Instagram is the fastest growing social network and arguably the most important network for cannabusiness owners.
According to Forrester research, “Instagram user interactions with brands is 400% higher than on Facebook and Twitter, delivering 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.”
Instagram is a crucial marketing tool for the cannabis industry and if you choose to ignore this powerful social media platform, your customers may choose to ignore you.
Instagram is especially powerful for retailers and processors to showcase their beautiful products aka “weed porn”. But, every cannabusiness owner must be mindful that true marketing success comes from more than just promotions. You must balance your “weed porn” with other engaging pictures and posts to keep your customers and prospects from going blind to your message.
So how can cannabis brands start building an Instagram presence? And more importantly, how do you start engaging with followers to drive sales?
Here are four tips to get you started:
Always use hashtags
Hashtags are the number one way for your prospects and customers to find you and you will be well ahead of the game if you start to brainstorm relative hashtags that not only convey who you are to your prospects but also why you are different and better than the competition.
If you categorize your photos and videos using relevant hashtags, your photos and videos are likely to show up in the live feeds that your prospects and customers are following. Additionally, hashtags can help business owners drive traffic to their Instagram profiles where they can use a profile link to their website for a special offer or newsletter sign up.
Find your influencers and engage with them
As with any social network your influencers are key to your brand being noticed by people outside of your immediate sphere of influence. By tapping into a network of influencers in your particular niche you will be able to grow your Instagram following and reach your target audience.
Additionally, your influencers provide a powerful way to make your brand part of the larger social conversation.
However, the key to successfully using influencer marketing is engagement. Once again you want to have a balance between promotional shots and photos and videos that are interesting, entertaining and valuable to your audience.
Tell a visual story about your brand
Although sales and promotions are important in any marketing strategy, with Instagram you have an opportunity to tell a visual story about your brand that goes way beyond a sale or promotion.
If you keep your Instagram content strategy focused on your brand’s unique way of seeing the world, you are more likely to connect your business with your target audience or “tribe”.
Think of how you can show your prospects and customers an inside peek into your business. Here are some examples to help you think outside of the box:
- Pictures of employees working together on a project.
- Pictures of the process from seed to sale of your flowers or concentrates.
- Fun and lighthearted moments at work.
- Pictures and/or videos of you and your employees doing community service.
Focus on your customers
Everyone loves a little recognition now and then and your customers are no different. Don’t forget to take pictures of your customers interacting with your brand and your products and services.
Another way to engage with your customers is to repost their photos to your feed (with their permission of course). Keep in mind that you will want to like and sometimes comment on your follower’s photos as well. This will increase your engagement with your customers and give you insight into their behaviors and interests, which is marketing gold for smart business owners.
Lastly, always take the time to respond to comments on your photos. By showing that you are willing to respond to questions or negative comments you will set your business apart and demonstrate that you care about what your prospects and customers are saying.
As a business owner you have an incredible opportunity to engage with your audience by using Instagram. Remember if you ignore Instagram your prospects and customers may ignore you.