A Cannabis Social Media Management Plan For Your Recreational Marijuana Business
The cannabis industry worldwide, just like the alcohol and tobacco industries, is heavily restricted when it comes to cannabis advertising, marijuana marketing, and even cannabis social media management.
Some cannabis business owners would argue that cannabis, CBD, and hemp related business are more restricted than alcohol and tobacco companies when it comes to marketing and advertising.
There are several cannabis-related Instagram accounts and Facebook business pages that have been shut down for posting any weed related content.
As far back as September 2016, at least 2 Canadian Instagram accounts that show medical marijuana content have been shut-down, deleted, and removed from the platform.
For now, this makes it super challenging to use social media to market and promote recreational cannabis and medical marijuana. Cannabis retail stores and dispensaries are getting hit the hardest by the marketing and advertising restrictions.
Like all other legal small businesses on social media, Cannabis companies are creating Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter profiles to market marijuana products and services.
In order to grow a large, loyal, and engaged following on social media, your marijuana business needs an effective cannabis social media marketing strategy.
Your cannabis social media management should include hashtag research for Instagram and Twitter, social listening for cannabis content creation ideas, and timely community management to truly understand your customers and prospects.
Read on to learn more about how to create your own effective cannabis social media management plan for your business.
Why Your Cannabis Retail Store Needs a Managed Organic Social Media Strategy
Facebook and Instagram’s terms of service state that accounts cannot promote the use or sale of illegal drugs and they also don’t offer any pass on US States and other countries that have legal status for medical and recreational cannabis.
If you’re thinking about abandoning social media, Facebook and Instagram marketing in particular, because of the tight restrictions, you should think again.
Without social media, your cannabis brand will be even more challenged to scale your cannabis marketing campaigns, track your ROI, and most importantly, you’re less able to analyze audience demographics.
So advertising restrictions aside, you can still use the organic, non-paid side of social media to promote your cannabis retail stores and dispensaries.
You can use strategic organic social media tactics to transform unengaged audiences to engaged audiences and then into paying customers.
We discuss a few actionable cannabis social media marketing tips in the following section.
How To Use Social Media For Cannabis Marketing
Your target consumers live on social media. Consumers today like to be in direct contact with brands they are interested in and they rely on social media platforms to do make this happen.
Of all platforms, Instagram seems to be the place to be for cannabis users and cannabis conversations.
AdWeek says that Instagram direct messages are a hotbed of authentic conversations in the cannabis industry, both B2B and consumer.
Here are a few ways your dispensary can optimize your cannabis social media management.
Cannabis Social Media Marketing Tip 1:
Use Social Media To Build Consumer & Brand Loyalty
By listening in, interacting, and engaging with your audience on social media you show that you truly value your customers. This is one of the best ways to build a direct relationship with people interested in your cannabis brand or dispensary.
Social listening allows marijuana companies to find out where and how your customers spend their time online. It also helps you better understand which of your products people are talking about more or talking about less.
This process also helps your cannabis retail store monitor customer compliments and complaints that they will no doubt post on their social platforms.
This, in turn, provides you with the opportunity to encourage more compliments about your cannabis products or address any customer complaints that are publically shared on social media.
Once your cannabis marketing team identifies the points above, you can use that information to implement a dispensary marketing plan to actively participate in online discussions about your brand or related products.
You can also use this info to generate new cannabis content ideas where social outreach can play a roll post-purchase.
Cannabis Social Media Marketing Tip 2:
Use Facebook Messenger Chatbots To Chat Directly WIth Your Customers
If you’re not familiar with Facebook Messenger Chatbot marketing strategies you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to directly chat with website visitors or Facebook Business Page visitors.
Chatbots are essentially automated computer programs designed to communicate with users on a chat interface like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.
Powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, chatbots can use natural language processing to engage users and hold conversations just like a real person.
So, whether it’s a simple question or a complex request, chatbots can deliver a response that meets a customer’s specific needs quickly and effortlessly.
This is why chatbots are a fantastic tool for cannabis-related businesses who need unique and effective social media marketing strategies to promote their retail dispensaries and other products.services.
You can use chatbots to engage your prospects and learn more about your customers.
It’s a much more personalized form of marketing that your target market will appreciate. Personalization is extremely important for cannabis curious people.
You may not be able to place an ad just yet, but with a Facebook Messenger chatbot built into your website and Facebook page, you’re able to connect with a potential customer and answer their questions on-demand.
The beauty of the chatbot is that is mostly 100% automated with pre-programmed conversation flows based on typical frequently asked questions. This chat sequence can be edited at any time.
Cannabis Social Media Marketing Tip 3:
Research Hashtags To Optimize Your Social Media Reach
Before we start, let’s define what is a hashtag?
A hashtag is a label used on social media sites that makes it easier to find information with a theme or specific content.
B2B brands, B2C brands, and yes even cannabis brands can and should use hashtags to reach their target audience and to help members filter information.
When it comes to using hashtags on social media it’s important to note that hashtags are only really a thing on Instagram and Twitter. LinkedIn has tried to push the use of hashtags recently but they’re not as effective as they are on Instagram.
Hashtags are used for a few different reasons but for the purposes of this article, I want to focus on using hashtags to increase your reach/impressions on Instagram and Twitter specifically.
Look at it this way. Hashtags are how your Instagram and Twitter posts can be seen by many more people than just your followers.
As a cannabis business, you want to keep reaching new potential customers and not focused on upselling your existing customers/followers.
It’s typical for social media users to get bogged down by information overload very quickly. Think about your own Facebook or Instagram feed.
Creative cannabis marketers and brands should be using popular and relevant hashtags to make it easy for new customers to cut through the BS and focus only on the information they’re most interested in.
Managed Marijuana Social Media For Your Cannabis Store
The best cannabis social media management strategy we can recommend is to make sure you have someone who understands the “marketing” part of social media marketing for dispensaries.
You need to trust your cannabis store’s social media marketing to someone who knows more about marketing than simply posting cool photos on Instagram.
Experience and strategy are key factors to take into account when executing your cannabis social media plan.
ColaDigital.ca is a highly experienced cannabis digital marketing agency. We’ve been able to advertise medical cannabis on Facebook in 2017 and 2018. Download the case study here.
If you help to craft, execute, and manage the social media marketing for your cannabis store we can help!
Our team has been implementing digital strategy since 2004, we believe our experience speaks for itself.
We’ve served over 100 clients in a wide variety of B2B and B2C sectors, including companies in the medical cannabis space.
We know what works and what doesn’t.
If you’d like to learn how dispensaries can advertise on Facebook, follow the link to the article.
If you have questions or are ready to work with us, please contact us or reach out using the contact form below.
We’re ready to help you grow!