- Posted by Richie Martin
- On November 21, 2017
- 0 Comments
Updated Feb. 22nd, 2021
What You’ll Learn:
In this post about marketing for cannabis businesses on Facebook, we will cover:
- If cannabis businesses (such as dispensaries) can run Paid Ads on Facebook
- The specific cannabis advertising rules for Facebook
- Tips for social media marketing for dispensaries and cannabis businesses that don’t require paid advertising
Social media is a big part of most digital marketing strategies, mainly as people worldwide spend more and more time scrolling their social media feeds. There are few better ways or places to connect with your target audience, which is why more than 8 million businesses advertised on Facebook during the first quarter of 2020 alone.
And yet, it’s still rare to see cannabis-related businesses using Facebook and other social media platforms for paid advertising. But if Facebook ads hold the potential to deliver lucrative results, why aren’t more dispensaries and cannabusinesses taking advantage of the opportunity?
At Marijuana Marketing Xperts, we’ve become one of the industry’s leading sources for marketing for dispensaries, cannabis brands, and other marijuana-related businesses. We’ve made it our jobs to learn everything there is to know about advertising cannabis on social media, including the latest rules and how business owners can adapt their approaches accordingly. And now, we’ve put together a useful guide to the rules for advertising cannabis on Facebook – plus some ideas for how you can use Facebook to your brand’s advantage – to help you become a social media success while respecting the rules.
Can Marijuana-Related Businesses Run Ads on Facebook?
You’re probably already aware that Facebook’s drug policy makes it extremely challenging to be a cannabusiness trying to connect with new and existing customers. Their policy plainly states that they do not allow “content that attempts to buy, sell, trade, donate, gift, or solicit marijuana.”
If you want to see it for yourself, you can review the Facebook policy for cannabis and other regulated goods in full. However, their single-sentence statement on cannabis advertising is pretty tough to argue with. There’s no wiggle room when it comes to trying to figure out how to advertise a marijuana business on Facebook.
If Facebook prohibits paid ads form cannabis businesses, how are you seeing marketing messages in your feed? Sometimes, a cannabis ad can sneak by Facebook’s team and manage to be posted for a short amount of time. However, the repercussions for posting content that violates Facebook policy simply are no joke. At best, you’ll be blocked from posting for a few days. At worst, your account will be completely disabled. It’s up to you if you want to take that risk – but in our opinion, it’s just not worth it.
Even though marijuana is legal in many states, both for medicinal and recreational use, Facebook has kept their strict policies in place. When you consider that marijuana is not yet legalized on a federal level – and the still-complicated nature of the political and public perception of cannabis – their decision makes a certain amount of sense. It presents a considerable obstacle to effective social media marketing for cannabis-related businesses.
So, should I give up on Facebook for my cannabusiness altogether?
Before you decide to throw in the towel and deactivate your business account altogether, we have good news: even without Paid Ads, you can still use Facebook to your advantage. One of the basic principles of succeeding as a business owner is to be ready to adapt, and that same idea applies to social media advertising for cannabis businesses.
There are so many benefits to social media marketing for any business, and you can still enjoy many of those perks without using Paid Ads. With a savvy approach, you can tap into the power of Facebook to:
- Build brand recognition
- Start a conversation surrounding your products and your brand
- Connect with your target audience and learn more about them
- Tell the story of your brand
- Use data-driven insights to improve your strategy
- Deliver an exceptional customer experience
- Strengthen customer loyalty
- Funnel traffic to your website
- Support link-building efforts
- Prove that your brand is an authority on the subject of cannabis
So, if you’re wondering if Facebook for cannabis is a lost cause, the answer is definitely not. You just need to know how to take the right steps to make the most of what it can offer you.
Taking a Creative Approach to Social Media Marketing for Cannabis Businesses
You might not be able to post cannabis-related advertisements on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean that the social media platform has become obsolete for canna-businesses. There are still plenty of ways to incorporate Facebook into your social media marketing plan.
If you aren’t already familiar with content-based marketing, now is the time to dive in. Instead of solely using direct ads, more and more businesses are crafting exciting and relevant content (articles, blogs, guides, and more) to reach their target audience. In turn, this content can lead people to visit a landing page, build their trust in your brand, and even share your content with their network.
So, while it’s true that Facebook currently holds a ban on cannabis-related ads, there’s still plenty of ground you can cover through content. Here’s how.
What NOT TO DO when creating cannabis content for Facebook
Before you start churning out cannabis content for Facebook, here’s are some “don’ts”:
- Don’t say that a service or product is for sale, for trade, or available for delivery.
