The digital revolution has led to the birth of several professions such as community manager and social media manager. Through exchanges we noticed that these two professions are often misunderstood. In this article, we will clarify the two professions to help you choose the best service for you.

Community manager and Social media manager: Jobs at the heart of the web with different definitions

The community manager or facilitator of social networks, is an expert on online communities, an ambassador of the brand, company or public personality whose social media she manages. The CM gathers your community of Internet users around a common interest, ensures compliance with the rules of conduct, animates the exchanges.    

The social media manager or social network specialist is a strategic expert with a generally marketing orientation. Indeed, her objective is to increase sales, ensure e-reputation, develop brand awareness on social networks through a social media strategy. 

Community manager and social media manager: their respective missions

It will be important to note here that the list given is not exhaustive. The terms “growth” and “commitment” are more important words in the work of the CM than that of the SMM.

The community manager creates the editorial schedule in agreement with SMM. She moderates the messages published to avoid possible crises between community members or a bad buzz for her brand. She keeps the community alive through debates and contests. A good CM focuses its work on the “growth” and “engagement” of its community. She reports on the remarks of followers or fanbase. She evaluates the results of her actions through KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).

The social media manager bases her work on the company’s social media strategy. She thinks about the objectives to be achieved, the target audience, the social networks to be chosen, the content (CREA) to be adopted and the editorial line for the CM. It sets up relevant content to straighten out or boost the image and increase the conversion rate. It manages advertising budgets for sponsored publications. MMS creates strategic partnerships with influencers. It conducts competitive and technological intelligence and monitors e-reputation. It monitors and analyzes the results of its digital strategy through Web Analytics tools.

We classify the role of the social media manager in four parts:

Social listening: Monitoring and responding to customer service and reputation issues on the social web.
Social Influence: Establishing authority on the social web, often through the distribution and sharing of valuable and/or engaging content.
Social Networking: Finding and associating influential and authoritative individuals and brands on the social web.
Social selling: Generate leads and sales from existing customers and prospects on the social web.

Although these two professions are different, they are complementary and sometimes inseparable. CM and SMM have a solid knowledge of social networks, analysis tools, algorithms and work in close collaboration.

Well-defined roles for the good conduct of your objectives

In some companies, some institutions, CM and SMM positions can be held by one person.

Nevertheless, well-defined roles are essential to the health of your company, your project, the mental health of your employees and/or the agency-advertiser collaboration. Indeed, they allow you to determine the return on investment in human and financial terms and to align your expectations and objectives with your expected results.

Another point that we think is important to emphasize is that the community manager is not a trainee. If you decide to take on a junior community manager, make sure that he or she has a basic knowledge of community animation and management and/or that he or she is supervised by a CM expert or Head of Social Media.

So reading this article, do you need a community manager or a social media manager? It’s time for you to “Create, Etablish and Maintain Relations” with the right expert.

Learn more about these two digital businesses:

  • In this article, Sprout Social shares the typical day of a SMM and a CM
  • For Internet users interested in the web professions in Africa, the blogs history of CM and CM Africa will help you understand the challenges of the profession on this continent. (article in french). 

                                                                                      Par Elodie MBIDA