How Cannabis Businesses Can More Effectively Use Social Media
With the United States cannabis market continuing to grow, and new states legalizing the sale of medical and recreational cannabis every year, business owners and marketing execs need any edge they can get. This means that it’s essential to capitalize on the benefits offered by social media, especially considering so many traditional avenues of advertising and marketing are off limits.
Unfortunately, especially for the uninitiated, social media offers a number of challenges and obstacles to success. Whether it’s ever-shifting regulations on what is and isn’t allowed, or trying to create the same kind of engagement that your competitors are achieving, social media success takes a huge commitment, in terms of both time and money. How can cannabis business owners be sure it’s worth the effort?
It’s essential to capitalize on the benefits offered by social media, especially considering so many traditional avenues of advertising and marketing are off limits.
What follows is a brief overview of successful social media strategies for cannabis companies:
Social Media Is An Extension Of Your Cannabis Brand
It’s tempting for a company to look at social media as a lark, or an experiment, or a place to vent, but it is essential to remember that every single post you make on social media is a representation of your brand. If you post low quality phone pics of your product, often with poor lighting and a shaky focus, that is a reflection of the quality of your flower or edible. Even more importantly, if you decide to sound off on a competitor, or even worse, a government agency, your hastily composed words will be permanently online for everyone to see.
The best way to ensure that your social media presence is attractive and engaging is to partner with professionals. Whether you hire a full time social media management team, or contract out individual posts and campaigns to a trusted graphic designer, you must approach your social media with the same professionalism and seriousness that you do everything else.
Follow The 70/30 Rule
One frequent mistake that companies make is assuming that the best content is self promotional. But just because you want your customers to know about your latest product or how important sustainability is to your operations, it doesn’t mean that’s what your audience actually wants to see. Successful social media accounts focus on content that is attractive and meaningful to their followers, rather than force-feed them posts about how great their company is.
At The Hood Collective, we adhere to a marketing principle known as the 70/30 rule. This means that 70 percent of your posts should be specifically desirable or valuable to your followers, while the remaining 30 percent can be explicitly promotional. The type of posts that are relevant to your viewers will vary depending on the type of cannabis business you are, but can include high-quality photos of your flower, educational posts, calls for social change, and whatever else you find your potential clients responding to.
Avoid These Common Mistakes
While it’s easy to find cannabis accounts that fail to take their audience into consideration when designing social content, there are plenty of other mistakes we see on a regular basis. Smart companies with a savvy marketing outlook will make sure to stay away from these common pitfalls.
Perhaps most important is to maintain consistency. If you don’t have a dedicated social media person, posting will often happen haphazardly, both in terms of time and content. You’ll most likely want to steer away from showing consumption of cannabis. In some states, it’s illegal to advertise your products by showing consumption, and it’s a good way to get your accounts taken down as well. Finally, make sure to vary up your captions and hashtags. If you post the same content repeatedly, the platforms will stop showing it to your followers.
Don’t Try To Use Every Platform
Speaking of mistakes, you’ll be well-served to choose one or two of the major platforms and focus all your efforts on them, rather than trying to maintain a presence on every option. This will allow you to really hone your content for the particular platform, figure out what works and what doesn’t, and build up a significant following. We also recommend sticking to the major platforms, rather than gravitating to the newest apps (Like Tik-Tok), as they tend to either get bought out by or out-competed by the major players (remember Snapchat?).
For growers and producers, Instagram probably makes the most sense. There is a huge cannabis audience, and the image heavy platform is perfect for showing off your product. If you are an aspiring thought leader in the industry, lean heavily into Twitter, where it’s easier to share your thoughts and start conversations. If you are a dispensary or event organizers, Facebook is a must, as it’s a great place to generate interest in upcoming events. Finally, LinkedIn is an often overlooked platform that is actually quite cannabis friendly, and offers businesses of all sorts a tremendous growth opportunity.
Go All In On Cannabis…Or Don’t Mention Cannabis At All
Finally, one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make regarding social media is how prominently you want to focus on cannabis content. This might seem strange, but for many companies, cannabis is only one aspect of their business. The problem is that once the platforms are aware that you are promoting cannabis content, there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself siloed, especially on Facebook and Instagram. This means that your content will only be shown to people who are also frequently talking about cannabis.
Our recommendation is that you either lean heavily into cannabis, making it your exclusive (or nearly exclusive) topic of conversation, or don’t ever mention it at all. You might still show cannabis products, just don’t refer to them as cannabis (or CBD, or hemp, or any of the other “controversial” terms that the platforms are trying to avoid) and certainly don’t use any of the banned hashtags. If you are a company that has a cannabis division, then we’d strongly urge you to create a cannabis-exclusive account.
Partner With The Hood Collective For Your Cannabis Social Media
The best way to stand out on social is with high-quality, dynamic content that will wow your followers. Whether you manage your accounts yourself, or want a full time social media management team, your success and growth directly depends on the quality of your posts. That’s why professional graphic design, photography, and video are essential.
The Hood Collective specializes in creating attractive and engaging cannabis content that performs strongly on social media. Moreover, our tested techniques are proven to help improve your performance, and increase your bottom line. Plus, our carefully recorded analytics let you know that your investment is paying off.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.