If you read our blog with any frequency, you know that something we do a lot around here is to share tips and tricks on digital marketing. By “digital marketing,” we mean the more or less accepted tools of the trade: Content marketing, PPC campaigns, website UX design and management, and so on.
But every now and again we like to throw in a curveball, in the form of a marketing strategy or platform you may not have considered before. That’s why we want to use today’s post to talk about creating a dispensary TikTok account
We’ve written about TikTok before, and how this often-misunderstood social media platform is about much more than a song-and-dance distraction for teens. Because while it’s true that TikTok is based on short videos—and the bulk of these are the dance and lip-sync clips many just call “TikToks”—the platform is popular, free, and a largely untapped resource when it comes to spreading the word about your dispensary.
In today’s post, we’ll break this social media marketing topic down into three easy steps:
Step one: Create a dispensary TikTok account.
Step two: Learn how to get more views on your TikTok account.
Step three: Get out there and start dominating!
Dispensary TikTok Account: Vital Stats
So far as social media goes, TikTok may lag behind Facebook and Instagram in terms of popularity, but that’s not to say it’s a sleeper. According to recent data, during the last five years the app has surged to the #7 slot in the social media sweepstakes, beating out Snapchat, Pinterest, and Twitter. Currently used by roughly 100 million Americans, TikTok’s demographic sweet spot is Millennials and Gen-Z’ers. Analytics giant Pew Research estimates that nearly half (48%) of those aged 18 – 29 have used TikTok.
But that’s not the whole story. While a large segment of TikTok’s audience trends younger than the legal age for participation in the cannabis market, its audience is growing across all age groups. And according to influencer marketing platform Upfluence:
“At all follower levels, TikTok has considerably more engagement than either of the other two networks. For example, Upfluence found micro-influencers had engagement rates of:
- 17.96% on TikTok
- 3.86% on Instagram
- 1.63% on YouTube
At the other extreme, mega-influencers had engagement rates of:
- 4.96% on TikTok
- 1.21% on Instagram
- 0.37% on YouTube”
You get the idea. If you’re marketing a brand—cannabis or otherwise—TikTok can deliver impressive results, provided you understand the landscape and can leverage its quirks.
Get More Views: Specific Examples
What do pros share on TikTok? One of the primary goals of content is to create opportunities for engagement. So…try to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What engages them? Sometimes, it’s content that simply engages and delights, as in the case of the San Diego Zoo. The Zoo pushes out loads of cute animal videos—complete with voiceovers and background music—to its nearly 2 million followers. It’s fun, it’s highly sharable, and it reminds viewers of all ages what they love about the zoo.
Then there’s educational content. As with most social media platforms, it’s often most effective to come at this topic sideways. Case in point: Dentist Sulaman brings a shine to the very unhip topic of oral health. His 30k followers (and 1 million likes) speak to his ability to blend public service, humor, and a funny behind-the-scenes look at the life of a dentist.
Another social media entrepreneur takes a slightly different approach. Is Mike Mandall really the “No. 1 Social Media Lawyer”? Hard to say, but with 5 million followers, he might as well be. Mike’s fans tune in for genuinely helpful tips on what to do if pulled over at night, among other pieces of actionable information.
And “Color enthusiast” Tony Piloseno (aka “Tonester”) shares offbeat content like footage of himself mixing paint near some alligators. As a rule, highly successful videos like this one grab viewers’ attention quickly, and run their course somewhere in the 15- to 30-second zone. This keeps them short, sweet, and shareable.
Like all social media platforms, TikTok doesn’t generally share details of its ranking and content-suggestion algorithms. But genuine engagement—that is, liking and commenting on videos, watching them to the end, even multiple times—are all rewarded.
One of TikTok’s features is the “stitch,” whereby users can grab up to 5 seconds of another user’s content to combine with their own video. In addition to the up-front props and hype this generates for the viewers who can create a domino effect of stitching and sharing, it signals to TikTok’s algorithms that this content is highly sticky and engaging. One example is TikTok’s “Holidays Our Way” compilation, seen here on another underutilized social media platform for dispensaries, YouTube.
Another way to leverage your dispensary TikTok account is to trade on your insider knowledge of memes and trends. That’s what Pepsi did for last year’s #ThatsWhatILike challenge, which encouraged its fans to flaunt their individuality regardless of the judgment of others.
Whether or not you buy into the company’s market research—which found that Pepsi drinkers are statistically more bold and daring than those of other soft drinks—the campaign was a roaring success. TikTok’ers uploaded videos of themselves singing in supermarkets, dancing in pajamas or doing other fun and uninhibited things, all tagged with Pepsi’s suggested hashtag.
Even if you’re not Pepsi, you can take advantage of TikTok’s “Discovery” feature to identify trending hashtags, videos, and profiles. You can even input keywords or hashtags yourself to try and determine what similar terms are currently hot. Then create your own “dispensary challenge” that encourages your customers to upload content themselves.
Of course, just as on other social media platforms, that content has to conform to TikTok’s guidelines. That means no product or consumption videos, and no cannabis-themed hashtags, either. Still, as several cannabis brands have found, TikTok is fertile ground when it comes to sharing entertaining, educational, and actionable snippets of content.
Get More Views on Your Dispensary TikTok Account: Keep It Local
There’s one other facet of TikTok’s interface you should know about. Because the platform favors content that is geographically close to you, it’s a tailor-made opportunity to capitalize on the highly localized content we’re always pushing our clients to embrace. Within your dispensary’s TikTok account, make sure your location settings are correct to be sure you’re associating your content with your target audience’s time zone and location.
There’s much more to TikTok, of course. Take a moment to read our introduction to TikTok for dispensaries, and get familiar with the best practices for getting the most out of this novel—but highly engaging!—social media platform.