Brafton and Sprout Social

Brafton was at the forefront of content marketing long before that term became a buzzword.

Operating in North America since 1998, and Europe a decade before that, the agency has long offered its clients a full suite of digital marketing services including writing, graphic design, animation and videography. Dedication to the cutting edge of content marketing has helped the company land big-name clients such as Farmers Insurance, Sotheby’s, Marketo and many more.

With one eye always trained on the future, it’s only fitting that social media is a cornerstone of the agency’s services.

“Social plays a very important role at Brafton,” said Allie Stone, Associate Director of Social Media at the company. “We’re a content marketing agency, so we’re constantly creating tons of assets that live on our clients’ websites. When it comes to social media, there’s no better way to promote these amazing assets.”

Through Sprout Social, Brafton has been able to do much more than promote, helping one client triple its engagement on LinkedIn and increase audience size by more than 50% across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Quote from Allie Stone

Saving Time

Brafton’s social team—comprised of 10 strategists working across multiple client accounts—does it all, from generating brand awareness on Twitter to launching paid ad campaigns on Facebook to engaging with industry thought leaders on LinkedIn. Through it all, Sprout Social acts as the team’s command center for publishing and client collaboration.

“We’ve been using Sprout for almost three years now,” Stone said. “We switched from our previous platform because we felt Sprout was much more user friendly and organized by client. Not only does Sprout make it easy to schedule every post for our clients, but the approval feature helps us manage approvals effectively. Before we had Sprout, we had to work through spreadsheets, which took a lot of time.”

The Brafton team is especially fond of Sprout’s group functionality to stay organized across different accounts.

“It’s super beneficial,” Stone said. “Having groups allows managers to grant strategists the access they need for only their assigned accounts. It allows for a timely publishing process. With each client having its own group, it’s easy to know which one you’re working on and eliminates the potential for posting errors. As a platform, Sprout saves us time and creates a more efficient publishing workflow.”

Sprout Social Calendar Screen

The time savings offered by Sprout are crucial, as time management was the most-cited challenge facing agencies today, with 40% of survey respondents choosing it over procuring new clients and retaining current ones.

In addition to publishing, Brafton’s social strategists rely on Sprout’s messaging and discovery functionalities.

“The Messages feature allows us to track engagement and respond to followers in real time, which is critical for building brand trust on social,” Stone said. “We utilize the Discovery tool to monitor activity on Twitter, specifically how certain hashtags are performing and what our clients’ competitors are sharing. It also allows us to search for relevant content to engage with and retweet on behalf of our clients.”

Sprout’s intuitive and presentation-ready reporting options also wow clients.

“Our clients enjoy how visual the reports are,” Stone said. “The Reporting tool offers insight into the basic metrics our clients care the most about, from impressions to engagement to follower growth, as well as which posts performed the best during a certain time period. This allows us to give each client a regular ‘pulse check’ to see what’s working and what needs to be improved. The export feature is helpful as well. When we are asked for last-minute stats, we can export reports and send directly to the client.”

Streamlining Social

Brafton’s Associate Manager of Social Media, Erin Hancock, shared the story of a premier senior living client Sprout helped her grow.

“I started using approvals through Sprout for them in April 2016, and since then my life has been much easier,” Hancock said. “We used to have the client manually approve more than 15 posts a day via a spreadsheet.”

Since adopting Sprout, Hancock has sent 4,044 posts through the platform for approval. From April 2016 to September 2017:

  • Twitter engagement increased 55%.
  • Facebook engagement increased 108%.
  • LinkedIn engagement increased 318%.

During the same time period, follower growth grew by more than 56% across all three social networks.

“Sprout has allowed us to streamline what we do and focus more on day-to-day creative strategy rather than worrying about publishing problems,” Stone said.

Less time agonizing over technical details and more time focused on retaining and growing accounts? Sounds like a solution tailor-made for agency life.