AIMultiple ResearchAIMultiple Research

Top 4 Sprout Social Alternatives in 2024

The nature of customer service is evolving. Customers are getting more comfortable with social customer service options. 

Source: HubSpot and Brandwatch.1

Sprout Social is one of the social customer service software providers that grant direct access to customers during online interactions; however, users and IT professionals have reported that the product is not an optimal solution for their organization due to its drawbacks, such as high pricing and social media features’ limitations.

This article will cover the features, user ratings, and pricing of the best Sprout Social alternatives.

Comparison of the top 4 Sprout Social alternatives

Table 1: Comparison by market presence

VendorsTotal number of employeesTotal reviews*Average ratings*Ease of use**Quality of support**Free trialPricing: starts from per seat/month
Sprout Social1,4583,3904.48.98.730-day$249.00
Zendesk Support Suite6,27510,3214.38.58.414-day$55.00

Salesforce Service Cloud
70,4434,5934.48.18.130-day$25.00
Freshdesk12,9176,7534.48.88.814-day$15.00
Intercom1,3244,0414.48.98.714-day$39.00

*Based on the total number of employees on LinkedIn as of 11/14/2023.

**Based on the total number of reviews and average ratings on Capterra, Gartner, and G2 software review platforms as of 11/14/2023. 

*** The ease of quality and quality of support data are based on G2 ratings as of 14/11/2023.

Table 2: Comparison by features

VendorsAI chatbotSocial media monitoringFeedback surveysCustom reports# of integrations*Supported languages
Sprout SocialIn premium plansIn premium plansOnly in the highest plan350+5

Zendesk Support Suite
Add-onIn premium plansIn premium plansIn premium plans1200+30+

Salesforce Service Cloud
Add-onAdd-onIn premium plansAdd-on2500+35+

Freshdesk
Add-onIn premium plansIn premium plans650+30+
IntercomAdd-onIn premium plans350+44+

* The # of integrations (2,500+) for Salesforce Service Cloud product data represents the total # of integrations for Salesforce.

Disclaimer: Sprout Social is ranked first, followed by sponsored vendors )Zendesk Support Suite and Salesforce Service Cloud). Other solutions are arranged in descending order based on the total number of reviews they have received.

Vendor selection criteria

The listings above have been narrowed according to the vendor criteria mentioned below, helping organizations make more accurate analyses considering the abundance of social customer service software vendors.

  • Employee size: 1,000+ employees on LinkedIn
  • Number of reviews: 3,000+ total reviews on Capterra, Gartner, and G2. 
  • Average rating: 4+/5 on Capterra, Gartner, and G2. 
  • Ease of quality and quality of support rating: 8+/10 on G2.

What is social customer service software?

Social customer service software is a tool that enables human agents to provide real-time customer support through social media channels, including social media posts, direct messages, or forums.

 It has two main purposes:

  1. Responding to inquiries customers may have concerning products or services.
  2. Offering technical guidance and problem-solving assistance to customers.

Sprout Social

Sprout Social, established in 2010 in Chicago, U.S., is a platform for social media management and intelligence targeted at organizations of any size.2

Sprout Social supports social media marketing efforts between users and their audiences on various channels (Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, and X), freeing them up to concentrate on building relationships with their brand’s most engaged followers. 

Pros

Social media service: Busy social media marketers state that the software’s unmatched strength is the “Smart Inbox”, which they think is a time saver for in-house users, enabling them to handle a substantial number of social media accounts or inbound customer support requests.3

Ease-of-use: Some users highlight that the platform’s single dashboard allows them to read and reply to all comments, tags, and direct messages across different social networking platforms effectively. They also say that the “Smart Inbox” function saves time by eliminating the need for manually logging in to multiple social media platforms independently.4

Reporting features: Some users emphasize that Sprout Social’s reporting and analytics features are easy to use, allowing them to transfer documents efficiently over multiple platforms.5

Cons

Pricing: According to users, the price tag of Sprout Social is a major drawback. Users also state that the software is significantly more expensive than its competitors, and several capabilities, including custom reports and canned replies, are charged separately rather than included in the standard pricing.6

Social media limitations: Several users remark that it is difficult to customize and publish stories. One reviewer notes that it is impossible to see and gather data from TikTok and answer comments.78

Social media integrations: Several reviewers note that the platform has limited social media integration capabilities. For example, posts on Instagram are not fully visible in sales apps.9

Social media functionality: Users expect to have a more streamlined process of posting across multiple social media accounts while using Sprout Social. They state that, while duplicating posts, they still need to ensure that the right user receives Instagram notifications.10

