• August 7, 2015
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Sprout Social Expands Twitter Partnership

Expanding on a partnership that began in 2012, Sprout Social and Twitter have begun working together to further technology solutions for social customer service.

Through this latest partnership, Sprout Social now has access to historical and real-time data and analytics from Twitter. Sprout Social is integrating these elements into its existing Social Care Suite, a collection of contextual information and centralized communication and workflow tools to help companies respond to customers on Twitter.

Sprout Social also recently overhauled its Twitter Profile Report. The new and enhanced Twitter Report provides users big-picture insight into Twitter content and performance by analyzing data across multiple profiles at once.

A plethora of new data is available in the Twitter Report to help businesses better understand the real impact of a Tweet. Sprout customers get a more holistic look into how content performed with new metrics provided directly from Twitter. These include impressions, engagements, clicks, followers gained, engagement per follower, impressions per follower, and demographic data. A recently redesigned Sent Messages Report includes a variety of data on all sent messages, cumulatively and individually.

"Access to this data affords us the opportunity to strengthen our already industry-leading Social Care Suite," says Patrick Cuttica, product marketing manager at Sprout Social.

Cuttica says Sprout Social also leverages this data "to provide a complete historical record of all Twitter conversations on the profile level at the moment someone is replying to a customer, whether that's from our unified Smart Inbox or from a personalized contact view within our Social CRM."

Sprout has also made "significant improvements" to its social media monitoring by incorporating a Twitter keyword search tool in its unified Smart Inbox. "This enables our customers to keep a pulse on the social conversations happening around their brands and products while opening up opportunities to engage with their audiences on a deeper level," he says.

Sprout Social's moves with Twitter come as its own data suggests that people are increasingly turning to Twitter to ask for help, make buying decisions, lodge complaints, and engage with brands. "Twitter is a highly efficient communication channel that enables teams to not only answer service-related questions but also to build lasting, value-driven relationships," said Justyn Howard, CEO of Sprout Social, in a statement. "Twitter's attention to social customer care aligns with Sprout's mission to create open communication between people and brands. The insights we gain, the improvements we make, and the features we enhance are a direct reflection of our shared commitment to the marketplace and, most especially, to our customers."

Sprout, in its 2015 Social Index, reported a 21 percent increase globally in the number of messages sent to brands via social media. Of all of those inbound messages, Sprout calculates that four in 10 require a response from the brand, meaning that customers aren't just mentioning a business but actually have an issue that they want to discuss. That number has increased 110 percent in the past two years.

Unfortunately, though, seven out of every eight messages that go to brands remain unanswered within 72 hours, response time has increased by 4 percent, and response rates dropped by 2.5 percent in the past year, meaning customers are waiting longer to hear back, the research found.

"We want to make it easier than ever before for brands to provide top-notch customer service on Twitter," said Chris Moody, vice president of data strategy at Twitter, in a statement. "We are excited to work alongside Sprout Social to help consumers and brands have a better customer service experience on Twitter."

Sprout Social in 2013 announced a Google+ Pages API integration that allows Sprout's customers to manage their Google+ page social activity from Sprout's Web-based platform.

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