What are the consequences of such blocking for marijuana companies? In your opinion can social media become more loyal to the cannabis-related business and what should happen for this? How else cannabis brands and companies can increase their visibility?
Social media marketing opportunities for cannabis companies is limited when there is a currency exchange. When a company elects to pay to boost a post, they are then utilizing a component of the banking system. Because the banking system is federally regulated, it can only be used for federally legal transactions. As marijuana is not legal on a federal level, this means marijuana transactions cannot exchange via federally secured banks. Hemp, however is federally legal, but the banking systems and policies have not yet caught up with federal hemp policies and this is why hemp companies are facing obstacles including advertising on social media, or using credit card processing systems for commerce. Once the banking systems catch up with current policy (expected to be very soon!), social media outlets will begin approving paid posts. In the meantime, cannabis companies have mastered other targeting techniques, like the use of hashtags to draw an audience to their brand.
Social media is a tremendously powerful tool for connection and potentially even selling products or services but for the cannabis entrepreneur it may be a tool that is totally off limits.
However, if we’re being really honest about those restrictions they may simply be a way to protect consumers from a misunderstood and frankly speaking, a federally illegal product.
You see just because some US states have legalized medical and/or recreational marijuana the fact remains that on a federal level it is still not legal. And that being the case, if the possibility exists for underage ‘eyeballs’ to see your ads, posts or other social shares there is a real and potential danger. That being said it is our obligation to either respect that, or find a new way to market and advertise, and historically, cannabis entrepreneurs are experts at just that!
As far as loyalty between social media firms (Facebook, Insta, etc…) and us canna entrepreneurs there is a real opportunity there. A real potential for collaboration and growth in tandem. The main reason is that the ‘green industry’ is creating new business, new entrepreneurs and of course, new wealth. Unfortunately that time has not come yet, again, harkening back to the federal designation of marijuana.
So the question remains, HOW else can a cannabis brand increase their visibility and I gotta say there are a number of ways. One is like this. Blogging! Another is attending trade shows and conferences like GreenSeedTexas to let folks know you’re IN BUSINESS!! And lets be real…social media is NOT off limits and we can harness it’s power if we do so in a responsible and ethical way.
And finally, remember to stay strong, be responsible and know that the next page in the social media and cannabis journey is about to turn.