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How to Sell to the Cannabis Community Via Instagram

by Hasum | | 420 Smoke Shop Near Me | 0 Comments

Getting Started

We all have to start somewhere. But when it comes to creating an Instagram account for a brand that sells cannabis, the stakes are pretty high. If you don’t play your cards right, your brand’s Instagram account might get closed before you even make your first sale. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Familiarize Yourself With Instagram’s Guidelines

Instagram’s Community Guidelines prohibit the sale of any illegal firearms or drugs, even if they are legal in your region. And since cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, selling it might just get you canned. 

And despite the fact that Instagram is notoriously inconsistent about deleting business accounts that deal with cannabis products, you must take its guidelines very seriously. That said, you might still get away with pushing the envelope a little bit. Here is a quick overview of what you should avoid to stay on Instagram’s good side.

Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Cannabis on Instagram

Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Cannabis on Instagram

Instagram’s community guidelines prohibit any posts that promote the sale of cannabis and its products. However, the platform’s enforcement of this rule is somewhat inconsistent, and you might get away with a few things. But certain infringements will get your account shut down without warning or recourse.

Here are some of the key mistakes to avoid when posting cannabis-related content on Instagram. You should note that these mistakes apply to everything you post. Whether it’s a text, video, or picture, it shouldn’t contain:

  • Any references to your prices
  • Any image of cannabis, its products, or paraphernalia
  • Anything that references a sale or discount
  • Your product menu
  • Anything that says you offer any cannabis product or service
  • Links to your products, store location, online store, or any other pages that tell people where to buy cannabis products

You might get away with breaking some of these rules, but only for some time. Eventually, Instagram will catch up with you, and you might get a warning to take the post down. After a few warnings, your account might get shut down. In some cases, you might not even get a warning.

Some other mistakes to avoid include:

Operating Under a Business Profile

We’ve noticed that some large cannabis brands don’t operate under a business profile. Their reason behind this is pretty simple. Operating a business profile inherently states that you are selling something. This is especially “dangerous” for cannabis brands since most of them get shut down shortly after opening an account. By keeping your account private, you limit viewership, and your page doesn’t exactly scream, “We’re selling cannabis!”

Not Keeping Your Account Private

Some people say cannabis users are the most loving and peace-loving bunch out there. But when it comes to business, they can be pretty brutal. Believe it or not, the reason why some cannabis business accounts are pulled down is that they’re reported by the competition—that’s another reason why you should keep your account private.

You might argue that making your Instagram account private significantly reduces the rate at which you gain new followers, but the added safety that comes with it is worth the sacrifice.

How to Market Your Cannabis Brand on Instagram

How to Market Your Cannabis Brand on Instagram

Just because the platform has strict rules doesn’t mean you can’t market your cannabis products. You just have to get a little creative. Here are a few tips for marketing cannabis on Instagram without breaking the rules.

Diversify Your Content

You need to paint a picture of the lifestyle and experience your brand reflects. Is it a luxury brand or a causal, friendly brand? What’s your target audience? And what experience do you provide your customers?

By clearly laying out what your brand promises to consumers and how you plan to deliver on that promise, you can better identify the best content to put out. Try thinking outside the box to stand out from your competitors. You can post pictures of your employees, your manufacturing or cultivation process, your accolades, and things that reflect the customer experience you promise to deliver. You should also focus on participating in sharing content in the cannabis culture rather than just selling your products.

Post Regularly

You need to stay visible and relevant. For the best results, we recommend posting at least once per day. This way, people are more likely to see more of your content, and in time, they will be able to relate to your brand.

You should also actively comment on other people’s posts and respond to comments posted on your content.

Engage Your Audience

Most people look to comments made on a brand’s post for product reviews whenever they’re looking to buy a product. Therefore, simply publishing some posts won’t cut it. You also need to engage with your target audience to get noticed and trusted. 

Trust leads to sales. And for a platform that doesn’t allow you to mention your products directly, the only way to build trust is through engagement. Engagement typically includes liking other peoples’ posts, commenting on them, following them, and responding to comments made on your posts.

Your primary goal for engaging with your audience is to keep them hooked as they move through the marketing funnel. Here’s how to do it:

  • For prospective customers at the top of the funnel, post content that promotes brand recognition by including targeted hashtags on your posts.
  • For prospective customers at the middle of the funnel, post content that enables them to research your brand and the products and services it offers. You can post content such as product information, customer testimonials, quotes from reviews, and more.
  • For prospective customers at the bottom of the funnel, convert them into customers by posting content that aids them through the purchase decision process.

