Automated Rules

New to Sprout Social? Learn about our Smart Inbox here.

If you are on the Advanced plan, you can use Sprout’s Automated Rules to create systems for categorizing and measuring your inbound messages, including reviews, in the Smart Inbox and outgoing published posts. For example, you can set up rules to tag and/or complete all incoming messages based on specific keywords, phrases or message types.

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Note: When you create an Automated Rule it applies to all Groups you're a part of. Any modifications you make to an Automated Rule also apply to all of the Groups you're a part of. Make sure to accurately scope which profiles you want your rules to apply to before saving them.

This article contains the following sections:

Automated Smart Inbox Rules

Automated Publishing Rules

Automated Reviews Rules

Automated Rules FAQ

Automated Smart Inbox Rules

You can create automated rules for the Smart Inbox to automatically tag your incoming messages for better customer care routing, complete messages to keep your Inbox view clear, create automated alerts and hide messages that aren’t appropriate or don’t require action. 

Automatically tag incoming messages

Auto-Tagging helps you add rules in the Smart Inbox to automatically tag inbound messages. You can set up Auto-Tagging rules by following these steps:

Note: You must have the Manage Profiles company permission and the Manage Advanced Inbox Features feature permission to set up these rules.

  1. Navigate to your name > Settings.
  2. Click Automated Rules under Global Features.
  3. Click Create new rule.
  4. Enter a title for the rule and a description of what the rule does.
  5. Select Inbox message for the Rule Type.
    Screen_Shot_2023-05-10_at_2.50.33_PM.png
  6. Decide the criteria you want messages to meet for the rule you're setting up. You can decide whether a message:
    • is for selected profiles with a specific with message type
      • This opens two fields where you can select any profile, all of the profiles for a specific network, specific profiles across networks or a combination of all profiles on a single network and other selected profiles across networks. When you choose profiles, the message type has to align with the profiles you selected from each network.
    • is from selected Brand Keywords
    • has certain words or phrases
    • does not have certain words or phrases
    • is from a member of a selected VIP list
    • is in specific languages
    • only contains a certain content type (URLs, Images, or Emojis)
    • has a specific sentiment
    • is from a verified X, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn profile or Facebook users that are Pages
    • is from a X, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn user with a specific follower count or Facebook Pages
    • has or any combination of these criteria the above
  7. Click Apply Tags in the Then take these actions section, and then choose the campaign and or label tag(s) to apply to your messages. Tags that are included in your Group also appear. You can learn more about managing tags by reading our Message Tagging article.
  8. Click Save. A preview of your rule appears. 
  9. Click Got it! 

You can configure or delete rules and turn them on or off by returning to Global Settings.

Automatically complete incoming messages

Set up rules to automatically complete incoming messages that contain a specific keyword or phrase, is of a specific message type, is received by a specific profile, is from a Brand Keyword, is from a member of a VIP list, is from an X user or Facebook Page with a specific follower count, verified status, has a specific sentiment(s) or any combination of these criteria.

You can set up Auto-Complete rules by:

  1. Navigating to your name > Settings.
  2. Click Automated Rules under Global Features.
  3. Click Create new rule.
  4. Select Inbox Message for the Rule Type.
  5. Decide what criteria must be met for messages to mark them as complete. Keep in mind that you can set up multiple actions.
    • Remember that you can apply the rule to a specific profile, all profiles across a specific network or specific profiles across various networks.
  6. Set your actions. For example, you can select Apply Tags as the first action, and then click Mark as Complete as the second action.
    Screen_Shot_2021-11-15_at_2.02.26_PM.png

  7. Click Save. A preview of your rule appears. 
  8. Click Got it! 

You can configure or delete rules and turn them on or off, at any time, by returning to Global Settings. 

Automated alerts

Sprout’s Automated alerts send notifications for messages that you identify as important. Set up rules to be alerted by email or mobile push notification every time incoming messages contain a specific keyword or phrase, or match a specific message type.

You can set up Automated Rules by following the same steps as setting up either of the rule types above and then selecting either Send a push notification or Send an email as your action.

Rules don't support the Send Push Notification for the following networks:

  • Facebook Groups
  • Google Business Messages
  • Glassdoor
  • Yelp

Hide message action

You can add the Hide messages action to the Automated Rules for the Smart Inbox. This removes unwanted messages from your Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and X profiles.

To create a new Hide messages Inbox Rule:

  1. Navigate to Account and settings > Settings.
  2. Click Automated Rules under Global Settings.
  3. Click Create new rule.
  4. Enter a Title and Description for the Hide Message rule.
  5. Select Inbox message for the Rule Type.
  6. Select has word or phrase from the If an incoming message dropdown.
  7. Enter the words and phrases you want to automatically hide.
  8. Select Hide message from the Then take these actions dropdown.
    Screen_Shot_2021-11-15_at_2.03.39_PM.png
  9. Click Save. Now, any message that contains any of the words or phrases you added gets automatically hidden from your social posts. 

Alternatively, you can edit an existing Automated Inbox Rule and add the Hide message action. 

