By Amber Mayo
We’ve all seen more than our fair share of cannabis brands and store accounts get ignominiously pulled down for no apparent reason. This issue is rearing its ugly head up again these days with Facebook shadow banning and Instagram accounts disappearing. With all this drama, we hear a lot of people swear they are done with social media, that it’s not worth the trouble and they wonder what the point is.
We don’t disagree – the ever-changing rules are totally ridiculous and not just a little hypocritical. However, social media is a must do for your business, even your cannabis business that runs the daily risk of shutdown. Why? Here are a few reasons:
- You control your message. In the world of cannabis especially, rumors run rampant about any topic. There are plenty of people posting about strains, brands, experiences and you don’t have time to be a passive participant. This is the time for you to control the message, the brand and to relay what is important to you. It’s also your chance to puff your chest a little – talk about how you give back to the community, what new products you have and how the benefit consumers, all of that.
- You build direct 1:1 relationships with your customer. Relationships matter. Keeping that door open and ensuring that they have a way to interact with you is critical. Even if it means having a few backup accounts going at the same time.
- There’s something that happens emotionally with a customer when a brand acknowledges them – that validation from a “brand” brings them closer into your fold. That’s exactly what you want – and these days, it’s done via a social media.
- Converting your customers into fans. To the point above, when you have a positive interaction with a customer, they become a fan. When they become a fan, they become your advocate, they step in where you can’t and that value is priceless. Companies build armies of fans and those fans become your advocate and your protector (see: Apple or Call of Duty).
- People link from accounts to your website. You want to ensure you give yourself as much of a chance to succeed as possible.
- Keeping your brand top of mind. As an example, say you own a store and your customer has two stores on the way home from work. They are sitting in a meeting at the end of the day, scrolling through Instagram…and your competitor pops up. Top of mind matters. The same is true for brands when the customer is making a choice.
- The tribe mentality. People want to be a part of something bigger, a part of a movement – this is a key in Nike’s recipe for success. Build that and they will come.
Regardless of the random social media account deletions and the annoyance re-building your followers, you don’t want to leave that 1:1 consumer interaction empty. It creates a vacuum and your customers can easily become someone else’s if you don’t keep that information flow moving. So, don’t give up on social media – it’s where your consumers are and you must be there too!