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

  • 10 September 2023
  • 13 replies
  • 302 views

Userlevel 1

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! 

 


13 replies

Userlevel 4
Badge +1

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. 

Userlevel 1

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. 

Userlevel 5
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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! 

Userlevel 2

@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. 

Userlevel 1

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.

Userlevel 5
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I’ve only had roles where content creator and social manager have been combined. From creating graphics to writing video scripts… and while it’s fun to be creative, you’re correct in that it takes away from the strategic focus. 

yes,

 

 

I am social media content creator especially on Instagram its easy and more engaging then other platform and for my ease we can use modified version of Instagram so that we can prevent account from blocking.

Userlevel 1

@lisa.rodrigo I’ve had a mix and yes I agree it can be fun. I’m frequently experiencing an expectation from employers that a SMM will do everything themselves (including a large amount of video content creation) when other marketers don’t have the same expectation placed on them. It’s a quick way to burn out and I wish employers realised the different skillset and amount of time it takes :)

Userlevel 1

Love this thread! I just started a new role a couple months ago as a Sr. Social Media Manager. I’m currently still building our overall strategy, but a pill I’ve had to swallow is that I can’t be it all. I can’t build the strategy, while also being the videographer, graphic designer, and so on. It is a large company, so it’s just a matter of figuring out the right pieces to the puzzle. In my previous roles, I’ve been so used to being the creator, so it’s hard to let go, however I feel it’s necessary to truly see growth for my brand. 

Userlevel 1

@rrodriguezua Love this for you! It makes total sense, I just wish the employers saw it that way too 😅

Userlevel 4
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Iwhile it’s fun to be creative, you’re correct in that it takes away from the strategic focus. 

 

Agreed. I love the creative side of my role, but have to laugh every time focusing on strategy is brought up. I’m a 1-man social team. Working on graphics or videos or writing copy just to ensure my posting calendar is filled takes up 95% of my day. 

Userlevel 7
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@mmellander I hear you! It’s the hardest balance for sure. Loving the conversation and evereyone’s perspectives here!

Userlevel 3
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@Claire.P I think a lot of this would depend upon the size of the business. A larger business will have a larger budget to cover content creators separately from social media management. A smaller business (or even some medium size businesses) may not have the resources to cover both separately.

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