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August 10, 2020

The Difference Between Social Media Marketing and Social Media Management

The emergence of social media has produced a variety of roles and strategies that, although they sound similar, may be quite different in nature. Before you go hiring a big team to manage your social media and digital marketing, it’s important to understand the difference between the two main roles: social media management and social media marketing.

What is Social Media Management?

Social media management (also referred to as SMM) involves everything you do on a social media platform, from conception to posting and ongoing engagement. Tasks that involve SMM can include:

Just as it sounds, SMM surrounds everything you need to manage a social account effectively. A social media manager does not necessarily need to create the content being posted. They are there to ensure your social accounts are being used intentionally and authentically. And yes, the audience can definitely tell when you “fake it to make it” so it’s always best to hire a social media manager.

What is Social Media Marketing?

Just as the name suggests, social media marketing involves using a company’s social accounts with the intent to market and grow the business.

While social media management focuses more on setting up and using social profiles, the marketing aspect looks at creating and executing strategies to generate leads through social platforms.

Social media marketers are responsible for tasks like:

One key difference between management and marketing is that social media marketers typically have access to an advertising budget, while managers do not. This is because it is the job of marketers to grow followers and expand reach.

Why Not Both?

There is no rule that says you can’t do both and, in some cases, the line bleeds between the two roles. Having definitive jobs for dual responsibilities may also depend on the size of the company and budget. Many organizations may only have room for one of these professionals.

When used in conjunction, it’s possible for a business to build an authentic social presence that people trust. If you find that there is simply no room in the budget, consider these tasks as the most critical to cover:

Many smaller companies only start off with one person working on social media. While that’s understandable, a lot of value can be ascertained from dividing the two responsibilities. It’s up to the tasks you deem critical and the most valuable.

What’s Next?

Once you have a well-oiled machine, you may want to look at assigning more in-depth tasks like analysis and automation. If your social media marketer can load monthly posts into a social media management tool like Hootsuite or Buffer, it’s one less task for the manager to worry about.

Overall, the key takeaway is that having one or two people dedicated to developing your social presence is critical to maintaining a competitive edge and driving a positive return on investment.

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