Here Are 3 Apps To Step Up Your Social Media Engagement

Social media has impacted our lives both personally and when it comes to raising your awareness about your business or brand.

With a whopping 600 million users on Instagram, another 1.68 billion on Facebook, and 319 million on Twitter many people are using social media to their advantage either for their business or own personal life.   So if they can do it, why can’t you?

Here are three helpful apps to step up your social media game!

Canva

social-media-apps

A call to action can help boost engagement. Turn your product pics into graphic masterpieces with Canva.

Created in 2009 out of Sydney, Australia the app has gained massive success thanks for its easy to use editing system and the fact that it’s FREE. Learn more on their website.  

 

 

Instafollow

social-media-apps

Instafollow or it’s Twitter equivalent, UnfollowerStats, allows you to check when people follow and unfollow your social media accounts. This is optimal for businesses who want to familiarize themselves with what posts are and aren’t working with their demographic.

Currents

Google’s Currents is an app that helps the average joe keep up to date with the newest trends in what’s happening around the world. This app helps many social media influencers, especially journalists and political commentators, remain relevant when they post.

What’s your go-to app for engagement? 

Cannabis In Vegas Delivery Direct To You

Cannabis In Vegas delivery direct to you is the Amazon of marijuana. It doesn’t matter what dispensary or brand you prefer, Cannabis In Vegas offers discreet delivery or pick up directly from Nevada’s best dispensaries to you. The concept for Cannabis In Vegas came from the talented GreenRush team and our very own team, who saw the need to highlight the enthusiastic cannabis community. Someone made the argument that the unique cannabis community culture that is thriving in Vegas would fade away with adult use recreational marijuana use. I disagree.

The Cannabis In Vegas community in Vegas will continue to grow with the increase in cannabis consumers in the Las Vegas market. Our community is unique thanks to the hospitality focus of the Las Vegas ecosystem, where world class customer service comes naturally. Las Vegas is a connoisseur city, where premium brands and services are standard. A direct to you solution for cannabis products serves the local medical marijuana patients and marijuana tourists. All dispensaries can benefit from easy cannabis consumer discovery, which is the primary solution that this platform offers. The win/win is for dispensaries and brands, who are charged nothing to be part of the community.

By offering a technology solution that unites all brands, dispensaries, and consumers, Cannabis In Vegas offers one stop shopping with concierge customer service. From the award-winning cannabis flower cultivated by Tahoe Hydro to battle born brand Remedy, there is something for everyone in the community. To receive 20% off your first order of $100 or more, just use code VEGAS420 on Cannabis In Vegas

The Power of The Unicorn

From a mystical land, unicorns have appeared in literature as symbols of hope and magic. 

That’s the spirit we place in all aspects of our work here at Social Media Unicorn. From creating and producing video to crafting campaigns to grow revenue, our team works with cannabis and luxury brands offering a magical suite of creative marketing, sales, and public relations services.

Our team of unicorns are united by three core values that help cannabis brands achieve their goals.

Read on to learn what makes our team at Social Media Unicorn so unique! 

social-media-unicorn

Spirit of Service

Let’s face it, as the emerging legal cannabis space rapidly expands across the country, there are roadblocks that can often stand in the way of getting your cannabusinesss noticed. We lead with positivity and optimism. In the toughest circumstances we start with a smile and determination, knowing that we have an entire team supporting us. Not only that, we have established relationships with reps from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. There is no limit to our creativity. Serving cannabis brands throughout the United States and in Canada.

Attitude Is Everything

social-media-unicor

Attitude is something you can’t teach people. 24/7, 365 our team has a heart for serving others. We have unicorns on the ground in Las Vegas, Denver, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Phoenix. We know our markets and we know how to get results.   

Entrepreneurial Spirit

social-media-unicorn

Rather than challenges, here at Social Media Unicorn, we see opportunities for ourselves and our clients. We are entrepreneurs at heart, creatively problem solving and exploiting opportunities in under served markets. Social Media Unicorn offers full concierge celebrity dispensary appearance services. We have helped recreational and medical marijuana dispensaries from Spokane, Washington to Las Vegas, Nevada achieve front page news exposure with a variety of cannabis celebrity appearances.

The State of The Nevada Cannabis Industry

The state of the Nevada cannabis industry is unique compared to all other cannabis markets in the United States today. As we head into the precipice of recreational adult use marijuana in the state of Nevada there are many fears that the sense of community we enjoy will fade into a thing of the past. Something that old timers will sit around and wax poetic about, sharing stories with all the young tokers around us. No matter your thoughts on where the Nevada cannabis industry is headed, the one thing that most will agree on is that Nevada has one of the most highly regulated cannabis markets in the United States. These regulations protect us from products that can harm consumers and keep non consuming cannabis consumers safe from inadvertently consuming an infused brownie.

