Community Manager vs. Social Media Manager

Social Media Manager (1)

Your small business might be on social media, but do you have the right people running your accounts? Two positions that appear to overlap and aren’t always acknowledged as separate roles are the community manager and the social media manager. Each has a specific purpose, and it’s a good idea to use both in order to have a fully formed social media program.

Social Media Manager: Strategy and Content

Social media managers create and curate the content that gets published on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They develop and manage content calendars, write copy, schedule posts, and will oversee the creation of social content (like photos and video) that will be made in-house. A strategy is developed to deploy this content at the right time, to the right audience, in order to promote the best engagement rates. Social media managers also handle a brand’s online reputation by creating content, responding to comments, and answering questions as the brand.

Each channel is always changing, as social media managers work to improve content using the data they collect. They will analyze the past successes and failures from previous efforts, research new ideas, and reorganize their strategy in order to get better results moving forward. They are constantly trying to improve engagement rates and optimize brand messaging. Social media managers also collaborate with different departments, like marketing, PR, and sales, to provide a universal strategy that can speak to each part of the company.

Measurement of success: According to SumAll, “A social media manager measures success by how much content is published, how people engage with it, what kind of content performs best and what fuels the increase in followers.”

Community Manager: Listening and Customer Service

Community Managers build relationships and provide human insight for the brand. They act as a humanizing face and are the internal advocates for customers. They dig deep into the online community to connect with potential customers, and work to maintain a good rapport with them. Community managers also promote social media events and contests, in order to establish a continuous presence for a brand with their audience.

From a customer service standpoint, they communicate with users who are at different points of the sales funnel. They understand the needs and questions of both customers and non-customers, in order to deal with all inquiries quickly and effectively to provide a resolution. Social listening is an important part of their job as well because they are constantly monitoring all channels for customer feedback.

Measurement of success: SumAll also says that “Community managers focus on earned media and word of mouth. They do this by keeping influencers and potential customers engaged, welcoming new audience members into their communities, and expanding the brand’s visibility through guest posts and opportunities like Twitter chats.”

Many believe that the social media manager and community manager are the same position– while their responsibilities may intertwine, they are two separate, integral pieces of a strong and robust social media plan. Curata has the data to back up how essential it is that brands start investing in the management of their social media platforms, as 70% of marketers lack a consistent or integrated content strategy.

According to Albert Costill at Search Engine Journal, the top content marketing challenges business owners face today are “…a lack of time to create content (51%), producing enough content variety/volume (50%), producing truly engaging content (42%), measuring content effectiveness (38%), and developing consistent content strategy (34%).” Both the social media manager and community manager roles work together to strengthen your company’s outreach, and it’s important to not only invest in them, but to identify the goals and metrics for each.