If you are based in the United States, you know the law - cannabis is still a federally illegal, Schedule I drug. Even in states that allow for legal medical adult use markets to exist, there are still quite a few hoops to jump through to get your brand in front of your ideal target market using social media. This article is one element of a four part series to help you do exactly that.
Facebook has taken a strong stance against anything drug related. Their official standing is as follows: Ads must not promote the sale or use of illegal, prescription, or recreational drugs.
They advise against posting any images of the following:
Drug-related paraphernalia, such as bongs, rolling papers, and vaporized delivery devices
Images of smoking-related accessories (like bongs and rolling papers)
Images of either recreational or medical marijuana.
Images that imply the use of a recreational drug.
But waaait - so and so totally did that!
It’s true, a LOT of companies in this booming industry have been able to post things and haven’t been shut down… yet. When this article was written, Facebook was still manually shutting down individual pages, so a few often slip through the cracks. Facebook shut down the pages for 6 major players in Alaska at once, causing quite an uproar in that region. While you cant be 100% safe advertising your canna based company on Facebook, you do have some options that can fit within their policy.
Let’s talk images.
Posts with images increase engagement. 2.3x more engagement in fact. But if you can’t post a picture of your product, you need to be a lot more creative. In the words of the infomercial master Tony Robbins, you aren’t selling a product your selling an identity. Focus on images of the lifestyle or ideal customer you are trying to reach.
Take a look at any fashion magazine, like Harper's Bazaar, and you will see these spreads for shoes, purses, or even earrings that barely show the product. That’s because the focus of the ad is to create a visual you want to be in. You want to be at that party, or in a house on that classy couch with your $5,000 handbag.
Even Taco Bell sells an identity - when is the last time you saw someone eating alone on in their car in a fast food commercial? They want you to see their product as a part of a lifestyle you would enjoy. Focus on the identity your consumer is looking for.
If your audience is focused on pain management - an image of people hiking or every just lifting groceries will catch their attention. If you want to focus on reducing anxiety in your customer base, a photo of a person relaxing and smiling at the beach can be the image they really want to see.
Skip the slang.
Using terms that are mostly slang makes your brand seem unprofessional and can easily harm your reputation, driving away any person who don’t want to be seen as a stoner. Unless your brand is really focused on that target market, avoid terms like scoobage, dank, or dope, sticky icky just to name a few. You should try to avoid the topic of ingestion all together, but if you have to reference it, terms like ripped, blitzed, or baked should be avoided.
Keep social media social.
Now more than ever people are inundated with ads everywhere they look. You can help your company stand apart from the rest of the ads they see by adding a personal touch. Here are just a few ideas of what you can post that could inspire more of a conversation than a conflict:
A Day in the Life Take a photo of your office, your view, or the box a brand new shipment that just came in. Give your followers a behind the scenes look at where you do what you do everyday.
Silly Holidays The website Holidayinsights.com has a sortable list of the random and not so random holidays throughout the year. Did you know August 24th, 2018 is National Waffle Day? I am totally celebrating that. And I plan to post about it too.
No matter what you post, there is always the chance that Facebook makes a policy change or someone reports your page. That’s why I always recommend keeping track of everything you post so that if you do have to start over, you don’t have to start from scratch.
Ready for more?
Learning how to use social media to promote your business takes more than a blog article. It takes the right kind of training in videos, worksheets, and hands on attention. That’s why I developed Creating A Social Business, an e-course designed specifically for business in the cannabis industry. To get the lo-down on what this program is and how it will change the way your business grows, visit CreatingASocialBusiness.com
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