A community manager is, at heart, a builder of relationships. This person will be engaging and nurturing customers and key members of your community. They make the brand personality and they advocate for the customer.
The social media manager, on the other hand, is more of a strategist. Your social media manager should be creating and aligning social media strategies in different departments within your company. They’ll be tracking your social media successes and failures, and using data to ensure you’re always improving. And they’ll be constantly creating and curating content for social networks.
In many businesses there can be considerable overlap between these two roles. A community manager is a strategist, in finding the right people to target and the right way to engage them. A social media manager is choosing content that will hopefully help your community. But by understanding distinction, you can build a more effective social media team.
Together these two roles are an extremely powerful force for your business. The word together is important there. You do need someone or multiple people thinking about both sets of responsibilities and challenges. You can’t simply assume your social media manager will manage the community. It’s so important to actually identify your goals and metrics for each of these roles, even if they’re managed by the same person, to ensure that you’re meeting the requirements day in and day out.