The social aspect of marijuana is a major part of its appeal. Some people use it for anxiety, medicinal purposes, or just to make movies and food better, but a lot of us are social users. We might not keep any at home, but we’re glad to take our turn in the rotation at a party or try out some edibles at a friend’s house. Gone are the days of passing the pipe around the coffee house, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do a lot of good for your brand by embracing the social aspect of marijuana.
Some people use social media in the same way that companies use mailing lists. They post updates, store hours, menus and things like that. This works, it gives your customers the information they need, it lets them know where to find you, what you have in stock, and it provides them with an easy way to contact you with questions. But, here’s something far more effective than simply using your social media presence as a place to dump your information: Using your social media presence as a social hub, a sort of online hangout where your customers can meet and chat and build lasting friendships with one another. This keeps them coming back, which drives up your visibility on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Here’s how you can do that:
Social media is a two-way street. Don’t just tell your visitors things, ask them about stuff. Ask your followers to post their favorite pipes, poll them on the best strains, ask if they prefer sativa, indica or hybrids.
In short, get them talking. If you’re just listening, you leave as soon as you’ve heard what you need to know. If you’re talking, you’re getting involved in a conversation, you’re chatting with fellow visitors and coming back days, even weeks later to continue the dialogue.
Go One On One
Don’t just treat your followers like one big swarm of customers and prospects, engage them individually. Even if you’re thinking “That’s a lot of work to secure one sale,” it’s not just about the one customer you’re engaging with, it’s about creating an interaction that sends a message to the rest of your followers: This is not a cold, indifferent face of a corporate brand, there’s a real person behind this account and they’re here for you if you have any questions or concerns about the product.
Integrate Your Web Presence
Use your website to promote your marijuana blog, your blog to lead people to your Facebook, your Facebook to lead people back to your website and so on. If somebody finds one piece of your online presence, that should lead them to the rest of it. Also invest in some Marijuana SEO and digital marketing for your dispensary.
Maybe you don’t have something new to announce every day, but there’s always something to talk about, some news story or a new restaurant opening up near your dispensary. Not to mention, if you have a nice backlog of material on your blog or your Youtube channel, posting older content on your Facebook and Twitter can breathe new life into it.
NOTE: Posting too frequently can be just as bad as not posting enough. You don’t want people to scroll through their feed and say “Oh great, more from this page…” Posting once or twice a day allows you to stay active in your followers’ feeds without overwhelming them with more content than they care to read.
Develop Your Voice
You want your followers to be able to recognize your social media content even if your name were to be removed from it. You’re not going to find your voice on your very first post. You’re going to learn over time what kind of content people are responding to, whether or not you want to infuse a bit of humor in your posts, if you want to use memes, if your followers respond well to content relating to social and political activism and so on. Figuring out how best to relate to your followers on social media is largely a process of trial and error, learning as you go. Try new things, be bold in experimenting to find out what works, but be patient, it will come to you.
Catch The Eye
People tend to scroll through their feed at a rapid pace. They stop to read their favorite content, and they stop for interesting images. Here are a few tips for creating eye-catching images that will stop your followers mid-scroll:
- Keep text to a minimum. When you do use text, make sure it’s easy to read and uncluttered. Let the text serve the image, not the other way around.
- Use emotionally provocative images. People expressing joy, fear, excitement and other strong emotions clearly is a good starting point for a strong image.
- Negative space makes for more readable images. If a picture is too cluttered, your followers will keep scrolling. A beautiful nugget of sativa on a one-color background might get them to pause.
- The eye responds to red and white. The eye is drawn to white space because it’s easier to look at than black or blue or purple, and we tend to have an immediate, emotional response to red. Some theorize that we respond to red the way we do because in our caveman days, that was how we identified fresh food. Whatever the reason, red works, so don’t be afraid to use it.
One of the reasons TV and movies rely on sex and violence is because it grabs your attention. Some people find it exciting, others think there’s too much sex and violence in entertainment, but very few people find it boring. For a marijuana dispensary, there probably aren’t a lot of ways to use sex and violence in a natural, organic way that isn’t going to turn half your followers off. But, people tend to have just as visceral a response to certain taboos, and recreational marijuana use happens to be one of those in many circles. In short: Feature the product.
Promoting your brand on social media is easier than you might think. It really comes down to three basic principles:
- Show up every day.
- Produce content that people would miss if you were to stop posting.
- Engage with your audience, social media is a two way street.
Stick to these basic principles and your social media output is just about guaranteed to help you in securing repeat business.