Social media marketing is a well-developed and mature sphere of digital activity. Yet, every industry poses specific concerns and limitations on how marketing can be done, and cannabis is one of them. Despite the quick progress of legalization, weed is still illegal at the federal level. Besides, all social media platforms have an official ban on overt weed advertising or display of images of weed consumption.
Thus, you’ll need to go the extra mile to find effective and legal ways to market your dispensary Los Angeles or a new online store for CBD products you’ve just launched. Here, we share pro tips and insights into cannabis marketing via social media that may help you get started.
Target a Specific Audience
The hardest task for a cannabis business just starting out is building your tribe of like-minded followers. To achieve this aim quickly, you need to conduct thorough initial research and understand who your target population is. Whether it's a group of middle-aged medical marijuana users or young people with high socio-economic status, you need to focus on that population and market your dispensary or online store specifically to them.
Build Cross-Platform Presence
The modern web space is diverse and interconnected, with users present on various platforms and enjoying seamless brand presence. You can also create a cross-platform presence to reach out to your target users wherever they hang out. Today, it might be Instagram, while tomorrow, it can also be Facebook.
You should remember that your customers should find you on any platform without a problem. Besides, you can reach out to users with whom you had an initial contact on one platform through the functionality of another one, thus building an omnichannel presence.
Make Your Posts Educational and Engaging
Social media are not only about fun; many brands gain trust and user loyalty by posting educational content and enlightening their audience about the intricacies of safe, responsible weed use and strain/product selection. You can also follow this safe path in social media marketing to grow your audience and establish a strong online reputation for your business.
Use Superb Imagery and Video Content
Social networks are deeply visual, as users get overloaded with tons of daily posts and advertisements. Thus, a good chance to catch their attention comes only with top-quality images and well-done video content. By investing time and effort into such content creation, you can reach out to many more people and increase brand awareness among your target audience.
Talk to Your Followers
Interactivity is key when you grow your social media presence and aim to build a loyal community around your brand. People communicate with brands they like on social media, and getting a response is always rewarding. Users need to feel listened to and respected, with their feedback laying the foundation for business changes and updates. Thus, if you create meaningful conversations with your followers, chances are high that they will stay with you.
People are sick and tired of intrusive, salesy promotional messages from companies. Thus, you should keep your promotional content moderately promotional, especially when it comes to marketing weed. You can easily get into legal trouble if you use direct calls to buy and smoke weed or post deceitful marketing slogans promising the benefits that weed can’t objectively give. We recommend keeping the content more educational than promotional, thus organically growing your audience and brand awareness. Share your opinion and give practical tips instead of persuading users to buy something; customers react to such milder forms of promos much better.
Build Your Tribe of Influencers and Ambassadors
Another handy social media marketing tip is the use of influencers and ambassadors of any scale for your products’ promotion. Though everybody understands the commercial side of influencer marketing, people still tend to believe other people more eagerly than they do with business advertisements.
If you own a dispensary with a local outreach, it's okay to find a couple of local influencers and partner with them to reach out to your neighborhood. If you have ambitious business growth and expansion plans, it may be more appropriate to find larger-scale influencers on YouTube or Instagram and engage them in your campaign.
Follow the Law
Legislation is the cornerstone of all social media marketing efforts for your cannabis business. Never ignore the local laws and study all legislative acts, rules, and regulations in the jurisdiction where you're planning to work. Cannabis isn't regulated homogeneously across the USA, so each state has its own set of rules mandatory for compliance. So, doing some paperwork before the launch of your marketing campaign can save you time, money, and nerves (and sometimes even your freedom).
Marketing Really Works
As you can see, marketing of cannabis business is an intricate field that requires industry knowledge and expertise. However, the effort will surely pay off if you organize everything well and follow the law. Social media marketing is part and parcel of any business promotion, offline or online, so you're likely to build your customer base and expand brand awareness much quicker if you establish a strong online presence for your business.