It’s safe to say that social media has transformed the ways a lot of companies do business. In addition to changing marketing practices, the growth of social media has also changed hiring strategy, as new jobs are created and social media experience becomes a requirement for many new hires. However, as companies shift the focus of their social media strategy from brand awareness and community management to brand growth, certain roles are becoming ever more vital to digital success.

In this case, we’re looking specifically at paid social managers in comparison to community managers. A community manager is your brand’s strongest advocate. If someone criticizes your brand on social media, it’s the community manager’s job to reach out to that person and defuse the situation. The community manager is also responsible for facilitating interactions between your brand’s fans, whether by managing the brand’s Facebook page or by encouraging conversation on Twitter. Basically, the job of a community manager is to encourage people to engage with a brand via social media, and to make sure they get a positive sense of the brand.

Paid social managers, on the other hand, have a much broader mandate. In addition to distributing content across various social media platforms, paid social managers are also responsible for reporting on the efficacy of that content. In other words, paid social managers are responsible for creating, executing, and reporting on social media strategy, of which community management is just one part.

As brands continue to increase their investments in social media, paid social managers are going to become pivotal players, vital to the success of the brand. Part of this will no doubt involve community management, which is essential to the public perception of the brand. But brands should be focusing their resources on the people who are actively involved in the creation of a brand image, instead of on the people who manage it.