User Ratings

  • Capterra: 4.4/5
  • Gartner: 4.3/5
  • G2: 4.4/5

Pricing (per seat/month, billed annually)

Standard: $249

Professional: $399

Advanced: $499

Enterprise: Custom pricing

Free trial: 30-day11

Top 4 Sprout Social alternatives 

1- Zendesk Support Suite

Zendesk Support Suite, founded in Denmark in 2007, has over 5,400 employees and assists about 160,000 businesses in communicating and managing their customers across social media platforms.12

Zendesk is Sprout Social alternative that enables agents to choose between public chats, tweets, messages, and emails while gathering customer data in a single location for a customized customer experience.

Pros

Social media customer service: Several users emphasize that Sprout Social is a beneficial tool to organize all of the customer questions on one platform. Social media management tools in any form, such as email, SMS, Whatsapp, or online media, can be effectively tracked without anything being overlooked.13

Customization: Some users complement the ability to personalize features according to their specific use cases; some customization features they like include creating shortcuts or eliminating fields and buttons.14

Responsive UI: Users appreciate the responsiveness of Zendesk’s UI makes the entire suite easy to browse. Users state that they can efficiently shift between the chat screens while reading support tickets and social media tickets at the same time.15

Cons

Social media integrations: Users expect to have a stronger social media presence with Zendesk, noting that the social media support integration could be more extensive for all social media sites such as YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, and LinkedIn.16

Initial setup: Users claim that as there are numerous features and settings available, software setup may get complex, making it unsuitable for average or beginner users.17

Technical support: Some enterprise-level customers stated that Sprout Social’s technical support is insufficient.18

User Ratings

  • Capterra: 4.4/5
  • Gartner: 4.3/5
  • G2: 4.3/5

Pricing (per seat/month, billed annually)

  • Suite team: $55.00
  • Suite growth: $89.00
  • Suite professional: $115.00
  • Suite enterprise: Custom pricing
  • Free trial: 14-day19

2- Salesforce Service Cloud

Salesforce Service Cloud is another alternative to Sprout Social with cloud-based social media service features that assist users in streamlining services, improving workflows, and identifying relevant subjects to help human agents in social media service operations.

Users of Salesforce Social Customer Service can transform social media postings into cases or leads. Agents may reply to social media comments, posts, hashtags, or mentions from the Service Console, enabling your company to participate in customer interactions on platforms such as X, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

Pros

Omni-channel social media integrations: Some users appreciate the omnichannel capability of Service Cloud for integrating new social media channels.20

Social media customer service: Users note that the software maintains track of all sales data related to customer service while enabling them to have powerful service oversight over social media profiles.21
Customization: Users say that Salesforce Service Cloud allows them to customize fields to meet the needs of their company efficiently.22

Cons

Social media performance: Some users claim that Service Cloud does not provide simple use cases.23

Pricing: Users say that small businesses may find the first subscription cost prohibitively expensive.24

Customer service function usability: According to some users, navigation between various support issues takes time and may be improved since it brings users to the home screen and causes them to browse back and forth.25

User Ratings

  • Capterra: 4.4/5
  • Gartner: 4.4/5
  • G2: 4.3/5

Pricing (starting price per seat/month, billed annually)

  • Starter: $25.00
  • Professional: $80.00
  • Enterprise: $165.00
  • Unlimited: $330.00
  • Free trial: 30-day26

3- Freshdesk

Freshdesk is a customer service software with social service features that helps users engage with customers on social media channels such as X, Instagram, and Facebook from a single interface.

The social media management platform has a specific menu bar for social media managers and users to control, oversee, and manage the social media customer service operations called “Social”.  It includes an AI-powered social signal analyzer that monitors social media posts that mention your company. Using its built-in machine learning technology, Social discovers, learns, and provides feedback on relevant postings. These postings are converted into filtered tickets, preventing the support team from wasting time on irrelevant issues. 

