Building Your Cannabis Community In 2020
By Lindsey Griffith
With a beacon of endless advertising opportunities, it can be hard to navigate which is the right route for growing your cannabis business. Consider 2020 the year of building your cannabis audience the old fashioned way. No, not through billboards and TV commercials. We’re talking good old fashioned customer-business relationships. Shocking right? Not really. Since social media advertising isn’t really on your side (seriously), building trust through creating brand campaigners is crucial for 2020. From Facebook groups to local community involvement right in your city, building trust between the consumer and your business should definitely be a part of your New Year’s resolution. Here we’ll discuss the foundation for building those relationships and why they are so important to your business’ success in the year ahead.
Join Groups and Forums
Since the beginning, Facebook has deemed cannabis a “recreational” and “illegal” substance and has taken a strict stand against any sort of paid advertising within the industry. The digital marketing landscape is slowly changing, however, with Facebook making a gradual shift away from advertising and focusing more on personal interactions. This will change the way businesses are marketed on social media, including cannabis. By creating social groups for your customer base you create a community of like-minded individuals who can share their personal experiences. Post exclusive deals and discounts for group members and engage with their posts to deepen the relationships. They are no longer just a follower now, but a bonafide supporter. So, consider joining Facebook groups pivotal to your cannabis business success in 2020. Believe it or not, we can all learn how to better our businesses by learning from our customer base. Imagine that?!
Voting is a right that should be exercised in every community, especially in the cannabis industry. So many cannabis businesses hang in the balance of federal and state law, that it becomes crucial to get out there and vote to help shape policies – even on a local level. Even then, with legalization comes the many roadblocks that the industry will have to continue fighting against while simultaneously finding the solutions to combat those roadblocks. Just because medical or recreational cannabis is legalized in your area does not mean there are not things you can do with your vote to better the community. Ensure you do your research thoroughly however, as some politicians may have little to no action plan in assisting the cannabis industry. You can easily check your state and local municipalities for election information and candidate profiles online to confirm you are fully aware of who you are voting for.
Be Involved in Your “Actual” Community
Getting involved in your local community isn’t just good for the soul, but is also good for business. In 2020, make it a goal to become involved in a local organization that benefits the community. When people see you involved, they are more apt to support your business ventures both on and off social media. However, don’t just become active within your community because it looks good. People will be able to see directly through the facade. Find causes within your community that you and your team genuinely care about and figure out ways you can be a part of the cause. These causes may not even directly relate to the cannabis business and that’s okay. Even just a few hours a month can greatly make a difference and, undoubtedly, is also great for workplace morale.
Actively Comment and Share
Focus on spreading love in the year ahead! Actively commenting and sharing posts for others in the cannabis community exposes your profile to potential followers (and even potential customers). The cannabis industry is one filled with many hoops to jump through to be successful, and interacting on other posts allows you to return the favor to your supporters. Not to mention, when you comment and share posts that directly tag you or your business, you encourage other businesses to keep on sharing. Therefore, continually exposing your business to their ever-growing group of followers. Simply put, it benefits everyone! If your concerned about posts that don’t fit your branding aesthetic (see my blog on cultivating a killer Instagram feed here) consider sharing content in your page’s story. Facebook and Instagram stories have an extremely high organic reach and disappear after 24 hours!
Educate Your Audience
Becoming an authority to others in the cannabis industry is huge in building your group of advocates. Consider holding educational classes, or even webinars
, on how cannabis can benefit you or your loved ones. The same goes for cannabis manufacturing and the sale of CBD and other cannabis-related products. When you educate your audience, it not only portrays you as the most knowledgable business in your area but also shows you are ready to build up others who are eager to learn more. Afraid of public speaking? Not to worry! There are plenty of virtual options like WebEx that allow you to host presentations all through audio in the comfort of your own workspace. Recording audio and overlapping over a presentation is also another viable option. Point is, solidifying yourself as an authority in the cannabis industry only creates trust between you and your followers and is a surefire way to build your community. I think it’s fair to say your cannabis business has overcome many obstacles to get where you are today. Creating a loyal group of followers seems like another huge hoop to jump through in a business world that seems none too supportive. But, we promise this is the easy part. Now you are at the stage where you have the chance to really get to know your customers and interact with them on a personal level. You finally get to sell your product to a group of people that fully understands your brand message. They aren’t just numbers on your profile anymore. These are brand supporters, ready to be supportive and take your business to the next level. Cheers to your cannabis community in 2020. May we all grow (no pun intended) together!
About the Author
Hello! My name is Lindsey Griffith and I’m the Creative Content Strategist for ThrivePOP located in West Michigan. We are a growth agency that specializes in web, marketing, and design for many industries including cannabis, optometry, and technology service. I have been curating content for our cannabis clients for some time now and I am excited to share my experience in this growing industry (no pun intended) with others!