This is a question that we often hear from members of our community.
The truth is that there are many similarities between the roles, but ultimately the goals are related but different.
A social media marketer has the role of marketing products through social media or engaging with their social media audience to quickly promote products. This could be anything from simply sending links out to an audience to engaging with them regarding potential sales or discounts.
It is generally seen as a way to quickly get short term fixes, allowing the results of marketing actions to be speedily found and measured whilst pushing the products that people want towards them.
The idea behind the basics of social media marketing is that people will find you on one of the many social networks, then follow your brand, then you can spread information about your products or services to an audience that have already expressed an interest in you.
On the other hand, community management does a similar job, but the ultimate KPI is the health and interactivity of the community rather than the active selling of products within that community.
This role is essentially making sure that the community is maintaining engagement, interacting and not being damaged through trolling or negativity.
The crossover between the two roles is that community management keeps the soil fertile whilst the social media marketing plants the seed. One has the short term measurement, whilst the other doesn’t let the community become stale and boring.
A company who is looking to not only market through social media, but who wants to cultivate an entire strategy revolving around it needs to be implementing both of these aspects in tandem.