Do You Need a Social Media Manager and a Community Manager?

community managementAlthough there is some confusion, the role of a social media manager and the role of a community manager do have their differences. Yes, many of the responsibilities overlap and, of course, both types of managers would be working very closely together. But it can often be difficult to separate the two positions.

Here is my simplified, quick-read version of Community Management versus Social Media Management. (For a more in-depth definition of each, read this article or this one here).

Community Management focuses on:

  • Developing relationships
  • Moderating conversation
  • Listening to what the community wants

Social Media Management focuses on:

  • Content creation
  • Managing social networks
  • Reporting and measuring

There are distinct differences between each role, but I wonder, is it necessary to have both a Community Manager and a Social Media Manager?

My short answer is no, but each company has different needs. There are factors that an organization can look into before making a decision.

Some of these include:

  • Do you have the resources to hire both a Community Manager and a Social Media Manager?
  • Does your organization have an active enough community to be managed?
  • Is is possible to find an employee who can navigate both content creation and building relationships?

social media management image

In her post, Differentiating Between Social Media and Community Management, Rachel Happe points out that “not all companies want, need to, or can cultivate a community.” And from my experience from managing social media in the higher education industry, I agree with Happe.

However, it all depends on the needs and wants of your company and the type of community in which you are trying to cultivate. There isn’t one social media or community management strategy that will work for every organization.

What do you think?

Does your organization or company need both a community and a social media manager? Why or why not?

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