Rules, regulations, and restrictions – oh my! Marketing for your cannabis brand is essential, but it never gets any easier. Instagram is an incredibly useful tool for helping users discover new products or servicesHowever, Instagram has a history of shutting down accounts for cannabis-related businesses and brands. Protect your cannabis brand’s Instagram by using the below tips as a guideline for your postings.  

First, let’s look at the Instagram marketing mistakes to avoid  

Cannabis Marketing Mistakes to Avoid  

By avoiding the below Instagram marketing mistakes, you will protect your cannabis brand’s Instagram from being shut down or flagged as inappropriate.  

  • Don’t publish anything that references your prices. 
  • Don’t publish anything that references a sale, discount, or special promotion of your cannabis products. 
  • Don’t publish anything that says you offer any type of product or service “for sale” in any way. 
  • Don’t publish your product menu. 
  • Don’t publish links to your products, your online store, your store locator, or any other page that tells people how to buy your cannabis products. 

Now you may be thinking, “How am I supposed to market my cannabis brand if I can’t even tell people about it?” Use the below cannabis Instagram guidelines to get your brand noticed. 

Get Familiar with Instagram’s Community Guidelines  

First things first, in order to market through Instagram, you need to become familiar with Instagram’s Community Guidelines. In particular this rule: “buying or selling firearms and illegal or prescription drugs (even if it’s legal in your region) is not allowed.” This means buying or selling cannabis products – even if recreational marijuana is legal in your state – is not allowed on Instagram because marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. Instagram’s rules make it very clear that posts which promote the sale of cannabis are not allowed. So, what should you post instead?  

Market Indirectly  

I know this may seem a little backwards, but you want to market your cannabis brand indirectlyUse Instagram as a tool to push the lifestyle side of your company. This could include: images of your storefront, events, local growers, or anything else that will give your target audience a look into who your brand is. Creating a visual brand identity will alleviate the risk your cannabis business has on Instagram. Mix images of your products or services with associative images of your brand identity. This could include images of: your staff, smoke, nature, or other aspects that showcase the experience and lifestyle that your brand represents. The main goal is to diversify your content in order to stay under Instagram’s radar.  

Engage with Users  

Post regularly and engage with as many users as you canRegular posting will help your account get noticed and give your current followers a look into your cannabis brand. We recommend posting 1-2 times per day to help build your account’s following. Try using social media scheduling platforms, like Sprout Social or Buffer, to make sure you don’t miss a day. Additionally, make it a two-way conversation by interacting and engaging with other brands and followers. Respond in a timely manner to comments and direct messages. This will help your brand appear more approachable to followers.  

Use Hashtags Strategically  

As you would with any form of social media marketing, use hashtags strategically. This is especially important when marketing your cannabis business. Instagram doesn’t allow promoted posts that contain cannabis or that mention cannabis, so your best way to get noticed is through hashtags. For example, if your posting your latest strains from this year’s harvest, try using the hashtag #croptober, or create a hashtag that’s unique to your brand and use it in as many posts as you can.  

Instagram is helpful tool for any business’ social media marketing strategy, but brands in the cannabis industry can have a tough time getting around Instagram’s Community Guidelines. Remember to showcase your brand’s identity and interact with your following to stand out. If you’re struggling with your cannabis brand’s social media strategy, contact us today so we can help your brand grow!  

About Cannabis Brands 

Cannabis Brands serves cannabis corporations, growers, distributors, and dispensaries providing award-winning marketing communication strategies that give you the competitive edge. Cannabis Brands is a branding, digital marketing and inbound marketing firm, specializing in the cannabis industry. Cannabis Brands provides branding, website development, digital advertising, inbound marketing, SEO and video production services. Grow your cannabis business with proven cannabis marketing and advertising strategies. Contact Linda Fanaras, CEO/Strategist at lfanaras@cannabisbrands.agency or visit Cannabis Brands, to learn more.