Use Instagram Tools

Use Instagram Tools

This is probably the best thing about Instagram. It comes loaded with lots of tools that can help you publish creative content. Some of our favorite Instagram tools include:

Instagram Guides

Instagram guides offer a creative way to provide more detailed content. You can create informative how-to tutorials, answer frequently asked questions, offer great recommendations, and curate some of your old evergreen content into something new and interesting.

Instagram Stories

People love watching Instagram stories. In fact, 70 percent of all Instagram users post and watch Instagram stories. That’s 85 million people in the US alone. That said, Instagram stories typically disappear after 24 hours, so you’ve got to get your timing right to reach the most people. The best time to post Instagram stories is between 11 AM and 1 PM on weekdays and 6 PM on weekends. 


Instagram TV allows you to publish long-form content on Instagram. Typically, videos uploaded from the web can be as long as 60 minutes, while mobile videos go up to 15 minutes. IGTV videos are perfect for a behind-the-scenes view of your company at an event, in-depth tutorials, or even as an educational video series. You can even post interviews and customer testimonials. Just be sure to create engaging content that will get viewers interested in your brand.

Instagram Reels

Instagram reels allow you to record 15-30 second videos and edit them with music. You can then post these videos on your Instagram story, feed, or Reels tab.

Instagram Carousel Posts

If you have a large collection of related posts you want to share, Instagram carousel posts might just be your best option. This tool lets you include up to 10 photos or videos in one post. According to research by Social Insider, Carousel Posts can boost engagement by 2.07 percent, as opposed to the 1.75 percent and 1.45 percent you get for single images and videos, respectively.

Use Hashtags Strategically

Hashtags help people find the content they’re interested in on Instagram. They work pretty much like keywords on your SEO strategy, so be sure to use hashtags that are relevant to your post. While it might be hard to get your post near the top results of a popular hashtag, you can increase your chances of getting noticed by using more targeted niche-specific keywords.

Leverage Influencers

Ninety-one percent of all luxury brands leverage influencers as part of their Instagram marketing strategy. That said, not all Instagram influencers can help boost your brand’s awareness. The trick here is to work with influencers who are the right match for your cannabis brand. You need to reach out to influencers whose reputation matches your brand’s reputation and have a following of people matching your target audience. 

The best way to find influencers is by using hashtags. Search for hashtags that are relevant to your brand, then look for people with a large number of engaged followers. 

Leverage Influencers

How to Grow Your Audience on Instagram

A great marketing strategy comes in handy in boosting your sales on Instagram, but unless you have a large following, it won’t do you much good. Here are a few tips to help you get more followers on Instagram.

Optimize Your Profile

You only get 150 characters, one link, and a few action buttons to build the perfect first impression, so be sure to use them wisely. A killer bio should include:

  • What your company does
  • A tone that shows off your cannabis brand’s personality
  • Contact information
  • A link

Although you are only allowed to add a single link on your bio, you can get creative with it for optimum results. You can link it to your homepage or change it up once in a while to reflect current relevant content on your website. Alternatively, you can use link-in-bio tools like the Buffer’s Shop Grid that allow you to turn your link into a catalog of resources.

You also need a profile picture that’s both eye-catching and recognizable. And since you can’t use a picture of weed due to the risk of account termination, the only other viable options left are your company logo, mascot, or logo mark. That said, you don’t have to limit yourself to these options. The key here is to use a profile image that is recognizable to your customers and doesn’t break the rules stipulated on Instagram’s community guidelines.

Find Your Visual Aesthetic

People follow brands that present a good visual aesthetic. That said, what works for one brand might not be the best fit for yours. Therefore, you need to think about which visual aesthetic you want to represent your brand, then create branding guidelines to help you stay consistent. 

You also need to pay attention to your color pallet. Some of the most successful brands on Instagram use the same color pallet for their photos, which helps them maintain a distinct style. Texts also play a key role in your content. You should, therefore, think about the font you’re using and how it relates to the content in your website and other marketing materials. 

The Bottom Line

Instagram has proven to be an effective marketing avenue for many brands, especially those selling to a younger, more tech-savvy audience. Although its community guidelines are somewhat restrictive, once you figure out a way to work around them, you can significantly boost your sales through Instagram marketing. 

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