Advertising cannabis on social media is a big risk and a huge challenge. That’s why we have 5 tips for cannabis marketing on social media that don’t include paid advertising or advertising restrictions.
Effective Tips For Cannabis Marketing on Social Media Platforms
So how are things going with executing your cannabis marketing on social media platforms? I’m betting it’s like any other cannabis business strategy in it requires a ton of skill, creativity, and patience.
Even though some form of cannabis is legal in all of Canada, in 33 of the United States in parts of Europe, Africa, and other countries, your marijuana or CBD business still faces strict restrictions with social media platforms, whether you try to advertise or not.
So things are tough out there for a cannabis marketer when it comes to how to successfully market cannabis products on social media while remaining compliant.
We’re all well aware of the confusing advertising restrictions but what about the restrictions that social media platforms may have against organic, non-promoted posts in your Facebook and Instagram feeds?
This is where social media marketing for dispensaries and other cannabis companies gets murky and we’re here to clear things up for you.
In this article, we’ll answer these questions and more, as well as provide actionable insights with 5 effective tips for cannabis marketing on social media platforms.
1. Use Educational Content To Market Cannabis on Facebook
Publishing content that educates your current and potential customers about your products (or services) is probably the best tip for cannabis marketing on social media, especially on Facebook.
If you’re looking to increase your cannabis brand awareness and develop trust with targeted cannabis consumers, you’ll need to educate the uneducated in order to have sustained growth for your business.
There are plenty of potential cannabis customers who don’t even know they can use CBD to treat their anxiety or to manage their pain.
There’s also plenty of other people who are actively searching Google, right now, for information on the benefits of CBD products.
Imagine if you can get information on your CBD products to the people who are already curious about CBD and its benefits to their health and wellness.
Publishing educational content daily on Facebook is one of the most effective ways of advertising cannabis on social media, without actual advertising.
Reason being, people on Facebook engage with content much differently than people engage with content on Instagram. Just think about how you consume content on each platform.
Not too many people are clicking off of Instagram to go to a cannabis brand or dispensary website to read an article about how CBD can help them with their pre and post work out regimens.
But, those same people could be on Facebook and scrolling through their feed when they come across a post from your company’s Facebook business page, discussing the benefits of your CBD oil as it relates to pain management.
Facebook is a platform where people engage with content and click off to read articles more so than Instagram. So if you post relevant, educational content about CBD and your followers are curious about CBD, you could have found an effective tactic for your cannabis marketing on social media.
If you try this cannabis social media marketing tactic you can measure the success of your campaigns by tracking the engagement rate on these posts, as well as the time spent on the landing page or blog article you linked it.
2. Use Strategic Stories To Market Cannabis on Instagram
When brainstorming creative cannabis social media ideas specific to Instagram, we recommend implementing a specific strategy for Stories in your cannabis marketing plan for social media.
Over 500 million accounts use Instagram Stories daily and more than 300 million use Facebook and Messenger Stories daily.
Instagram Stories allow cannabis companies and dispensaries to offer mobile-driven storytelling to their social media marketing mix. This makes this format a crucial channel for cannabis companies to deliver their messages in new and innovative ways.
More importantly, your current and potential customers love IG Stories. They’re fun, vertical, immersive and totally modern. It’s how your customers are communicating with their friends and documenting their journeys.
In terms of using Stories as an effective tool for social media marketing, dispensaries should use this format for quick-hits to provide visual excitement to engage and enchant your followers.
Tips to Market Cannabis Using Instagram Stories
- Create customized 9×16 videos specifically for Stories. Vertical videos rule in the format.
- Don’ simply chop up your traditional landscape video into segments for IG Stories.
- Vertical video works best if you focus in on one single object in the frame.
- Remember to think up-and-down and not thing side-to-side. The viewers eyes are interested in what is coming down from the top of the screen or up from the bottom.
- People are used to consuming Stories quickly. So, quick cuts and fact moving creative fit this format super well.
Creating and publishing Instagram Stories for cannabis marketing isn’t easy. It takes time and creativity to get it done right.
We’re advocates for trying and testing, especially with creative for cannabis marketing in social media. We recommend experimentation and the mixing and matching of different creative elements.
It’s important to find ways to bring some interactivity to your IG Stories. Don’t be shy to use the native elements like stickers that your viewers might be using and incorporate them into your efforts.
If you’re looking to use influencers to market your cannabis products on social media, see this article for a few additional tips: 3 Tips To Finding CBD Influencers On Instagram That Fit Your Brand.
