1. Sprout Social Support
2. Sprout User Guides
3. Sprout Essentials
Engage with Smart Inbox
Sprout Social’s unified Smart Inbox helps businesses effectively engage and foster authentic conversations with their audience. The Smart Inbox is built around two concepts. First, visibility into your message volume and activity enables you to more effectively and efficiently communicate with your customers. Second, you need tools that enable you to not only be more effective and organized today, but that are also flexible enough to support your social strategy as it evolves. This guide will show you how to get the most out of Sprout by using the inbox features to manage incoming messages across your social profiles and analyzing your team’s messaging and responsiveness using the Engagement Report.
Real Time Activity Chart
Visualize your Smart Inbox activity in a real-time chart—whether it’s all messages or only those you still have to get to. As you work through messages, you and your designated front-line team can mark them complete, removing them from the inbox and causing the blue completion bars to rise.
Your whole team, regardless of message permissions, will see real-time progress and know where each person left off, ensuring smarter, faster, and more personal communications. See a visual count of inbox items by timeframe, right next to your message stream. Click on an individual bar to dig into a specific week, day, or hour and isolate that set of messages.
View by Completed Status
Once messages are marked as complete, users on your team that have been granted the permission can remove them from their inbox view by checking Hide Completed Google Adwords campaign management Items. If your team likes to divvy up the workload, marking as complete and hiding messages from the inbox will ensure smarter collaboration. For teams spread out over multiple time zones, these new inbox features allow for seamless transitions as one team hands off to another. Or, if you just want to make sure you always know exactly where you left off each time you log in to Sprout, mark as complete will help you focus on the messages that you haven’t gotten to yet.
Flip between Show Completed Items and Hide Completed Items to see all messages in the Smart Inbox (regardless of their completion status) or hide all completed messages from the inbox and stay focused on what’s next.
Mark Complete in Bulk to complete any older messages that don’t require a response from your team.
Note: Only account owners can Mark Complete in Bulk.
Grant your front-line team the power to Manage message status in Settings > Users & Social Profiles so that they can start marking messages as completed. Your team members without message status permissions can still see the inbox chart, interact with messages, and view real-time conversation updates.
Note: Only account owners have Manage message status permission upon Sprout account sign up. Account owners must grant this permission to other users. Once a manager has permission to Manage message status, they can grant that status to any other user.
View by Timeframe
Select a timeframe to see the number of messages remaining in the window selected. Swap the timeframe to change to chart and count to be reflective of the past:
• 90 days: see messages for the past quarter broken down by week.
• 30 days: see messages for the past month broken down by day.
• 14 days: see messages on a bi-weekly basis broken down by day.
• 7 days: see messages for the past week broken down by day.
• 24 hours: see messages for the past day broken down by hour.
Once you’ve selected a timeframe, click an individual bar to isolate a specific range within that window. For example, you can view your remaining items for a specific hour when viewing the past 24 hours.
Filter & Isolate
Manage all of your social channels via the single-stream messaging inbox. Control which messages appear in your Smart Inbox by selecting or deselecting specific profiles, message types, and brand keywords.
Sprout users each have their own inbox view so they can configure and navigate to messages and conversations based on what they are responsible for monitoring and managing. Simply click on a specific profile name or keyword to isolate that specific content in your feed, which will display only the messages related to your selection in the inbox stream.
Once you’ve isolated a profile, view by All Time, or select the date from which you’d like to view your messages. Choose to View by Type–by all or specific message type.
Add Brand Keywords
Brand keywords are specific keywords that your audience may use while talking about your brand or when using some iteration of your business’ name—whether through a direct mention or not.
Brand Keywords are limited per group depending on your Sprout plan. Limiting brand keywords helps ensure that your inbox doesn’t get too cluttered, resulting in missing the messages that matter. We suggest having
Include search operators to filter out irrelevant messages and zero in on the keyword or phrase matches that are most relevant to your brand. Whether you are looking for an exact phrase, messages in a specific language, or need to exclude certain words, you can configure keywords with operators to include only those results.
Use the Near This Place geo-location feature to see Tweets containing your brand keywords or phrases within a certain distance of a specified location.
Give your brand keywords nicknames in the Name Keyword field to easily identify keywords with long names and multiple operators in your Filters.
Note: As of April 30th, 2015, Facebook no longer allows public searches in their API. Therefore, Brand Keywords can not be created for Facebook. Read more here.
Brand Keywords Use Case
The following example illustrates how brand keywords can be used to pull relevant messages into the Smart Inbox.
Link Building CO is a coffee chain known for its unique coffee selection and great service in Chicago, Illinois. They have a fairly active Twitter audience and their customers often tweet pictures to the brand of their personal coffee creations.
Here are some examples of the Brand Keywords that Link Building CO has set up to make sure that they are able to view Twitter messages that are important to their corporate and local brands:
“Link Building CO” OR #LinkBuildingCO OR “Link Building”
Near this Place: Within 5 miles of Chicago, IL, USA
Link Building CO is known for its great customer service, so they also want to monitor any incoming messages from their customers talking about them on Twitter, even if their handle isn’t directly mentioned. With this keyword phrase, they can see any mentions of #LinkBuildingCO, “Link Building CO”, or “Link Building” within 5 miles of Chicago.
As part of their customer care strategy, they set up a keyword to quickly isolate any messages including a question mark (?) that have been tweeted at their handle, so they can make sure they are very responsive to questions from both current and potential customers.
