Like any other business these days it is vital to crafting a strong presence online, especially on social channels. In a world where everyone is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, your social pages can be the first touchpoint a potential customer has with your brand. So those pages must reflect your company’s personality.
But social media gets a little trickier when you’re dealing with the cannabis industry. As usual, the confusing legal landscape surrounding cannabis creates all sorts of challenges for legal marijuana brands. Cannabis companies have their social accounts shut down all the time (especially on Facebook and Instagram), simply for being involved in an industry that is still deemed federally illegal. With all the work that goes into growing a large and engaged audience on social media, it can all be gone in just an instant.
That’s why it’s important to use tried and tested strategies for 420 social media management. We’ve compiled three of our top social strategies for cannabis brands that will help protect your online assets, reach the audiences you need, and create a robust brand personality.
Tips for 420 Social Media Management
#1: Be Consistent!
This tip is applicable to brands in all industries, in every vertical and targeting all audiences. If you are going to be on social media (and all companies should) you must be consistent. When social media was first coming on the scene, it was okay to pass it off to an intern or post every few days or weeks. But now that millions of Americans are logged on every single day, social media is a full-time job.
To keep yourself organized and accountable, create a social media calendar. This can be done each quarter, each month, or every week. Start by mapping out any relevant holidays and occasions, promotions and product launches that you want to acknowledge on your social channels. Decide on what content will need to be pushed. If it’s a product launch, you might want to link to a landing page or blog post that explains its features. If it’s a holiday, create a branded graphic that you can share. And don’t forget: Tweets with images are 34% more likely to be retweeted and photos with faces on Instagram perform 40% better on average.
Once you’ve created the base for your social media calendar, stick to it. Consistent content and engagement is what will help you connect with and convert your audience.
#2: Build a Content Hub & Thought Leadership
This is a strategy you may have never considered but can make all the difference for keeping your social profiles safe from shut down. Because major social platforms are unfriendly towards cannabis brands, it requires creativity to work around the rules. It may take a little extra work, but the effort is worth it.
Instead of promoting your products on a branded social media page, create a separate account, with a different name, to act as a content hub. On this separate account, instead of promoting specific products or locations in every piece you should create and promote content that is a voice for the greater marijuana culture. You can write blogs around legalization, industry news, new technologies, lifestyle, and more. This would include blogs like “Five 420-Friendly Halloween Costumes,” “Cannabis 2018: What States Have Cannabis on The Ballot This Year,” or “Three Uses for Cannabis Topicals You May Have Never Considered.”
This separate content hub can be softly associated with your brand and drive traffic to your company by including links to your website.
With this strategy, you will build your brand as a thought leader for marijuana culture and reliable source of information for your potential customers. And because the promotion of actual cannabis products will be limited (once per month is a good rule of thumb), you run less of a risk of having this page shut down by big social media platforms.
#3: Focus on Influencers, Not Paid Ads
Unfortunately, cannabis brands don’t have the same access to paid ads on social media for the same reason that accounts promoting specific cannabis products are often shut down. Paid ads are effective, but they’re not the only way to target your potential buyers on social media. Instead of focusing on paid placements through Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, rely on influencers (users with a large following) instead.
Social media influencers are a new, powerful tool for marketers and brands. Companies that align with the influencer’s personality, style, and audience can pay the influencer to post about their brand or they can send free product to the influencer and hope they post about it on their social profiles. If you know there is an influencer that loves your brand, you can partner with them to create branded content together.
To put this new trend into perspective, 86% of marketers polled by Linqia said they invested in influencer marketing and nearly half said they plan to ramp up spending on this channel. And there are plenty to choose from when it comes to cannabis, including “micro-influencers” (users with 5,000-10,000 followers, rather than hundreds of thousands) that can be effective and cheaper to partner with.
As you build out your brand’s presence on social media, don’t let your effort go to waste. Overly promoting cannabis products or locations can get your account shut down, but there are creative ways to get around those rules and still drive social traffic to your brand. Create a separate content hub that can drive traffic to your site without risk of being shut down, partner with influencers who attract a similar audience as your brand and be consistent.
If you need help building your social media presence or marijuana marketing strategy, Agency 420 can help. We’ll take the burden of 420 social media management off your shoulders so you can get back to running your business.