A couple of weeks back, I wrote an article about social media management in which I committed a cardinal sin. I used the terms social media manager and community manager interchangeably, implying that they are basically the same thing.
I’m so sorry! Think we can still be friends? Let’s see if I can make it up to you.
What are the main differences between community management and social media management?
In a nutshell, Social Media managers are responsible for the voice of the brand on social media channels. They’re out there making content, answering questions, getting the brand in front of people. Social Media managers bring the guests to the party.
Community managers are responsible for brand advocacy across social networks. They put their social persona out there, and they actively go out into the online community to form relationships with potential customers and champion the brand. Community managers boost awareness of the brand, welcoming the party guests with open arms.
I’m great at making friends! Should I be a community manager? #squadgoals
Are you a social butterfly who makes sure that everyone at the party is having a good time? If you’re good at growing a squad, engaging people you’ve not met before, or building a team from scratch, chances are you’d make a good community manager.
Community managers boost awareness of the brand, welcoming the party guests with open arms.
What does a community manager do all day?
Primarily you’ll be looking at how your community is engaging and then working out how to increase that engagement. Your day-to-day might involve reading and responding to comments on blogs and articles, having conversations with your community across community platforms, identifying trends in conversations, blogging on external sites, and analyzing which of your efforts drives the most traffic. You’ll champion your community, letting your internal team know what the clients want, what makes them happy and what makes them angry. You’ll also champion your company, preparing your community and getting them excited about new product features and releases.
How much experience do I need?
Most companies are looking for 3-5 years experience. But if you don’t have that, where do you start? Try assisting first, or join a marketing company where community management is part of your job description. This is a great way of trying it out for size before you commit to the career path.
What tools should a community manager learn?
Knowing social media is a good place to start, as you’ll spend a lot of your time monitoring and listening to your community within this role. As the community manager is connected to Editorial, Product, and Business development, you’ll also need to focus on the flow of information and relationship building internally as well as externally. Slack is a great tool for sharing with your internal team. For blogging, WordPress skills would be a great tool for your toolkit.
Being a community manager sounds great. Any drawbacks?
If you’ve ever spent a day out with a friend where no amount of coaxing could get them out of a bad mood? Well, sometimes being a community manager can be like this. Sometimes, your community is angry, and the Product team doesn’t want to listen. Sometimes, a product or a service needs to close, and it’s up to you to break the bad news.
You’ll champion your community, letting your internal team know what the clients want, what makes them happy and what makes them angry.
But, if you’ve ever thrown a great party, mentored someone and watched them develop, even if you’ve grown a plant from seed, you have a glimpse at how rewarding the role can be.
Sounds great! Where do I apply?
Think you’ve got what it takes? If you’re looking for community management jobs, you’d better make sure that your social networks are in good shape before you apply. If you’ve got social proof of how great your community management could be, turn your search online. Most community managers find roles in social communities or on job boards.
Find your perfect role today.
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