We started 2012 off by hitting the ground running by essentially asking “What is a Community Manager?” We discussed the roles of a community manager back in one of our first chats in 2010, and I can tell you that the discussion has evolved a lot since then and people have become quite protective of their community manager title vs that of a social media manager. In early 2011 we posted, “You May Not Be a Community Manager, & That’s Ok” regarding the difference, and today we saw 817 tweets discussing the topic.
If you’re looking to hire a community manager and don’t know where to start, this is a good resource. Or are you suffering from a crisis of identity and want some clarification? Read the tweets below.
Q1) Do you need social media to be a community manager?
themaria You don’t *NEED* social media to be a CM, but in today’s world, probably advisable 🙂 You can do more / scale more
Ryan_Olsen Nope. Not at all. It helps, but communities have existed online and *gasp* offline for a long time before social media
jennyweigle Do you need social media to be a community manager? Depends on which communities are important to your business
evanhamilton You don’t need social media to be a community manager. It’s a powerful tool, but you can have a community anywhere.
muruganpandian Technically, I guess one could be a community manager in a private, closed network without social media.
misskatiemo Need? No. Communities existed offline WAY before they did online. Just happens to be very SM-related right now.
mbhahn if you have an online community, that means people are talking, you should know what they are saying about your brand
omgitsamr While I appreciate that you can have offline communities, at this point you’d be foolish NOT to incorporate social media
trustmuse I don’t think it’s a need, but you need to go where your community wants to be You can’t force them to go social media either
hillaryboucher Not a prerequisite but a valuable supplemental tool. I think today’s def of cmgt implies an online component
muruganpandian The older titles might have used the term “moderator.”
Q2. What are the main detailed differences between Community Manager & Social Media Manager? How do tasks/metrics differ?
evanhamilton A community manager builds community. A social media manager manages social media. CM should be managing a SMM.
JGfromOC I think sometimes the lines blur. CM is usually the day-to-day online community lead, SMM is building the strategies for them.
LovelyLu Community Manager reaches far past social media venues. They use Social Media, but aren’t confined to it.
maggielmcg To me CM is more about relationships; SM is more about content
muruganpandian Community Manager (Keep the conversation going) & Social Media Manager (Execute the strategy to enhance the reach and presence)
momnonstop Metrics depends on the company’s goals (or should). Tasks are dependent on the strategy for both (community and social)
Bsimi I see CM direct w/ the ppl. SMM now means adwords/re-marketing/SEO/SEM the guts of what makes the community more robust.
CoryOBrien Tasks/Metrics: CM should measure conversation, depth, engagement. SMM should measure reach, growth, conversion.
Tribe2point0 Community managers executes posts, responds to questions, and comments. SMM designs strategy, creates content, measures results
JGfromOC As for metrics, CM is going to be looking more at engagement data and the SMM is translating that into the bigger biz picture
hillaryboucher SMGR focuses on the tools as means to accomplish goals & cmgrs focus on the strategy to build & maintain relationships
misskatiemo SM manager is more outward-focused, whereas a CM focuses more on the existing community. Both do both, but it’s a % thing for me.
JPedde CMs and SMMs are a set. They have to come together as a set, different focuses.
RJoySocial SMM responsible for helping to create strategy & analytics for the plan, the CM executes, has conversation, monitors.
JPedde The metrics are very different. A SMM would count FB page growth… a CM dives into what the 1:1 engagement means.
Historian SM is one channel, CMGR should be looking at that plus forums, emails, internal communications
Q3) How does a community manager demonstrate engagement metrics that aren’t social media growth metrics?
vargasl You don’t measure social media metrics…you measure what you want to be. Impact. Blend of on & offline = cmty health
Bsimi Converting ppl from your social networks to your cash register. The only engagement that really matters is $$$
CoryOBrien Sentiment is a big sign of a good community manager. Change from negative to positive should be seen as a big win.
evanhamilton CM engagement metrics might include % comments, time on community portals, customer satisfaction, buzz..
evanhamilton …and social media, because that’s a big facet of most CM jobs. Again, why I think SMM works under CM.
LaurenEHarper I think it depends on ur platform. We measure activity on our site within different topic areas. Totally separate from social
mbhahn All the gritty stats of usage are main stats for CMs
CoryOBrien Repeat participation is also a good sign. When people come back, they’re hooked by the community & looking to engage further.
TerraIncognita Looking at clicks, open rates, posts, number of comments, number of shares, basically measuring more activity than growth
omgitsamr Sentiment, time spent on site, mentions, unique comments, etc
jennalyns Clearly outline objectives of strategies and tie success measurement to those. Very specific to company.
Tribe2point0 Improved customer service, sales, and loyalty
jonjohns65 Give your community something to do that is measurable; gamification, structured feedback, make them feel valuable
Q4. How does a community manager’s role/responsibilities grow? (From Assistant to Strategist or beyond)
Historian It’s adapt or die, right? You take on the tasks and duties as they are needed.
themaria that Q has no answer 🙂 There are a million ways a CM can grow, but mostly through demonstrated success & exec. support
evanhamilton Ah, my hobby horse. 🙂 CMs should become Director of Community, providing guidance to all parts of the co.
CoryOBrien Get more involved in measuring metrics, developing plans, highlighting trends, and gathering business insight
JPedde It’s like any other position… start as a Community Assistant -> Manager -> Strategist ->Director of Community ->Chief Com Off.
vargasl Hierarchy still in flux. Depends on biz/cultur/size of org. Was a Director & now Strategist. One is not higher/diff orgs