Social Media

Why So Many Dispensaries Are Failing at Social Media

by Robin Ann Morris on

Most business owners in the cannabis industry are missing out on a huge opportunity to scale growth, decrease advertising costs, and reach more customers. What’s that opportunity, you ask? Social media.

It’s time that we get real, many cannabis dispensaries are failing in their social media endeavors. But the good news is — you don’t have to.

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The benefits of rocking social media

Dispensaries and cannabis businesses that optimize their social media presence can easily reap the benefits that social media has to offer.

These perks include the ability to reach more customers on their time. With almost half of the world’s population using social media, it’s safe to say that your dispensary’s customers are somewhere on social media.

Photo credit: WeAreSocial.com

…and social media users are growing in numbers. Rapidly.

Photo credit: WeAreSocial.com

Meet your customers where they hang out. Be in front of them when it matters. Build relationships that will blossom into brand advocates.

Another perk of social media is lower advertising costs for better targeting, which comes from engaged and interested followers, and social media managers that understand your brand’s ideal customer. Social media, both paid and free, give valuable customer insights that can’t quite be matched by anything else.

But one of the most obvious perks is the opportunity to build better brand awareness. Educate consumers on who you are and what you represent. Build a brand that lasts with a social media presence that serves you.

All that being said, the point still stands: many dispensary owners aren’t reaping these benefits.

7 key cannabis social media mistakes

There are 7 key mistakes business owners in the cannabis industry are guilty of on social media, and it’s costing them time, energy, and future customers and revenue. Let’s change that.

Mistake #1: Not being on social media at all

Well, this first mistake is a little obvious, but the most common. It’s the 21st century and millennials are taking over the marketplace. Any business owner, inside the cannabis industry or not, needs to realize the importance of a social media presence. Not being on social media at all is the biggest and most common mistake dispensary owners make.

What to do about it: At the very least, set up a Facebook business page for your dispensary or business. With 1.15 billion daily active users, Facebook is a great place to start. Link your new Facebook page to your website and start building a following.

 

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Mistake #2: Not posting enough

The next most common mistake: The dreaded under-poster.

Imagine you have a customer that wants to know your store hours, and goes to check out your Facebook page. Sure, they may find your store hours. But imagine if they saw that the last time you posted to the page was 14 months ago. Don’t you think they might wonder if you’re even in business anymore? Maintaining an active presence on social media is just as important as having the accounts open and active. Don’t let your social media profiles work against you.

What to do about it: First, take a good look at dispensaries doing social media right, like The Goddess Delivers. Get those creative juices flowing, and plan what kind of content you want to share.

Use a social media scheduling tool, such as Buffer, to plan, schedule, and post content. This reduces the hands-on time that many dispensary owners lack. If you plan to make your social media presence a priority, plan 30-60 days of social media content in advance and add it into your scheduling tool. This takes just a couple hours, but you’re set for more than a month. Then, throughout the month, share content from other pages and promote discounts to compound on your scheduled content.

Mistake #3: Only posting promotional content

You’ve got your Facebook page set up, you’re posting content regularly, and you’re gaining some social momentum. The next most common mistake cannabis dispensaries make on social media is not varying content, and only posting sales material. If all of your posts are to the tune of, “Hey we’re open, come buy XYZ!”, you’re not going to see positive results. Sales content is very much encouraged, as long as you are also mixing in value-based content that your followers will really enjoy. Here are just a few examples of ideas for posting content for your cannabis dispensary:

  • New sale, discount, or promotion (use sparingly)
  • Tips for preserving your stash or cleaning your equipment
  • Pictures of new inventory
  • Pictures of staff or growers
  • Interviews with industry experts
  • Funny memes or comics
  • Featured strain or edible
  • The possibilities are endless!

What to do about it: Mix in valuable content, such as the above examples. A great solution many dispensaries use is a blog on their website (a great example is Native Roots), but sourcing content from industry-relevant websites is a great option, too. Peak Dispensary and Denver Dispensary both incorporate humor very well into their social media posting, which is adored by their followers!

 

Mistake #4: Inconsistent branding

To some cannabis business owners, this one might not be so obvious, but it is just as tragic. Your future customers should know they’re in the right place when they visit your Facebook page, or your website, or your Twitter profile, or your Instagram. That confidence comes from consistency. Your name, your logo, your branding, your imagery, all of this should have a consistent look and feel across all your online assets.

For example, when you look at Native Roots’ social media profiles, you instantly know who they are from the consistent black and white branding.

