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Social Media Manager or Community Manager – Who should you hire?

I bet the question on your mind now will be – “Is there really a difference between a social media manager and a community manager?”

I’ll help you clear your mind. YES, there is a difference. Although the difference seems minute, it’s very significant.

However, if you already knew this and agree that there is indeed a difference, give yourself a thumbs up and keep on reading to refresh your opinion.

Over time, people have often mixed up the duties of these two roles. Most people get into social media and think it’s all about maintaining their brand’s online presence. That’s not quite all. For every brand, there is always a community. And that community is what keeps it alive.

You don’t see Indomie noodles continuously dishing out their products without figuring a way to cajole their customers into sticking with them. The one who works at making them stick around is the community manager.

Let’s get into the serious business now. To begin with, I’ll have you know that for a brand, we have an audience and a community. The audience usually comprises of the people you plan to reach out to based on your customer avatar.

On another hand, your community comprises of those that have made the choice to be a part of whatever it is you are offering. This goes deeper but lets’ hold that thought for another day.

A social media manager represents your company’s brand to an audience on behalf of your company while a community manager speaks to your community (i.e. those who have decided to reckon with what you are offering). He seeks to facilitate engagement among members of your community.

It’s less cumbersome to give both roles to separate individuals than giving both roles to a single individual. There’s 80% probability for a single individual who can’t draw the dividing line between both roles to find it difficult to balance their duties.

With a social media manager, his duties are limited to social media channels alone but with a community manager, it delves much more than maintaining a company or business brand’s online presence on social media.

Community managers take the time to connect to the community after dishing out content.

Now let’s look at the duties of both positions to further distinguish them. A joint excerpt taken from articles written by Digital Marketer and Medium states them as follows:

Social media manager:

  1. Creating and/or repurposing engaging content that establishes your company’s presence as an authority in your niche, such as blog posts, videos, graphics, etc.
  2. Responding to customers who voice their complaints on social media channels.
  3. Measuring sentiment about your company, products, and services on the social web and responding accordingly.
  4. Identifying key influencers and building goodwill by sharing their content with your audience.
  5. Planning campaigns and promotional material or initiatives to promote the company’s message

Community manager:

  1. Focuses on the flow of information and knowledge which strengthens relationships and promotes productive collaboration. The roles may include moderation and hosting of both micro- and macro-events on the company’s community platform.
  2. Moderate posts and comments, making sure they are in line with your community guidelines. Reach out privately to anyone who broke the rules.
  3. Resolve any personal issues members might have with each other.
  4. Read through your company’s blog posts, podcast notes, and any other content I need to review to stay up-to-date on the latest content.
  5. Create a community’s events and invite members to participate.
  6. Write thank-you notes to community leaders
  7. Post any applicable company announcements or news. 

So, your choice depends on what role you want to fill. It depends on what it is you need for your company or business – determine your goals and needs first – you should know who you need

What goal do you intend to achieve?

One might serve you, and you might need both a social media manager and a community manager. And if you are looking to get both, please do because trust me it’ll be very effective.

Each will be effective within their own limits, but you’ll agree the two combined is much better.

This idea could transform your results from social media marketing. Please share with friends too.

What are your thoughts?


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