What’s So Different B/W a Community Manager & a Social Media Manager?

By KayChatz Slider Posts, SM Tips, Social Media 3 Comments on What’s So Different B/W a Community Manager & a Social Media Manager?

Have you ever wondered what exactly a Community Manager does? How about a Social Media Manager? Aren’t they the same thing? The answer is no! Even though there are similar duties, there’s a fine line that separates and characterizes these positions. As more organizations build online customer communities, the lines between community and social media have begun to blur. Here, I’ll be talking about the differences between the two job titles.


What are the Major Differences Between the Two Roles?

First things first – let’s define the two roles:

A community manager is responsible for advocating the brand on social networks. They create their own social persona and actively go out within the online community to connect with potential customers and advocate the brand. Community managers typically deal with those who haven’t heard of the business they work for and boost awareness for the company.

A social media manager is responsible for being the brand on social media. They create content, respond to comments, answer questions, and much more as the brand. Social media managers, more often than not, deal with people who have a relationship with, or have heard of, the brand.

So, if a SMM is indeed the brand and the CM is the supporter or promoter of the brand, then how does that make their duties different? They both are social, online and engage with their audiences – that’s the similarities – but their distinct differences are not widely known.


The Community Manager

  • Welcomes and builds relationships with new members to the communityCommunity Manager
  • Builds relationships with key members of the community and influencers
  • Ensures conversations are created and moderated
  • Runs regular programming/content/events
  • Enforces guidelines/boundaries
  • Manages a specific community and/or platform for business
  • Reports measurements/metrics/analytics
  • Works in tandem with core operations outlook and executes campaigns
  • Plan and develop strategies for increasing engagement and conversion
  • Researches new opportunities to connect with new people

Clearly, most Community Managers are focused on engaging with new users in order to grow the overall brand community.


Social Media ManagersSocial Media Keyboard

  • Creates customized content and curates content (blogging/vlogging/podcasting) designed to spur conversation/viral sharing
  • Comes up with creative strategies for social platforms
  • Responds to conversations about the brand and the content
  • Managing tools – mostly social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc) and blogs
  • Manages the overall efforts of a brand’s social media presence
  • Works with marketing, branding and public relations teams to develop and monitor online campaigns
  • Ensure’s content is conceptualized to generate conversations and tracks sentiment
  • Measures analytics

Social Media Manager’s spend a majority of their time responding to and helping current customers, followed by strategizing and executing content strategies then analyzing their measurements.

See Beta-21 for an awesome infographic on the separate roles!

Do you agree with these differences? Are there any other clear or distinct differences you can think of? Feel free to add your thoughts or experiences with these two important roles. Do you work as a CM or SMM? Let’s hear it!


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  • Liz Evangelatos
    Posted on February 13, 2015 at 2:44 am

    What a great post. Very clear and love your itemized duty lists for each. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kayla Chatkiewicz
      Posted on February 13, 2015 at 2:57 am

      Thank you for your comment, Liz! I had to break it down into duties in order for not only others to understand, but for myself as well. I’m kind of a visual learner aha!

      • Liz Evangelatos
        Posted on February 13, 2015 at 3:21 am

        That makes sense — I’m a visual learner too!


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