GETTING AROUND ADVERTISING LIMITATIONS AND REACHING SPECIFIC AUDIENCES START WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
What Is Cannabis Social Media?
Good cannabis social media starts with creating specialized content that fits a variety of platforms and reaches niche audiences, all while meeting community guidelines and cannabis advertising rules.
Get this: In 2020 alone, the average daily social media use by people around the world was upward of three to four hours per day. If that doesn’t seem like a lot, you must really like social media. But just think about that number in terms of ad time—just think about how many moments you have to get your messages, products, services, solutions and brand identity in front of specific audiences.
This is why social media content is one of the first steps toward successfully marketing cannabis businesses. Because cannabis is illegal at the federal level, it is mired in strict advertising rules. This means using direct social channels and engaging posts is the best way to reach specific audiences and develop what is called an outbound marketing model.
Outbound marketing relates to using frequent messages to draw users to your brand, site, product and / or service. And by using social media to promote your differentiators to niche audiences that range from completely curious to savvy, well-informed and knowledgeable, you can generate lasting brand awareness that means tons of leads and real conversions.
An actionable social media strategy starts with knowing your audience and delivering them something so relevant, relatable, poignant and topical—OK, maybe it’s not that simple. But by using a dedicated social media content calendar and area for content ideation and copy, you’ll have a place to start.
Each post should strike the right balance between covering your business and meeting your audiences where they are and with things they actually care about. Because when a user cares, they are more likely to engage and share.
When creating spreadable content that engages, you must consider the logistics of social media. Despite what you might think, people are not on the platforms at all times of the day. Posting when the potential for engagement is at its highest will result in more impressions, likes, clicks, shares and, in the long run, sweet conversions.
Here’s a general quick rundown of the best times to post:
- Facebook: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.;
- Instagram: Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.;
- Twitter: Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m, Tuesday-Thursday from 9 to 11 a.m.;
- Linkedin: Tuesday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon.
Drumming up engaging, spreadable content that is worth sharing is no easy task, but start by coming up with good ideas for posts that relate to an entire month’s worth of content, then ideate posts around specific information, fun facts, important events, holidays, anniversaries and business insights.
At the same time, you can create posts that are specific to the social platform you want to use. Logically, a post on Instagram could revolve around a striking image. A tweet should be short, sweet and eye-catching, if not funny. And a post on LinkedIn should be much more professional and focused on providing useful business information.
By understanding our target audiences then going down the line of target platforms ranging from giants such as Facebook all the way to cannabis-specific spaces such as Vangst, you will develop a well-rounded series of posts that launch your brand, your voice and your content in every corner of the marketplace. The best part? It can all be free of cost, unless you’re not careful.
Because cannabis is still illegal, businesses are not able to use social media platforms to solicit products, in words or in pictures. Other advertising approaches, such as gearing ads toward those under age 21 or making medical claims, are also not allowed.
These limitations fall into more-specific community guidelines and standards that all platforms have established in some regard to attempt to control the behavior of social users. While many of these restrictions are perfectly reasonable, if not wholly necessary, many of them can unfairly target legitimate cannabis businesses. Being flagged under these standards can result in shadowbans, blocked posts and deleted pages. Even using cannabis hashtags like #weed and #marijuana can result in a cannabis brands' social accounts landing in hot water.
By carefully understanding the guidelines of the social overlords, cannabis brands can still use these channels to grow a massive following and buzz. Or they can get someone to do that for them. Enter the canna-influencers.
For brands that are trying to garner interest among everyone from cannacurious, first-time consumers to seasoned aficionados, social media is a key component. Of course, in trying to avoid gatekeepers from flagging and killing off cannabis-related posts and pages, influencers are another powerful ally.
Cannabis influencers use social media to build up their own brand and use it to become an affiliate ambassador of other social media users, new products and up-and-coming companies. With the ability to influence a swath of like-minded consumers, these social stars are able to promote cannabis alongside an army of faithful followers.
Why? Because word-of-mouth recommendations from a trusted source—whether it’s a friend or a cool influencer with a lifestyle that consumers desire—are one of the best forms of marketing. This same approach applies to reaching people via traditional media or even in person.
Now that you understand the value of social media marketing for cannabis, you need to get started. Finding an agency that has fluency in not only the ever-changing cannabis marketplace, but also the ever-evolving nature of social media will give you a tremendous advantage over the competition.
Grasslands is driven to develop powerful cannabis content, including for top brands such as Cookies, Willie’s Reserve, Cheeba Chews and others. Let’s talk about helping your business next.