Dispensary social media marketing is the second pillar of your dispensary’s digital marketing strategy.
It is the next thing you should do after dispensary Search Engine Optimization and setting up your Google My Business.
Social media marketing involves promoting your brand and content on social media platforms to increase awareness, website traffic and lead generation. And, it’s an important tool to help people find you.
As it relates to the marketing funnel, social media moves potential buyers through brand awareness, interest and consideration.
Social media marketing can encompass a lot. You must decide what your dispensary’s goals for social media are and where your target audience is.
Each social media channel has different strengths and audiences.
Use YouTube for dispensary social media marketing videos
Every day, users watch a billion hours of video on YouTube, according to Hootsuite, and it is the second most-visited website in existence, according to Alexa.
YouTube targets a younger audience
If you’re targeting a younger audience, the top three platforms for teens are now YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat, according to Hootsuite. In fact, Statista says that 96 percent of 18- to 24-year-old American internet users use YouTube.
Video provides a great way to introduce your cannabis brand and demonstrate expertise. Some examples:
- What are the micro-moments that you’re always educating your customers on?
- Different types of cannabis?
- Indica vs. Sativa?
- Don’t forget interviews with your budtenders too!
Each of those can be a separate YouTube video.
Create product review videos in your dispensary
You should also consider product review videos.
Product review videos are very popular. In fact, people have watched 50,000 years of product review videos!
Create product reviews of products that your dispensary carries. This is a great way for customers to understand and familiarize themselves with your dispensary products. It can also demonstrate to a potential buyer your expertise on a given product, strain or edible.
Here are some tips for growing your YouTube audience.
Don’t ignore Facebook for social media marketing, but be cautious
Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms, currently only ranking behind Google and YouTube as the most visited website worldwide.
There are over 2.38 billion monthly active users globally as of March 31, 2019, according to the social network, which saw an 8 percent increase year over year.
Not only are your customers (and potential customers) on Facebook, your competition is likely there as well. For most businesses, Facebook is a good platform to start with.
Facebook is a slimmed-down version of your dispensary website
For all practical purposes, your Facebook page is a slimmed-down version of your website. List your contact details, share videos, post photos, news, and more.
See some example dispensaries on Facebook.
Approach dispensary social media marketing on Facebook cautiously
Facebook had been known to shut down accounts of cannabis dispensaries. But, in October of 2018, Facebook updated its policy to allow cannabis-related pages. Unfortunately, the rules for cannabis-related businesses using Facebook are still vague.
So, while we recommend a presence on Facebook, it should not be your primary platform. And, never attempt to sell on Facebook – use it to communicate information about your dispensary: location, hours, etc.
Reviewing what other dispensaries have done on Facebook is a good starting point.
Instagram is great for product and dispensary photos
Instagram is a visual-first sharing social media platform and one of the most popular social networks in the cannabis industry. The audience has grown from 90 million monthly active users in January 2013 to 1 billion monthly active users as of June 2018.
It’s a solid No. 3 most-used social media platform in the United States, but it’s important to remember that Instagram is owned by Facebook, which can lead to cross-posting opportunities.
Retail brands do particularly well on Instagram. Eight of the top 15 most-followed brands on Instagram are retail businesses, according to Statista.
Show faces to get more likes
With posting, photos showing faces on Instagram get 38 percent more likes than those not showing faces. Sprout Social also reports that images with a single dominant color generate 17 percent more likes than images with multiple dominant colors.
There’s also not a lot of evidence to suggest any particular caption length drives increased engagement. So, shorter isn’t better or worse than longer captions. Focus on the quality instead.
Grow your social media marketing karma on Reddit
Reddit is the self-proclaimed “Front Page of the Internet.” It has a massive amount of members with “subreddits” (forums) devoted to any topic imaginable.
But don’t self-promote on Reddit
Product promotion is frowned upon by Redditors – people that are active on Reddit’s forums. If you do promote your dispensary or products, you’ll likely get down-voted or banned.
Build expertise within the Reddit cannabis community
Reddit is a great place to ask questions and answer questions about cannabis, CBD, and other related topics.
Reddit’s forums are known as Subreddits. Below are some relevant cannabis-related Subreddits:
- /r/weedbiz/ – Cannabusiness news and jobs
- /r/cannabis/ – Cannabis news
- /r/cannabiscultivation/ – Cannabis cultivation
- /r/CannabisExtracts/ – Cannabis extracts
- /r/Cannabis_Culture/ – Cannabis culture
- /r/CannabisGrowers/ – Cannabis growers
If you aren’t familiar with Reddit, spend time on these subreddits (lurking) before jumping in.
Twitter is smaller and more urban
About 326 million people use Twitter every month, according to the platform. But Twitter is a smaller social platform, with only 24 percent of American internet users on it, according to Statista. The audience also skews more urban than rural.
The typical half-life of a tweet is about 24 minutes. This means that a tweet gets half of its interactions in the first 24 minutes, with the rest slowly coming in over time at a slower rate. Brands tweeted an average of 122 times a month last year, according to Statista.
While Hootsuite says that the best time to tweet is 3 p.m. on weekdays, keep an eye on your analytics. Everyone’s audience can act and engage a little differently.
Tweets with GIFs also perform 55 percent better, according to Twitter. Video and images enhance engagement as well, so think about mixing your tweets up and going beyond the text-only tweet.
Other dispensary social media platforms
TikTok (a Gen Z video platform), Snapchat (a dynamic messaging platform) and Pinterest (an aspirational idea platform) could have a place in your cannabis marketing strategy, too.
Follow the rules for dispensary Social Media Marketing
When you post content on social media, make sure you follow each social media channel’s rules and policies. If you don’t, you risk getting an important part of your dispensary marketing shut down without warning.
For example, Twitter’s states: “You may not use our service for any unlawful purposes or in furtherance of illegal activities.”
Things to avoid in your dispensary social media marketing
This isn’t an exhaustive list. But, it should give you an idea of what to avoid in your dispensary social media marketing.
Don’t do these things in your dispensary social media marketing:
- Show images that depict the sale of cannabis products.
- Publish your menus from your dispensary.
- Say that a product is for sale.
- Ask people to buy a product or provide contact information.
- Encourage people to ask about products.
- List prices.
- Publish links to your products or your online store.
- Post anything that gives instructions on how to grow or use cannabis.
- Make medical claims for cannabis or CBD products.
- Publish images of cannabis paraphernalia.
Basically, you should use your dispensary social media marketing presence to increase awareness about your location, team, and so on, but avoid anything to do with the sale of cannabis or related products.
Things to do in your dispensary social media marketing
Below are some other tips and recommendations to build a great social media presence for your dispensary on social media.
Do these things in your dispensary social media marketing:
- Share content published by others in the industry.
- Focus the majority of your social media on promoting the industry, news, and content. A good rule of thumb is one post about your dispensary for every four to five posts.
- Try to post at least once a day. Spend time liking, sharing and retweeting other users’ content.
- Create a consistent set of brand images (cover and profile). Use these consistently across all social media platforms.
- Create a consistent bio and description. Each social media platform has different length allowances. Maximize the content for each.
- Engage with your audience. Make sure you have someone who is replying to comments.
- Engage with users since this is about being social!
Every social media platform is different, with its own nuances and audiences. Focus on one first, find your rhythm there, and then branch out to the next.
Once you have your dispensary search engine optimization (SEO) and social media operating. Turn your attention to email marketing and SMS marketing.