This past week we have been reading about community managers and social media managers and the difference between the two. Vanessa DiMauro conveniently charts out the roles that a social media manager has that a community manager doesn’t have. I also read many other articles that pointed out the difference of the two. You can read them here and here.
Although I see the differences, I also see a lot of overlapping. After being a moderator for a week in #CMGRclass and after managing my startups social media accounts, I have some hands on experience. After doing the readings, I keep wondering, “Can you be a social media manager without being a community manager?” and “Can you be a community manager without being a social media manager?”
Below is the chart taken from Vanessa DiMauro’s article “Social Media Manager vs. Online Community Manager: Same or Different?”
|B2B Success Measure||Role||Accountability|
|Drive leads||Social Media Manager||Marketing|
|Raise awareness of products or services||Social Media Manager||Marketing|
|Visibility of company, products, services or thought leaders||Social Media Manager||Marketing|
|Increase sales||Social Media Manager||Sales|
|Event attendance||Social Media Manager on public channels, Community manager on community channels||Marketing|
|Customer questions about how to use a product or service||Community Manager||Customer Service|
|Learn from customers (e.g. feedback into product development)||Community Manager||Product Management/R&D|
|Customer retention / satisfaction||Community Manager||Sales|
|Call center reduction/ Improve customers’ ability to get help from each other||Community Manager||Customer Service|
|Increase utilization of the products||Community Manager||Product Management|
As you can see, the two roles have different jobs. However, they are also all closely related. For example, once you start to raise awareness of a product or service you will most likely have questions. A lot of these questions will most likely be asked through social media. So, when a customer asks a question through Twitter, who’s role is it to respond? The above chart states that it is a community manager’s role.
A social media manager is constantly checking their social channels and looking at customer’s reactions. They are learning from their customers because they are listening and are aware of patterns. Maybe a “how to” blog post gets more “likes” or “retweets” then a quote does. Knowing this information is useful and they are essentially gaining feedback. The above chart states that passing along feedback is a community manager’s role.
In my opinion, a social media manager is different from a community manager, but only slightly. I think we would find that a social media manager already manages the community that they have built. I also think we would find that a lot of community managers are active on social media. Overall, I think it comes down to the companies understanding of social media and community management. If they truly understand the impact of social media they might want to hire a “Community Manager.” If a company has both a Social Media Manager and a Community Manager, I have a feeling the two department have daily face-to-face meetings.