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Every cannabis and cannabis-related brand’s target customer audience is likely to be active on social media today, which means your brand should be there too. In other words, social media marketing should be part of every cannabis and ancillary business’ marketing strategy and budget.
Advertising on most social media platforms is challenging, if not impossible, for cannabis and cannabis-related brands, but social media is still critical for your business. Rather than spending on social media ads, you should be allocating part of your marketing budget to social media content creation and distribution, engagement, and outreach.
Think of it this way – consumers typically conduct online research about every brand they might consider and having an active social footprint that establishes your brand as trustworthy, reliable, and authentic is crucial to ensuring they include your brand in the final buying decision.
In other words, social proof is powerful in terms of telling your story and giving your brand and business credibility so consumers trust you enough to consider your brand. That’s why social media marketing through content, engagement, and outreach is so important.
Where should cannabis brands invest their social media marketing budgets? Based on number of users, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok should be your top channels. According to research from eMarketer, the top eight social media platforms in 2022 based on number of users are as follows:
However, overall popularity doesn’t tell the full story when it comes to investing your marketing budget. You also need to consider who is likely to use each platform. For example, TikTok users skew younger, LinkedIn users tend to be professionals seeking business- and career-related content, and Pinterest users skew female.
In other words, number of users shouldn’t be the only criteria you use to determine where to invest your social media marketing budget. You also need to consider who those users are and how often they use each platform. If your target audience only uses a specific social media platform occasionally, then it’s probably not the best place to invest your marketing dollars.
Not only is how often someone uses a social media platform important to consider but so is how much time they spend on a platform on a daily basis. According to data from Statista, as of April 2022, the average time an individual spent per day in the United States on seven popular social media platforms is as follows:
Social media marketing is critical to cannabis and cannabis-related businesses, but you need to invest wisely to get the best return on your investments. With that said, following are tips and insights about the the top social media platforms you should consider including in your social media marketing budget in 2022.
Instagram is a must in most business’ social media marketing plans for the simple fact that research has shown it’s the most popular social media platform for people to follow brands.
Therefore, you should allocate some of your social media marketing to Instagram and prioritize the following tactics in your Instagram marketing plan:
For most cannabis businesses and ancillary businesses, Facebook is important for the simple fact that so many people actively use it.
Depending on the types of products or services you sell and who your target audience is, your investment in creating Facebook content and engaging with the Facebook community may be more or less than your Instagram investment. Consider where your audience spends the most time and allocate your budget accordingly.
Following are tactics to include in your Facebook marketing plan:
For B2B brands, LinkedIn should be a top priority. Your company’s LinkedIn profile should be complete and active.
Importantly, your employees should have updated LinkedIn Profiles and identify themselves as employees of your company. That way, they’re listed when visitors click on the “employees” link in your company page. It’s just one more way to give your company legitimacy and help people trust your brand.
Additional tactics to prioritize in your LinkedIn marketing plan include:
The top social media marketing tactic that B2B cannabis brands should use this year is video content, and as the second largest search engine in the world, YouTube is the first logical place to publish that content.
Creating online video content doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming, but it typically does take longer to create, upload, and publish videos than it does to publish text or image content. Therefore, your YouTube budget will likely be high, but it’s extremely important given current trends related to how people consume and engage with online content. Bottom-line, audiences of all ages like to watch and share video content.
Following are some tactics you can include in your YouTube marketing plan to leverage the rapid growth of online video content:
The popularity of TikTok and its short video format has skyrocketed, and depending on your brand and target audience, it may be an important platform for you to invest some of your social media marketing budget.
The TikTok audience still skews younger today (although it’s popularity is expanding to more diverse audiences), so consider your audience’s demographics and prioritize the platform in your social media marketing plan accordingly. It may be essential or it may not be important for your business yet. Only you can make that determination based on your target audience.
Following are some TikTok publishing tips to help with your online video marketing plan:
Many people think Twitter isn’t an important social media platform today, but that’s not true. While your Twitter marketing budget may not be as high as your Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube budget, it’s still an important part of your overall social media marketing plan.
There are two primary reasons for its continued importance: 1) People will look for your brand’s Twitter Profile when researching your business, and 2) Twitter provides an excellent opportunity to expand your social footprint with a relatively small investment.
Therefore, consider including the following tactics in your Twitter marketing plan:
For the simple reason that there are so many restrictions for cannabis and cannabis-related businesses on social media platforms, social media marketing probably won’t be as high on your marketing priority list as it would be for brands in other industries. However, social media marketing still must be included in your marketing budget in order to build your online presence and establish your brand’s social footprint.
Bottom-line, both B2C and B2B consumers search for brands and businesses before they consider buying them. Your brand and business need to be visible, accessible, reliable, and useful when they look, and social media helps you do it.
Originally published 4/13/21. Updated 7/8/22.