Most businesses have acknowledged and adopted the need to have a social media presence. Of course, this has helped many businesses in achieving their goals. Whether you are managing a small or large business, it is important to know the difference of social media management and community management. Mixing up the two may result to a disaster of losing followers or even needing to deal with business crisis. While social media marketing and community management are closely intertwined, they’re actually separate functions.
This is not recognized by some businesses that just use their social media pages for the sake of just having a ‘presence’ online. They prefer not to actively engage in an ongoing marketing or simply some of them just don’t know where to start. If you think you need to use social media but don’t know where to start, it’s best to try signing up for a social media management package with a trusted company first. In this way, you will see how social media marketing differs from community marketing
Social media management and community management both deals with customers and the goal of getting organic traffic and sales from them. Both concepts are used to build relationships. They need to go hand in hand in order to be effective in your business strategy.
Two Separate Functions
“Social Media Managers bring the guests (clients, prospects) to the table, and Community Managers welcome them in!” - Vanessa DiMauro from Leader Networks
That’s a very simple statement of the difference of the two. We can then infer that the community manager is there to be a real advocate that knows everything about the community; what makes them happy, sad, angry, hot topics, really everything about them. In comparison, a social media manager is there to advocate for the company, to extend their reach to customers and get their name out there in the form of advertising. Understanding these unique functions and using each to its greatest advantage is critical for achieving your goals. Otherwise, you’ll be proceeding with a very general strategy, hoping for some general results.
A Deeper Look
Social media marketing, also known as social media management focuses on channel growth with an ultimate goal to drive more people to make a purchase with your company, usually doing so by increasing the visibility or reputation of your brand. It falls on the side of strategy, content creation, and branding. It’s concerned with advertising, promotion, and tracking attribution.
Remember that social media management is based around the structure of the medium used (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.). The goal is to have potential customers find the brand’s page and subscribe to it. Potential customers receive updates from that subscription, which either increase the brand’s reputation with the potential customer, or lead the customer to make a purchasing decision.
Community management, on the other hand, focuses on engagement. It is not all about marketing but instead it is the process of creating or altering an existing community in an effort to make the community stronger. It falls on the side of online customer service, concerning itself with creating, developing, and maintaining customer relationships. It is focused on the flow of information and knowledge, strengthening relationships and promoting productive collaboration. It is more likely to be connected to Editorial, Product development, and Business development.
The difference between social media management and community management can be simplified to strategy versus relationships. While social media marketing is customer-centric, community management on the other hand is somewhat strategic. There is a balance needed in managing the two. You don’t want to be perceived as one who just focuses on marketing neither you want to stop your business growth. Thus if you want it to continuously grow, manage these two concepts well or get someone who can manage both your social media marketing and community management with the purpose of achieving your goals.
Although the two concepts are not supposed to be taken separately, here are the advantages of effectively managing each.
Social media marketing requires lesser time. With all the tools available for social media marketing, this requires less time to manage. Marketing messages can be posted and broadcast immediately. Secondly, it offers easier measurement of result. Still, with the aid of different tools readily available online, it’s easy to measure the results of a direct marketing effort; simply track your inbound traffic and quantify it. Social media management also gives followers easier direction to follow. With the nature of social media management being direct, your followers have immediate direction and purpose; to click on your links and take action.
Community Management offers customer retention. Managing a community is highly valuable for retaining an existing audience, who has already purchased your products or is liable for repeated brand interactions. It also gives you more customer attraction. Only through community management can you start cultivating new audience members. It gives them a sense of wanting to belong because of how you give them value. Not to mention increased brand reputation. Community management focuses on building the reputation of your brand, rather than simply increasing sales, giving you a better long-term position.
Incorporating the Concepts to Your Business
Now that you know the difference between the two and the advantages each has to offer, you can now start incorporating them on your business strategy. Always keep in mind your goals. If you are interested in seeing immediately higher conversions, prioritize social media management. If you are more invested in the long-term success of your brand, prioritize community management. What’s important is you don’t disregard any of the two. If you want to hire a company that expertly manage social media accounts, this should be made clear to them to achieve a more result-oriented business strategy.
Looking for a social media marketing services company to effectively manage your account while you do other important errands? Make sure you choose a team who can incorporate all of these concepts while providing you a tailored fit business strategy towards achieving your goals.