Having been in the business of cannabis marketing for many years now, we know how tricky it is to navigate social media platforms for cannabis.
Both cannabis brands and users are always at risk having their account hidden, banned, or even deleted. And frankly, that sucks. Because social media is one of the most effective ways for cannabis business owners, consumers, investors, and media to connect.
Not all is lost though. Outside of the bigger platforms, there are smaller alternative ones that have become a good place to start building some of those essential connections. And even one of the bigger platforms is currently proving to be more cannabis-friendly than the others.
And the Big Winner Is…
It might come as a surprise, but of the larger and more popular platforms, it’s actually LinkedIn that’s the most receptive to cannabis industry professionals.
There is no clearcut metric that proves this information, but rather it’s based on anecdotal feedback from a number of reliable sources. Our experience has also been the same.
LinkedIn recognizes cannabis as a viable industry. It allows for cannabis brands to share the latest news and press coverage about their businesses. And while some of the other larger platforms will tolerate cannabis content, they employ search features that associate the word cannabis with substance abuse messages. Not the case on LinkedIn.
“Linkedin does an excellent job removing negative stigmas surrounding the cannabis industry,” says Karina Karassev, co-founder and COO of cannabis storage brand Stori.
It’s not all rainbows and unicorns though. Many industry professionals say that LinkedIn continues to be taboo to non-industry members. As such, those folks aren’t interacting with or responding to posts. Even so, it’s the still among the only platforms that allows for organic reach in terms of cannabis content and groups. This eliminates the worry of being penalized (or banned) for cannabis businesses and professionals.
Other Social Media Platforms for Cannabis
Among the other larger platforms, Reddit links fans by hosting AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions that foster topic-specific online communities known as subreddits. In addition, social media giant YouTube has loosened restrictions over the years.
There is also Lantern which focuses on platforms such as Pinterest and Twitch to create strong cannabis-adjacent communities who can share relevant content as long as they stay within certain guidelines. In addition, plant-dedicated platforms like TheWeedTube and MJLink are among the new startups seeking to offer solutions to the cannabis community and industry.
And there are more than a handful of smaller social media platforms, such as Gab and Mastodon, that target specific audiences – including cannabis professionals. These latter examples obviously don’t have the scale and reach of their larger cousins, but they have plenty of room to grow (pun intended).
Turning the Focus from Social Media
Social media is brilliant for making connections and we embrace it. But working with all the rules and regulations of social media platforms can still make it a bit prohibitive.
That’s why we also stress the importance of solid public relations strategies such as press releases, offering quotes to media, orchestrating branded merch giveaways, and connecting with local businesses for word-of-mouth marketing opportunities and referrals.
So if your current marketing strategy isn’t working, then contact us. At the end of the day, it’s about building credibility for your brand. And we do just that.