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Community Management vs. Social Media Management: What’s the Difference?

Knowing What Each Term Means

When you’re working with marketing and advertising companies, you need to be prepared with knowledge of key terms used to describe the roles of individuals within the industry. It’s a common mistake, but it might insult the individual who must perform the activities to fulfill a role that is being confused. Mistakenly referring to a community manager as a social media manager creates a situation that’s confusing and could upset the community manager. Although social media management is regarded as a useful aspect of marketing, community managers have earned their title through acquiring specific knowledge of chronic conditions.

What Are the Key Differences?

The main distinction that you need to make about the difference between community management and social media management is the subject matter that is being discussed. The subject being discussed is often a chronic condition. Victims of chronic conditions seek communities of other people who have been afflicted with similar conditions. Although the community manager doesn’t need to have the condition to take part in this role, it is common to hire a community manager that has personal experience dealing with the subject of the chronic condition being discussed.

On the other hand, a social media manager is responsible for interacting with communities of consumers and businesses from the perspective of a brand. They are in charge of creating conversations about products, services, and events that are important to the brand they represent. Social media managers interact with their audiences through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other popular social media platforms.

In Which Ways Are They Similar?

It’s easy to understand the reasons for confusing community managers and social media managers. Both individuals speak to large groups of people about a specific purpose. Both roles require the use of digital marketing, email, and social media. Social media managers and community managers discuss topics with their audiences from the perspectives of the causes which they represent. However, it’s incredibly important to make the distinction between these two types of managers. Failing to distinguish between them could result in upsetting remarks from the offended party, and you might even ruin business relationships between the cause they represent and the brand that you represent.

Why Do People Get Offended When These Terms Get Confused?

Both groups consist of professional individuals that must have a keen understanding of the causes they choose to represent. Social media professionals will be offended if you call their role community management because they have worked hard to master the tools that bring their brand to consumers through social media platforms. Community managers have dedicated their lives to understanding a particular chronic condition, so they deserve to be called by the correct title. If you call a community manager by the wrong title, you are ignoring the condition that they represent. Community managers dedicate their lives to bringing together people who are affiliated by certain conditions.

The Benefits of Community Management

Community managers do the work that social media managers do to create a safe place for people to discuss the condition for which they advocate. In addition to creating a place for people who suffer from chronic conditions to connect with each other, community managers provide a place for family and friends of victims to find answers to serious questions they may have about the condition. They provide medical research to these groups, and they fill their days with searches for new developments in the field of medicine that addresses their topic of concern.

Experts in community management recognize that the key difference in these two roles exists in the way that the community manager deals with new members of their group. Instead of selling to new members, they provide a welcoming atmosphere of support. Those individuals who are experiencing trouble dealing with a chronic condition will have more information about healing, therapy, support groups, and other options brought to them through the care of a community manager.

Example of a Community Manager

In order to better understand and identify community managers in your social networks, we’re providing a fictitious example. This example should keep you from confusing these two important roles in the future. In this example, you find out a foundation at the local hospital is working with burn victims to help with their healing processes. The community manager posts blogs about healing from trauma, and events are organized to help victims recover through group therapy. The community manager speaks directly to people who are admitted to the burn victim unit, and they work with doctors to provide new insights from the medical industry.

The Benefits of Social Media Management

Having a social media manager on your team means you have an advocate for your products and services. Social media managers work to create conversations around the brands they represent. They do this by creating advertisements about new products, and they create meaningful content that engages consumers. Social media managers must have a good understanding of search engine optimization tactics to bring the most consumers to their brand’s pages.

Social media managers are the direct link to the public arena. Brand recognition in the modern age is achieved through the use of social media in combination with other marketing tactics.

Example of a Social Media Manager

In addition to having an example of a community manager to clarify the distinction between these roles, we created an example of a social media manager. While discussing job duties with colleagues and other members of your social network, it’s important to avoid creating tension by addressing this common misunderstanding. In this example, a car dealership has opened up in your town. They’re getting involved in community events and sponsoring fundraisers to appeal to local consumers. The event page they posted on social media platforms took the dealership’s social media manager a few hours to create.

Thanks for reading "Community Management vs. Social Media Management: What’s the Difference?", by the Linchpin Team in Chicago, Raleigh, and Wake Forest.

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