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Social Media Marketing vs Community Management

Geeta Singh | November 3, 2017 | Public Relations,Social Media


It’s only been a few years since social media as a viable platform for consumer-brand interaction came into the picture. And ever since then, social media has gained a lot of prominence and potential to bring a significant change in the business scenario. There are a number of ways to acquire leads through social media, with most of them simply being variants of “social media marketing” or “inbound marketing. Quite often, people use social media marketing and community management interchangeably, but the similarity between the two is not beyond JND (Just Noticeable Difference). So, understand the difference to mark a difference in your marketing and Public Relations activities.

Similarities vs Differences

There is a clear disparity between social media marketing and community management, both in purpose and characteristics, albeit common platforms or media vehicles. While the former is aimed to increase brand’s visibility and sales, the latter is focused on goodwill enhancement and repeat business. It’s very much true that both social media marketing and community management works on same tools, but they are used in different manners. Such as ‘Content’ is the common ingredient – in social media market its usage is to create engaging posts, while in community management, it is helpful to reply customers’ feedback and comments. Same is the case with monitoring and analytics.

Results vs Growth

Social media marketing works on a blend of paid and unpaid activities, but community management is absolutely free and is not restricted to any time duration. In addition, results of social media marketing can be measured in the shorter duration of activities or campaigns but in case of community management, nothing is instant, whether a brand is getting desirable results or not is a time taking process. Hence, as the purpose of community management is building reputation and image of the brand that may last for a longer period, quantifying the results is a bit difficult task. Sales figures merely play any significant role in deciding the impact of community management over the company’s turnover.

Single vs Double

All in all, to gain optimum returns from social media, digital marketing, digital pr, etc., it is advisable to strike a balance between the two most innovative approaches in the world of marketing and promotion on digital platforms to compete with rival brands. That’s why; brands which strive for sustainable growth give equal importance to social media marketing and community management, while brands with short market vision are completely unaware of a conjuring synergy.


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