In recent posts we have talked a lot about social media, social media management, community engagement, community management, etc. But what exactly do all these terms mean? How do we differentiate these terms?

Today we discuss the specific dissimilarities between ‘social media marketing’ and ‘community management’.

It’s important to be able to define and differentiate these kinds of terms. Your corporation will run much more smoothly and work more efficiently if you understand how to categorize and compartmentalize the streams of operations and various kinds of marketing. These notions are even more important to learn today, as they rapidly grow in popularity and importance amongst firms of all kinds.

So let’s begin.

Community Management is defined as “an executive in the company who acts as the ambassador of a company or brand on the web. The community manager builds and monitors multiple communities generated in blogs, forums, social networks, etc. S/he becomes the authorized voice of the company.”

So what are the exact components of an effective Community Manager?

  1. Building nurturing relationships with community, fan and customer relations.
  2. Creating value (content, events, etc.) for those community participants.
  3. Engaging with non-community members and enticing them into the fold.
  4. Acting as the liaison between the company and the community.
  5. Acting as the spokesperson for and to the community

Social Media Marketing is defined as “a form of Internet marketing that utilizes social networking websites as a marketing tool. The goal of social media marketing (SMM) is to produce content that users will share with their social network to help a company increase brand exposure and broaden customer reach.”

And what are the exact components for social media marketing?

  1. Raising awareness of one’s brand, company and product.
  2. Growing a consumer/fan base and increase the cyber footprint.
  3. Getting consumers excited and involved (this can include buying a product, tweeting a hashtag, sharing a link from your blog, checking out your website, etc.)

So as you can see, though the two terms may have some similarities, when these positions are performed properly, both departments are of value and necessity for a successful company.

While a social media marketer works to command the cyber community and engage customers via the internet, a community manager seeks to communicate with the company’s entire fan/consumer base and goes beyond LED screens.

With that said, both departments of community management and social media marketing will continue to evolve over the next few years. They are relatively new fields, and as today’s ever-connected consumers influence corporations, they will mold to the demands of the people.

As a business owner or employee, you must keep in mind that these two departments are not the same thing, nor are they interchangeable. One field is not more important than the other. The two work together much like public relations and marketing; two channels within a company that are similar, but independently and equally important.