First off, Happy Community Manager Day to all my community managing peeps out there.
‘Twas this festive day that made me want to explain the differences between our two roles, at least how I see them. I thought it unjust to take the well wishes of my peers, as I’m not technically a community manager, although I do handle many of the community management functions for NVIDIA’s corporate presences.
So, what IS the difference?
Well, a community manager is the person who interfaces directly with the community. He/She acts as a liason between the company and the folks they’re trying to reach on a daily basis. You’ll often find them managing platforms from Forums to Facebook. They’ll run promotions online and in person, and help generate content to share with the community.
A social media manager is the person who sets the strategies and direction for the company’s social media program. They stay on top of the latest technologies and best practices, offer training to internal stakeholders, and help manage/guide measurement and reporting.They may also participate on the community side, but likely more at the company level.
Again, this is just my definition. As of yet, no one has set in stone the end all be all description so take this with a grain of salt. In fact, here are some grains of reference salt:
- The Evolving Role Of Community And Social Media Managers in Social Media Today
- List of corporate social media strategists complied by Jeremiah Owyang
- The Four Tenets of the Community Manager by Owyang
- Report: Career Path of the Corporate Social Strategist by Owyang
- Community Manager vs. Social Media Manager byAngela Connor
- Did You Know It’s Community Manager Appreciation Day? in Business Insider
good stuff. i’ve seen some companies merge the two rolls as managing the facebook and twitter accounts lead to interaction with the people following you (hence the merging, but i like how you dissect the roles.
Very interesting. Learn something new every day. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for the feedback, guys.
Herauf, yes eventually I think the social media manager ceases to handle the outbound relationship, and turns more into an internal communications person who champions social media. Until then, it’s all hands on deck 🙂