custom-built reports with the metrics of your choice and allows you to access the social channel data for up to 24 months back, while Sprout Social asks to pay extra for personalized metrics.
- According to the users, Agorapulse’s support team is much faster and more helpful than the one at Sprout Social.
Agorapulse is one of the best Sprout Social alternatives for those who need a little bit of everything. It has extensive analytics, a birds-eye view of the content, an automatic publishing tool, and many other features a steady social media tool needs. Like Sprout Social, Agorapulse ticks all the boxes but for a significantly lesser price.
4. Statusbrew: Sprout Social alternative for advanced reporting
Statusbrew is another social media management suite that provides almost the same features as Sprout but at a much lower price. It helps create sophisticated and consumable report templates for in-depth analysis of your social media efforts. It even allows you to benchmark your performance against your competitors and features like AI sentiment analysis and advanced comment moderation to improve the overall social media strategy.
Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google Business Profile, WhatsApp, Pinterest.
With Statusbrew you can:
- Schedule across multiple pages with channel-based editing options.
- Automate and reply to social media engagements in an unified inbox.
- Have a CRM to keep track of every contact received from socials.
- Hide and delete comments on your organic and dynamic posts based on sentiment and keywords to protect the brand’s reputation.
Statusbrew’s integrations profile isn’t as wide as Sprout’s.
Statusbrew vs Sprout Social
- A quick support team that eases the onboarding and training without any extra cost.
- No upselling or constant price increases at regular intervals.
- Low learning curve.
- Statusbrew has simple yet powerful properties like filters, tags, automations, and team collaboration.
With Statusbrew, you get the same value and results as Sprout Social but at a better price. You can give it a test run to explore more features.
5. Zoho Social: best Sprout alternative for affordable analytics
Zoho Social is not only about social media management — it’s also a relatively powerful social media analytics tool. Zoho is known for its extensive analytics and custom reports that can help marketing teams gain deeper insight into their social media efforts.
Besides analytics, Zoho Social also offers:
- Social media scheduling and posting across multiple social media profiles.
- Data-driven recommendations to optimize content performance and hit peak engagement.
- Roles and permissions to build a content workflow.
- Social media listening features like a customized dashboard and mention tracking across social media accounts.
Zoho has a free plan and five paid plans starting from $15/month.
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, TikTok, YouTube, and Google My Business.
Zoho doesn’t provide many customization options for different social media platforms, and their team workflows are pretty basic and lack multilayer approval. Additionally, some users have mentioned that Zoho’s support could use some improvement.
Zoho Social vs. Sprout Social
- Small businesses can use this social media management tool for free for up to seven social media accounts.
- Like as Sprout Social, Zoho offers extensive in-depth analytical reports on audience, engagement, and content performance.
- Zoho has integrations with other Zoho products like CRM and Zoho Desk — this helps keep social media marketing efforts aligned and cohesive.
Zoho Social offers extensive analytical insights and does the job for a lesser price. It can be a good Sprout Social alternative for medium or small businesses with a data-driven approach.
6. CoSchedule: best social media scheduling tool alternative to Sprout
For many small teams or individual creators, full-scale social media management tools like Sprout Social can feel like very expensive overkill. CoSchedule is an excellent option for those who aim for more streamlined content processes.
With the CoSchedule’s marketing calendar, creators can:
- Schedule posts for social media, blogs, and newsletters in one place and rearrange them easily.
- Fill in the gaps in the content plan using bulk scheduling.
- Leverage basic social reports on social media campaigns and share them with your high-ups.
- Manage content tasks from a single dashboard and collaborate with team members.
CoSchedule’s marketing calendar has free and paid plans, with the Pro version costing $29/month.
Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, blog, and email client integrations.
CoSchedule doesn’t offer much besides the marketing calendar and some collaboration features: it lacks social media listening features, content workflows, and social inbox.