Dispensaries: Thanks to Nevada’s liberal reciprocity program with every state in the union, anyone with a medical card or doctor’s recommendation is able to make a purchase at a medical marijuana dispensary in the state of Nevada. With just 55 dispensaries in the entire state, a mere 10 of which are in Northern Nevada, these dispensaries represent what Nevada has always been known for: unique experiences. When you come to Las Vegas you come seeking a unique experience. You want to be swept away in a manufactured Italy at the Palazzo or a cleaner version of NYC over at New York New York. The dispensaries in Nevada are no different. There are boutique dispensaries offering a relaxed buying experience like Sahara Wellness, where I often lovingly compare it to buying weed from your grandma. Over at Reef Dispensaries it is a well run corporate operation whose retail experiences resembles the Apple store empire. At the Las Vegas strip’s only dispensary (so far), Essence, they offer a professional, clean experience with a wide range of Nevada’s finest products. No matter the experience that you seek, Nevada’s dispensary have you covered.

Production: The shelves of Nevada’s dispensaries are notably bare when compared to more mature markets, but this is changing at a rapid pace. Established cannabis brands Dixie, Incredibles, Moxie, Caviar Gold, Manna Molecular Science, and many others are partnering with savvy production operations in the state of Nevada to bring more diverse products to Nevada cannabis consumers. Newer brands like Cannabiotix and Evergreen Organics are creating quality products that have cannabis consumers coming back for more. From Pure O&M’s pure distillate to Silver State Wellness’ food quality laboratory, Nevada is attracting some of the top post production talent in the cannabis industry. For investors it is in the production space where the vast majority of opportunity exists. A savvy investor can bring a concept and funding to these talented chemists, who can then take your dream from idea to reality. For organizations like ours we handle the branding, packaging, marketing, public relations, promotion, and sales and service of the product to make it easy for investors to kick back and collect checks. Securing the right production partner can be time intensive, but it well worth the time to ensure a long and mutually beneficial business relationship.

Cultivation: Just a few years ago every cannabis investor in Nevada was sure that they had the best cultivator. Given that this was a largely unproven black market, it was only a matter of time before the true talent rose to the top. Cultivating fire product with a dozen plants in your basement didn’t mean cultivators knew how to efficiently run a commercial operation, which has become evident in the swift turn over for cultivation operations who never made it to market or were put up for sale shortly after their debut crop made it to the dispensaries. For brands who have focused on cultivating the best product, they have reaped swift rewards. Tahoe Hydroponics, a boutique cultivation based in Carson City on the shores of Lake Tahoe, swept the November 2016 Jack Herer Cup in all three categories of flower. Cannabiotix and Matrix have been earning top shelf accolades by dispensaries and consumers throughout the Nevada market thanks to their dedication to quality products in appealing packaging.

Delivery: For a long while in the industry you had two options for delivery: creating your own delivery process or hiring Blackbird Go. The Cannabis In Vegas marketplace has transformed the landscape by creating a cannabis marketplace where you can easily purchase a bong, premium flower, and tasty infused edibles on one platform. Think of it as the Amazon of marijuana, all with free delivery options to all areas of Las Vegas. It’s the one stop shopping that you need to simplify your cannabis experience in Las Vegas.

Ancillary: Las Vegas is an ideal gateway for all things cannabis culture, with talent in the community from a wide range of states and countries contributing to the diversity of products and experiences available. From the Travel Joint, Las Vegas’ marijuana friendly Air BNB to Cloud Wars, a cutting edge glass blowing company doing big things for cannabis consumers in Las Vegas and around the world. Thanks to the huge hospitality and alcohol markets in Las Vegas there is an abundance of talent who understand customer service.

Today the Nevada cannabis market’s outlook is one of the best in the industry, with opportunity at every level. Don’t hesitate to reach out to any of our unicorns on the Social Media Unicorn team to discover more about how you can get involved in the Nevada cannabis community. Give us a call at 702-812-6555 or email krista@socialmediaunicorn.com.

Despite Legalization, Anti-Cannabis Marketing Censorship Still In Full Effect

Despite marijuana legalization sweeping the nation, it seems anti-cannabis marketing remains in full effect. While more than half the states in the U.S. now allow medical cannabis, and a growing number of states are adopting full legalization, many companies fearful of a federal government crackdown, are censoring what we can share online about cannabis.  

It seems Twitter has started censoring searches for “marijuana” and “cannabis.” Searches for things like “opioids” are showing up just fine, the Joint Blog reports.

