The Difference Between Social Media Marketing And Social Media Management


I have seen Social Media Marketing and Social Media Management being used as exchangeable terms many times. The truth is that nowadays limits within the terminology in the online marketing world are getting very fuzzy.  It is difficult to say where Content Marketing becomes Social Media Marketing for example. However I do perceive a significant difference between Social Media Marketing and Social Media Management. Maybe because of the fact that one is just one part of the other.  Just like SEO is one part of SEM.
 
Social Media Management is just another term for Community Management. This means that the purpose of this activity is to engage with a community through providing relevant content and generating conversation. A Community Manager executes a strategy defined by a social media marketer. Community Management can also involve a certain level of content creation, as in for example writing blog posts. This also requires a different profile of community manager than the one who only disseminates content created by others.
 
Social Media Marketing on the other hand has a way broader approach. It includes the strategy, its implementation and the consequent analysis and optimization. We can say that Social Media Management is part of the implementation process of the Social Media Strategy. The strategy itself is a very important process that includes defining a goal for the social media marketing that can be raising awareness of a brand or a sales channel for an e-shop. It also defines the brand identity on social media: why should I follow you? It includes analyzing the direct and indirect competitors, choosing the right channels and the tone for each one of them, as well as the KPIs, which will measure efficiency and define the ROI.
 
If I am to represent this visually it would be like this: Social Media Marketing is the kitchen and Social Media Management is the bowl.  (yes, I love Breaking Bad)
The bottom line is that if your business is in need for someone to lead the social media efforts, you should be looking at a person or agency that can either design and execute the strategy or at least define a proper strategy and leave the implementation to someone else. My personal recommendation is to have a global approach and align content strategy and social media strategy and ideally have the same team/agency implement it.

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