It’s an exciting new world we live in with cannabis prohibition slowly ending at the state level. However, the battle continues federally, creating obstacles to cannabusinesses who are trying to market themselves online with cannabis social media.
According to Marijuana Business Daily , Social Media is the most effective Marketing/Advertising Method for your cannabis company. This is great, however there are still archaic restrictions to what you can and cannot do on social media for cannabis. This results in rejected Facebook ads, content being removed, or worst — having your pages completely shut down forcing you to rebuild your audience and content from scratch. Frustrating is an understatement. For an industry projected to bring in $24 billion by 2025, it’s unfair and out of touch.
Hope is not lost though, you can be successful on social media for cannabis. Here are some tactics to keep you up and running:
1. Focus on information and education: most advertising guidelines prohibit the encouragement of consuming or purchasing cannabis products. If you take a more educational or informational approach to your content, you are still engaging with your audience and promoting your brand, instead of an outright product pitch. For example, this article on Microdosing educates the consumer on how and why to microdose and does mention a product available for microdosing at the end, but it’s done discreetly and as an afterthought.
2. Photos and Video: Facebook is known to push video content more than anything else so video content is extremely critical to your online strategy. Original video content that also sticks to the educational and informational theme discussed in tip #1 is best. Keep photos and videos high quality, high brow, and MOST IMPORTANTLY nothing that could appeal to children (no cartoons or childlike images).
3. Watch your hashtags and keywords: certain hashtags and keywords can red flag you so keep an eye on these, especially with strain names. Names like “Bubblicious” or “Girl Scout Cookies” will show up in searches not related to cannabis and potentially in searches made by the under 21 crowd. Avoid posting product pricing if possible. This directly encourages the purchase and consumption of cannabis, violating most advertising guidelines.
4. Keep it professional: Part of ending the “stoner” stereotype is keeping a classy and professional flow of content on your cannabis social media channels. Keep your language professional and avoid curse words. Avoid old school stoner slang like “reefer” “marijuana” “ganja” and stick to “cannabis”. Just like any other professional business advertising online, maintain an image that aligns with your brand.
5. Don’t give up! Don’t get discouraged by the obstacles. Things are changing for the better every day and slow progress is no progress! Get creative, try new things, and DON’T GIVE UP!
By: Mariah Martinez, Director of Marketing, Heavenly Brands Cannabis Marketing