When asked about the LinkedIn platform, many would answer that it’s a medium for career seekers looking to connect with businesses about open positions. That’s true, but LinkedIn has also become a major hub for professionals looking for valuable content in addition to making personal social connections. In fact, Business Insider’s Digital Trust Report determined that LinkedIn users find the platform more trustworthy than Facebook and Twitter.
How to Market Your Cannabis Business on LinkedIn
While all businesses can use this information to create lead-generating content, those in the cannabis industry have a unique opportunity to use LinkedIn as part of their marketing strategy to build brand recognition and loyalty in a way that other social networking sites currently do not allow. As of February 2020, platforms such as Google and Facebook, have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to advertising cannabis-related products and businesses. LinkedIn is one of the few social media networks open to helping those in the cannabis business connect with potential consumers.
Cannabis Marketing on LinkedIn
LinkedIn currently has over 650 million members. A whopping 94% of marketers are using the platform to disperse content. This means it’s crucial for cannabis businesses to start implementing into their marketing strategies on LinkedIn.
Because of the less strict guidelines for advertising compared to other social media outlets, marketing your cannabis business on LinkedIn can be done effectively. While LinkedIn’s rules specifically state youcannot run ads that relate to illegal, prescription, over the counter, or recreational drugs, as long as the content you put out there isn’t selling the cannabis plant, you’re in the clear. Instead, focus on topics including cannabis education and advocacy, industry trends, experiences and events. These posts will in turn drive traffic to your site and allow consumers to purchase your products.
Note: While LinkedIn does not allow direct marketing of cannabis products, you can run pay-per-click advertisements to B2B industries interested in the cannabis industry. According to the Social Media Examiner, LinkedIn is ranked second for social media sites (behind Facebook) among B2B marketers. And since the site boasts over 30 million companies on the platform, you have plenty to choose from.
Consider Your Community
LinkedIn has a very active cannabis community that goes beyond the usual B2B businesses found on the platform. People interested in cannabis, whether for personal use or business purposes, want to know about conventions, growing practices, the latest laws, etc. The effect social media has on influencing consumer decisions is well documented. The Deloitte Report noted that one in three U.S. consumers are influenced by social media when making purchases. Considering more people are turning to LinkedIn to consume content, B2C companies have a chance to effectively build connections with members as well.
Ask yourself the following questions to determine if marketing your business on LinkedIn is the right choice:
- Who is your target audience? (Are they active on the LinkedIn network?)
- Does your business have the manpower to effectively expand your reach on social media? (Consistency is key – and it takes time! Don’t jump into something that will leave you feeling like a failure in the future.)
- Are you able to present your cannabis brand in a way that appeals to the professional aspect of LinkedIn members?
Whatever you do – don’t jump into LinkedIn marketing efforts if your audience is on another platform. By doing the research ahead of time, you’ll have the opportunity to maximize your marketing.
Just Get Started
Sometimes the hardest thing to do when it comes to marketing your business is to just get started. Don’t overthink it. Your efforts might not be perfect at the start, but you’ll learn what your clients and customers are looking for and will be able to serve them better over time. Don’t let what you don’t know hold you back.
The following are a few sound strategies to get you started:
- Posts with images and links tend to receive higher engagement. Video is even better, so show your audience what you are up to and make them want to engage with your brand!
- Have a strong call to action in each post to direct the reader to learn more by contacting you. LinkedIn isn’t a huge fan of links, so you may want to say something along the lines of “message me for more details” or “find out more on my website”. Those who are truly interested will find a way to do just that.
- Utilize industry specific hashtags on your posts. Think of them as search terms. When someone searches on Google for a term, it brings up some options for websites. The same goes for hashtags on LinkedIn. When someone searches for a term, you want them to come up with your post as a result to that search.
- Encourage others to share your posts. From employees to family to your favorite customers – give them an incentive to share your posts with their audience. Not only will it expand your reach on the platform, but it’s likely to drive traffic right back to your business.
The business of cannabis is constantly evolving as new policies are implemented and society’s view of the plant is shifting. That growth makes it essential for businesses to adapt to the market and stay ahead of the curve. Right now, LinkedIn has proven itself a space with untapped potential, and one that many in the business are under-utilizing.
Learn More with CannaCon
Want to learn more about cannabis marketing on LinkedIn and elsewhere? Join us for a CannaCon event in your area. You’ll have the opportunity to spend time talking to other cannabis professionals and learn from those that have paved the way before you! Get your tickets today!