Think you’re doing everything you can for your cannabis marketing strategy? You might not be. Even if you’re tapping all of the popular social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as getting in on other digital advertising methods, you may still be missing one thing: LinkedIn.
Yes, cannabis marketing on LinkedIn is a thing, and it is actually something that if you’re not doing already, you should start ASAP.
Tired of the various restriction regarding cannabis products and services and general posting on social media platforms like Instagram? Well, on LinkedIn, there is surprisingly much less to worry about which makes cannabis marketing on LinkedIn actually easier than any other social media platform.
This may come as a surprise to many who may have formerly known LinkedIn as a place for professionals and pre-professionals to network, stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends, and find opportunities. While LinkedIn is a great place for that, it also lends itself exceptionally well for cannabis marketers to connect with cannabis professionals.
In this article, we’ll be talking about how to take full advantage of LinkedIn as a cannabis business. We’ll also be discussing LinkedIn restrictions and policies, various LinkedIn features, and best practices.
But first, let’s talk more about why you should be including LinkedIn in your cannabis business’s marketing plan.
Why should you be marketing on LinkedIn? Well for starters, LinkedIn’s main demographic lends itself to the cannabis industry. LinkedIn currently has over 650 million members and of those, 303 million are active members, and of that 303 million, 40% percent of people use LinkedIn daily.
What’s special about these users is that not only are they largely professionals, pre-professionals, and other businesses, but a majority are highly educated. According to a recent study, 50% of Americans with a college degree use LinkedIn, and roughly 69% of LinkedIn users have a higher income than the average American.
These demographics align well with the average cannabis user in California, so no wonder the cannabis community on LinkedIn has been exploding over the past couple of years. In fact, LinkedIn has a large and active community centered around the cannabis industry.
In this large community, there are hundreds of separate groups and niches to tap into. Tapping into this gains you access to individuals who undoubtedly have an interest in cannabis, which will ultimately become leads.
Between its demographics and the slew of different cannabis companies using LinkedIn, it would be a shame to miss out on all of the amazing opportunities LinkedIn has to offer. But in order to do this, understanding LinkedIn’s restrictions and policies is crucial.
Luckily, there isn’t much to say here, and what there is to say is actually good news. As we said above, LinkedIn lends itself exceptionally well to marijuana businesses.
According to LinkedIn’s community guidelines that apply to cannabis, “The services (LinkedIn) should not be used for illegal activities, promoting illegal products or to violate the rights of others. This essentially means that as long as you’re not selling it on LinkedIn, you’re in the clear.
That leaves room for things like promoting events, publishing educational content, dispensary news and distributing other kinds of content like pictures and videos.
On top of this, marijuana businesses can even advertise on LinkedIn. That’s right, LinkedIn’s advertising policies are less strict than other social media platforms when it comes to cannabis, stating “Ads related to illegal, prescription, over-the-counter, or recreational drugs are prohibited.”
While this sounds harsh, what this really means is that as long as you are not trying to sell cannabis, you can but up ads such as educational ads or ads promoting the opening of a new dispensary location.
What makes this even better is that there are very few marijuana businesses taking advantage of this, so if you and your business hop on LinkedIn ads soon, then there will be less competition to get in your way.
Now that you know that you should be using LinkedIn and that LinkedIn is actually a cannabis-friendly social media platform, it’s time to talk about how to use LinkedIn effectively as a cannabis business.
As we said, LinkedIn lends itself to cannabis businesses, but not just because it’s relatively cannabis-friendly. In fact, LinkedIn has a number of features marijuana businesses and non-cannabis businesses alike will want to utilize if they want to make the most of the platform.
The first of these is LinkedIn’s Groups. Many LinkedIn users join groups in order to take part in communities that are interested in the same things that they are. Groups give people and businesses a private area to network and grow their operations, including cannabis businesses.
In fact, there are more than 850 cannabis groups on LinkedIn that cover a wide array of niches, interests, and locations. As a cannabis business, joining a number of these groups that most directly relate to your business and becoming active in them will help you make the most of LinkedIn’s platform.
The second of these features is LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator, which helps businesses leverage and build their network more effectively. There is a cost associated with this feature, but it’s worth it.
With the sales navigator, you can do things like target leads, companies you want to reach, engage with prospects, and more. The Sales Navigator is an especially powerful feature if you are a B2B business looking to in certain industries or who work at certain companies.
The third feature you’ll want to leverage is the ability to publish articles directly on LinkedIn. That’s right, formerly known as LinkedIn’s Pulse which has not been integrated into the platform itself, businesses can publish articles directly to LinkedIn.
This is especially useful for cannabis businesses because it allows you to demonstrate your knowledge without having to ask people to leave LinkedIn and visit your website.
The last feature that is particularly useful is LinkedIn’s Elevate, which is a great place for recruiting and building a strong employer brand. Like Sales Navigator, there is a small cost associated with this feature.
Besides utilizing LinkedIn’s features, making sure that your cannabis content includes some sort of media like links, pictures, or videos is a must.
These kinds of posts tend to receive higher engagement. On LinkedIn, videos are becoming especially popular. In fact, you can post videos up to 10 minutes in length on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn has noticed this preference for video, which is likely why they’ve launched a beta for their video platform LinkedIn Live, which allows for longer and even live videos.
With this, you’ll also want to make sure that you’re using hashtags. Yes, hashtags are old news, but utilizing them isn’t. You want to make sure that your posts and page show up when people search keywords related to your business. If you want to make sure of this, you’ll want to use hashtags-
Last but not least, you always want to encourage people to share your posts and link to other content in your post.
In this way, you’re followers and connections can do some of the heavy lifting for your and spread your content to their network of people.
On top of this, you’ll want to repay the favor by being active in your community and groups by sharing relevant posts and commenting on other people’s and other marijuana businesses’ posts.
With all that has been said, you are more than ready to seize the opportunity and implement LinkedIn into your cannabis business’s marketing strategy.
CEO and Co-founder of springbig