What to do about it: First of all, your dispensary’s logo should be the profile image on all your social media profiles, and should be easily seen on your website. That is essential.

The next thing you want is matching social media and website banners. Submit your loose ideas to a designer on Upwork with your logo. Order a Facebook cover image, Twitter cover image, and web banner, which will create a consistent brand experience across all online hubs. Depending on the skill level of the designer, this can be accomplished for less than $100.

Mistake #5: Ignoring your customers (and future customers)

If your customer walked up to your service counter and asked a question, would you walk away and ignore them? No! So why are you doing the same thing on social media?

Once you have a Facebook page, and possibly other social media assets for your dispensary, do not ignore them. Customers (and future customers) often look to social media for customer service, such as Facebook messenger and comments. Be present and active on social media. Never ignore the opportunity to provide exceptional service to your customers.

What to do about it: Regularly check comments and messages on all social media platforms. Answer professionally, with detail, and with friendliness. It’s harder to convey a smile over the Internet, so go above and beyond with your response! If you see a pattern in questions that are asked, consider creating a piece of content or social post that might help.

Mistake #6: Not getting visual

A huge opportunity is missed when dispensary owners don’t capitalize on visual content. Marijuana is a visual industry, there’s no doubt about it. Whether it’s your merchandise, a new strain, a new model of vaporizer, or edibles, marijuana consumers are stimulated most by seeing it. If you’re not posting visual content, like videos and pictures, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to showcase what your dispensary offers.

What to do about it: Incorporate videos and images into your social media posting, such as “behind the scenes” pictures, “sneak peek” pictures of upcoming offerings, and short videos like unboxings, strain spotlights, and more. If you believe visual content can really showcase your dispensary, it’s highly recommended that you get your business on Instagram. Instagram is a highly visual social media site that will allow your images and video to thrive.

Mistake #7: Not being true to your brand

This final mistake is not the least important; it’s probably the most important! Staying true to your brand, your culture, and your mission on social media is critical to your success. Social media is the perfect platform to educate existing and future customers why you do what you do.

What to do about it: First, make sure you have accurate information displayed on social media in the description of your dispensary, hours of operation, website link, contact information, and so on. Keep this consistent and accurate across all channels.

Does your brand speak from a humorous or silly voice? Informative? An activist voice? In all your social media posts, convey your culture to potential customers, and speak from the heart of your mission.

All over the Internet, dispensaries and other cannabis businesses are failing at social media.

Since social media is a social channel embedded deeply into the roots of our culture, it is more important than ever to add this as a tool to your cannabis business toolbox. Social media offers a way to connect and support existing customers, bring in new customers, increase traffic to your website and brick and mortar store, teach your culture, and share a ton of value.

As a dispensary owner, you are now more ready than ever to rock social media for your business. The only question now is: what’s stopping you?

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The Definitive Social Media To-Do List For Job Seekers

by Robin Ann Morris on

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The job market has changed significantly over the last 20 years, and with it, so too have the hiring methods of employers. Traditionally, it’s been newspapers, industry publications, recruiters, and job boards that have provided the ‘lion’s share’ of new hires for employers. However, since the advent of social media, social networking tools have transformed approaches to recruiting and they are now a primary source of new hire leads for employers and recruiters alike.

The ability to research a candidate market and approach desired hires directly is an approach that corporate recruiters really love – and see produces great results for their business. While this doesn’t mean that you should abandon looking at job boards and industry publications, it’s ever more important that you also incorporate a social strategy into your job search and work on your personal brand management.

The four key networks that you need to have a presence on in my opinion are LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, and Facebook. However, it’s also worth bearing in mind that any social networking site and forum where you post personal information and set up a profile may be publicly searchable. Recruiters these days are using ‘People aggregators,’ which are essentially specialized search engines, allowing recruiters to search hundreds of sites for potential hires. With that in mind be sure to keep your profiles safe for work and tailored towards your respective role or industry.

In this post, I am going to cover the main benefits of joining the ‘big four’ social networks to help you improve your job search and networking capabilities. Bear in mind that like any job search strategy, maintaining a presence on a social network can take some time and it’s up to you to decide where you want to spend yours.

LinkedIn

In my opinion, having a presence on LinkedIn is an essential first step into the world of the ‘social job search.’ In the UK alone, there are 13 million LinkedIn users and the majority of the UK’s corporate businesses have a presence on LinkedIn. In the past, LinkedIn was mainly seen as an online repository for CVs. However, in the last couple of years it’s really repositioned itself as a function-rich networking site connecting individuals, recruiters, and employers.

