Social Media for Cannabis: A How-To Guide


Social Media for Cannabis: A How-To Guide

Our first cannabis-related Instagram account was a hit. In less than a month, we were celebrating more than 1,000 followers and daily website referrals in the triple digits. But we weren’t surprised—there was great imagery, engaging content, and a large demographic of highly interested consumers at our disposal, all deeply connected to cannabis culture. Our strategy was playing out faster than we ever could have hoped, and we felt on top of the world! Then the page was shut down.

A New Approach to Cannabis Social Media Marketing

It’s a rude awakening that most cannabis entrepreneurs will face at one time or another. Marketing marijuana and hemp is very different from marketing any other product or service. More regulations on cannabis businesses mean a higher risk in marketing. Every single thing you do needs to be carefully calculated. Like most other cannabis brands, we had failed to realize that in this industry, you can’t just jump in like you would with any other business. Instead, the best approach is to ease your way into cannabis social media marketing, making sure all your bases are covered along the way.

Preparing for Social Media Marketing

Before you even start posting on social platforms, you will need a strong foundation to support your efforts.

It is also crucial to understand the policies of social media companies regarding cannabis-related content to ensure compliance and avoid potential restrictions.

Choose Your Platforms

First, choose which platforms you’d like to be active on. Start with two mainstream accounts (such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter/X) and at least one cannabis-friendly account (such as Massroots, GreenMix, or Duby). While your mainstream accounts are always subject to being taken down, a cannabis-friendly page is unlikely to ever be lost. However, mainstream platforms will still put you in front of more customers, and you don’t want to exhaust yourself with too many profiles to manage. Additionally, LinkedIn offers unique opportunities for a cannabis company to connect with professionals, promote products, and run advertising campaigns.

Understanding the Regulatory Landscape in the Cannabis Industry

Familiarize yourself with the community guidelines and advertising policies of each social media platform. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok have strict rules against the promotion of cannabis products. For instance, TikTok forbids branded content advertising illicit substances, while Twitter has recently allowed some cannabis-related ads. Twitter’s specific requirements and guidelines for approved cannabis ads include restrictions on targeting minors, ensuring compliance with local laws, and avoiding claims of health benefits.

Strategize Your Social Activity

When it comes to social media, consistency is key. However, navigating the challenges of cannabis-related content, such as platform restrictions and monitoring policies, can complicate your strategy. Set a game plan that will allow you to post consistently, but that’s also reasonable within your existing schedule. Start slow, building up volume over time. This won’t just help ease you into the habit of posting on a regular basis, it will also reduce the number of “red flags” that mainstream platforms are looking for with newer accounts.

These are our recommended minimum number of posts per platform:

  • Facebook: 1 per week

  • Instagram: 1 per week

  • Twitter/X: 1 per day

  • LinkedIn: 1 per week

  • Google+: 2 per month

  • Snapchat: 2 per week

  • Pinterest: 3 per week

Once you know how often you plan on posting, make sure you have enough assets & content to get through at least the first three weeks of your social media strategy!

Develop a Diverse Content Strategy

Your content strategy should be diverse and engaging. Engaging cannabis users is crucial as it helps tap into a growing and active community. Here are some key elements to consider:

  1. Educational Content: Create posts that educate your audience about cannabis, such as the benefits of different strains, usage tips, and the science behind cannabis. This helps build trust and positions your brand as an authority in the industry.

  2. Visual Consistency: Maintain a professional and visually appealing brand identity with high-quality graphics and a consistent style across all your social media profiles.

  3. User-Generated Content: Encourage your customers to share their experiences with your products. Sharing their content (with permission) not only provides social proof but also engages your community.

  4. Behind-the-Scenes and Stories: Share behind-the-scenes glimpses of your business and use stories for content that might be a bit more daring, as they disappear after 24 hours. This can include interactive content like polls and quizzes to keep your audience engaged.

Leverage Different Platforms

Each social media platform has its unique strengths and audience. Here’s how you can use some of the major platforms effectively:

  • Instagram: Focus on high-quality images and short videos. Use stories for more temporary content and engage with your audience through comments and DMs. Note that Instagram Business Accounts have restrictions on promoting marijuana businesses, including prohibitions on providing contact information and using the ‘contact us’ tab for marijuana sellers, including dispensaries.

  • Twitter: With its recent policy changes, you can now run some cannabis-related ads. Use this platform for real-time updates and joining in relevant conversations.

