Traditional businesses have long used social media as a way to grow their brand, feature their products, and connect with customers. Social media marketing is one of the lowest-cost ways to gain an audience or build a brand-new business, and has become an absolute necessity in our expanding digital world. And though traditional businesses sometimes have to jump through hoops to achieve their social media goals, cannabis marketing is an entirely different beast.
You may have heard of (or even experienced yourself) the frustration of your Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram pages being pulled down. You may have advertising dollars to allocate towards Facebook and Instagram ads, and have been left feeling defeated when your ads don’t get approved.
We understand! Social media is constantly changing, and so are the rules. The cannabis industry is new, it’s exciting, and it’s growing quickly. Social media channels like Facebook simply have not been able to keep up with the change of the tide, and so, pages are punished when trying to feature a product or brand. You’re at risk every day of being pulled down if someone reports your post! On top of all that, social media is time-consuming. You either need to spend the hours yourself to create and maintain an amazing social media presence for your cannabis company, or you need to outsource it to someone who knows what they are doing in the cannabis advertising space.
The question is: How do you create a social media presence that grows your cannabis business AND follows the terms and conditions of the social media channels you NEED to be on? Read on!
If you’re intending on creating and managing your social media profiles on your own, there are a few things you can implement today that, with consistency and a little bit of elbow grease, will yield results. These are Content Curation, Image Creation, and Live Video.
As cannabis business owners, a common strategy to get people in the door is to create amazing specials, and then blast them out everywhere possible. Social media seems like a no-brainer! Of course, your cannabis products and ongoing specials should be featured, but the point of social media is to BE SOCIAL. The goal of posting anything on your pages is to make more sales, but you first must engage current and potential customers. Engagement is the best way to gain loyal brand ambassadors; people who will tell their friends, family, and followers about you and your fabulous cannabis products. This should be your #1 goal.
So how do you make that happen? By posting amazing content that encourages engagement. Engagement is simple: it’s when someone likes, comments, or follows your page or your post. Engagement helps you to measure the ROI of your social media campaign, along with each post individually. Repeat what works, and stop doing what doesn’t work.
You’ve probably heard this before: Content Is King. Great content will yield great engagement. Go to your cannabis brand’s page and take a peek at your most recent posts. What was the post about? Was it about your brand or a sale? How many likes did your most popular post get? Did anyone share a post to their followers? Were your most engaged with posts images, videos, or links? Content is the likely reason why you’re seeing less-than-amazing engagement on your feeds, but it is easy to correct!
Every cannabis brand is different and unique, so first, create your brand guidelines, and use these as a map for your social media content. Create segments of social media content, and rotate your content to keep your profiles fresh and interesting. One segment should be company-oriented, one segment could be community-oriented, and one segment could be something you are passionate about that relates to your brand. All segments are engagement-oriented, with the goal of getting as many post likes, comments, and shares as possible. As you go through the year, you can change up your segments to add more variety to reach different demographics while continuing to engage with your loyal followers.
When creating content, think about your customers and your brand values, and then form your social media content around that. By using this strategy first, and implementing badass images and live videos into the mix, you’ll see your following and engagement rise organically.
Images for your cannabis brand don’t have to be the same-old-same -old that everyone else is posting. Feature your brand, your staff, and your accomplishments by posting a mix of photos and professionally-created images. A graphic designer can be your most valuable asset in setting your cannabis dispensary or cannabis brand apart from the rest! Your goal with any image you post is to have created social media content that people can relate to, and that they’ll ultimately share with their friends, family, and followers.
Our favorite images at Cannabis Marketing Inc are those that have people in them. And we’re not alone: People engage with and relate to images with people in them more than other types of images (up to 38% more, according to Georgia Institute of Technology and Yahoo Labs).
Photos that your cannabis company could share could be your budtenders, a team-building event, or behind-the-scenes at your grow. The more your followers see you and your staff, instead of just a logo, the more they will fall in love with your vision, your brand, your employees, and ultimately, your products. Show your followers that you are a real-life human being, and they will trust you. Trust equals sales and lifelong customers. Who wouldn’t want that?
Live video can be scary, but it’s a content piece that cannot be left behind. Videos are flooding our news feeds, and are only growing in popularity. People love live video because it is real, authentic, and sometimes messy. Take advantage of this trend by showing your followers video snippets of behind-the-scenes, of you working, or of a hilarious “something” that is happening inside your business.
Besides being in demand with your followers, Live Video gets seen by far more people due to social media algorithms. So you have the opportunity to be seen by even more people, and gain even more followers than from a typical post. Of course, with the ever-changing algorithms, this could change at any time!
The bottom line with video is it allows people to see YOU. So don’t hesitate to share about yourself and your brand, and film it LIVE!
By ensuring your content is on-brand, is engaging in both photos and imagery, and by stepping outside of your comfort zone and filming live, you can grow your social media following within months. And learning the ins and outs of social media for your cannabis business doesn’t have to be something you go at alone. The team of experts at Cannabis Marketing Inc is here for you, ready to employ the best strategies for your brand, while sharing our creativity and love of the industry with you and your followers.