Social Media Manager vs. Community Manager: What’s The Difference

By July 10, 2019

Over the last few years, the demand for social media managers has ballooned as social has grown in importance for organisations across all industries. Running a brand’s social media accounts has become a lot of work!

As companies have started to hire more social media roles, the jobs themselves have evolved too. Today, you might find yourself being responsible for social media marketing campaigns, community engagement, customer service and reputation management all at once.

When social media is used strategically to meet business objectives, it expands to encompass new niches and skillsets – one such example is that of the social Community Manager.

Where social community managers fit in

As a smaller organisation or team, you usually have one person doing all elements, where community management is simply one part of the social media manager role.

As a medium or large organisation, however, you can benefit from having them separate, while collaborating closely together. Community Managers are well placed to uncover valuable feedback from customers that can help the Social Media Manager determine future content and campaigns.

Social media managers, in brief

As a social media manager, you act as the brand on social, maintaining its reputation and bringing the tone-of-voice and personality to life. You help build and execute the social media strategy through campaigns and content, while also analysing and reporting on social media performance.

The social media manager is often focussed on commercial metrics like generating new leads, driving new website traffic and enquiries, or building the brand’s awareness and reach amongst new audiences. They are likely to be more savvy with social media advertising techniques too.

Community managers, in brief

As a social community manager, you aim to create, nurture and grow the communities and groups around the brand by acting as a kind of spokesperson or advocate, helping members talk to each other.

The community manager is focussed on growing lifetime relationships around products or services with existing customers and audiences. Rather than pushing for new enquiries or sales, it’s about maintaining a healthy community of fans and followers, by stimulating conversations and ensuring people feel valued and part of the wider group.

Why the difference?

Clearly defined social media roles and responsibilities help everyone in the team by:

  • Setting clear expectations – with multiple people or teams often involved in social, it’s valuable to have clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
  • Measuring outcomes more effectively – once you have defined what the role entails it’s easier to put in place more suitable metrics or goals.

So think about what your organisation needs and what the business is trying to achieve. Are you trying to reach new customers and audiences, or keep existing customers and communities engaged with you?

If you’re a smaller team with one social media role, have a think about how much time and resources you would want to spend on each of the areas.

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