So you know your business needs to be active on social media, but do you know which social pages are best?
In a previous article, I offer a guide to approaching social media as a cannabis business, covering everything from planning your strategy to growing thousands of social followers. Yet when it comes to promoting your cannabusiness on social media, the most important decision you’ll make is which platform(s) to be active on!
Choosing Your Social Media Platforms
Since every social media page offers its own set of opportunities and drawbacks, you should be careful about which you use- and when.
Of course, your overall strategy will depend on the resources you have available. You don’t want to exhaust yourself by putting out too much content too fast!
If you don’t have the bandwidth to support posting on one platform, choose another to start with. It’s much better to use one or two really well than it is to use several platforms randomly.
And no matter which social media platform(s) you decide to use, make sure to always back up your posts! This can be done with a second profile or by saving the info internally, but as a cannabis business, you don’t want to risk losing all of your social data in the event that your profile gets removed.
Which Social Platforms are Best for your Cannabis Business?
Just like with any other marketing strategy, the answer to this question isn’t always black-and-white. Each platform is different in its own way, just like your product, service, and team is different from your competitors’. And just like your customers go through a vetting process to make their purchase decision, you will need to really look at each individual platform to decide which are the best for you:
It’s hard to go wrong with a Facebook page, and I strongly suggest that every business create one!
Nearly everyone has a Facebook, so it’s typically the first place that someone will look for your business on social media.
Unfortunately, it probably won’t be your #1 source of social activity. Facebook places a heavy emphasis on paying money in order to reach your audience, and are very strict against using any kind of cannabis-related information in paid posts.
But if your business isn’t on Facebook, you’ll miss out on a huge opportunity to allow others to research your company, share reviews, and even check-in (if you’re a location-based business, that is!).
Ideal for: all cannabis businesses
Unlike with Facebook, not every business has something to gain from a Twitter account.
As a social site centered around short, constant clips of data and information, you need to be very active on Twitter in order to grow any size of audience. This includes posting and/or retweeting posts at least once per day, as well as interacting with other accounts on a regular basis.
If your business is B2B and/or driven by numbers or facts- such as a law firm, cannabis association, or news network- then Twitter is a great option! You should use your account to share news articles relating to your sector of the industry, along with other info that would be helpful to your target market.
Ideal for: ancillary businesses, news organizations, and companies that regularly use a blog
While Twitter is centered on news and information, Instagram is centered on imagery. It has also offered some of the greatest success to cannabis businesses that I’ve seen from any mainstream social platform!
Obviously, the key to a good Instagram strategy is to have great images to share. The posting frequency doesn’t matter as much as with Twitter, but if you aren’t attracting the eye with quality content, then you aren’t going to get anywhere.
Along with great images, you’ll need a solid understanding of hashtag strategy. Hashtags are the main way that new followers will find your images, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re using the most appropriate, relevant tags for every post!
With Instagram, you’ll be able to reach an unlimited number of potential customers, build brand awareness, and drive traffic to your website. So if you’re a product-based business, then Instagram really should be the first platform that you truly commit to.
Ideal for: product-based businesses, lifestyle brands, and any other visually-driven company (such as a marketing/design agency like KindTyme!)
Pinterest is similar to Instagram in a lot of ways, but its opportunities for cannabis businesses are much smaller.
Mainly, that’s because fewer people are using Pinterest to find cannabis-related content. Your strategy needs to be very targeted in order to gain any traction.
Of course, that’s not to say that Pinterest can’t work for your business! If you are in a niche industry, and/or offer a single-purpose product, it can actually work quite well.
Let’s say you make cannabis-infused butter, for example. By sharing recipes that use your product on Pinterest, you’ll drive a TON of sales from people looking to bake specialty goods!
Overall, a successful Pinterest strategy will rely more on your ability to target the right crowd at the right time, rather than when or how that content is posted.
Ideal for: niche product businesses, glass blowers, and lifestyle brands
It might be the new, hip social platform, but I recommend staying far away from Snapchat!
First and foremost, Snapchat is used to share messages between friends. It’s the most personal social media platform to date, so very few businesses- even in the mainstream space- have seen success on Snapchat.
Then, consider that half of Snapchat users are aged 18-24, and the largest demographic of cannabis users are aged 25-34. You’ll really be missing the mark if you focus on Snapchat.
Ideal for: few- if any- cannabusinesses
Using LinkedIn as a business is a bit different than using it as a personal account, but both are important.
If you are a business owner, manager, or representative of your company, you should be using your LinkedIn account to network with others in the cannabis industry. It’s the best way to build a reputation for yourself before ever trying to hard-sell others on your product/service!
As a business, it’s equally important to have a LinkedIn profile that your employees and potential customers can interact with. Your strategy shouldn’t be aimed at pushing sales, however. Instead, you should focus on providing quality information that builds trust in your company.
Ideal for: entrepreneurs, journalists, sales representatives, and all cannabis businesses
I think every business should have a Google+ account, but for very different reasons than Facebook.
When it comes down to it, every single post on your Google+ page is completely indexed by Google. If you’re active on that page, then your SEO has the potential to go through the roof.
Unfortunately, Google+ is also one of the least used social platforms online. You’re not going to grow a massive following there, and it definitely shouldn’t be one of your main social accounts.
But if used as a backup to share posts from your Facebook, LinkedIn, and other sources, it can be very beneficial to help new customers find your business!
Ideal for: all cannabis businesses, when used in conjunction with other social platforms
Cannabis-Centric Social Media
Aside from the mainstream platforms listed above, several cannabis-focused social pages have also popped up in the last couple years.
Since these sites are still so new, they don’t yet offer the same potential in terms of audience size and SEO. However, that doesn’t mean that you should leave them out completely!
Most cannabis-based platforms are so similar to existing mainstream sites that the same rules apply. I’d suggest using them to supplement your overall social strategy, based on which are most similar to the mainstream platforms you intend to use:
Deciding which social media platforms to use can be a daunting task. You’ll need to weight the pros and cons of each option, and really examine how much time you’ll be able to put into them.
If your time is seriously limited, start by focusing all your attention on one profile. But if you’re not seeing any traction from your efforts, consider hiring an agency to help.
No matter which platforms you use or how often you post, never forget that it’s all about quality, engaging content!