CoSchedule vs. Sprout Social
- CoSchedule is not an advanced social media multi-tool like Sprout Social and primarily targets the issue of scattered content efforts and post scheduling.
- It has a free version that offers just enough features for small social media teams and individuals.
- Unlike Sprout Social, CoSchedule offers integrations with blog platforms that can be useful if your team works with articles.
CoSchedule is a targeted tool for small teams and individual creators who need to tame marketing chaos. If your team doesn’t need an extensive feature list, CoSchedule is a nifty minimalistic Sprout Social alternative with attractive prices and efficient solutions.
7. Tailwind: best email and social media bundle Sprout Social alternative
Tailwind combines a social media management tool, built-in design features, and an email marketing solution. Although it has limited integrations with social media, Tailwind helps handle content for three major channels and email newsletters together on one platform.
Besides planning, creating, and scheduling social media content, Tailwind can:
- Schedule posts at the best possible times to maximize engagement and reach;
- Discover popular content in your niche and help the team curate it using the Content Discovery feature.
- Identify the best-performing posts, track follower growth, and gain insights into audience behavior with reports and built-in analytics.
- Streamline email marketing efforts and leverage the AI recommendation for your newsletters.
Tailwind offers a free plan and three paid ones starting at $19.99 per month.
Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, blog, and email marketing integrations.
Tailwind is limited in its platforms: it only supports Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, and auto-posting is only available for posts with no more than one image. Also, the interface may be overwhelming for new users.
Tailwind vs. Sprout Social
- Unlike Sprout Social, Tailwind offers an email marketing solution which can be a decisive factor for some marketing teams.
- Tailwind is significantly cheaper, and its free version covers the needs of small teams — provided they’re primarily working with the supported platforms.
Unlike some alternatives to Sprout Social, Tailwind has its own email marketing client and blog support and provides extensive design features to create your posts. If your team has limited social network coverage and wants to handle email marketing simultaneously, Tailwind is your candidate.
8. Later: best social media management Sprout Social competitor
Initially, Later served as an exclusive social media management tool for Instagram. Although it expanded to include other social platforms, it focuses primarily on Instagram-centric features and caters to visually-oriented platforms such as Pinterest and TikTok.
Nevertheless, Later enables its users to:
- Create, schedule, and publish posts to all supported platforms using a visual publishing calendar.
- Take vantage of its smart hashtag suggestions and user-generated content search.
- Use built-in social media reporting to tweak the marketing strategy and optimal posting time.
- Stay on brand with every post through the grid mockup.
The three paid plans for Later start at $18/month.
Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, and YouTube.
Later remains an Instagram-centric platform, offering most of its advanced features for Instagram only. Users also can’t post text-only content through Later.
Later vs. Sprout Social
- Later is a niche tool for visual social media and meets the needs of Instagram creators best.
- Like Sprout Social, Later offers scheduling, analytics, and smart recommendations.
- Later is more affordable, making it a more suitable option for individual creators.
Later is a straightforward tool for those who know their game. It is handy for Instagram and Tiktok creators who need to take care of their feed and gather basic analytics on a budget — for a case like this, Sprout Social would be a massive overkill.
Sprout Social Alternatives FAQs
What is better than Sprout Social?
Planable is the best Sprout Social alternative regarding collaboration and feature-price balance. It’s highly customizable for a team of any size. However, if you’re on a hunt for advanced analytics, try Zoho or Hootsuite.
Is there a free alternative to Sprout Social?
If you’re looking for a free Sprout Social alternative, try Planable: its free version includes 50 posts and has no time limit. After you dip your toes into the functionality, feel free to upgrade — it only costs $11 monthly.
What’s better, Sprout or Hootsuite?
Of all social media management platforms, Sprout Social and Hootsuite might be the most alike: they share many features, including analytical tools, content calendar, and social media monitoring. Sprout Social offers a better interface and more social listening options, but Hootsuite is cheaper.