Recent research from Econsultancy actually suggests that LinkedIn is now responsible for 64% of visits to corporate websites from any social media site. That’s an astonishing statistic, and it really shows how a company’s presence on LinkedIn is helping them to attract the attention of potential hires.

Most corporates that are present on LinkedIn will either have a LinkedIn pro license or access to LinkedIn recruiter, which allows them to search through the entire LinkedIn membership. Even if you’re not looking for a job right now, having an up to date and detailed LinkedIn presence means that employers can find you and may well reach out to you direct if you look like a fit for their current openings.

Helping employers to find you on LinkedIn

To ensure that those employers looking for potential hires with your skills will be able to find you, you’ll need to make sure that you have the skills listed that they are looking for. To do this, I suggest trying a little LinkedIn ‘reverse engineering’!

The first step is to find some jobs that you might be interested in applying for in the future. Once you’ve done that, explore the types of skills and keywords that they mention in their job posting. This is essentially a recipe for the ingredients that you’ll need to put into your LinkedIn profile.

Firstly, focus on the keywords – often employers will use a variety of similar keywords that describe what they are looking for. If you notice this, be sure to mirror this throughout your LinkedIn profile.

Secondly, you’ll need to focus on including the right skills in your skills section. The overall goal here is to ensure that whenever you are a match for a role that a recruiter is looking to fill, you’ve written your profile in a way that maximizes your chances of appearing as a candidate match.

Join groups and add insight to discussions

Another strategy for attracting the attention of potential employers or recruiters is to join industry groups or groups hosted by target employers. Look for discussions where you feel you can add useful insights to show to employers that you know your stuff. Whether this leads to a direct approach or just helps you to get on their radar, it’s definitely a worthy step to help add to your job search efforts. Looking at the profiles of other group members may also trigger them checking on your profile, through the “who’s viewed my profile” function on LinkedIn that many recruiters regularly review for candidate and client leads.

Google+

Once you’ve built your LinkedIn profile, I’d suggest replicating this on your Google+ profile. The main benefit to having a Google+ profile is that they rank very highly on Google searches. This will allow you to get a representation of yourself that shows you in a good light high up in Google searches. This can be particularly useful if a potential employer Googles you to get a little bit more information on you. Your Google+ profile will more than likely appear above other sites or profiles, ensuring that they see a professional representation of you, rather than one that shows you in a less favorable light or profiles of others with similar names muddying the waters.

Use Circles

Google+ also has some handy features that you can utilize when networking. Find employees and hiring decision makers that already work at target companies and add them to an employer specific circle. Once you do this, you’ll be able to start getting involved in discussions or commenting on their content. If done right, this will help you to attract their attention – whether it leads to an opportunity or helps when an opportunity eventually comes up.

Twitter

Twitter offers one of the easiest ways to network with potential employers. Most organizations worth their salt will have a presence on Twitter, as will their individual recruiters. Before you start following and engaging with them, it’s a good idea to build up a profile/brand that shows your interest in the area that you are trying to get work in. Use relevant keywords in your bio to show your particular specialty and follow and engage with other professionals and organizations relevant to your target industry/role.

Follow and engage with target employers and decision-makers

Once you’ve built up a reputation, start following employers and decision-makers and monitor their activities, corporate culture, ethos, and upcoming opportunities. Every so often, you may find that they post content that you can engage with, whether that is by Retweeting, Favoriting, or by adding an insightful comment or one that sparks conversation. Make it a regular habit to do this and you’ll be well on your way to prompting the types of conversations that generate job leads and career conversations.

Facebook

While Facebook may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of your job search, your profile may be picked up by recruiters using people aggregators. In addition, it is often the first place that employers will advertise in order to reach the target demographics they’re interested in for new job opportunities within their business. Ensure that you have filled out your work history, education, and professional skills information on your Facebook profile so that relevant adverts are shown to you and so that you appear in Facebook search results.

Like potential employers’ pages and engage with them

Similar to LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter you may be able to connect with employers pages by liking them. This can show to an employer that you are interested in what they are doing and that you’re keeping up to date with any developments. It will also allow you to engage with their page if and when there is something that you can add insightful comment to. So, don’t discount Facebook as a career move tool.

Hopefully these tips will help recruiters and employers to find you and will give you the chance to impress if and when there is an opportunity to engage with them.Social media gives you an opportunity to manage your brand and connect with those who can help your career. The question is, can you afford not to have a social media presence?

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