Many people think of a community manager and social media manager as one and the same. However, there is a distinct difference between the two. A social media manager interacts with customers as the brand, through the brand’s social media accounts. Community managers, on the other hand, act as internal brand ambassadors who advocate for the brand and reach out to potential customers from a different account.

But how does community management actually affect a brand?

Grow your Customer Base

Social media managers interact with existing customers, while community managers help brands find new ones. So while the social media manager is entertaining those already onboard, the community manager is looking to increase the audience. This allows community managers to grow the brand’s customer base.

Increased Visibility

With a second pair of hands on deck to get the brand’s message across, companies can expect greater visibility through increased awareness of the product. Community managers also inspire a grassroots-level engagement by reaching out to customers and potential customers, on an individual basis. These new customers have a need for the product or service but did not know about the brand and its solutions.

Boost Credibility

Since many people don’t know a community manager is more than a brand ambassador, they’ll see that having someone else advocate for the brand boosts credibility. And credibility gets a stronger boost when the community manager develops a following.

For instance, the PR guru for Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, Tracy Nguyen, advocates for a better image of her clients by posting her side of their story online. She portrays them as friends and responsible parents with strong family values. Giving a different perspective than what the media portrays of the West-Kardashian mash-up.

Brand/Reputation Management

While the social media manager focuses more on customers interactions, a customer manager keeps an eye out for other untagged mentions from anyone – whether they are a part of the brand’s community or not.

This provides the company with opportunities to catch negative comments and resolve the issue before it spirals out of control creating a PR crisis. It might also result in a new customer.

Sourcing Ambassadors

Because of their wider reach, community managers are in a better place to source brand ambassadors, than social media managers. These brand ambassadors help to build and distribute the brand’s message to the masses translating into more sales and familiarity in the media and other public spaces.

Not every brand requires community management, especially for smaller brands with smaller communities. However, for larger brands who could use the extra helpers catering to brand management and community-building, the benefits are well worth the investment.