“Without warning, Twitter recently instituted a ‘sensitive content’ filter that is automatically turned on for all users, and the settings to disable it are hidden”, states a Change.org petition, started by Marijuana Majority. “As a result, queries for topics that Twitter has designated “sensitive” yield zero results on the search tab for latest tweets.”

“Censoring marijuana-related searches prevents serious people from communicating about one of the most prominent policy issues of our time,” the petition, which is addressed to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey stated. You can read more info on the petition by clicking here.

Coincidentally, here at Social Media Unicorn we also experienced an issue with censorship while attempting to send an email newsletter to some of our clients via MailChimp.

We sent the below query to the MailChimp staff after one of our messages was flagged for violation of the “acceptable use” policy.

“I appreciate that you do not allow pharmaceutical sales or the sales of illegal substances, but we are a licensed cannabis extraction product sending our weekly menu to inventory control managers at licensed cannabis dispensaries in the state of Nevada. Since medical marijuana is currently legal in 32 states and the District of Columbia, we’d be pretty surprised if you consider medical marijuana products to be illegal.”

Well we were very surprised to receive the below response, stating legal cannabis menus were somehow a violation. 

anti-marijuana-marketing

A real world example of anti-cannabis marketing.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Livestreaming For Business

From Periscope to Facebook and Instagram, livestreaming video is becoming more and more popular, particularly when marketing your new small business. Here are some quick tips to ensure you get the most bang for your broadcast. 

Social Media Unicorn Livestreaming Tips:

Initiate Conversations With New Arrivals

When you first start your live broadcast, note it will take some time to get an audience. Don’t be discouraged. One way to keep things going before you get a sizable audience is to start a casual  conversation welcoming new arrivals. Having the ability to ask questions, make comments and interact with you, plus the other viewers, can have a profound impact on your live stream.

Mention Options to Connect With You

What's better than a #Unicorn? A leprechaun riding a unicorn. Happy #stpatricksday #stpattysday #humor #funny #magical

A post shared by Social Media Unicorn (@socialmediaunicorn) on

While you have a captive audience, be sure to use this chance to cross promote your other ventures including your Twitter, Instagram, blog posts, or other upcoming projects you are working on! 

Broadcast Longer 

The longer you broadcast, the more likely people are to discover and invite their friends on Facebook to watch the video. Facebook recommends that you go live for at least 10 minutes, and you can stay live for up to four hours.

When Livestreaming, It’s Best To Avoid the Following:

Don’t Stream With Poor Connection 

Before you go live, be sure you have a strong signal. A 4G connection is good, but WiFi works best.  If you have weak signal, the ‘Go Live’ button will be grayed out, so don’t even think about it. 

Don’t Leave Your Other Apps Running 

As previously mentioned, to ensure the best quality video shut down all of your other running apps prior to starting your broadcast. Adding in a snazzy overview on the topic will capture fans’ attention! 

Don’t Abruptly End Your Broadcast

As previously mentioned, planning is important! Make sure your broadcast has a clear beginning, middle and ending. Be sure to use a closing line to signal you are wrapping up. 

Regardless of the platform you choose, these fast tips will ensure you have great success with your next livestream. 

Professional Photos of Marijuana: How Hard Can Weed Really Be?

Taking professional photos of marijuana can seem easy to outsiders who aren’t familiar with the detail that great marijuana photography requires. Many a wedding or food photographer has been taken down by a cultivation that overwhelms newbie photogs. As in all great photography, the devil is in the details and quality professional photos of marijuana require the skillful eye of an experienced marijuana photographer and connoisseur. Just this last weekend our team spent an entire day outdoors working with Shannon Dorn of Dope Foto in Las Vegas to capture the true essence of a new marijuana infused product that will be hitting Nevada dispensaries this week. Here are some tips to help you identify a credible professional marijuana photographer: 

MARIJUANA EXPERT: Your marijuana photographer should be familiar with the different stages of marijuana cultivation, the marijuana extraction process, and what the marijuana consumer will be purchasing. If they don’t know the basics of strain development move onto someone else. After all, experts seem expensive until you try an amateur. If you are a serious marijuana brand it is worth investing in the visual images that will determine if a consumer will make purchases of your product.  

UNDERSTANDS YOUR TARGET MARKET: A professional marijuana photographer will take the time to fully understand who your target market is and how they will engage with the brand. They should provide you with some example shots and give you a diverse portfolio of work they have created recently. If they are still bragging about a photo shoot they did five years ago, run! You want someone who understands the technology to create great photography today. Photography- like all creative industries- changes month to month, so relying on old school techniques and technology won’t get you the best visual product. 