Pros

Customer service (tickets): Users remark that Freshdesk interacts seamlessly with their technology stack and that it is simple to track down and manage cases. All support tickets (regardless of channel, i.e., social media, in-app help, electronic mail, etc.) are routed right to their team’s Slack channel.27

Customer support: Several users state that Freshdesk’s customer service is top-notch. 24/7 email assistance is available through automatic and constant chat, emails, phone calls, and social media.28

Connectivity: Some users state that the stability of the Freshdesk connection is powerful, which makes it a reliable and secure social media management tool.29

Cons

Pricing structure: According to users, Freshdesk’s pricing might be complicated because there are multiple add-ons available.30

Social media channel fragmentation: Users state that it can be difficult for companies to handle and react to customer requests that come in across many channels such as email, chat, phone, social media, and others.31

Crashes and customer support: Some users draw attention to the maintenance problem that causes the Freshdesk mobile app to crash, noting that no information is given as to why the software crashes or how long it will be down.32

User Ratings

  • Capterra: 4.5/5
  • Gartner: 4.4/5
  • G2: 4.4/5

Pricing (per seat/month)

  • Growth: $15.00
  • Omni-channel growth: $29.00
  • Pro: $48.00
  • Omni-channel pro: $59.00
  • Enterprise: $69.00
  • Omni-channel enterprise: $99.00
  • Free-trial: 14-day33

4- Intercom

Intercom is a customer service platform that helps businesses enhance their customer experience by delivering end-to-end engagement on social media management platforms.

Pros

Social media customer service: Users affirm that Intercom’s social media channels function accurately; there’s no need for them to refresh the website to see whether there’s a message on Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media websites.34

Social media communications (search tool): Intercom is considered to be an efficient social media scheduling tool by users. Users state that social media communications can be easily managed; the search tool effectively collects data from all of the clients and sends messages to them.35

Ease-of-use: Reviews reveal that the shared inbox function helps deliver quick and straightforward support; from the screen, users may efficiently obtain information, provide advertisements, process leads, and provide customer service support.36

Cons

Social media integrations: Users express that Intercom may improve some of its integrations, particularly with social media platforms such as Facebook; these integrations appear to bug out frequently and may cause communication gaps with customers.37

Pricing structure: The price structure is complicated; several customers were unsure how much they pay for each activity or function they use.38

Complex platform: Intercom seems to be a relatively complex social media management tool, according to some users due to the numerous capabilities it provides.39

User Ratings

  • Capterra: 4.5/5
  • Gartner: 4.1/5
  • G2: 4.5/5

Pricing (per seat/month, billed annually)

  •  Essential: $39.00
  • Advanced: $99.00
  • Expert: $139.00
  • Free-trial: 14-day40

4 core features of Sprout Social alternatives

The core features explained below are based on distinctive features compared in Table 2 (see above). To gain in-depth information related to social customer software features, read our up-to-date and data-driven article on social customer service.

1- AI chatbots

AI chatbots are intelligent chatbots that employ artificial intelligence (AI) or generative AI methods such as machine learning to develop responses over time to collect user data and accurately learn, analyze, and comprehend the data set for specific intentions.

AI chatbots for social media customer service: ~90% of customer inquiries are handled in at most 10 messages or less with AI chatbots.41

The majority of chatbot discussions are brief and to the point. AI chatbots (e.g., Instagram chatbots) can control the user experience, conversation flow, and response time on social media communications. This helps customers obtain immediate responses on social channels.

2- Social media monitoring

Social media monitoring is a strategy of reviewing and reacting to social media interactions related to your company, such as key mentions, comments, postings, and hashtags. 

~80% of surveyed professionals consider social monitoring as a key planning element in defining social media strategy.42

3- Feedback surveys

A customer feedback survey is a method of identifying and measuring the satisfaction of various corporate units or customers to observe their experiences, needs, and ideas related to the brand. 

Feedback is determined by monitoring the company’s products or services and can often consist of precisely written questions. Feedback surveys can be delivered through direct messages, online surveys, and online community forums across social channels.

4- Custom reports

Custom reports, in contrast to standard reports, are insights (e.g., social media analytics) that you develop according to unique requirements to meet special reporting demands.

With custom reporting, users can leverage a wide range of visualization options by adding specific filters, guaranteeing the data is displayed in the most useful manner. 

Transparency statement

AIMultiple serves numerous tech companies, including Salesforce and Zendesk.

Further reading

Read our transparent, up-to-date articles to learn more about social customer service alternatives and customer engagement automation.

For more on customer service, check out our data-driven list of customer experience software.

Contact us to find out more about social customer service:

Find the Right Vendors
Access Cem's 2 decades of B2B tech experience as a tech consultant, enterprise leader, startup entrepreneur & industry analyst. Leverage insights informing top Fortune 500 every month.
Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst
Follow on

Drafted by
Mert Palazoğlu
Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst

Cem has been the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per similarWeb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.

Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.

Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.

He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.

Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

To stay up-to-date on B2B tech & accelerate your enterprise:

Follow on

Next to Read

Comments

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.

0 Comments