Should social media managers also have to be content creators (particularly for video)?

  • 10 September 2023
  • 5 replies

I’d love to hear people’s opinions on this! 


I’m a relatively senior social media manager (7+ years) and in my last role I worked hard to educate on how a social media manager also shouldn’t be your videographer, graphic designer and content creator (especially for reels and TikTok). I reached a point where I didn’t have to film anymore and only had to edit a video every couple weeks. I developed a network of content creators and influencers to produce video content instead so I could focus on strategy. Funnily enough it was very successful, crazy how much more I could achieve and enjoyed the job when I wasn’t bogged down in hours of editing. 


I’m in a new market and looking for a role and struggling to find a job where I’m not expected to shoot and edit all video content I’d be posting on social. It’s been frustrating landing interviews then finding out filming and editing is 50% or more of the role. I feel pretty strongly that a social media manager shouldn’t also have to be a content creator - other marketers aren’t expected to produce their own creative to the same extent! Keen to hear other SMMs thoughts! 


5 replies

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Great question @Claire.P 🤓


My previous role was quite siloed between content and social but found incredible efficiency and output once we shifted to social and content working more collaboratively. We engaged local influencers and contractors to produce much of the video content. Our goal internally was to focus on strategy, distribution, and broad storytelling beats. 

Definitely, I found the same! Once I wasn’t responsible for editing video content and instead briefing in creators and influencers, it freed up a lot of my time and mental energy to focus on strategy… which of course led to better results! It also meant the content was higher quality as it was made by people who love doing it!

I’m in a lot of interviews at the moment and consistently finding some companies are “disappointed” that I don’t want to be editing video because “that’s part of being a social media manager”. I’m disappointed to see this expectation placed on SMM, when other marketers aren’t expected to at all. 

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I know this is a topic that is going to trigger a LOT of opinions, so thanks for bringing this up, @Claire.P. I love the larger strategy vs tactics/execution demarcation conversation that this also alludes to - super curious to hear @hayley.mathie’ and @Basicallybari’s takes here! 

@Claire.P - My experience has, unfortunately, been the same as yours. From what I’ve seen, most companies still are unaware of what a SMM really does and the importance of a robust social media team. Companies that do, have seen success on social and as a result, have a waiting list of SMM hires so they don’t need to post the job. Unless a company is a start-up, if they are posting a job opportunity, it’s likely they fall into the category that you’ve been experiencing.

This is where I’ve found networking to be crucial. The more you connect with others on places like here–The Arb–and LinkedIn, the more likely it is that you’ll find a role that fits your needs with an awesome company that supports and empowers their SMM team. But of course, that takes time, and not all of us have that time 😅. In this case, I’ve found you have to go into a company with a mission to stay open and find the places where you can educate and make change, just like you had in your previous role. 

Educating can be really soul-sucking, and difficult at times, but what’s kept me going is knowing I’m carving a path for the next generation of SMM. Sounds very meta, but we are still the first age of SMM, so it’s up to us to determine the direction and significance of this career path. 

Hey @hayley.mathie that’s a great point! I can imagine they also promote from within when social roles come up as well. I think it will also make a difference when more SMM’s start reaching CMO level.

It’s good to know it’s not just me but annoying for us as a whole that it’s so widespread.