Hide message best practices

To ensure this action doesn’t hide any additional messages, Sprout recommends following these best practices:

  • Only use the Hide Message action with the has word or phrase criteria. If you use this action without the has word or phrase criteria, you might set up a rule that hides all messages for a social profile.
  • Add the Complete action so hidden messages are automatically completed. This way, hidden messages won’t end up in your Smart Inbox.
  • Track and review automatically Hidden Messages with internal Tags. You can also create an Inbox Rule to tag all of the hidden messages with an internal tag. Then, create an Inbox View called Hidden Messages and set up that view to show all messages with the internal tag. Now, you can view these hidden messages periodically to see everything that’s been hidden. 

Hide message FAQs

What types of messages can I hide?

You can hide X Mention replies, Facebook comments on owned pages, Facebook visitor posts on owned pages, Instagram comments on owned Business Profiles and YouTube comments.

I don’t think my rule is working. What should I do?

Make sure the Automated Inbox Rule contains profiles and message types that are applicable. If you added this action to a LinkedIn profile, it won’t work.

Do hidden comments still show up in the inbox?

Yes, there’s a banner on the message that says it’s hidden.

Can I unhide comments?

Yes. When you view the message, you can click into the Message Actions menu and unhide the message. 

Can I hide Brand Keywords on X?

No. The Brand Keywords you’re tracking aren’t associated with your Twitter profile, so you can’t hide those comments. 

Automated Publishing Rules

You can automatically tag your published posts to more easily track and measure the performance of your outgoing posts on your social networks. Regardless of how a post was published, the automatic publishing rule you create applies to all published posts.

To automatically tag your published posts:

Note: You must have the Manage Profiles & Permissions company permission to set up these rules.

Screen

  1. Navigate to Account and settings > Settings.
  2. Click Automated Rules under Global Settings.
  3. Click Create new rule.
  4. Enter a Title and Description for your rule.
  5. Select Published post for the Rule Type.
  6. Select has word or phrase, does not have word or phrase or is for profiles for your outgoing criteria.
  7. Enter the words and phrases you want Sprout to check for or the linked profiles in your published posts. Sprout will check the post text, video title, link metadata and attached URLs for the keywords or phrases you enter.
  8. Enter the tags you want automatically applied from the Then take these actions box.
  9. Click Save.  
  10. A preview of your rule appears. Click Got it!

Automated Reviews Rules

You can create automated rules for the Smart Inbox to automatically tag your incoming Review messages for better customer care routing, complete messages to keep your Inbox view clear, and notify the appropriate parties of new Review messages. 

You can apply Automated Rules to reviews from:

  • Facebook
  • Google My Business
  • Yelp
  • Glassdoor
  • TripAdvisor

To create an Automated Rule for your Review messages:

Note: You must have the Manage Profiles company permission to set up these rules.

  1. Navigate to Account and settings > Settings.
  2. Click Automated Rules under Global Settings.
  3. Click Create new rule.
  4. Enter a Title and Description for your rule.
  5. Select Reviews for the Rule Type.
  6. Select is received by these profiles, has word or phrase, does not have word or phrase, has rating, is in the language(s) or has the sentiment(s) for the received Review criteria.
    review-rules.png
  7. Enter or select the relevant incoming criteria.
  8. Select Apply Tags, Complete, Send a push notification, Send an email or Send to Salesforce Cloud (if you have a Salesforce Cloud integration) for the action you want taken.
    Screen
  9. Enter or select the additional criteria, like entering tags or email addresses.
  10. Click Save.  
  11. A preview of your rule appears. Click Got it!

FAQ

Who has permission to create Automated Rules?

Users with the Manage profiles company permission and the Manage Advanced Inbox Features feature permission.

How many rules can be “turned on” simultaneously?

You can have up to 1,000 active rules.

What is the maximum amount of tags you can apply to a message?

You can have 20 tags per message.

Can I add a "#" to monitor for messages containing a certain hashtag?

This doesn't tag all messages from a hashtag, based on the virtue of there being a hashtag – however, you can input the keyword without the hashtag symbol, and it monitors and tags accordingly. This does mean that messages that contain that keyword without a hashtag also get tagged.

Can I add emojis in the keyword search field?

Some emojis will work with Automated Rules, while others won't, because emojis have unique detection properties due to how they’re rendered. Emojis should be tested on a case-by-case basis to see if they work with Automated Rules.

What happens if a tag is deleted or a profile is disconnected that is part of a rule?

The rule doesn't apply and messages aren't tagged. Sprout displays an alert on the rules screen that encourages you to edit or delete the rule.

Can I automate tagging in Compose?

No, Automated Tagging only applies to incoming messages and published posts once they are posted publicly on a social network at this time.

If I create new Automated Rules, do those apply retroactively?

No, new rules only apply to current messages moving forward.

Can users create a new tag directly from the Apply Tags box?

No, you can't create tags from the Create new rule model. You can learn more about managing tags by reading our Message Tagging article.

If I remove a network from my rule criteria are all message types I selected still applicable?

No. For instance, if you remove Facebook as a network from an automated rule, then any related Facebook-only message types are no longer applicable.

What should I know about selecting All Network profiles?

Remember that when selecting this option, it's important to consider if all the profiles connected now and in the future should have your automated rule applied to them. If you select all your Facebook profiles, this means that any future Facebook profiles that are added to your Sprout account are added to the automated rule. 

 

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