Even in the world of cannabis, social media is an essential element of any successful marketing strategy.
Whether keeping in touch with friends and family, seeking inspiration or simply scrolling to fill spare time, nearly 4.5 billion people worldwide use social media for myriad reasons. Social media usage is now so deeply ingrained into our daily lives that brands across industries would be foolish not to promote their business and build a relationship with their audiences.
The Benefits of Social Media Marketing for Dispensaries and Other Cannabis Companies
Today, organizations across industries utilize social media marketing to broaden their audience, boost brand awareness and generate trust and brand loyalty. With billions of active users engaging on social media daily, an online presence is no longer “nice to have” — it’s vital.
Even if you’re a dispensary, a cultivator, an edible company, a concentrates/extracts brand or an organization providing cannabis-adjacent ancillary services, social media offers seemingly endless possibilities to connect with consumers and other stakeholders. Today, cannabis companies and ancillary service providers are gaining a competitive edge by building a strong brand that consistently posts engaging, informative or clever content.
As one of the country’s fastest-growing industries continues to blossom, legal cannabis sales topped $25 billion in 2021, a massive 40% increase. With cannabis businesses of all kinds seeking to ride that green wave of profits into the future, social media strategy and management will be critical to keeping pace with the industry’s growth.
Despite the incredible promise cannabis social media marketing offers, cannabusinesses must be careful with cannabis content writing on social media. Since cannabis remains federally illegal, many of the most popular social media platforms — Facebook, Instagram and Twitter — will block ads or deactivate accounts posting cannabis-centric content that violates their terms and conditions.
Even though each platform offers different strengths and weaknesses, there are some general best practices to follow when drafting copy for cannabis social media posts. Let’s delve into some of the basic do’s and don’ts of effective cannabis social media marketing.
Cannabis Social Media Do’s and Don’ts
- Pay attention to each state’s rules and regulations and every social media platform’s policies. Cannabis remains tightly regulated. Not only do social media platforms have their own sets of terms and policies regarding cannabis, but cannabis marketing rules and regulations vary across states as well. Don’t get your account shut down for overlooking compliance with the latest updates.
- Focus on educating consumers. Share evidence-based knowledge, quotes, news on legislative updates, new research data and statistics, and other reports regarding the effects of cannabis that will drive strong growth and responsible use of cannabis by adults. Additionally, be sure you’re sharing timely information from trusted, reliable sources.
- Target appropriate audiences. With cannabis gaining in popularity among consumers and moving further down the path of legality in more states each year, brands need to reconsider the typical cannabis user persona to better engage appropriate audiences and bolster their place in the market.
Now that you know what you should do to successfully market your cannabusiness on social media, let’s look at some things you should not do.
- Explicitly say or even hint that you’re “selling,” “trading” or “delivering” cannabis products. This kind of content implies that you’re promoting the commerce of “drugs” or “controlled substances,” which can get you banned from social media platforms. Relatedly, avoid language that might encourage a purchase or contact to purchase — like pricing, promotions, deals, discounts, availability, visit us, stop in, etc.
- Offer medical advice. While it can be tempting to proclaim the health benefits of cannabis, steer clear of making any false, unfounded or misleading medical claims. Even testimonials can be false and include information contradicting scientific facts.
- Appeal to children. Common sense rules here. Children should not use cannabis recreationally. Consequently, a cannabis writer drafting copy for social media needs to be careful not to draw in young people.
Far too many cannabis companies and adjacent brands believe social media is simple and can be handled by even the newest hire with minimal social media experience or knowledge of the cannabis industry. Unfortunately, these brands regularly find themselves in hot water, with their accounts often being shadowbanned or shut down entirely.
If you’re a cannabis or related company struggling to engage online audiences in an authentic — and compliant — way, reach out to our social media and cannabis and emerging markets team to discover how we empower cannabis brands to thrive on social media.