3. Showcase Your Cannabis Team on Key Social Media Profiles
While you may not be able to advertise your cannabis products on social media, yet, that doesn’t mean you can’t advertise and/or promote your cannabis team.
Your cannabis team includes your front end staff like budtenders, security, and marijuana store managers, as well as people in your back office including marketing, sales, operations, human resources, and any other department you may have.
Create content that allows your followers to get to your brand by getting to know your team. Social media is meant to be social so use this as an opportunity to educate and entertain.
This strategy allows your cannabis brand to establish personal connections with your social media followers and future customers. It helps build your brand’s authenticity may increase trust in your brand by your followers.
I’d suggest implementing this content on both Facebook & Instagram. If you’re able to create short video instead of static images, you will likely get much more engagement. Video content is key for any type of cannabis marketing on social media.
4. Choose To Work With a Cannabis Specific Marketing Agency
Many local businesses choose a digital marketing agency to help grow their business via Instagram ads and organic social media management. A large part of their strategy revolves around Facebook & Instagram advertising.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of credible digital marketing agencies that would love to manage the social media marketing for your cannabis brand, but do they have any experience with the challenges involved in cannabis marketing on social media?
Social media for cannabis companies is in some ways similar to marketing other B2B and B2C businesses, but only someone who’s actually had experience with cannabis marketing on social media can truly understand the challenges.
Think of yourself or someone on your cannabis marketing team. You may have had your Facebook or Instagram account flagged or shadowbanned for posting cannabis and CBD related content.
If you’ve ever tried advertising cannabis on social media I’m sure you’ve faced countless ads being disapproved, or even worse, having your ad account flat out banned on Facebook and Instagram.
Most social media marketing agencies are a little spoiled when it comes to advertising on Facebook and Instagram. They don’t have to deal with strict advertising restrictions on a daily basis.
Therefore, non-cannabis social media marketing agencies may not have the experience in creative copywriting or possess the tenacity of testing, trying, and testing and trying different ad variations in order to get an ad approved, while making sure your page, profile, and ad account do not get flagged or banned!
Our cannabis social media marketing team has been able to advertise medical cannabis on Facebook, Google, and YouTube using creative copywriting and a tenacious attitude.
However, we’ve also been challenged by these same platforms and have attempted to run ad campaigns only to have our ads disapproved. So nothing is guaranteed in life or with advertising cannabis on social media.
Cannabis advertising and daily Instagram marketing is a super tricky thing to manage successfully, this is why experience matters when it comes to cannabis marketing on social media.
5. Authenticity Matters With Cannabis Marketing on Social Media
This boils down to marketing 101. Authenticity has always mattered in marketing and especially with cannabis marketing on social media.
We all live in an extremely fast-paced world, with trends evolving at manic speed, and being inundated with billions of messages delivered across multiple points of contact.
This is precisely why the struggle to define and maintain authenticity remains constant in marketing.
A steep decline in organic social media reach over the past few years combined with an inability to buy advertising on social media platforms has placed added pressure on cannabis marketers to keep their messaging on point, not just to remain genuine but also to distinguish themselves from the competition.
Cannabis brands should look at social media marketing as part of their overall brand marketing strategy. Your brand needs to resonate with its audience in order to be successful and grow.
So if you strategically use social media marketing to enhance your cannabis brand, your audience (i.e potential new customers) can discover alignment with your brand via your social media content.
Once your audience has chosen to align with your brand they will choose to love what you stand for, become loyal fans, and help you by spreading the love for your brand across their social media profiles.
A good tip for creating content that resonates with your audience is to use video content a much as possible to market your cannabis brand on social media. A static image is nowhere near as engaging as an entertaining, educational short video.
Video content helps your cannabis brand build originality and authenticity in your social media marketing. People can really get to know and trust your brand if they like what you’re doing and you’re educating them at the same time.
Building authenticity and trust on social media is a super great way to market your brand and grow your business.
We Can Help You With Your Cannabis Social Media Marketing
Marketing your products on social media needs to be an essential part of your cannabis marketing strategy so you’ll want to get it done correctly, right from the start.
Everything from optimizing your Facebook & Instagram Pages to researching the best hashtags to use to get you the most reach, to creating a relevant content strategy and posting schedule takes a lot of work and a competent skill set.
If you need help managing your social media marketing strategy, we can help you with managed services for all of the cannabis marketing ideas listed above.
Please contact us for a free consultation or to request a quote.
We’re Ready To Help You Grow!