Writing

Definitions and capitalization

The following are general guidelines for most use cases across our organization.

There are certain cases in which we may deviate slightly to align with specific platform terminology (i.e. Facebook Page vs. Facebook personal profile) or to remain consistent with other in-app product language.

Product languageCopy URL

Company nameCopy URL

Use “Sprout Social” on first mention, then “Sprout” any time thereafter.

Never abbreviate.

Features vs. platform vs. toolsCopy URL

The hierarchy, from highest level down to most granular, is as follows: platform > product(s) > tool(s) / toolset(s) & workflows > features

In practice:

Sprout Social is a platform that consists of multiple products. Each product consists of tools* and workflows that contain specific features.

* A collection of tools should be referred to as a suite or toolset.

SoftwareCopy URL

Software is a word we might use to describe what we build and offer/sell as a company. It might also be used to talk about who we are: a software company.

But rarely would we use “software” in a more technical or product-specific context.

For example:

  • We wouldn’t say: “Log into the software.” Instead, we’d say: “Log into the platform.
  • However, we would say: “Sprout builds enterprise-grade software that is intuitive and user-friendly.”

SolutionsCopy URL

Our products ladder up to one or multiple solutions.

Today, those solutions include:

  • Social Management
  • Customer Care
  • Analytics & Social Listening
  • Advocacy & Influencers

WorkflowCopy URL

Features and tools that facilitate collaboration amongst team members and across multiple functional areas of the Sprout app should be referred to as a workflow.

Examples include:

  • Message Approval Workflow
  • Tagging Workflow
  • Tasking Workflow

Industry languageCopy URL

(Proper spelling, grammar and usage)

  • back end (noun), back-end (adjective)
  • beta
  • drop-down (noun, adjective), drop down (verb)
  • e-commerce (the industry)
  • email (never hyphenate, never capitalize unless it begins a sentence)
  • emoji (singular and plural)
  • front end (noun), front-end (adjective)
  • geolocation
  • hashtag
  • homepage
  • internet (never capitalize unless it begins a sentence)
  • login (noun, adjective), log in (verb)
  • Like (the social media activity)
  • online (never capitalize unless it begins a sentence)
  • opt-in (noun, adjective), opt in (verb)
  • pop-up (noun, adjective), pop up (verb)
  • signup (noun, adjective), sign up (verb)
  • sync
  • tweet, retweet
  • username
  • URL
  • website
  • Wi-Fi

Brand vs. businessCopy URL

Often we use these words interchangeably, but in reality, they are different. And while it’s difficult to set black and white rules around their proper usage, it’s important to be as intentional with our word choices as possible.

When deciding between the two terms, consider the following:

  • Your audience:
    If you’re writing for marketers, you might use brand more often.

    If you’re writing for HR/legal/or another segment not specifically marketing, you might use business more often.

    Company also works, especially when referring to culture and hiring practices.

  • The context:
    Generally, when referring to the building, creating and marketing of a company’s lifestyle image, beliefs or reputation, use brand.

    When referring to the functional, inner workings and profits/profitability of a company, use business.

Additional considerations:

  • Avoid using both terms as a catch-all. Ie: brands and businesses
  • Company bridges both terms, and can be used interchangeably with either.
  • When referring to an agency, use agency or business.
  • When referring to a non-profit, use organization.
  • When referring to SMBs, use business.

Network vs. channel vs. platformCopy URL

  • Channel is a means of marketing communication ie. digital, direct mail, mobile, social media, etc (Social IS a channel)
  • Within the channels are more specific platforms ie social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  • Network should be used when referring to the wider group of people you interact with through your platforms

profile, social profileCopy URL

Used to talk about a profile on any social media network Avoid: handle, social handle, account, social account

Capitalization guideCopy URL

CapitalizedCopy URL

  • Bots
  • Auto-Responses
  • Bots
  • Bot Builder
  • Call-to-Action
  • Chatbot(s)
  • Conversation Map
  • Persistent Menu
  • Quick Replies
  • Restart Command
  • Welcome Messages
  • Inbox
  • Activity Chart
  • Brand Keyword(s)
  • Collision Detection
  • Inbox Views
  • Smart Inbox
  • Tasks (when used to describe a feature; a unit of work is a task or tasks.)
  • Listening
  • Listener
  • Query Builder

Platform-specific termsCopy URL

Note: We work inside platform style guidelines. If our rules conflict, use the platform’s rule.

  • Android
  • Bitly (not bit.ly or Bit.ly)
  • Direct Message
  • Facebook
  • Facebook Ad Account
  • Facebook Page
  • Facebook Personal Profile
  • Google
  • Google+
  • Google Analytics
  • Instagram
  • Instagram Business Profile
  • Instagram Profile
  • iOS
  • LinkedIn
  • LinkedIn Company Page
  • LinkedIn Personal Profile
  • Private Message
  • RSS
  • Retweet
  • Tweet
  • Twitter
  • Twitter Profile
  • UserVoice
  • Zendesk

PlansCopy URL

  • Professional
  • Professional Plan
  • Advanced
  • Advanced Plan
  • Standard
  • Standard Plan
  • Standard
  • Standard Plan

ToolsCopy URL

  • Publishing
  • Asset Library
  • Compose
  • Calendar (when qualified as in social media calendar, publishing calendar, content calendar, use lowercase)
  • Content Suggestions (except for in navigation, which is Find Content)
  • Draft
  • List View
  • Month View
  • Needs Approval
  • Sprout Queue
  • Week View
  • ViralPost™

ReportsCopy URL

Note: for report names in a sentence, use “the” as in “Use the Engagement Report to…”

  • Engagement Report (not Engagement report. Apply this pattern for all reports)
  • Facebook Bots Report
  • Facebook Competitors Report
  • Facebook Pages Report
  • Google Analytics Report
  • Group Report
  • Instagram Competitors Report
  • Instagram Profiles Report
  • LinkedIn Pages Report
  • Sent Messages Report
  • Tag Report
  • Task Performance Report
  • Team Report
  • Trends Report
  • Twitter Bots Report
  • Twitter Comparison Report
  • Twitter Feedback Repot
  • Twitter Keyword Report
  • Twitter Profiles Report
  • Other
  • Help Center

Not capitalizedCopy URL

(Unless at the start of a sentence or used as a label/header)

  • alternative text (alt text on second mention or on controls)
  • billing
  • browser extension
  • emoji
  • engagement
  • filter
  • impressions
  • mention
  • message
  • network
  • permission
  • plan
  • profile
  • publishing / published (verb)
  • reach
  • report(s) (noun, talking about a group of reports - not navigation)
  • reporting / reported (verb)
  • tag, tagging
  • task(s) (as a unit of work, not the feature Tasks).
  • team
  • user(s)