7 FREE Ways Your Cannabiz Can Increase Engagement on Instagram

7 FREE Ways Your Cannabiz Can Increase Engagement on Instagram 

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By: Rachel Garland

Has this ever happened to you?

You make a great graphic or take an awesome photo and decide to share it on Instagram…

You open the app and pull up the image

If you’re in the mood, maybe you’ll add a filter or play around with the lighting….

After going back and forth, you whip up something quickly for the caption….

And hit post….

The comments should be rolling in anytime now!

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You wait…….………………………………………………………

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And wait…….……………………………………………………

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And wait…….……………………………………………………

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Only to be greeted by silence.

If increasing engagement on Instagram feels like an uphill battle, you’re not alone.

Instagram made some major updates to its algorithm in 2018. In true form, the platform is being pretty sleuth about what the changes really involved.

But I have a feeling it centers on increasing their bottom line.

Which means more paid content and less organic content. Hence why you might be feeling like your posts may not be getting the same reach.

Social media marketing in the cannabis industry brings a whole new set of challenges.

Not only are you prohibited from taking advantage of paid advertising opportunities….

You’re also facing massive censorship.

We’ve seen a recent surge in Instagram shutting down cannabis accounts left and right.  

You might be thinking at this point…

Is it even worth it?

Well, first off, you are reading this, so that says something.

But perhaps more importantly, Instagram is home to over 1 billion monthly users. That is A LOT of people! Sharing cannabis content has never been more important. There are countless people who can benefit from this plant.

Yet, there are still so many people in the dark.

We each have the opportunity to make an impact. Instagram might be trying to restrict us...

But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be there! 

The opportunities are too enormous to ignore.

Here are 7 FREE ways your cannabiz can increase Instagram engagement.

#1. Know Who You’re Talking To

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One of the biggest reasons cannabis businesses are struggling on Instagram?

They have no idea who they’re actually talking to.

Accounts that understand their audience and truly listens to their needs build better, strong relationships because of it.

When you follow someone, you’re doing it for a specific reason.

For example, maybe it’s to:

  • Watch Entertaining Videos

  • Learn How to Grow Your Own

  • Feel Inspired by Motivating Stories

  • View Gorgeous Exotic Locations

If you’re going to have real influence, your cannabiz cannot be everything to everyone.

Although the cannabis industry might seem like the Wild Wild West right now (and in some ways, it is) that is all the more reason to hone in on what problem you’re solving and for whom.

The clearer you are, the bigger your impact will be.

#2. Create an Engaging Profile

You know who you’re trying to reach….

The only question is, how do you connect with them?

Your profile on Instagram should speak directly to your target audience’s needs.

This is your opportunity to say who you are, what you do, and why you do it. But you only have a maximum of 150 characters (not words) to do this.

Therefore, you’ll need to keep it brief.

Avoid the temptation to just spell out all of the cool things your cannabiz offers.

Instead, put your audience’s needs at the forefront.

What problem are you solving for them?

Spell it out. Don’t be shy!

And remember - while it is your profile, it's not about you, it’s about them.

#3. Add a Call-to-Action

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Someone visits your profile, other than following you, what steps do you want them to take next?

This is one of the most important questions to consider when marketing your cannabiz on Instagram.

Too many brands get caught up in posting that they lose sight of their goals.

When you understand what you want to achieve, you can take actionable steps towards crushing your goals:

For example, do you want more people to?

  • Download your free resource

  • Book an appointment

  • Sign up for your webinar

  • Subscribe to your newsletter

  • Purchase a product

Calls-to-Action (CTA) are one of your most powerful tools for increasing engagement on Instagram.

Place relevant CTAs in your profile to increase followers to leads.

#4. Continually Ask for Feedback

At this point, you know that catering to your target audience’s needs is high priority.

But how do you make sure you actually understand what they want?

It’s simple:

Ask your audience and take their feedback to heart.

Too many cannabis brands assume they know what their audience wants. However, this is a huge mistake!

While we might be spot on with our guesses sometimes, by not asking our followers for their feedback, we loose out on opportunities to build deeper connections, spark new ideas, and help more people

People engage with content they care about.

Show your audience you’re there for them and they’ll grow with you. 

#5. Developing a Consistent Branding Style

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What is one thing all influencers have in common?

They’ve developed their own unique voice, style, and aesthetics. In fact, you can spot their posts immediately on your feed.

Why?

It screams them! Their essence is portrayed in every post they share. Whether they’re the hilarious prankster or the helpful DIY mom, they own their niche.

Creating a unified branding style will help your cannabiz stand out from the pack.

In fact, it’s key to building your tribe!

Keep in mind there will be plenty of people who will not resonate with your brand, for whatever reason.

These are not your people.

Trust that if you are truly coming from an authentic place and taking actionable steps to share your message, the right people are going to connect with you.

#6. Use the Most Relevant Hashtags

Another way to make sure your target audience finds you is by using relevant hashtags.

Hashtags work like search terms on the platform.

Think of them as your opportunity to reach new eyes, organically. The strategic use of hashtags can lead targeted fans directly to your page.

However, there have been some major hashtag changes on Instagram

It was previously thought that the more hashtags you included the better. This is no longer the case.

Instagram is cracking down on repetitive and over-hashtag use.

Which means you’ll want to incorporate fewer but more specific hashtags.

For example, let’s pretend you own a cannabis travel agency.

Instead of just including the hashtag #cannabis for every post, focus on what the image involves.

In this case, let’s say you're sharing a photo of a cannabis farm tour in Humboldt County. You would want to use location specific hashtags like #californiacannabis or #humboldtgrown for example.

The key here is quality over quantity for hashtags.

#7. Take Advantage of Tags

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Did you know you can tag up to 20 accounts in every post?

Tags are a fantastic tool for increasing engagement. With Instagram limiting the reach of organic content, it’s vital to make sure people are actually seeing your posts.

One way you can make sure that happens is by tagging other users directly in the post.

While it might seem like a silly gesture, or that you are even bugging someone, as long as what you are sharing is relevant and valuable, they will be happy you notified them!

The key here is balance.

Tagging someone here and there is flattering. Tagging someone every day, multiple times a day, is annoying.

Find that happy medium and watch your engagement grow!

 

These are just a few of the most powerful (and FREE) ways your cannabiz can increase engagement on Instagram.

While it’s not easy to operate in a space with so many barriers, the risks are well worth the rewards. This is more than an industry. Cannabis is about changing lives.

Together, we are shaping history!

 

I want to hear from you – what has your experience been as a cannabis brand on Instagram? Are there other areas you’re struggling with or things that you’ve found particularly helpful?

Let’s chat about it!

Leave your feedback in the comments. 


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AUTHOR: RACHEL GARLAND

Rachel Garland is the founder of Women of Cannabiz. Passionate about cannabis, entrepreneurship, and remote work – she launched WomenofCannabiz.com to elevate women worldwide. Her mission is to help women find where passion and purpose can align to manifest their visions to reality. When she isn’t interviewing cool cannabis women or sharing how to grow your cannabiz online, you can find her anywhere with palm trees and warm beaches.