Whether you're an industry veteran or just starting your cannabis business, marketing your operation through social media is a challenge. Your goal is to give people reasons to follow your social channels, and ultimately convert those followers into customers. Here are five simple ways to build a robust, engaging, and consistent social media presence.
1. Update Your Profile and Company Info
Regardless of your store's brand, values, identity, and scope of operation, your social media presence should give followers assurance that you run a credible business. Make sure all of your contact information — telephone number, email, website, link in bio, other social media accounts, etc. — is on all of your channels.
Your profile picture should also be up to date at all times. A company profile picture should be clear, easily identifiable, and on brand. If you're using your company logo for your profile pictures, make sure it's a sharp, crisp image that's sized correctly for each platform you're using.
2. Post Every Time You Update Your Weedmaps Menu
Use your Weedmaps listing as the link in your bio, and push your listing with a post after each menu update to encourage customers to check it out. Make sure the product information you provide is consistent across all channels -- from your social accounts to your Weedmaps listing.
Also post consistent, up-to-date information on dispensary deals, events, and other promotions you may have going on. Be careful not to overload your social media feeds with too many deals updates and special offers, which could seem spammy and result in unfollows.
3. Include a Photo, Video, or Tags with Every Post
One of the simplest and most effective ways to make your social content engaging is by adding a visual element to every post. Use hashtags and tag your location as much as possible to widen the visibility of your posts.
Community-building is a pillar of social media, so don't be afraid to share content from others in the industry — just make sure to give credit where credit is due. Your social media channels should never have content from other sources that aren't properly and clearly cited. Also, always assume text and images are copyrighted and the creator reserves all rights. Check for Creative Commons or other documentation that expressly grants use.
As your social presence grows, engage and partner up with community channels and social media influencers. Local small-business groups and chambers of commerce will often post a roundup of community events and promotions, so use location tags to connect with these outlets. Do your part to engage with the community in a helpful, inclusive manner.
4. Engage with Customers
Turn your social media presence into a fully functioning customer service channel and respond to user questions via comments and DMs promptly and consistently. If you don't have a direct answer to a user's query, try to at least point them in the right direction.
Keep your followers informed on your regular hours, holiday hours, what you have in stock, etc. This correspondence will train your users to expect practical, consistent content from your channels. On top of routine announcements, keep your followers engaged with editorial content, such as behind-the-scenes glimpses into your business, information about local cannabis laws, or demos of interesting new ways to consume products.
5. Post Every Day
Posting daily to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media channels can go a long way in building your online presence and increasing awareness of your business. Create a monthly social media calendar, or designate someone in your organization with the daily task of scheduling posts and responding to comments. Setting a goal of posting to social media every day — and following through with that goal — is a simple way to drive social engagement. If you're a brand, remember to cross-post to the feed on your Weedmaps brand page for extra reach.
Watch out for: Violating Social Media Terms on Cannabis
Because cannabis is federally scheduled as a narcotic, social media platforms are cautious when it comes to 420-friendly content. These tips are general best practices for establishing a strong social presence, however, keep in mind that each social media platform has rules dictating what you can and cannot post, and may change from time to time -- or even be enforced erratically.
A best practice here is to stay up to date on the terms of service for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. You'll want to limit the risk of having your accounts taken down or banned, especially after putting all the hard work into building your followers. And if you encounter any complications on social media, Weedmaps will always be a great option to reach your core cannabis consumers.