Why Every Cannabis Company Needs To Own Their Audience
The censorship of cannabis content is here to stay, and here's how you can navigate this.
Despite the fact that cannabis is now legal in Canada and in a majority of U.S States — cannabis companies still have to contend with their content being censored & accounts being deleted by large social media platforms.
Thankfully, both Twitter & LinkedIn have decided to get with the times and have stopped censoring cannabis content, however, Facebook & Instagram remain intent on targeting cannabis companies under the leadership of Mark Zuckerberg for reasons that remain largely unclear.
Clubhouse has also opened up its platform to have discussions where cannabis is the focal point of the conversation.
In an ideal world, every cannabis company would simply decide enough is enough, and we would collectively abandon the platforms that actively censor cannabis content.
That said, as things stand today, both Facebook & Instagram remain important for companies of all shapes and sizes both inside and outside of cannabis.
What’s the solution? 🔑
Own the keys to access your audience.
This can come in many forms, however, I will share my approach and the approach I think cannabis companies should think about implementing.
Where to start: 🏁
Before you own the keys to access your audience in cannabis the first thing you need to do is to build an audience.
As things stand today the value cannabis companies can obtain from investing in social media is building top of funnel awareness with consumers on Instagram and & Facebook, and for B2B purposes LinkedIn is the platform to win on given the number of cannabis professionals now using the platform.
How to build your audience? 🏗️
In two words — create content, and in four words — creating content at scale.
Even if you could advertise on Facebook & Instagram the primary factor that would determine how effective these ads perform is the content you create.
In a world where we can’t advertise on these platforms, creating content remains the best way to build an audience.
While pursuing a Quality > Quantity approach in producing cannabis has to date proven a wise move, when it comes to creating content, there’s really no reason why a company or even a person, can’t do both.
In addition, “quality” is very subjective when it comes to content.
99% of people might find your content boring, however, if the 1% of people who do gain value from your content are your target audience then who cares?
For B2C companies running influencer marketing campaigns remains a very effective option to generate increased awareness to the page you’re seeking to drive traffic to when done correctly, and for B2B companies there’s no reason why your leadership team can’t effectively become your industry influencers.
I have seen both strategies work incredibly well in the past.
Then what? 🚀
Once you have built an audience on one of these large social media platforms it’s important to remember that you don’t own the keys to access this audience.
An easy way to think about this is that if you don’t play by the rules of the algorithm on the social media platform that you're using then your content won’t get shown to the people who like your content & follow you / your company page.
From here aim to create a newsletter (I highly recommend Substack), or perhaps an SMS list which is increasingly becoming a more popular choice of communicating information.
Not everyone who signs up for your email list or SMS list will open them, and that’s perfectly fine as those who are interested in the content that you’re creating will take the time to hear what you have to say and that’s all that matters.
In Summary: ✍🏼
Once you own your audience, you no longer have to contend with the consequences of a social media platform simply changing its algorithm and thus you losing access to your audience, and for anyone on Facebook or Instagram, I would focus on owning the access to your audience as soon as you possibly can.