If you have a budding cannabis business, you are focused on your products, but also on making sure to magnify your brand. How does this work? Cannabinoids were degraded for almost ninety years in the United States, and are only fully legalized in some states, not yet federally. While things like Delta 8 and 9 and hemp-based products are legal everywhere, not every one of your great products might be. While Gen Z might be nonplussed by cannabis use, some Gen X and Boomers are still in conservative mindsets and don’t really understand what your products can do. Your branding, therefore, really matters. How you use social media matters, both to familiarize others with the use of cannabis in general and to advocate in specific for your own brand. But, how can you use social media to amplify your brand?
Social media can be tricky to deal with, because of its legality in the US. Just because your aunt in Maryland, for example, would be fine for seeing cannabis advertisements, those same ads might not be legal in South Carolina. This restricts what you can say because social media platforms don’t exist in just one state or area of the internet. Providing the information that is needed for your customers but being careful not to overstep bounds in the more conservative states is key to your ability to amplify, and yet not trigger any of the more complex algorithm problems, or legal ones. Generally speaking, discussing recreational use is forbidden.
There are some amazing ways to produce content that is useful for all social media sites. Using, for instance, a graphic creating app such as Canva can help make your advertisements both beautiful and palatable for modern viewers. It’s not easy to be the entire advertising department for your business, though! You want clear, crisp images alongside text which do not only help to find and use your business but are witty and clever as well. Especially when dealing with products that are new to them or which are seen as slightly taboo, Americans tend to enjoy a clever, slightly sarcastic, or jovial mannerism in advertisements, but make your product content match the branding you have decided upon for your business. Branding matters, but in order to do it properly, you need to figure out your target audience.
Only you can determine who your specific targeted audience is in your area, but demographic information and data analytics can help. Who is your ideal customer, the one who will come back to purchase over and over again? What do you want them to purchase? If you are to build your branding, you have to know who is the individual you want to come to buy. Knowing your specific target audience can make it a lot easier to set up both your image and your images on social media, especially, because you know which individuals are listening when you speak.
Using video gives a personal touch to most social media pages. It gives you the ability to show off the personalities of your staff and business, your products, and do demonstrations. While many individuals would not stop for a demonstration in the street of varied products, the same is not true if they are in their favorite chair or lying in bed, and you’ve come to them. Keep your videos short and sweet, with to-the-point language and visuals. Don’t try to be tricky or sneaky, because making a video longer to try to “draw out suspense” or other techniques is so overplayed as to not work well with modern viewers, who will instead ignore your product or site. This is, of course, the opposite of what you want to happen!
One of the most critical parts of branding yourself and marketing your business is being able to build a loyal following, those customers who will come back again and again. You want to make sure that besides remaining interesting and integral to their viewing, then, that you also fix any customer service complication very quickly. You want your brand to be seen as efficient and helpful, knowledgeable in all the products you have, and able to fix problems. This includes making sure if you get a bad review someplace, that you are willing to figure out why and train your team to fix such issues. Likewise, if you are capable of sending out fliers, emails with coupons, or personalized advertisements offering percentages off, this can help build customer loyalty as well. Remember, word of mouth is, as it always has been, great for repeat business. If you are working on social media to increase your following, it can be tricky to make sure you stand out from the crowd. TikTok can give you greater brand exposure and build community.
In your local area, and always on social media there are individuals who do not necessarily count as extreme influencers of hundreds of thousands or millions, but who do have a social media following of thousands. While not reaching millions, that’s ok: begin locally and build your following! Requesting the influence of local customer micro-influencers and paying them for their time and talents in marketing your work can benefit you greatly in the long run. Remember that besides getting information about your brand into the marketplace, part of your goal is targeting professionals who need the information to feel comfortable with your work, whether they use your services or not.
Your Search Engine Optimization can make a huge difference to your branding in general. Whereas decades ago, business owners made themselves show up first in the yellow pages by using alphabetized names, your best bet is showing your website to be active and prolific for information, and yourself to be an expert in what you do. Linking back your social media to your website helps make sure that individually curious potential customers can find you easily, and drives more views to your site. Likewise, having a frequently updated website can make sure that your site is more active in rankings on search engines, which helps you be easier to find for anybody searching in your area.
Making your ads easily shareable sounds simple, but most ads are not easy to get individuals to share, simply because they are indeed advertisements. However, if you have advertisements that are particularly beautiful, educational, or which have video content that is funny, clever, or interesting, your job becomes easier. Your goal is to make your graphics and videos in perfect focus, with beautiful colors and designs, so that they are not only appealing but easily shared. This includes making sure your target audience can be capable of sharing your postings without feeling that they are being particularly controversial or tap-dancing upon legality in their area as well.
If you’re not finding your way in social media, it can be important to make sure you are using the right social media networks, both for your specific brand, your targeted customer base, and, most of all, with the image you intend to create in your community. Your local community might be made up of those over the age of fifty, who are older professionals who are not on Snapchat but might respond well to reels on Facebook. Likewise, your targeted demographic for your area might be on TikTok and want to have excellent videos about your expertise there. Being able to double up, or use one social media site to point towards your brand on another, can help you as well.
As with all marketing, you need to know what is working for your personal competitors. If they are doing great business from a particular type of advertisement, or a particular style of social media marketing, you need to be aware of this so that you can learn from it. Your competitor’s ability (or inability) can be a powerful teaching tool for your marketing team. Learn from both your own mistakes and from the ones they’re making. This can improve your capability to outshine in the marketplace.
Your cannabis business is fledgling now, but that doesn’t mean it always will be! As you practice techniques in branding your unique business, you have the chance to greet and teach more and more customers in the marketplace. Setting yourself up as an expert in your work (which you are) means that as those who need your services discover your brand, they will be more likely to listen and learn from your expertise. Continue to define who your targeted demographic is, which will determine where, how, and when you market. Your brand will then match not only your business goals but the goals of those to whom you hope to sell your products. When this happens, you’ll be more successful all around!
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