Marketing a dispensary is hard work. There’s no clear cut formula for getting the word out about your shop, and there are a slew of regulations to contend with. Plus, if you have multiple locations in different states, the regulations vary, so what works in one state won’t necessarily fly in another.
One popular way to build brand awareness is through social media, and Instagram in particular. However, there are a lot of things that can get you booted from the popular visual media platform.
If you have a half-an-hour to dive into the topic, check out our recent webinar: The Do’s and Don’t of Instagram.
If you don’t, consider this your Cliff notes version.
First off, let’s start with what you can’t post. Don’t mention sales, don’t mention pricing. You cannot overtly sell cannabis—even as a legal dispensary—on Instagram, and if you want to keep your account, you want to avoid even the impression of selling cannabis online. Posting product pictures can get you flagged, so determine whether that’s a risk you want to take. And posting consumption pics is a no-no.
OK, so what’s left?
While it may seem like that doesn’t leave space for much, there’s still plenty that you can do. Here’s what to post on Instagram.
What to Post on Instagram: Focus on Informational Promotion
Medical and recreational cannabis are still pretty new to a lot of people, and there’s plenty of need for reliable educational content that helps individuals get started with it safely.
If you’re a medical dispensary, you can share the latest research about how cannabis may help manage certain conditions or information about your state’s medical marijuana program.
If you’re a recreational dispensary, consider sharing information about cannabinoids, terpenes, the endocannabinoid system, and more.
There’s plenty to talk about! For more ideas, ask your followers what they want to learn about or quiz your budtenders on the questions they get asked most.
Make Your Goal Brand Building
Social media is great for building brand awareness.
Because you can’t sell on Instagram, focusing on brand awareness and increasing your email or SMS lists allows you to take the conversation off of Instagram, where you can promote your products or sales.
Share your text or email opt-in info to get people to sign up. Highlight what makes your brand unique. Are you committed to your community? Great! What do you do to help uplift it? Do you love music? Awesome! What are your favorite local groups?
Behind the Scenes
What goes down behind the counter? What’s it like being a budtender? Do you guys host team-building meetings or informational sessions to help budtenders learn more about the products they sell? Give customers a sneak peek behind the curtain. You can even do little interviews with your budtenders.
Tying your dispensary brand to a lifestyle is a great way to connect with your followers and increase your audience.
Are you all about wellness? Share some of your favorite yoga poses or meditation techniques. Does your brand associate itself with the great outdoors? Post some of your favorite hiking spots or campfire recipes.
The goal of these types of posts is to associate your dispensary brand with particular segments. What to post on Instagram should align with your brand style guide. Ideally, you should focus on original photos or graphics (not stock) and everything should be in a similar tone or voice.