Social media has become deeply ingrained into the daily lives of people today. This refers to any online platform that enables people to conveniently communicate and easily share content with one another regardless of the distance.
For brands, social media can be a means to promote your business and build a relationship with your audience. With over 4.62 billion social media users in the world, social media holds countless possibilities for brands. So if you’re not on any of the top social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, or YouTube, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities.
Brands who are in the cannabis industry, however, need to tread more carefully when it comes to social media marketing. Apart from the varying laws and regulations in each state and country, cannabis businesses also have to maneuver the different restrictions for each social media network.
How can you legally and effectively market your cannabis business on social media? We’ll cover that and more in this article.
The Advantages of Using Social Media for Your Dispensary
As we mentioned, there are billions of active users engaging on social media every day. In today’s digital-centric world, especially in the midst of the transition to the new normal, having an online presence is no longer optional for brands — it has now become a necessity.
With social media, dispensaries can:
- Widen your reach at a global level
- Reach more niche audiences through social media influencers
- Create more targeted content with granular analytics
- Boost brand awareness and recognition
- Cultivate brand trust and loyalty
Why Cannabis Brands Need a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Among the biggest opportunities that social media presents to dispensaries is providing a platform to educate customers about the benefits of cannabis. With all the misconceptions about cannabis, as well as the historical misuse of the product, it’s important for dispensaries to make education a huge part of your social media marketing strategy, apart from promoting your products.
Each platform also has their own specific strengths:
- Facebook is a good platform to build a community, cultivate brand recognition and education, and provide customer service.
- Instagram and TikTok are ideal for boosting brand awareness using more artistic and educational content.
- Twitter is best for sharing industry-related news and for providing customer service.
- LinkedIn is ideal for B2B connections and connecting with more high-profile professionals, but not so much for B2C.
However, as we mentioned before, cannabis is still a tightly regulated industry, and social media platforms also have their own set of terms and policies when it comes to posting content about cannabis.
It’s crucial for dispensaries to review each social media platform’s guidelines to ensure that you’re marketing your cannabis business the right and legal way, as well as preventing your brand from being permanently banned from the platform.
Despite these limitations, it’s not impossible for cannabis brands to leverage the advantages of social media. You just need to have the right strategy.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Marketing Cannabis on Social Media
- Prioritize customer education: Post informative content that dispels harmful myths about cannabis products and instead educate customers of their health benefits.
- Always check your sources: Prior to posting any content, be sure that the information you include are from trusted and reliable sources. Post advocacy content to further bolster customer education, such as the latest news on legislative updates, new research data and statistics, and health reports.
- Post more neutral, subtle images of your products: As it is prohibited to explicitly say that your products are for sale, trade, or delivery, subtlety is key. Health and lifestyle shots of products without promoting its recreational use are preferred.
- Keep yourself updated: Rules and regulations regarding the cannabis industry change regularly, and so do the terms and policies on social media platforms. Be sure to stay abreast with the latest updates to ensure that your brand is compliant.
- Don’t explicitly state that you’re selling cannabis products: This includes not having verbiage that says your products are for sale, trade, or delivery. Also, do not list the prices or provide any explicit contact information to buy cannabis products — however, you are still able to include a link to your website.
- Don’t be too salesy in your marketing caption: As we previously mentioned, it’s key to be subtle when it comes to cannabis marketing on social media. Your priority should be educating and building rapport and trust with your audience.
- Don’t post risky content that could be misconstrued by general audiences: This includes posting instructions on how to sell, grow, and use cannabis. This also includes any content that promotes its recreational use. Focus on the health benefits instead.
- Don’t post any medical claims: While it’s important to educate your customers about the health benefits of cannabis products, be careful about posting unfounded medical claims and customer testimonials.
- Don’t run paid ads that promote the sale or trade of cannabis products: Generally, social media platforms restrict business pages from running paid ads with the intent of selling regulated products such as cannabis.
Marketing your cannabis business on social media comes with its fair share of risks, considering that cannabis use is still illegal in some areas. It’s important to be extra cautious on what you put online and to be updated with the latest rules and regulations regarding cannabis. Focus on your social media marketing strategy on customer education while also staying compliant.
It’s also helpful to work with services who are experienced in the cannabis industry such as Alpine IQ. We provide a number of marketing solutions that are built and designed for dispensaries, and compliance is our top priority.
Interested to learn more? Contact us at https://alpineiq.com/ to get started!