We tested Sprout Social for 2 months after reviewing a slew of social media marketing tools. The detailed analysis across all social channels and the amount and type of data that was available was very helpful. We utilized the software for our own social media marketing as well as clients social media marketing. It helped us keep a central dashboard to manage many social media accounts for many different users.
Hootsuite Pro's dashboard offers an easier view of all social campaigns, however the analytics and ease of use for finding and evaluating ROI are not nearly as impressive or useful. Buffer doesn't offer quite as much functionality and also has access to less social profiles. We were doing analysis on all tools simultaneously.
Cost per user and the ability for one individual to manage the product without ample training make Sprout Social hard to justify the cost. The training offered by Sprout Social is very useful but internally in our organization the details and specifics make it hard to accomplish all the things possible with the tool.
Sprout Social is great for enterprise customers, and customers with ample per-user marketing budgets who want to zoom in on social media marketing. It'll be difficult for smaller organizations to prove ROI in the short term using Sprout Social. Key questions to ask during the selection process are about budgetary constraints as well as whether or not organizations are reselling the software.