With appropriate planning and a full understanding of what cannabis and cannabis-related businesses are allowed to publish and share on social media platforms, you can develop a social media content plan that raises brand awareness, boosts brand loyalty, and leads to sales.
The first step to investing in an effective social media content plan is to set yourself up for success by completing the necessary pre-work. Following are the three primary steps to get there.
1. Audit Your Competitors’ and Your Social Media Footprints
The first step to leveraging the reach of social media to promote your brand is to conduct an audit of your current social media presence. For B2B marketing, you should definitely have an active presence on LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube. For B2C marketing, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube are likely your top priorities. Of course, this depends on your unique business and your specific target audience(s).
With that in mind, do your research and learn where your target audience spends time already. The platforms where they’re actively engaged are the places your brand needs to be.
Review your social media profiles and pages and ask yourself the following questions:
- Are your bios up-to-date and comprehensive with keywords included whenever possible?
- Do all of your avatar and header images match or at least include consistent brand elements?
- How many people follow your brand on each platform?
- How often do you publish content?
- What kind of content do you publish?
- Do you share other people’s content?
- How engaged are people with your brand (i.e., commenting on your posts, sharing your posts, liking your posts, and so on)?
Next, do the same thing for your key competitors, and ask the same questions. Also, review the type of content they’re publishing, how often they publish, and what their followers interact with.
Look for gaps and opportunities where you can gain traction by publishing more content that is hyper-relevant to your target audience.
2. Define Your Goals, Audience, and Strategy
With your audits completed, you’ll know where you need to focus more time and energy in the future. Next, you need to define goals, your target audience(s), and your strategy to reach those goals.
Define Your Target Audience
Who is your ideal customer? Who is your most valuable customer? How do your products or services benefit different people? You need to know the answers to these questions and more before you can build social media marketing goals and plans to reach those goals.
That means you need to take some time to create buyer personas for your key target audiences. Without completed buyer personas, you could publish and share the wrong type of content and won’t be able to reach your goals.
In other words, your time and budget investments could be wasted if you’re not matching your social media actions to the right audiences. You may even end up spending time on social media platforms where your target audience spends little or no time.
You don’t want that to happen, so create your buyer personas first!
ESSENTIAL READING: How to Create B2B Buyer Personas
Set Your Social Media Marketing Goals
Given that cannabis and cannabis-related brands have to be so careful about what they publish and share on social media platforms, your content-related goals will likely be a bit different than the goals brands in other industries set.
For example, a goal related to generating sales directly from your social media activities would be far less realistic than a goal related to boosting brand awareness or word-of-mouth marketing for the simple reason that the cannabis industry cannot promote products or sell products from social media platforms. Direct promotion and sales is a violation of most social media platforms’ terms of service.
Therefore, consider setting goals like the following, which can be specific to each social media platform:
- Increased number of engaged followers by X% by X date.
- Increase number of shares of our content by X% by X date.
- Increase website traffic from social media platform by X% by X date.
Create Your Social Media Content Strategy and Plan
Creating a social media content strategy and a plan to bring that strategy to life requires that you determine the following three critical things:
- What type of content you’ll post
- Which types of content you’ll share
- Where you’ll post content (i.e., social media platforms)
- When you’ll post or share content
- How often you’ll post or share content
- Who you’re posting or sharing content for
- Why you’re posting or sharing content
With a strategy in place based on each of the bullet points above, you can create a plan and corresponding social media content calendar. Your plan should include answers to the following questions:
- What topics matter to our target audience that are relevant to our brand and industry?
- What kind of original content will we create to publish on social media?
- What type of content produced by others will we share?
- When and how often will we publish and share content on each social media platform we plan to use?
- How will we customize our content to our target audiences?
Keep in mind, original content can be created specifically for each social media channel or your social media posts could share links to your recent blog posts, videos, and so on.
In addition, cross-posting between platforms is usually fine as long as your social media profiles and pages aren’t exact duplicates of each other. The reason you don’t want to duplicate everything from one platform to another is simple. People use different social platforms for different reasons. Therefore, cross-posting without customizing the content won’t deliver optimal results.
- 5 Social Media Marketing Tactics Cannabis and Cannabis-Related Businesses Should Use This Year
- What, When, and How Often to Post on Social Media for B2B Cannabis Brands
- Facebook Marketing for Cannabis and Cannabis-Related Businesses
- YouTube Marketing for the Cannabis Industry
- Twitter Marketing for Cannabis and Cannabis-Related Businesses
- Instagram Marketing for Cannabis and Cannabis-Related Businesses
3. Develop Your Social Media Content Calendar
With your social media content plan in place, it’s time to create your social media content calendar. A simple spreadsheet works well for this purpose. Consider breaking the sheet up by day, and include rows for the number of times you’ll post to each social media channel every day.
For example, if you plan to publish content three times per day on Twitter and once per day on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, You would need to have three rows per day for Twitter and one row per day for Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
For columns, include a column for each piece of information you want to track. Some recommendations include:
- Platform: The social media platform where the post will be published.
- Date: The specific date the post will be published.
- Time: The specific time the post will be published.
- Type of Content: For example, promotion, blog post link, shared post, company news, etc.
- Topic: What will the post about?
- Target Audience: If you have more than one target audience, which audience(s) is the post intended for?
- Message: What copy will be included in the post?
- Link Included: If a link is included in the post, where will it go?
- URL: Add a link to the live post after it’s published.
- Goal: If there is a specific goal for the post, include it here.
- Notes: Add any additional notes you want to include before or after publishing.
The image below shows you what this content calendar could look like for a two-day period.
Key Takeaways about Creating a Social Media Content Calendar for Cannabis and Cannabis-Related Businesses
Consider how your social media content publishing integrates into your full digital marketing strategy, including your blog, email marketing, advertising, content marketing, and so on. Each of these marketing opportunities will be more successful when they work together rather than in separate silos.
To jumpstart your social media marketing, follow the steps above to conduct an audit, identify your audience, define your goals, build your plan, and create your social media content calendar. Once you have a written plan, implementing it and driving measurable results from your social media investments will be so much easier.