If you’re looking for the best social media channels to connect with your customers, then you should probably be on Instagram. The visual platform is one of the most popular, and it’s a great way to showcase your dispensary brand. But how do you make waves and get noticed?
Post Great Images
Because Instagram is a visual platform, imagery is everything. If you want to get noticed, you’ll need attractive pictures that grab attention. Ultimately, you want people to stop scrolling, like your post, and leave a comment.
So what kind of pictures should you post? Consider posting behind the scenes images, lifestyle images, educational tips, or quotes.
Focus on quality images that reflect well on your brand. They don’t have to be of your products (in fact, they probably shouldn’t be if you want to protect your account). And they shouldn’t be stock images. Consider hiring a photographer to take pictures for you or get your staff involved by asking them to share images they take at work or while doing their hobbies. To provide some incentive, you can provide a gift card or other special treat the staff whose photos you use.
You can also crowdsource images. If your followers are talking about your brand, ask them if you can repost their photos. Always tag them so they get credit. This is a great way to build community and build excitement.
You can also do a giveaway (where allowed) to get more people to tag you in posts. For example, let’s say your run Elevated Dispensary in Some Place, State. You can ask your followers to tag you in photos where they feel “elevated” and offer a discount for the best photo. Make it clear that you’ll be reposting photos so there are no surprises.
Dispensary Instagram: Share What’s Important
As part of our weekly meetings at Foottraffik, we each pick a quote or tip to share with the team. It often leads to discussion and it’s fun to see the variety of quotes that we each submit. To share this, we’ve now started turning our quotes into graphics that we share on Instagram. We take a quick poll at the end of our meeting and the whole team votes on which quote to share that week. Not only does it help us feel more connected, but it has also upped our quote game!
All this to say, share what’s important to your team and to your customers.
Does your team have a ritual? Are there community service project you’re engaged with? Share what drives your team and your community and more people will be drawn to you. You can even focus on national legalization or descheduling of cannabis. Your passion brings people to you and helps support your goals.
Rework Other Media
Have a great blog post? Why not turn it into a carousel? (And if you don’t know what a carousel is… it’s when you use multiple images in a dispensary Instagram post that people then swipe through. They have one of the highest engagement rates on IG!)
Using a tool like Canva, it’s easy to create a multi-photo post or infographic based on a blog post. It’s also a great way to re-use something that you’ve already created and invested time and effort into.
Let’s say that you’ve written a post about the endocannabinoid system. You can pull a few quotes and images from your post and create an educational slideshow showing how the system works. You can even add some animation to make it exciting or a video.
You can do a roundup of great local hiking spots in your area, share some of your favorite eats, or even highlight some of your small business neighbors. As long as you remain on brand, there’s tons of stuff you can put into a carousel.
Use All The Features!
Don’t just focus on your grid. Make sure you’re also creating stories. Your stories can highlight recent posts to your grid, announce new product arrivals (our shipment of X just came in!), and just share more about what’s happening at your dispensary.
You can even do IGTV for sharing educational content or hosting virtual events. Or how about an AMA with one of your budtenders?
Not sure how to get started with Reels? Why not try a simple video that highlights a particular terpene? Experiment and see what best fits in with your brand guidelines.
And remember—don’t show consumption. Even showing your products can get you in trouble. It’s a fine line to walk, and unfortunately, there’s always a chance that your dispensary Instagram can get shut down.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but what you say about it is just as important. If you want to improve your engagement, then you need to create captions that make people want to leave a comment.
So how can you do this?
Well, you can ask a question related to your post. If you’re making a statement, you can ask if people agree or disagree. If you’re sharing a behind the scenes look, you can ask what your followers are up to. You can even ask your followers about what they want to see on your grid or use your stories to hold some polls.
At some point, everyone was complaining about hashtags. They felt overused, and there didn’t seem to be much of a point for them. That time has passed, though, and now hashtags are back in vogue. Basically, if you want to be found. They’re great for categorizing posts and finding a community.
Here’s a list of dispensary Instagram hashtags you can copy from us:
You should also use city-specific hashtags and dispensary specific hashtags like #YourDispensary, #CityNameDispensary, and #CityNameCannabis.
Also, did you notice the capitalization on the hashtags?
When you capitalize the first letter of each word of your hashtag, you make it easier to read, thus making it more accessible for your followers and more useful.
(Here’s an extra accessibility tip which may also help some of your photos get picked up by Google during an image search. If you’re using the app to upload your images or video, on the last screen before posting—where you write your caption—click on “Advanced Setting.” From there, you can add Alt Text. This Alt Text will be read to visually impaired Instagram users, plus it may be crawled by Google. Your Alt Text should be a description of your image. For example, Amy, a young Black woman with locks and red lipstick, holds a large cardboard box.)
Do a Giveaway
First, a caveat: If giveaways or promos aren’t allowed in your state or province, scroll to the next section. If you can give away product, gear, or a discount, then stick around.
Giveaways are a popular way to get more followers and to reward the people who are already following. Depending on how you structure your giveaway, you can also really boost your engagement. Hubspot spells out some great tips for hosting your own giveaway. Just make sure to put your own canna-spin on it.
Engagement isn’t a one-way street. If you want people to comment on your posts and like them, then you need to be engaging with your audience. Like their posts, leave comments when appropriate, and respond to the comments on your posts. Basically, be social!
If you missed it, we did a webinar on dispensary Instagram Do’s and Don’ts. Check it out and let us know if we missed any!