Why Are Cannabis Influencers Important?

Here’s why social media influencers are a tremendous tool for reaching niche audiences

What Is a Social Media Influencer?

As the name implies, influencers use social media platforms to influence and interact with established networks of followers that can range from the thousands to the high millions. These influencers can include celebrities, gurus, experts, commentators and, of course, those who have devoted themselves to building a social media presence and personality. 

How Can Social Media Influencers Help You?

When it comes to promoting cannabis, using influencers should be a key component of any social media strategy. Why? Because cannabis is still illegal at the federal level. 

This means national advertisers, including Google, and major social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have strict rules regarding cannabis that include not being able to show ads to anyone under 21 years of age, a huge percentage of social users.

However, it’s a lot more challenging for advertisers to stop people from listening to word-of-mouth recommendations from admired influencers. That’s why between 2019 and 2021, the influencer advertising market exploded from $6.5 million in value to more than $13.5 billion.

And the power of influencers doesn’t just benefit cannabis. Almost all current markets are using influencers to act as brand ambassadors and to promote their companies for compensation through what is called “affiliate marketing.” 

Affiliate Marketing 101: A Win-Win for Influencers and Brands

As consumers, the associations we have with brands help us better decide which products to spend our hard-earned money on. Still, would you rather invest in a brand based on name recognition or the recommendation of someone you know, trust or admire? 

The truth is: Even if you are a die-hard Coca-Cola fan, you might seriously consider trying a new soda if your favorite musician said it was his favorite drink. Now, imagine that this musician has more than 500,000 followers on Instagram and is being paid to promote this soda he loves so much. This is called “affiliate marketing,” which is one of the most powerful tools in the marketing arsenal of any brand. 

With affiliate marketing, a company can pay willing influencers to advertise products to their followers and, in turn, become steadfast brand ambassadors for a whole range of products. As for cannabis, these outspoken advocates of a company can help broadcast the best new business and products and easily monetize the process. To this end, influencers are the best at selling themselves and their uniquely influential personalities. 

Who Are Some Notable Cannabis Influencers on Social Media?

Some of the most notable influencers include ones who are trying to change the cannabis industry for the better—from business moguls and plant experts to growers and cannabis journalists.

These influencers promote an entire lifestyle around cannabis that resonates with lovers of the plant. Some notable influencers include: 

  • Rapper, cannabis advocate and venture investor Snoop Dogg;
  • Actor, comedian and Houseplant founder Seth Rogen;
  • Actor, comedian and podcast host Joe Rogan;
  • Singer-songwriter, cannabis advocate and Willie’s Reserve founder Willie Nelson;
  • Rapper, cannabis mogul and Cookies founder and CEO Berner;
  • Cannabis industry consultant and Allay Cannabis Consulting co-founder and CEO Kim Stuck;
  • Cannabis reviewer and YouTube personality Haley420;
  • RAW rolling paper and smoking accessories owner and CEO Josh Kesselman;
  • Female entrepreneur and Black cannabis advocate Lizzy Jeff;
  • Cannabis journalist and Marijuana Moment editor-in-chief Tom Angell;
  • Drug researcher, advocate and TV host Hamilton Morris; and
  • Grasslands founder and CEO Ricardo Baca.
What Are Viable Social Media Platforms for Cannabis? 

Cannabis influencers use many different platforms to make a mark, but some of the most important are Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. In fact, Instagram is home to more than a half-million active and current influencers who have built a viable audience and who are promoting products. 

This may sound like a lot, but it makes sense considering that the use of Instagram’s image-based grid to promote a curated lifestyle and all the branding within it leaves a lasting impression. With that, more and more companies are ensuring that influencers are part of their broader marketing strategy. But what’s the best way to hire these influencers? 

Here’s How to Connect With Social Influencers

Many of these now-essential influencers have become so popular that their time is actually money. Most influencers have agents or representatives and work through professional channels to sell their influence, so if you want help promoting your product, you need to know the right people instead of just, say, sliding into the DMs.

Finding the right marketing team, with publicists who work with these influencers on a first-name basis, is the first step to fostering lasting relationships that will not only help sell more of your products or services, but help you elevate your brand to the upper echelons of cannaculture. 

Do You Need Help Finding Influencers?

Grasslands is a bespoke marketing and public-relations agency that deals specifically with cannabis influencers ranging from rappers-turned-entrepreneurs to political changemakers. As a Journalism-Minded Agency™, Grasslands grew out of a long history of reporting on cannabis and, in turn, helped spotlight some of the most influential people in the business. We know our influencers, and we’re ready to help you make a connection. Let’s talk. 

Why Is the Right Cannabis Social Media So Necessary?

Getting around advertising limitations and reaching specific audiences start with social media

Table of Contents
What Is Cannabis Social Media?