  • Facebook: Use Facebook’s detailed analytics to tailor your content to your audience’s preferences. Consider creating a private group for more in-depth discussions and community building.

  • TikTok: Despite restrictions, you can create educational and entertaining short videos that align with the platform’s creative culture.

Measure and Adjust Your Strategy

Regularly monitor the performance of your social media efforts. Use analytics tools to track engagement, reach, and other key metrics. Adjust your strategy based on what works best for your audience. Set clear goals, like increasing followers by a certain percentage or boosting website traffic from social media.

Stay Compliant and Informed

Always stay updated on the latest regulations and trends in cannabis marketing. Social media platforms like Facebook have restrictions on promoting the sale of marijuana, which affects cannabis-related businesses. Ensure that your posts do not contain direct sales pitches or make medical claims without evidence. Keeping content compliant will help you avoid bans and maintain a positive brand image.

Starting Social Accounts

Now you’re ready to start posting to social media pages, so go ahead and open the accounts (if you haven’t already)!

Optimize Your Accounts

First, take the time to optimize your pages with business information. This is the first place that customers will look to understand what your business is about, so make it interesting and be sure to include any important keywords or product info! (Depending on your state, there may be disclaimers or other legal information, like a minimum age requirement, that should be listed on your social media pages as well.)

Schedule Regular Posts

You don’t need to worry about posting to your accounts every single time you want to share content. Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer will let you schedule posts days- and even weeks- beforehand! If you’ve followed this guide, you will already have three weeks worth of posts to schedule. From there on out, set aside one day every week to schedule new content and imagery.

Engage With Your Network

Getting your first 200 followers is the most difficult, because people are more likely to follow pages that other people are following. This is called “social proof”. Social networks play a crucial role in this process by allowing you to connect with like-minded individuals and promote your cannabis-related business. The good news is that you already have a network that WILL want to engage with you: current business affiliates, staff members, family, and friends. Kickstart your follower counts by inviting these people to join first!

Growing Social Media Followers

As a cannabis-related business, growing your social pages should be a long-term approach. Gaining too many followers too fast can prompt these platforms to review your page, often resulting in being shut down. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t be trying to get new followers, however. Counting your personal network, a good goal would be to gain about 10% of your follower count every week to start.

So if your network counts for 30 followers, your first week’s goal should be another 3. How can you do this? By engaging with the online community and continuing to post quality, interesting content.

Optimize Content & Hashtags

Each platform is set up a bit differently, but they all have an option to search. This means that you should be creating content that comes up for relevant searches as well. By using the right keywords, phrases, and/or hashtags, you will help interested people find your posts. If they’re really interested, they’ll even follow you to stay in the loop!

Make Time for Social Outreach

The internet is a vast ocean with millions of users, so how is anyone going to find out about your page if they’re not immediately looking for it? They’re not. So you have to go out and find them. Set aside 20-30 minutes every day to research hashtags, similar profiles, and/or groups to find users that may be interested in your business. Then engage them with a like or comment! Many users may not respond, but if you’re targeting the right people, many of them will- and may even follow your page in order to keep seeing updates from your brand.

Avoid Follow4Follow

Follow4Follow is the practice of following a large number of accounts at once in hopes that they follow you back. While this approach seems to work in the short-term, it will do little to help you make sales or even engage with your audience. With optimization and social outreach, you are enticing people to follow your page because they’re interested- not because they feel obligated. When that happens, they will continue to like & comment on your posts because they’re actually interested. They may even convert into a customer! But if they just followed you out of obligation, they’re unlikely to do either. And when you’re a cannabis business needing to maintain slow, steady growth, any useless followers are just a waste of time.

Whatever You Do, Don’t Give Up!

As a marijuana-related business, chances are high that at least one of your social platforms will be shut down at some point. It’s discouraging, but avoiding social media altogether will only hurt your business’s success even more! Since education and exposure are the keys to progressing the movement to full cannabis legalization, It’s important that we all continue to showcase our brands in the public eye. A legal industry should be allowed a legal social presence, and as long as we’re professional about it, who can really be offended? So if/when you get shut down, start right back up again! (Now you’ll even have backups to make it easier.)


Navigating social media for a cannabis business requires a balance of creativity and compliance. Social media platforms play a crucial role in shaping how cannabis businesses can advertise and promote their products. By understanding platform policies, diversifying your content, leveraging different platforms effectively, and continuously measuring your success, you can build a strong and engaging social media presence. Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have specific restrictions and policies that must be adhered to, making it essential to stay informed and proactive.

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