Social media marketing has been a boon to countless businesses, and it will be the same for the cannabis industry. However, while cannabis can benefit just as much as any other industry, it currently faces restrictions that most others do not owing to a lingering negative view in the eyes of many.

It’s time to get creative!

Despite the growing number of locations worldwide where cannabis is being legalized, many seem to believe that it is still an illicit substance. Even among those who are aware of the legalization, there remains a certain stigma associated with it, forcing a certain amount of caution, especially where social media is concerned.

Advertising through social media is one of the most cost-effective ways for companies to reach a very large, but targeted audience. Facebook for example, has the best advertising capabilities, but Facebook also has an advertising policy that includes cannabis and cannabis-related products as part of its prohibited content category. For companies whose only real means of promotion is through social media, this presents a challenge.

What are your best means of dealing with this? Glad you asked. 

Choose a Cannabis-Specific Agency to Work With

Over the years, social media—with Facebook leading the way—has become more restrictive regarding a user’s ability to reach people organically. While it may have once been possible to make a single post that would be viewed by all of your followers, growing restrictions now limit your organic reach and force you to make use of paid ads.

That may not greatly impact some companies and industries, but when dealing with cannabis, it becomes a major stumbling block. Instead, because cannabis companies are unable to access these paid ads, you must find an alternate means to promote your products and services.

A cannabis-specific agency will be familiar with the ins and outs of dealing with these restrictive policies and have effective ways to deal with them. This will help you avoid situations that some cannabis businesses have encountered where they found a workaround for the restrictions, only to ultimately find their social media following wiped out when the crack-down comes [What’s he talking about here?].

High-quality, High-Value Content

High-quality content, posted regularly, will still help you reach your audience. This means consistent content with an emphasis on providing value to your audience, rather than a continual, ongoing sales pitch. Value may come in the form of education, or even humour, but one thing is certain: you do not want to be overly promotional.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing may not have quite the impact that it once did, but it is still an effective means of bypassing Facebook’s restrictive policies on paid advertising and organic reach.

A social media influencer acts as something of a spokesperson for the company and can even allow you to reach entire new groups of people who would not be a part of your normal audience. That said, you should still keep your marketing strategy in mind when choosing an influencer. Your top choice of person should be someone whose following resembles or is closely related to your target market.

Influencers should always be chosen with care to ensure a proper fit for the market you are targeting. Choosing a hardcore cannabis advocate who promotes primarily recreational use, for example, may not be the number one choice for reaching out to those who are interested in using cannabis for the first time to deal with medical issues. In this case, you would be better off choosing an influencer who deals largely with health and wellness.

Work Multiple Platforms

While Facebook is certainly at the forefront of many companies’ advertising attempts, there are several others that you should make use of. In fact, cannabis brands should be active across multiple platforms. This will provide you with something of a safety net in the event that one page or account gets shut down. If Facebook decides to block your page or account, you needn’t worry about having to start over from scratch, as you will still have your following on other media to fall back on. Be aware that Instagram has the same ownership as Facebook, thus presenting you with similar challenges. 
Making Use of Video 
With video becoming ever more popular online, sites like Snapchat can make an excellent alternative to Facebook. Video may have certain limitations and be more difficult to produce than still images, but it also performs better, so any time you can use video content, it will prove worthwhile. 
Make Use of Brand Ambassadors 
By responsive, we mean your site need to adapt to the device being used to view it. More than half of online traffic now comes from mobile devices. If your site is not designed to display correctly on those devices, you will find that your business suffers, both in terms of Google ranking and customer response.
Be Educational 
As mentioned above, posting quality content is a great way to reach people, and part of that is posting educational material. In the case of the cannabis industry, that is especially important in order to reach those who might have negative views regarding the product. Dislike is often born of ignorance, but ignorance is cured through education. Use your posts to educate your readers. This may sway the views of some and may even have the result of turning some customers into ambassadors.  
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