Since joining the weed industry, I’ve seen many of Washington state’s cannabis brands use their social media profiles in a way that consistently gets them deactivated. Since nobody seems to pay attention to the rules of social media, I’ll go ahead and make things as easy as possible for you and your cannabis business.
Recently, Instagram did another sweep of Washington’s marijuana community and deactivated accounts who were in clear violation of their community posting guidelines. If you were one of these accounts, or have been deactivated in the past, the reasons as to why are below.
Instagram: Follow The Law –> Even if it’s legal in your region.
“Offering sexual services, buying or selling firearms and illegal or prescription drugs (even if it’s legal in your region) is also not allowed.” – Instagram.com
Every single company who is remotely connected to the cannabis industry has multiple sets of eyes watching their every move. The companies and their employees who are sharing photos of products and saying they’re “available” or “for sale” at such and such dispensary, are in direct violation of both Instagram and Facebook’s community guidelines. Any and all mention of prices, deals, specials, or the implication that something cannabis related is for sale is a terrible idea.
My favorite type of posts that clearly break both Facebook and Instagram’s rules are those cute collage product photos. You know, the ones that have a cute little set up on a flat background and they always make sure to mention every product and their price. These posts look great but this type of strategy is pretty much a no go on today’s social media.
“We have dedicated teams working around the world to review things you report to help make sure Facebook remains safe.”
Is it really that crazy to think that these companies are monitoring the content that is posted to their platform?
The answer is no.
Facebook: Helping To Keep You Safe
“We prohibit any attempts by private individuals to purchase, sell, or trade prescription drugs, marijuana, firearms or ammunition. ” – Facebook.com
At the end of the day, if you’re posting photos or videos on social media that encourage the sale of a federally illegal product, you’re breaking the community guidelines and deserve to have your account deactivated. It doesn’t matter if your posts looked super professional or if they had a billion views and comments. Facebook and Instagram do not care and they will take your profile down.
I’ve been working in the digital world of weed marketing for the past year and I’ve never had a single post reported or account deactivated. All credit goes to my strict following of the “Leafly Method”, which is all about new user education, consumer empowerment, culture, and news.
If every cannabis brand took the time to educate themselves on how to properly use social media, they would be able to leverage these platforms and see legitimate ROI. Instead, the majority of brands simply create a new username and continue the same cycle of poor social media strategies.
To help your cannabis business grow, I’ll continue to write about what I do to successfully leverage social media. If you’d rather not wait for more content, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.