The VPM Blog

The Difference Between Community Manager and Social Media Manager

Posted by Abby Broom on Jun 28, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Have you heard of an Online Community Manager (OCM) and a Social Media Manager (SMM)? Do some questions arise in your mind like: What is the difference? Which does your company need? Which is the better job for you? This blog will hopefully help you gain a better understanding of what an OCM is and how it differs from a SMM as we explore the difference between online community manager and social media manager.

What is a Social Media Manager? Defined as an individual in an organization trusted with monitoring, contributing to, filtering, measuring and otherwise guiding the social media presence of a brand, product, individual or corporation.

What is an Online Community Manager? Builds and monitors multiple communities generated in blogs, forums, social networks, etc. He or she becomes the authorized voice of the company.


The role of Social Media Manager is a major role, especially in today’s society that functions 100 percent around modern day technologies. Having strategic social media tactics will most certainly give your company the upper hand in success. However, some companies are not big enough or simply cannot afford to hire someone who focuses only on the role of SMM.

This is where an Online Community Manager position comes in to play.

The role of an OCM is much broader in that they are responsible for handling many aspects of the job rather then just specifically the social media accounts. Although an OCM is still very much involved in the social media accounts, they are also required to actually build relationships and interact with the company’s customers as well as handle the technical aspects of the company’s online reputation. They are supposed to be advocates for the customers.

Some specific roles that Online Community Managers need to be sufficient in:

  • Build online relationships with consumers
  • Be interactive with consumers
  • Be able to blog
  • Brand-building and maintaining brand voice
  • Understand website architecture
  • Understand web analytics
  • Social media campaigning
  • Creativity and content creation
  • Knowledge of HTML, XML, scripting, etc.
  • Knowledge of Adobe, Photoshop and WordPress
  • Digital public relations
  • Stakeholders relations
  • Persona guides
  • Skills in Excel, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint and Visio
  • Create customer loyalty programs and benefits

The list could go on and on because the role of OCM is so significant.

Basically, any and all things online are in the hands of the OCM. It is important that the person in this position forms communities through the Internet and does not just leave it at that. Social media customer service is pertinent, so the OCM needs to stay involved and be interactive in order to produce results and be effective.

Learning how to attract, convert and close customers to your business is as essential to your business as it is to the inbound methodology. Having the right people in place, as well as an agency like Verge Pipe Media to help, is crucial! If you'd like to learn more about inbound, please check out our FREE checklist by clicking the button below.  

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photo credit: Batman vs. Power Ranger via photopin (license)

Topics: community manager

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