Community Manager and Social Manager. What is the difference?

by | Feb 9, 2022

There are two professions that sadly are often confused, we refer to Community Manager and Social Manager, unfortunately in many companies the same person ends up doing the functions of one and the other, and this is a big mistake because each professional fulfills very different roles.

If it is not clear to you either what the difference is, keep reading because today you will learn what is the difference between social media and community manager, what their objectives are, how they work. Everything so that you can take advantage of both roles to their full potential in your company.


What do community manager and social media manager have in common?

Unfortunately most companies can not distinguish the functions of a community manager from those of a social media manager, even though both profiles work together, each one has very specific and different objectives.

We can say that broadly speaking, both professionals work with social networks, that is why they are often confused, however although their object of work is the same, their strategy and especially their goals are very different.

For several decades now, social networks have been a fundamental part of any brand’s marketing, thanks to them, you can reach new customers, build customer loyalty, interact with them and create a brand image, which is why managing them in the right way should be one of the priorities of any company.

As we have said both professions both the community manager and the social media manager are going to take care of them, but each one with totally different perspectives and goals. If you want to know in detail how each of them do it, keep reading because below we will show you what is the difference between a community manager and a social media manager.


What does a social media manager do?

The digital era and the dizzying expansion of social networks has brought, among many other consequences, the need for new professionals, just a few decades ago it was difficult to imagine that someone would make a living thanks to social networks. Now, this task has become so important and detailed for companies that it is necessary to hire more than one professional to make the most of them.

The social media manager is one of these professionals. Their main function is to create a strategic vision for your brand. It may sound ambiguous, but the task of the social media manager is to create the strategy to position your brand, including the position of social networks and other aspects of public image.

In a few words, we can say that the social media manager is in charge of building a brand image in social networks and outside them.


Functions and skill set of the social media manager

In order to fulfill his objective, the social media manager has to develop certain functions, which are very different from those developed by a community manager. Some of his tasks are:

  • Research and analysis of the target audience
  • User segmentation
  • Defining content strategies
  • Definition and planning of platforms on which the strategy is to be executed
  • Analyzing the efficiency of the strategic plan

The skill set of a social media manager is broad and can be summarized in: having general knowledge of marketing, branding, content development and strategies; of course, he/she must be familiar with statistical metrics such as business analytics, web analytics and social metrics.


What does a community manager do?

The community manager is perhaps the professional that we most identify when we talk about marketing and social networks of a company; but we do not always understand what their function and objective is, because we usually define it in something as ambiguous as taking the social networks of the company and the truth is that their work is much more complicated than that. To better understand their functions, let’s take a look at some of their history.

Although you may think that the community manager emerged with social networks, the truth is that we can locate its origin a little further back and in another context, as the first communities emerged thanks to online video games.

With the emergence of online video games arose at the same time a community of players and as in any community or group of people, there should be some order, quickly began to emerge players who answered and moderated the questions of other players, they were also responsible for disseminating news, and propose topics for discussion, without proposing it were creating a new profession, the community manager.

Formally the first person to become a community manager was Connie Bensen, when in 2005 she started working for Dell’s public relations department, she realized how important it is to build a community for the brand and how social networks are the ideal tool for this.

If you want to know more about the origin of this profession and some curiosities about it, you can visit the post about Spot Communication.

As you can see the role of community manager is linked to the community, this professional works with social networks as social media does, with a strategy, which is often designed by the same social media, but its main objectives are: to create a community and maintain that community.

Of course both roles complement each other within the company, because the community will be responding and publishing on social networks, but always respecting the brand image and the strategy designed by the social media.


Functions and skill set of a community manager

As you can imagine all the functions of the community manager are focused on the creation of a community, for this we highlight functions such as:

  • Communicate relevant information about the brand
  • Responding to the online community
  • Follow the marketing strategy
  • Suggest new topics of conversation


The skill set of a community manager is focused on the correct use of social networks and the attention of the community, and we can list the following:

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Basic knowledge of WordPress, HTML and web sites.
  • Familiarity with analytics and monitoring platforms
  • Basic knowledge of design (note that the community does not have to design but can direct the design team according to the needs of the account)
  • Familiarity with blogs, forums, ratings
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Empathy and the ability to act according to the audience and brand.


In summary, we can say that the main difference between the social media manager and the community manager is that, despite working with social networks and communication of a company, the social media manager is responsible for the image of the same and therefore creates strategies based on building it, while the community manager is primarily responsible for forming a community around the brand it represents. Tell us, did you know the difference between the two professionals?

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