Social Media Manager: What does it really do and how does it differ from a Community Manager?

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Social Media Manager: What actually does and how it differs from a Community Manager?


You know exactly what makes a social media manager and what is the difference with a Community Manager ?

Well, actually they are not alone in this
dilemma that arises in the thin line that separates and simultaneously defines these positions , since even to the specialists have difficulty defining this role .

Regarding this earlier, I mean I have also reviewed several publications Linkedin to analyze these positions and I can confirm two things:

1- There is a growing fragmentation of the original post Social Media Manager and Community Manager , which generates a proliferation of dozens of new titles such as one already well known: Social Media Strategist. But now also begin to resonate some others like: Social Media Planner, Social Media Content Manager, Social Media Digital Content Editor, Digital Community Manager, Corporate Community Manager, Traveling Community Manager, and as such, more and more profiles can fall off and dissecting the work of the “original”.

2- Despite the different labels, when the job description, the responsibilities fall into two main groups: operational and strategic . Companies used interchangeably Social Media Manager or Social Media Strategist, to describe the role responsible for the decisions made at the strategic level across platforms. Community Manager , Digital Community Manager and its “etceteras” is the end, who will oversee the operative portion of this formula.

Then, beyond all these new roles, there is a reality: these positions are only open in large, huge companies , advertising agencies, newspapers or media agencies that have a budget, volume of information, resources and communities so merit . So who are the other side of that reality, these titles are too large and extravagant.

The common case, an SM Manager / Strategist or CM would be a character from the office or working remotely from home, as follows:

make a social media manager

Surely, many of those who are reading these lines, perhaps now hold own Social Media Manager tasks without knowing it . Is that precisely this is the reality of most Community Managers or owners of their own business, entrepreneurs, bloggers, and many people who somehow try to use social networks to link your company, brand, product, project or Ideal a certain audience , to create a community and that it obtain sales, subscribers, fans, “recommenders”, volunteers, etc.

You say: ” It is clear the confusion, but … Is there no definition or clarification then?”
Yes, there is . Now we turn to the “theoretical” part.

Here we go! Yeah!


1- What does a social media manager vs community manager?

As well we said at the outset, the SM Manager has a role primarily involves him in the “macro” social media decisions . The one on one with users is something proper to the Community Manager , so I managed to filter out certain tasks were mixed , and put together the following list of those that fit the SM Mger, rather than the CM.

Responsibilities: SM Manager / Strategist:


    • Know or be familiar with the sector in which it is inserted company or business.


    • Design a social media strategy consistent with the brand identity, your audience and your goals.


    • Manage and control budgets for various actions of the strategy.


    • Define strategy to build / enhance the foundations of followers / fans and to develop channels to strengthen the engagement


    • Define campaigns promotions, contests, paid advertising, events, product launches, in coordination with the marketing team to implement on various platforms in which it was decided to have a presence.


    • Define content strategy, communication style and control the execution calendar content


    • Define and segment the user or “marketing person” who will be directed communication and actions.


    • Define and control: social media KPIs, conversions and ROI goals (always in coordination with the sales and marketing department of the company)


    • Select which tools and apps will be used to carry out the tasks


      • Design a plan to tackle crisis reputation in social media


        • Define SEO strategy


        • Guide research for market insights and industry to apply different strategies.


        • Study and analyze results of reports provided by the Community Manager to detect both threats and opportunities also measure effectiveness of the various actions. On this basis, make decisions on each of the above aspects, to implement improvements, modifications, or a change in strategic direction, etc.


      • Working closely with the client and the various departments of the company, to analyze the results and propose strategic improvements: Public Relations, Marketing, Product, Sales, Directory.


      • Work on the development of strategic alliances within the social media sector for future actions that can reinforce growth and brand communities.

So far then, is what we can say is typical of a SMM, leaving for the Community Manager in general terms, the mission to build, manage and administer a community on the various social media platforms, with the aim of establishing and sustain a lasting and reciprocal relationship with it.

I drew the following list, in the Manifesto of Community Managers created by Tim McDonald and colleagues.

Responsibilities: Community Manager:


It makes a social media manager

        • “Put the T” brand, and be the number one of this prophet.


        • Create pages on social media platforms selected in the strategy. Optimize brand image as defined by the company


        • Create, recognize, find and cure valuable content for the community and follow the “editorial” line proposed in the strategy. In this case it may be necessary to work with a graphic designer to optimize the content.


        • Update Pages: manage programming, scheduling and publishing posts, tweets, using tools such as Postcron .


        • Listen to users and respond to your comments and inquiries, to make them feel valuable. – Customer service –


        • Identify, cultivate and strengthen relationships with brand influencers, to be prophets and advocates of this.


        • Moderate activity and conversations on the platform.


        • Create a space for communication, participation and collaboration.


        • Implement contests and promotion actions defined by the SMM.


        • Monitor trends in social networks to keep updated the different platforms, not only with the content already created or cured.
        • Identify needs and preferences of users


        • constantly monitor key indicators such as likes, clicks, reach, participation, number of comments.


        • Be the voice of the community and provide the company and SMM insights and opportunities for improvements obtained the views and behavior of the community


        • Give feedback daily activity metrics and reviewing platform with Social Media Manager.


        • Collect the results obtained from the different reports obtained from analytical tools and monitoring and prepare reports to be analyzed by the various departments and especially by the SMM.

