Our SMS professionals serve as ambassadors for our certification program here at NISM. Not only are they knowledgeable about our curriculum, but they also share our passion for social media. Best of all, their stories help shape our organization and the work that we do here.
Our “Meet and Greet” series introduces you to one of our SMS professionals and shares their story. We hope that by sharing these stories, not only will you learn more about others who share your passion for being an SMS professional, but you also will want to connect with them further. We encourage you to “meet” this featured individual by reaching out to them through your favorite social media platform or by commenting in the section below this article.
And with that, we’d like to introduce you to Natalie Droeske, SMS and her story.
Hi, Natalie! Please tell us a little about yourself and the work you do.
Hey there! I’m an Iowa transplant from the suburbs of Chicago who connects small- to mid-sized businesses with marketing and social media strategies that convert. With a background exclusively in small business, I appreciate the passion and hard work that feeds the success of a small business and believe that a marketing strategy, especially with an emphasis on social, can multiply that success exponentially.
I currently hold the Marketing Manager position at MedOne Pharmacy Benefit Solutions, a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) based in Dubuque, IA, serving members nationwide. At MedOne, we’ve identified three major audiences: channel partners, clients, and members as well as our own team and recruiting efforts. Where do these audiences all intersect? Social media!
How did you get started working in social media?
When I was pursuing my degree in English from Loras College, a friend passed along an internship opportunity at a social media marketing agency. I started my career in social, creating, managing, and reporting on social content and ads for several organizations. Working in social extrapolated my love for powerful word pairings, impactful phrases, and exceptional sentence structures, and challenged me to look larger.
Social media certainly requires strong writing abilities, so it sounds like your English degree has come in handy! Why was it important for you to also seek certification as a social media strategist?
Social media is one of, if not the, most accessible forms of marketing. So in a world where “anyone can do that”, how do you set yourself apart? Enter NISM. When applying for my current role, my certification set me apart from other applicants. Obtaining the certification and adding structure and strategy to social elevates the quality and performance of the content. From a production standpoint, it is so much easier to follow a content strategy or outline than be faced with the “what should I post today?” question of doom. Trust me.
Speaking of avoiding doom with preparation, how did you study for your SMS exam?
Prior to obtaining my certification, I went through the self-study course and loved the opportunity to be a student again. (Definitely broke out the multi-colored highlighters!) I appreciated the opportunity to go at my own pace and really dive into the content; working full time, too, the flexibility to do so kept the stress level down, and I found myself looking forward to when I could pick up my NISM notebook again.
That’s great to hear! When you go to pick up your phone, what app do you gravitate towards? What social platform is your favorite?
How can a social media marketer choose just one platform?! Each has such unique features, audiences, and quirks. It’s too hard! So I’ll say this:
Professionally/for my role at MedOne, I love LinkedIn. I can appreciate the longevity of content the platform offers and enjoy seeing how my connections build their personal brand. On the business side, LinkedIn is where the main MedOne audiences converge. We’ve leveraged the showcase page feature to help categorize what content should live where while still reaching our core audiences.
Personally, I gravitate toward Instagram. Maybe it’s the millennial in me or the fact that I feel like I grew up alongside the platform, but I like seeing a mix of curated content along with photos of my niece, tips for starting my own sourdough obsession, and the ability to track the food trucks in my area. Plus, I’m always floored to hear what audio clip goes viral next; they always seem to be the most random, niche, clip!
You are also a valued member of our Advisory Board. Can you tell us a little bit about why you decided to join and what that experience has been like thus far?
Because social media is so new, there was little structure around training and education in the space. After finding the certification and becoming an SMS myself, I appreciate that NISM was one of the first organizations to recognize social as an emerging medium and bring much-needed training and education to the space. It is exciting to see how much social media has changed, evolved, and grown (enter Threads!) over the last few years, and I’m excited to be part of a group dedicated to staying at the forefront of it all.
Social media certainly keeps all of us on our toes! Before we go, we like to end things with a fun fact. Can you tell us something about you that not everyone would know?
While I’m certainly no “foodie”, I’m quickly becoming known locally as the “supper club chick” based on all the travels and stories I share about visiting various supper clubs. If you’re unfamiliar, a supper club is an old-fashioned Midwestern restaurant, typically in Wisconsin, that focuses on comfort food and sociability. And it’s fitting! I love spending quality time with friends and family in a space where we can be ourselves. If you need a recommendation, I’m happy to give it my best shot!
We agree, supper clubs are so much fun and even better with good company. To end things on a really fun note, Natalie sent in this photo of her visiting Croatia!
Natalie, thank you for your willingness to share your story with us. Keep up the excellent work!