@ChiSproutCoffee OR “Link Building” filter:images
Near this place: Within 5 miles of Chicago, IL USA
Link Building CO wants to see, engage with, and potentially retweet their customer’s coffee images to its audience as part of its brand marketing strategy. With the image filter, any tweets at their handle with an image will be pulled into the smart inbox for Link Building CO to manage.
Learn more about advanced brand keywords and search operators.
Easily manage complete conversations across all of your social networks in one place with Sprout’s integrated messaging actions for Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
Click the gear icon in the upper right hand corner of a message to view available actions.
Note: Sprout integrates with Google Translate for the language translation feature. Set up your default language in Settings >Personal Settings.
Set messages that require extra attention aside-whether it’s a Tweet of praise, a Facebook post suggesting an improvement, or just a comment to address later. Mark messages as Saved by choosing Save Message from the message options. Check out your Messages > Saved Messages tab later to revisit the message.
Allow your front-line team to view and control the completion status for each message in your inbox, letting users hide completed messages from the inbox and stay focused on what’s next, making sure that your business will never miss an important message and no customer will go unanswered. Replied to a message? Just mark it complete. Work toward a finite inbox and be aware of your progress along the way with the responsive inbox chart that adjusts the inbox timeframe.
Take advantage of added flexibility with the option to mark messages as complete from anywhere in Sprout Social. It’s not just restricted to Smart Inbox, you can mark messages as complete from within any message reply modal or task.
The ability to mark as complete is controlled by a Manage message status permission; simply designate specific people on your team who can mark and view completed messages. You can set these permissions under Settings > Users & Social Profiles.
Create tasks to assign or route messages to the appropriate team members to help ensure quick response times for your customers and clear message ownership. Sprout’s tasking features provide complete visibility into and control over task management for your team.
Click the pushpin icon to task incoming messages to your team members who are responsible for following up on or managing the conversation.
The pushpin icon will remain shaded blue if a task has already been created, and the task assignment details will show when a task has been assigned or completed when you scroll over the icon.
Read more about managing tasks and team collaboration.
View Customer Profile
Sprout helps support authentic engagement with your audience by providing a shared customer record visible to your entire team. For any Twitter messages, your team members can click on a contact’s avatar to see the full contact profile view and reference a complete conversation history to keep engagement with the contact relevant and personal.
View the full conversation history of this contact with your managed Twitter handles, and also see the contact’s Tweets, Mentions, Followers, who they are Following, and their Klout score.
Create a detailed customer record by adding custom notes or personal contact information to the contact’s profile, which are also visible across your team. We’ll also tell you what social networks the contact uses under the On Networks section.
You can easily follow or unfollow a contact from this page and see how they are following you in the Following From section.
Click Add to List to add a contact to any of the Twitter lists that you’ve created. Twitter lists can be created in either the native network or in Sprout, and you’ll still have access to them in the Sprout application. View your Twitter lists in Feeds -> Twitter Feeds.
Reply to Messages
Click the Reply icon on the lower right hand corner of a Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ message to send a reply. For Twitter messages, click the camera icon or drag and drop to include a photo. Sprout provides the conversation history between your team and a contact within the reply modal. Reference those conversations to engage authentically with your audience as a unified brand.
Once a message has been replied to, the reply icon on the message will remain shaded. Hover over the reply icon to see which team member sent the reply to the message.
In Facebook replies, Sprout supports adding a new comment or replying to an existing comment.
Facebook replies also support photo uploads. Click the camera icon or drag and drop a photo to include it in your response.
Click Tracking with Bit.ly
When responding to a message and including a URL, click the shorten links button to shorten any links or URLs via Bit.ly. Our Bit.ly integration tracks the number of clicks on each unique Bit.ly URL. Click data is available in Reports > Sent Messages > Twitter.
Note: You may also log into your Bit.ly account or add ‘+’ to the end of the URL (i.e., http://bit.ly.com/902ndgh+) to view click data through Bit.ly’s site. Connect your own Bitly account under Settings > Business Settings.
Read more about Bit.ly FAQs.
If one of your team members is already viewing or responding to a message, we’ll give you an activity update in real-time so that you avoid sending duplicate or conflicting responses to your audience. Collision Detection is available while responding to Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ messages. We’ll show you if a team member is viewing a message even before you attempt to reply.
If you click to reply, we’ll also show you the team member that’s already responding to the message.
Measure Your Engagement
Take your social engagement to the next level by using the Engagement Report. This report helps you measure team engagement efforts happening around messaging in the Smart Inbox. Analyze your response metrics to better understand and gauge your responsiveness to messages that warrant a response from your brand. Customize the Engagement Report to view the engagement for a specific social channel over a certain time period.
Note: The Engagement Report is available with Premium plans and above.
Sprout Social calculates your Percentile Ranking related to your engagement with your audience by comparing your Response Rate and Response Time metrics for the selected period against the latest data that we have on profiles similar to yours.
Sprout looks for words like who, what, when, where, why, and other “question” indicators to identify which messages appear to warrant a response—your Estimated Inbound count. The Engagement Report also tracks Replies Sent to those messages to give you an indication of your team’s responsiveness. Scroll over the graphs within this report to view granular date and time metrics.
Estimated Inbound vs. Replies is the number of replies that your brand sent compared to the number of estimated inbound messages for the selected date range.
Average Daily Response Rates and Times are shown by individual day and overall for the selected date range. Scroll over the graphs to view daily metrics.
The Response Time Distribution shows the percentages of messages responded to within specific time periods. For example, your brand can view the percentage of messages responded in under 30 mins as compared to 24 hours.
Analyze your team’s Response Rate and Time to messages by the day and even down to the hour. Identify trends and gaps in response rates and times, adjusting your social presence as needed.
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