IN Food Marketing & Design Joins the List of SMS Certified Agencies

by | May 2, 2024 | Meet and Greet | 0 comments

The National Institute for Social Media is proud to announce that IN Food Marketing & Design has earned the NISM Certification Agency Badge. Agency certification signifies a commitment to the professional development, education, and certification of its employees. Team members earn or have been hired because of their Social Media Strategist (SMS) certification and can bring a level of professionalism and competencies to the clients they serve.

We had a minute to chat with Anita Nelson, President of IN Food Marketing & Design, to learn more about them and their thoughts on becoming an NISM Certified Agency.

Anita, what is IN Food Marketing & Design?

We are a full-service advertising agency that specializes in the food industry. We work with our clients on everything from their high-level brand strategy, to a wide variety of tactics including social media.

Who do you serve?

We work almost exclusively with food manufacturers or companies that are targeting manufacturers. Although we do some work on the consumer side, we have strong expertise in B2B marketing.

What motivated you to encourage employees to seek SMS certification?

We value and encourage continual learning, and our clients rely on us to be thought-leaders across all the areas that we manage. With the continuing and rapid changes in social media, we believe it’s important for us to obtain the NISM certification as a tangible way to solidify and showcase our expertise in this area.

Let’s meet the NISM-certified team members:

Sam Burns, Social Media Manager

Sam, can you tell us a little about yourself and your work in social media?

I graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2015 with a B.A. in Business Management and Marketing. I started working as a Social Media Manager shortly after and have been working in social ever since! I’ve always worked for small agencies and truly love the fast-paced environment and culture of small businesses. I’ve worked with both B2B and B2C clients and enjoy being able to work with both in the current position I’m in as the Social Media Manager for IN Food Marketing & Design.

What drew you to the NISM certification?

My boss, Anita Nelson, presented the idea to myself and a co-worker and I thought it would be a great opportunity to refresh my skills. I also thought the certification would be a wonderful chance to see if there’s an area of social media I’m not as knowledgeable or familiar with.

In what ways has the certification helped you in your work life?

Being certified for 2 years now, it has helped me keep up with the ever so changing landscape of social media. Being able to attend the continuing education webinars has helped me stay up-to-date with industry changes and has given me tips and techniques that I maybe hadn’t known about previously, or had never implemented. These webinars allow me to brainstorm ideas for our clients so we can continue to level-up their social media presence!

As an SMS-certified professional, what advice would you give to those thinking about obtaining the certification?

Do it! It not only looks great on your resume, but it also teaches so many different areas of social media that are valuable every single day in a social media position. It’s hard to find a certification that encompasses strategic planning, community management, campaign management, research & analysis, and more, all in one; but this one does!

Annabelle Paquin, Social Media Coordinator

Annabelle, can you tell us a little about yourself and your work in social media?

I graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) with a B.B.A. in Marketing & Graphic Design in 2021. While attending UMD, I had an on-campus job in marketing & PR where I focused on a mix of traditional and social media marketing, however, the pandemic and subsequent transition to online learning required shifting our marketing efforts to rely primarily on our socials. Adapting to this change led me to discover that I adore this field. After graduating, I landed a part-time social media job and knew I wanted to pursue this field full-time, which is how I ended up at IN Food Marketing & Design! At IN Food, I’ve loved working with a variety of great clients as well as the many opportunities to learn from not only an incredibly talented and driven team of marketing professionals, but also through continuing education opportunities (like NISM).

What drew you to the NISM certification?

Education has always been a priority for me, so after graduating and starting my career, I knew I wanted to dive back in, but I wanted to feel more settled before deciding if grad school was the right fit for me or not. The SMS certification process was a great way to test the waters of learning and working at the same time while also providing a less rigorous and self-monitored pace. As someone who has always enjoyed learning about the strategy side of social media, the certification was also a perfect fit as it aligned with my own interests as well as my career goals.

In what ways has the certification helped you in your work life?

As a recently SMS-certified professional, I’ve already found that the way I think about the social media accounts I manage has shifted, and I have a more strategic mindset when planning our content. Receiving this certification has also substantially increased my confidence with my role and in my knowledge of the field. The skills I’ve learned are very transferable to other specialties within the marketing industry, so I feel I’ve also gained a better understanding of what my team members who may not specialize in social might consider when creating marketing strategies.

As an SMS-certified professional, what advice would you give to those thinking about obtaining the certification?

For those newer in their career (like me!), invest in your professional growth! There is genuinely so much you can learn from the certification process. I studied with the Comprehensive Field Guide for Social Media Strategists, and as a semi-recent grad, I found it SO insightful. The guide is tailored by social media experts who’ve been studying the field for years, and many marketing concepts I learned in school were framed with a social-first approach. This strengthened my understanding in various marketing concepts from the niche lens of a social media strategist. While social media is a rapidly growing field, many colleges/universities are not yet equipped to provide a comprehensive education to students interested in pursuing the field, and I truly believe this certification was just what I needed to bridge the gaps!

Thank you for sharing your feedback with us Anita, Sam, and Annabelle!  We are so happy to have IN Food Marketing & Design join our list of NISM Certified Agencies. Congratulations!


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