This may be a bold statement, but nearly everyone uses Facebook. Even if you don’t personally use a ton of social media, your customers do, with the average adult checking their Facebook page up to 15 times every day. There is good reason to be involved on the social media site, but for cannabis owners, creating great content that relates to your brand becomes a little bit more challenging.
Contrary to what I have heard from many business owners, I believe that Facebook changes their algorithms often in order to serve you better, with the goal of creating a better overall user experience. Algorithms decide who sees your posts, and who doesn’t. There are ways to target your preferred page audience, and sometimes you even have the option to target a certain demographic for each post. But when that is not an option, the algorithm takes charge and serves up your content to people who may or may not be your fans already, but who have interacted or liked similar content in the past. Individuals also have the option to choose interests on their Facebook page, which further helps Facebook to serve them the content that they will care about the most. The reason why this can be frustrating for cannabis business owners, is because you could have amazing content and not see a lot of engagement. The best thing you can do is set your preferred page audience, target whenever possible your intended demographic, and use analytics to figure out what is working and what can be improved upon.
There’s come about a wonderful work-around to the organic Facebook that we have been accustomed to in the past. Facebook Ads give you the opportunity to pay Facebook to serve up your content to more subscribers. You have to spend money to make money, and the old way of doing Facebook simply does not achieve tangible results. So, using Facebook Ads allows you to have your content seen by more people, while also encouraging a specific Call To Action that converts.
Facebook ads for the cannabis industry have to be designed differently than ads for a more “mainstream” businesses. Because of Facebook Community Standards, drug content is not allowed. So while you are managing your Facebook page and trying to get your cannabis brand out there to your many fans, you are at the same time running the risk of getting your page flagged for inappropriate content. The Community Standards also make it more difficult to get your ads approved. Facebook will typically ping your ad as unapproved content, even if you are not directly promoting the sale of cannabis. We have reached out to Facebook multiple times for clarification on how to best advertise cannabis for our clients, especially after we discovered some promotional ads from a local dispensary, and this was our best response:
So what they are saying is that if they happen to not catch an ad that has drug content, they are relying on the Facebook community to find and report content that “shouldn’t” be allowed. Some dispensaries choose to risk it, posting content how they feel, and publishing ads that could potentially shut down their page. Our philosophy involves minimal guesswork and instead, we learn the “rules” of Facebook so that we can effectively run your cannabis ads and posts WITHOUT the fear of getting your page flagged.
You can read more about Facebook’s Community Guidelines and prohibited Content here: https://www.facebook.com/policies/ads/prohibited_content/drugs#