Social Listening FAQs

This feature is only available for Social Listening customers.

This article contains the following sections:


Query Builder 


I have used all 30 Instagram hashtag slots, how can I add more?

The 30 hashtag limit is a restriction from Instagram. It is highly recommended that you utilize less than 30 at any given time, so that in the event you need to begin tracking something at short notice, you can. You can read more about this in this helpful article.

Is there any workflow if you require more than 30 Instagram hashtags in Listening?

Yes, you can utilize different Groups in your account that have unique Instagram Business Profiles, as the restriction is 30 hashtags per Instagram Business Profile.

Which network sources do the country filters apply to? 

The country filter only applies to Twitter data.

Are keywords case-sensitive?

Keywords are not case-sensitive. Additionally, keywords ignore accent marks. For example, searching for "Gröl" can return "groel."

How many inclusion/exclusion keywords, phrases or hashtags can be included in a single topic query in Social Listening?

Sprout limits queries to 2,048 characters. You get alerted when the 2,048 limit is reached. Queries with more than 2,048 characters can’t be saved.  This applies to all plan levels.

When building a Topic, what constitutes as a syntax error for ‘Mention Of, To, From’ filters?

Copying and pasting might result in a leading space. There is also a 15 character limit due to restrictions from Twitter.

Can you exclude a certain city from your topic? Or just include cities?

You can only include cities.

Can I filter by zip code in Listening?

The smallest area Sprout can filter is through X, to a specific point with a max radius of five miles. However, Sprout doesn’t have geo-filtering functionality across all channels. 

How many Pages can I track in my Topic?

There is no limit. However, keeping the list of Pages short (around 10) results in finding the most relevant content. 

You can add up to 250 Facebook Pages to a Topic.

How much of a post can be in a different language before it's excluded from a language filter?

Primary language classification is based on whichever language is dominant by the number of words, even if it's only by one word. As an example, if a Tweet is 51% Spanish and 49% English, it is categorized as Spanish.




At what frequency does Listening pull for data by covered networks? What kind of data is pulled for covered networks?

You can read more about our data availability for Social Listening in this helpful article.

Do Listening topics pull in reviews?

Reviews are not expected to be pulled into Listening currently. If this is a feature you would like to see, please provide this feedback to your Sprout representative.

Does Listening bring in paid ads or comments?

  • For X, yes. Any tweet that is on X and matches the Topic’s query will surface. This would include replies to promoted tweets.
  • For Facebook, Sprout pulls in a published post that was subsequently boosted but won’t pull in dark posts (unpublished ads).
  • For Instagram, Sprout doesn’t pull in any ads.

If I make an edit to a Topic in Social Listening, will I lose any historical data and Themes in the new topic?

If you edit the Query, a new topic gets created. In this case, you can archive the old topic to preserve historical data. A topic can otherwise be edited to remove data that no longer matches the original query. You can read more about editing Topics in this article.

How does Sprout track mobile device breakdown in the Demographics tab of a Listening topic?

The chart is built completely from X data, and is only populated if X is enabled and Sprout has collected data. Posts must originate from the Twitter mobile app.

Does Sprout pull Instagram posts where the hashtags are entered within a comment and not within the main post? 

Sprout can’t gather the post if the hashtag itself is not explicitly placed in the post. The comment doesn’t get pulled in. 

Does Sprout pull in comments from any platform in a Listening Topic? Or is it restricted to original messages and mentions?

The only networks where Sprout pulls in actual comments is X, Facebook, LinkedIn and Reddit and comments follow the same requirements as other messages. That is, the comment (called a Reply on X) must contain the keyword you were looking for.




Are engagements on shared message types included in Listening?

No. Engagements are attributed to the original post. Quoted Retweets (or Retweets with Comment) are counted as a new message and Engagements are included.  

How many Themes can be added to a topic in Social Listening?

A Topic can have up to 50 Themes.

What networks are counted in the ‘unique authors’ metric in Listening?

The metric includes every network except Instagram and Web. 

How are the 10,000 messages that can be exported in Listening prioritized? Is it the most recent 10,000 messages or are there other factors?

The export contains the top 10,000 messages in relation to how the Messages table is sorted. The default sort is Date (most recent), so that's what would be included if you exported to CSV. However, if you changed your sorting criteria to be Followers or Engagements, Sprout refreshes the 10,000 messages in the table to match the new sort criteria and you would see new messages depending on how you've sorted.

This only applies to the CSV exported directly from the Messages Table. The CSV exported from the Export menu in the top navigator always exports the most recent 10,000 messages.


Within the Profile Overview, what does the Volume column represent?

The number of messages that profile created that contain at least one of the keywords in your query.

Does the Messages tab contain all of the messages in a Topic?

Yes, the Messages tab has infinite scroll so you can preview all of the collected messages.

Why would the results for Instagram hashtags not be in order or have the wrong time stamp?

As of December 2018, the Instagram API Sprout uses to discover messages doesn't include the timestamp. 

Within Listening where photo, video, link, text are broken down, how is a post that has both photo and link categorized? 

Data is segmented by the content type. Content types include video, image, link or text, in that order. As an example, if a message contains a link and a video, Sprout categorizes the message as a video.

Can you filter for To User, or From User, or Mentions of User in the filters once the topic is built?

If you start to type the @ symbol, it lets you pick Author so you can search for "From User"

How is Share of Voice calculated within Themes? How would I calculate Share of Voice for filters, and not Themes?

Share of Voice is the number of matching messages to the Themes or Search divided by the total number of messages in the Topic.

If you want to calculate this yourself you can:

  1. Add filters for whichever terms/hashtags/people you want to be part of the Share of voice segment.
  2. Go to the Performance tab and check the Volume number.
  3. Clear filters.
  4. Divide the volume from Step 2 into the total volume to obtain the Share of Voice.


Archived Topics


Why do I have to click Access Topic to see my archived Topics?

Archived Topics become dormant after 60 days. Active Topics not viewed for 180 automatically become dormant, but remain in the Active Topics List.  

Active Topics that become dormant continue to send out scheduled PDFs as well. If an Active Topic has Alerts configured, it can't become dormant. 

Can I retrieve my dormant Topic more quickly?

No. This process takes about six hours to complete.

How do I ensure my active Topics don’t become dormant?

View your Active Topics every 180 days to reset the dormant timer and your Archived Topics every 60 days.

Do the metrics for my Topic change after it becomes dormant?

No. The Topics enter and exit dormancy with no change to their metrics.

Does an archived topic count towards my limit?

An archived topic doesn’t count towards your Listening topic limit.

If I archive a Topic will that free up any hashtag slots for Instagram?

Yes, however Instagram has a 7-day decay period for that hashtag, meaning that that particular slot won’t become available again for 7 days from the time it was deleted. As an example, imagine you were using all 30 slots, and on Day 0 you delete one hashtag to free up a slot. That slot will not be available until day 7.

How can I unarchive a topic?

To unarchive a topic, reach out to the Sprout Support Team.

Can a deleted topic be restored?

You can’t unarchive a topic once it’s deleted.


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