Social media marketing is not easy. There are so many things to think about and so many ways to screw up when trying to effectively reach your audience.
Most cannabis business owners are aware of the importance of social media marketing and how it fits within a larger marketing strategy. However, you may not realize that if you are using social media incorrectly, you could actually be damaging your brand and your reputation as a leader in the industry.
In an effort to make it easier, I’ve decided to look at some of the common mistakes that could be impacting your marketing mojo.
Mistake #1: Believing social media is totally free
While it is free to post content to your social profiles and engage with influencers and industry experts, this all takes time. And unless you’re happy working for free, time equals money. In other words, social media is not totally free.
Mistake #2: Expecting a huge impact without a ton of followers
The bottom line for social media, like any other marketing strategy, is your total return on investment. Yes, you can implement your strategy with only 10 followers, but your initial ROI with this audience will probably be pretty small.
Imagine it takes you 15 minutes to write a good post and submit it to your 10 followers. Now imagine creating the same post, but for 10,000 followers. Which one do you think will have a higher return on your time investment (assuming all those followers are genuinely interested in your brand)?
Mistake #3: Taking a “set it and forget it” approach
Social media is constantly changing with new platforms, trends and algorithms. If you want to be successful, you absolutely need to stay on top of these trends and be alert to changes in the algorithms that can affect your strategy.
Mistake #4: Thinking social media is just clicks, shares and likes.
Social Media Examiner, an online social media marketing resource, claims that 70% of all businesses receive zero return on their investment when it comes to social media marketing.
That’s a huge number, but most business owners are not successful on social media because they focus on clicks, impressions, number of fans and reach — things that don’t have a direct ROI. This will never help you pay the bills. While building your loyal tribe is important, fans, impressions and reach do not work at the bank. Instead, focus on gaining leads, reaching prospects and turning those prospects into loyal customers.
Mistake #5: Believing social is only good for socializing
Social media is different than Google in that people using Google are specifically searching for a product or solution. Social media is where people hang out, share stories, pictures and parts of (or all of) their lives. However, that doesn’t mean that you cannot acquire new customers or drive sales on social media. You must strike a delicate balance between being at a cocktail party and being a sales person.
Mistake #6: Not having fresh, relevant and engaging content to create lasting relationships and turn prospects into loyal customers
Here’s the deal: If you don’t have fresh, exciting content that your audience is craving then you won’t be able to create the kind of long-lasting relationships needed to turn a prospect into a customer. And it comes back to the balance of the cocktail party and the sales meeting.
No one wants to hang out with someone at a cocktail party who is only there to sell. You must engage with your audience first and foremost, so you can magnetize your prospects and encourage them to do business with you.
Mistake #7: Posting the same content over and over
If you’re only posting the same kinds of content over and over, your followers will inevitably start to tune you out. Also, if your content is pitch heavy and only focused on sales and promotions, you may come across as a used car salesman and could lose business.
Mistake #8: Too much promotion
In order to be successful, you must post more than just sales and promotions. There is a lot of competition in the cannabis industry and you need a way to stand out in the crowd. Constantly posting pictures of your products that are on sale may not be the best way to differentiate yourself from your competition. While I am the first to agree that “weed porn” is super important in our industry, set yourself apart by providing other content that has value.
Mistake #9: Not engaging with your followers
If your followers are asking you questions or leaving comments on your posts, respond to them! You should be spending as much time engaging with your followers as you are posting your own informative content and promotions. Let your personality shine.
Mistake #10: Not building real relationships
The key to social media success is to build real and lasting relationships with your prospects and customers so they are eager to trade their hard-earned dollars for your products or services. Reach out to your customers via social media and thank them for their support. Send birthday and anniversary wishes to your followers and give them a taste of your personality. Everyone loves recognition and social media is an amazing platform to facilitate relationships.
Mistake #11: Not tying social media marketing in with your email marketing
There is a huge opportunity in the cannabis industry to use email marketing wisely and effectively, and believe it or not, that includes tying social media into your larger strategy. Your email list is one of the most valuable assets you can create and nurture for your business. If you’re not encouraging your social media followers to sign up for your email list, then you could be missing out on an opportunity to build real relationships and deliver informative content as well as promotional material.
Alexa Divett is the founder of Alexa Divett LLC, a business coaching and consulting company helping cannabis business owners achieve success through the implementation of sound business practices and time-tested marketing techniques. She co-founded Maya Media Collective, an Oregon-based creative firm that specializes in the cannabis industry and also wrote the “Marijuana Millions” ebook series. She can be reached by email at email@example.com.