Social Media Manager OR Community Manager: What's the difference anyway?



This week, Dog Digital are in attendance at Social Media Week in London. We kick-started #SMW14 with a fantastic Google Hangout with social media management company Hootsuite, where they discussed the difference between a Community Manager and a Social Media Manager.

It’s easy to group both these roles together but interestingly, there are some very key differences that makes them different:

The role of the Social Media Manager is essentially to develop and curate content, build networks and be the activator of social communities. This is a role that has become more common in recent years and is only set to grow. Year on year there has already been a 50% growth in the acquisition of social media managers across a spectrum of different businesses.

However, the Community Manager has been ever-present in both the online and offline environments. Community Managers are your brand ambassadors, whether that’s on the shop floor or on social media. They are the people who are there to develop and maintain lasting customer relationships.

So what do these roles entail in the longer-term?

The Social Media Manager

  • Social Media Managers are responsible for helping your business meet wider goals that aren’t restricted to a social environment but will have an impact on the business as a whole.
  • They are listeners and can spot opportunities as well as disasters before they strike. A good Social Media Manager is in tune with their audience and is able to react effectively and efficiently.
  • They create and curate content that will essentially lead to some sort of value for your business, such as new follower acquisition, strong engagement or conversions.

The Community Manager

  • Community Managers are there to add value - while your Social Media Manager is responsible for creation of content, the Community Manager can help inspire, educate and entertain through continued and nurtured conversations with your audience.
  • They are the moderators of your community who are there to ensure guidelines are upheld and to help facilitate topics but also to help steer conversations towards a topic.
  • They are also there to gain insight into a community, gaining valuable customer insight, sentiment and feedback.

It’s clear that both of these roles are important to an overall social strategy but what are your thoughts? Do you agree there’s a need for both roles or should both they be integrated into one?

Share your thoughts with us!