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Social Media Manager vs Community Manager: Which one do I need?

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Like most entrepreneurs and marketers, you’re trying to make your business grow online.

If you’re trying to compose a digital marketing team to help you with that, it pays to know the different roles you’ll need to make sure your online presence is as effective as possible. And, yes, having a good Social Media Manager and Community Manager, is crucial for that. Why? Let’s get into it.

The Strategist, and the Brand Voice:

The best way to understand the differences between the two is to look at it this way:

The Social Media Manager = Strategist.

Community Manager = A brand ambassador.

Of course, there are times where the two overlap. In companies without the necessary manpower, you might see this role being filled by the same person. Let’s breakdown both for you.

Social Media Manager: The strategist

A good Social Media Manager is your go-to-person when you’re asking yourself the important question: “What should I post?”

Part strategist, part brand advocate, content creator and an all around asset to your business, the Social Media Manager is the person which helps you understand your audience. They’re invaluable when it comes to deciding how to communicate with your potential clients.

The primary focus of the Social Media Manager is to understand your brand and to create a coherent strategy to make sure your brand connects with its audience across different social media channels.

Think of this individual as the puppet master planning all the posts, making sure that potential customer queries are responded to in a timely manner and that whatever objective you have in mind when it comes to social media (brand awareness, lead generation etc…) is met.

A strong understanding of social media analytics, branding, and an ability to understand what makes your audience tick is essential for a Social Media Manager. In a nutshell, here are the skill sets you’re looking for (keeping in mind that the person that can do all of this well is a true unicorn):

  • Able to understand your brand and how it should communicate across all social media.
  • A strong understanding of analytics in order to report on the progress of your social media marketing.
  • Content planning and strategy.
  • Great people skills in order to know how to interact with your community (and with you, because you’ll be talking to them… a lot!).
  • Management, not only for the planning and strategy, but to handle content creators and liaise with community managers effectively.

The Community Manager: The brand ambassador

If you had to picture your brand as a person, your community manager would be it.

When it comes to your brand, the Community Manager is the person on the front lines. They’re the ones putting your “brand voice” out there, whether it’s by posting eye-catching visuals, crafting witty responses to comments, or by empathising with your audience.

Community Managers post using your brand account. They know your brand voice as well as if it were their own and know exactly how to portray it online. And more importantly, they know how to engage your prospects in order to turn them into leads.

Essential community manager skills:

  • Great communication skills (mostly written). The Community Manager needs to know how to promote your brand, and turn engagement into leads.
  • A strong knowledge of your company/brand to advise potential customers.
  • Sharp witted and proactive, the Community Manager needs to be able to answer your clients in a flash.
  • Empathy. Someone who knows how to communicate on various issues including sensitive situations is often the difference between a strong online reputation and a slew of PR nightmares.

Voila ! The basic difference between the two roles explained.

Watch this space for more information on the different roles you need to build your Digital Marketing team.

But, if you don’t want to go through all of the hassle… Then why not just get in touch with us? After all, after many years of experience and plenty of happy clients, we know what we’re on about.