Social media marketing and community management are often used synonymously. While social media marketing and community management are closely intertwined, they’re actually separate functions.
Social media marketing, also known as social media management, focuses on channel growth. It falls on the side of strategy, content creation, and branding. It’s concerned with advertising, promotion, and tracking attribution.
Community management, on the other hand, focuses on engagement. It falls on the side of online customer service, concerning itself with creating, developing, and maintaining customer relationships. Often times, community managers create their own personas to actively connect with their online community.
The difference between social media management and community management can be simplified to strategy versus relationships. While social media marketing is customer-centric and community management is somewhat strategic, each role is still its own. However, when social media marketing and community management are synergistic, they are most powerful.