- Don’t provide pricing information.
- Don’t ask users to purchase a product.
- Don’t urge readers to contact your business regarding a product.
- Don’t use images that depict the sale of cannabis or cannabis products.
- Don’t post instructions for growing, selling, or consuming cannabis.
- Don’t make any medical or health claims.
- Don’t provide contact information for users interested in purchasing cannabis products.
What TO DO when creating cannabis content for Facebook
It might seem like that’s a mile-long list of off-limits things, but here’s what you can do on Facebook with marijuana content:
- Do publish informative and educational content that is relevant to your target audience.
- Do share advocacy-related content that focuses on statistics, data, health reports, research, quotes, legislative updates, and related topics.
- Do share images of products, as long as they don’t imply that the products are available for sale.
Tips for Using Facebook as a Cannabis Business Owner
Whether you own a dispensary, a cannabis product brand, or another type of marijuana-related business, Facebook can be a valuable tool in your marketing efforts. The key is to understand exactly how you can and can’t use it, as well as ways to maximize its usefulness without overstepping policy boundaries.
Here are a few tips for Facebook for canna-businesses:
Put your energy into building a community.
Use Facebook to organically grow your base of brand fans and followers, building relationships and serving the cannabis community as a whole. The average user is on Facebook to connect with others, not necessarily shop for cannabis – so if you can approach them with this in mind, you might just discover that they’re interested in getting to know you and your brand.
Position your company as a trusted source for cannabis information by writing and sharing content that your audience will find interesting. Be prepared to have conversations in the comments or in your Facebook messages, and encourage users to engage with your brand and others on your page.
Interact with customers in a positive and productive manner.
It should go without saying that bickering with customers or discussing specific issues is never a good idea. For any business that has a Facebook page, it’s not entirely unlikely that an unhappy customer might show up with some virtual complaints. While it’s never fun to experience negative feedback – especially in a medium where other customers can see it – the way you handle these situations will make a world of difference.
When an online user posts something negative on your page, keep your tone professional and your focus on effective conflict resolution. Sometimes, you can earn that customer back by showing a commitment to “make it right.” Invite them to message you directly to talk about the issue, and then demonstrate that you genuinely care about fixing what went wrong.
In other cases, it’s more about containing the situation so that it doesn’t blow up in your face. Not all users are interested in finding a solution; some simply want to vent their frustrations. Even if you can’t resolve the issue, do your best to conclude the conversation on a respective and positive note.
Take advantage of the resources that Facebook can offer you as a business owner.
There are still ways to learn and grow as a business owner, even without Paid Ads’ benefit on Facebook. Using the platform to learn more about your audience, their interests, and their challenges is smart to turn it into a tool that serves you. Also, don’t be afraid to browse your close competitors’ pages. You could pick up some new strategies or even learn what not to do.
Make content your primary focus.
We said it earlier in this article, but we’ll say it again: when it comes to social media marketing for cannabis, content is king. Facebook is the ideal channel for sharing content that educates, interests, and even entertains your target customers.
Additionally, it provides you with a chance to represent your brand as an authority within the industry. Look at it this way: when you’re preparing to make a big purchase, who are you more likely to choose? Odds are, you’ll go with the brand that is clearly knowledgeable on their products, well-informed about industry happenings, and committed to keeping consumers in the loop. Ensure that your business is a trustworthy brand for consumers, and it will definitely pay off.
Work with a professional team to boost your other efforts to market your cannabusiness.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of figuring out how to start a successful page for your cannabis business on Facebook, you’re not alone. Social media marketing has more than its fair share of nuances, and it gets even more complicated when you’re in the business of cannabis.
That’s why the best first step is often to connect with a marketing team that understands how to advertise cannabis, giving you the advantage of their expertise, time, and resources. You don’t have to do it all alone, so why would you? Instead, move forward with confidence with a cannabis advertising expert by your side.
Partner with Marijuana Marketing Xperts for All Your Advertising Needs
No matter what type of cannabis-related business you’re running, creating and implementing an effective marketing strategy is key, from building a brand identity to connecting with customers both existing and new.
Marijuana Marketing Xperts is an experienced digital marketing team that specializes in working with cannabis-related businesses. With our knowledge and skill, we’ve helped countless clients navigate the complexities of cannabis marketing. Our team is prepared to support you at every stage of marijuana marketing, from developing a brand vision to executing a creative marketing plan that’s consistently adapted for optimal results.
Learn more about how to market on Facebook as a cannabis business and why a social media strategy can change everything by contacting Marijuana Marketing Xperts today.