Overlaps in Social Media Management and Community Management

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.

 

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