Probably, that escape me something, but this would be the result of filtering some two profiles. Surely, many are concluding that most performs both tasks, both SMM and the CM, but at least we can now tell which corresponds to what🙂

2- What knowledge or skill should keep each position?


Skill Set Community Manager:


      • Management Design, Photoshop, text editors, PowerPoint and Excel


      • excellent handling of written and oral communication


      • HTML knowledge and management of websites


      • Familiarity with web analytics platforms and monitoring


      • Knowledge of measurement tools and response


      • Familiarity with the administration of blogs, discussion forums, ratings, reviews.


      • Ambientas handling both Mac and PC


Skill Set Social Media Strategist / Manager:


        • Knowledge of Marketing, Management, Branding and content development


        • Familiarity with web analytics systems, business analytics, and social metrics.


        • Familiarity with the different systems of promotion and advertising campaigns pay the various social media platforms


        • Knowledge of different systems and anállisis ROI, conversions social media KPIs


        • Knowledge of different techniques for developing strategies “Search Engine Marketing” and SEO


        • Knowledge of techniques and methodologies to guide research


        • Photoshop handling, text editors, PowerPoint and Excel


        • excellent handling of written and oral communication


        • HTML knowledge, development of websites and blogs

You see, several skills are shared by both roles, but the focus is elsewhere. If you wish to review some examples of ads by Linkedin, here are these links:

Social Media Manager
Social Media Strategist
Community Manager

3. What skills and / or profile must have a community / social media manager?


Beyond the tasks, it is important to know what personal characteristics should be the person who will interact with the community and / or plan the strategy for the development of it. Here we put together a summary of the skills that are mostly required for this position:

        • Fascinated by the task
        • Analytical capacity
        • Creativity
        • Effective communication capacity on line and off line: with users, customers and different departments
        • Ability to sell an idea or strategy.
        • Dedication
        • Organization
        • Adaptability: it must be at a time when the community side and at another time to have to think like a CEO
        • Be thoughtful and observant to detect threats, opportunities and trends
        • Have discretion and good judgment to analyze and react to comments, feedbacks, crisis, or for selecting content or cure.
        • Proactive, efficient and independent.
        • Empathy: to know the characteristics of users and have the ability to understand what they need and their point of view, to engage in conversation one by one.
        • Teamwork.


4- How to be a community / social media manager more productive?

Undoubtedly, one of the keys to being more productive is the use of tools and apps that we avoid being involved in tasks that are important and necessary, but also fall to be repetitive and can safely be automated . That is why I approached excellent choices to begin to optimize performance:

1- this article in which we show the “step by step” how to use this feature.

2- SocialMention : is a tool that allows checking trends and mentions through Twitter and the web. Ideal for monitoring brand.

3- QuintlySpring MetricsSocialBakers : are specialized platforms in analytical , providing reports of talks, performance, campaigns, keywords, landing pages, SEO, email campaigns, among other virtues.

4- StorifyContentgemsCuralate : are just some tools through which you can also find and cure content for your social networks.

In addition to tools also you need to organize content:  if you run a blog, remember that putting together a schedule of content , is the key to ensuring its success, and who will go . Be sure to check this article , in which we show you how to create one.

As well we include in the job description of #communitysocialmediamanager, create pages and constantly optimize them requires knowing the dimensions of the images used in each of them , either for the cover, profile picture, or so it is for the timeline or news section when it is placed content. Do not forget to check the complete guide of measures to date to 2014 social networks.

4- advice from other community / social media managers to be better community / social media managers.

I do not know if they knew, but very recently, that of Community Manager, “Round Table” was created and annually make conferences in which representatives of charges of SMM and CM, meet to discuss the past, present and future, both of these roles, as the field of social media.

In one of these events he was asked the CM and highlights SMM to write one piece of advice they would give to another colleague who has just begun. Responses were collected, filtered the most repeated, matches were sought, and conclusion were the following 13 points:

1. Always updated strategy and plans thinking about where will your community here one year.

2. Leave the computer and talk to your fellow colleagues.

3. Do not take your position or others too seriously.
(there are very strange people)

4. Check admits a mistake and reset.

5. Go slow, crawl, walk and then run.
Do not assume that everyone understands everything.

6. Have a
sense of HUMOR

7. Make the word “collaboration” a verb, not a noun.
It is not a destination, but a mentalidad.-

8. Just breathe!


9. The numbers will make you free. Hold them !

10. To
govern is not a dirty word.

11. Do not do everything alone.
Seeks allies.

12. Be patient and persistent.

13. Investigate other communities are doing well, and seeks inspiration in them.

Some statistics:

For further advice they need some “numerical love / statistic” I 🙂share with you an excellent infographic of 9clouds posed by the situation in the field of social media for this new year with a couple of data that can help polish strategies planned for this year:


To sum up…

We can conclude that although in real life there is hardly a pragmatic division of both roles, we could say that in theory, the task of Social Media Manager is directly related to the strategic decision-making: from the selection of the platforms What presence will, what communication style and type of content will be shared, what steps will be taken in a crisis of reputation, to analyzing results for reorienting or not the current strategy.

The Community Manager, on the other hand, is the representative of the brand and who approaches this community. It is also the user representative for the company and who can provide insights and views you get from them.

It is clear that the larger the size of the company and the budget available for the field of social networks, the greater the chances that different individuals and teams can take on different roles.