Good cannabis social media starts with creating specialized content that fits a variety of platforms and reaches niche audiences, all while meeting community guidelines and cannabis advertising rules. 

How Can Social Media Help Your Cannabis Business?

Get this: In 2020 alone, the average daily social media use by people around the world was upward of three to four hours per day. If that doesn’t seem like a lot, you must really like social media. But just think about that number in terms of ad time—just think about how many moments you have to get your messages, products, services, solutions and brand identity in front of specific audiences.

This is why social media content is one of the first steps toward successfully marketing cannabis businesses. Because cannabis is illegal at the federal level, it is mired in strict advertising rules. This means using direct social channels and engaging posts is the best way to reach specific audiences and develop what is called an outbound marketing model.

Outbound marketing relates to using frequent messages to draw users to your brand, site, product and / or service. And by using social media to promote your differentiators to niche audiences that range from completely curious to savvy, well-informed and knowledgeable, you can generate lasting brand awareness that means tons of leads and real conversions. 

What Is the Best Cannabis Social Media Strategy?

An actionable social media strategy starts with knowing your audience and delivering them something so relevant, relatable, poignant and topical—OK, maybe it’s not that simple. But by using a dedicated social media content calendar and area for content ideation and copy, you’ll have a place to start. 

Each post should strike the right balance between covering your business and meeting your audiences where they are and with things they actually care about. Because when a user cares, they are more likely to engage and share. 

What Is the Right Time to Post on Social Media Platforms?

When creating spreadable content that engages, you must consider the logistics of social media. Despite what you might think, people are not on the platforms at all times of the day. Posting when the potential for engagement is at its highest will result in more impressions, likes, clicks, shares and, in the long run, sweet conversions.

Here’s a general quick rundown of the best times to post:

  • Facebook: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.;
  • Instagram: Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.;
  • Twitter: Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m, Tuesday-Thursday from 9 to 11 a.m.;
  • Linkedin: Tuesday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon.
How Should You Create Cannabis Social Content?

Drumming up engaging, spreadable content that is worth sharing is no easy task, but start by coming up with good ideas for posts that relate to an entire month’s worth of content, then ideate posts around specific information, fun facts, important events, holidays, anniversaries and business insights. 

At the same time, you can create posts that are specific to the social platform you want to use. Logically, a post on Instagram could revolve around a striking image. A tweet on Twitter should be short, sweet and eye-catching, if not funny. And a post on LinkedIn should be much more professional and focused on providing useful business information.

By understanding our target audiences then going down the line of target platforms ranging from giants such as Facebook all the way to cannabis-specific spaces such as Vangst, you will develop a well-rounded series of posts that launch your brand, your voice and your content in every corner of the marketplace. The best part? It can all be free of cost, unless you’re not careful.

Does Your Cannabis Social Media Post Meet Community Standards? 

Because cannabis is still illegal, businesses are not able to use social media platforms to solicit products, in words or in pictures. Other advertising approaches, such as gearing ads toward those under age 21 or making medical claims, are also not allowed.

These limitations fall into more-specific community guidelines and standards that all platforms have established in some regard to attempt to control the behavior of social users. While many of these restrictions are perfectly reasonable, if not wholly necessary, many of them can unfairly target legitimate cannabis businesses. Being flagged under these standards can result in shadowbans, blocked posts and deleted pages. 

By carefully understanding the guidelines of the social overlords, cannabis brands can still use these channels to grow a massive following and buzz. Or they can get someone to do that for them. Enter the canna-influencers.

Why Are Cannabis Social Media Influencers So Valuable?

For brands that are trying to garner interest among everyone from cannacurious, first-time consumers to seasoned aficionados, social media is a key component. Of course, in trying to avoid gatekeepers from flagging and killing off cannabis-related posts and pages, influencers are another powerful ally.

Cannabis influencers use social media to build up their own brand and use it to become an affiliate ambassador of other social media users, new products and up-and-coming companies. With the ability to influence a swath of like-minded consumers, these social stars are able to promote cannabis alongside an army of faithful followers. 

Why? Because word-of-mouth recommendations from a trusted source—whether it’s a friend or a cool influencer with a lifestyle that consumers desire—are one of the best forms of marketing. This same approach applies to reaching people via traditional media or even in person. 

Have You Found the Right Cannabis Social Media Partners?

Now that you understand the value of social media marketing for cannabis, you need to get started. Finding an agency that has fluency in not only the ever-changing cannabis marketplace, but also the ever-evolving nature of social media will give you a tremendous advantage over the competition.

Grasslands is driven to develop powerful cannabis content, including for top brands such as Cookies, Willie’s Reserve, Cheeba Chews and others. Let’s talk about helping your business next.