LIFESTYLE EXPERT: I always look for a professional marijuana photographer who is dialed into the marijuana community and understands the detail of the marijuana lifestyle in each market. It doesn’t matter if you are in Denver, Seattle, or Las Vegas- there is a unique cannabis community and you want your brand’s photos to represent the community. For example: in Las Vegas the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign is over done. It’s the last thing you’d want in your marketing to our cannabis community because it’s so kitschy. You want to endear your brand to the local community, so they warmly embrace and want to share your images. 

If you find yourself in Las Vegas and are looking for a capable, trustworthy marijuana photographer we have worked with Shannon Dorn at Dope Foto several times with great success, so feel free to connect with her! 

5 Tricks To Selling Cannabis In An Evolving Marketplace

The cannabis industry continues to gain legitimacy across the country and with that, comes the challenges of integrating a formerly black market business into the legitimate economy. Obviously the traditional methods of selling cannabis products are far removed from the days of old. We now have dispensaries connecting consumers with an array of cannabis products. How does one get their products into those dispensaries? Here are a few tricks to selling weed like a pro:

Identify With Your Prospective Dispensary

This is critical. You must easily and quickly be able to get to the heart of what the dispensary needs and values. Asking high value, sometimes tough questions will help identify the problems a dispensary is currently trying to solve. Perhaps they are lacking in a particular variety of cannabis product. While you may have a host of offerings, getting to the root of what they actually need is crucial to sales success. By identifying crucial needs, you are no longer a salesperson – you are a problem solver.  

Practice Good Listening Skills

Take note of the following quote: We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. While this quote is originally attributed to the Greek philosopher Epictetus, it’s been repeated with gusto through generations and for good reason: as soon as you begin talking you cease listening. Dial down the ‘sales pitch’ and listen to what people are actually trying to tell you. You could be speaking to the wrong person or spending way too long talking about a product that has no relevance to their consumers. Pay attention to how much talking you’re doing. If you catch yourself over-talking, stop explaining and start asking. A probing question followed by solid listening will get you further than the best elevator pitch.

Appreciate Your Product

Really get to know your product and what makes it stand out. Sometimes you will only have mere moments of a dispensary’s time and you need to be able to concisely share why consumers will want your product and what sets it apart from the rest. You should be well prepared to answer any product questions you are asked quickly and concisely. Much like the listening skills mentioned above, a long winded showcase of your product isn’t likely to win over a prospective dispensary, a concise explanation will. In kind, you also need to be aware of your product’s competition and how your product compares. This is not an invitation to knock another product, but to appreciate what makes yours so special and how it can fill a need the dispensary has.

Keep Detailed Records

During your exploration of a potential dispensary, it may become apparent that you do not have the solutions to their immediate needs and that’s OK, it happens. When faced with objections or a sales impasse, it’s crucial that you do not check out. Continue to learn about this prospect, what motivates them, what drives them, and what solutions they need both now and in the future. Solutions may unfold in the future that you can now capitalize upon. Alternatively, many brands appreciate learning about the needs of their customers. Notate all the decision makers and people you spoke with. Information fills your arsenal for sales tomorrow, even if you don’t get the sale today.

Always Keep In Touch

Relationships need nurturing and that’s essentially what sales is: building relationships with potential customers. All customers, either established or potential ones, should receive contact from you regularly. Focus on your past experiences with them to check in on how they are doing, provide new solutions as you uncover them, or share with them a relevant piece of information. Contact should be brief and useful, but the most relevant component is consistency. By fostering your relationships on a regular basis you are establishing trust and community, something that is critically important, especially in a community minded business such as cannabis. Keep in touch and they will respond in kind.

Gone are the days of black market sales and we are in a new age of regulated sales. While this is a welcome change, it definitely takes the aspect for the sales relationship to another level. If your brand needs help with sales and service, contact Social Media Unicorn and let us help.

 

Nevada Cannabis Testing & Regulation for Investors

Cannabis cultivation, production, and dispensaries are all highly regulated through state mandated licensing. With less than 60 cultivations and productions in the entire state and 55 dispensaries currently open in the state of Nevada (as of March 2017) this highly regulated tourist friendly market serves over 25,000 state licensed medical marijuana patients, offers full medical marijuana card holder reciprocity for the estimated over 250,000 licensed medical marijuana patients from other states, and will soon service the over 40 million tourists who visit Las Vegas each year with legal recreational adult use of marijuana starting in summer 2017. All inputs from soil to water to completed product are tested extensively to ensure consumer safety. In addition to the extensive state required testing of the product throughout the process, Nevada is a zero loss state, requiring tracking of the cannabis from seed to sale, offering several checks and balances through state mandated laws that provide investors unique layers of protection to track product. Nevada’s state licensing requires that all employees, sub contractors, and owners become licensed and registered agents of the facilities that they work with or represent, so even the individuals are pre-screened, offering investors yet another lawyer of risk management.

Promoting Your Cannabis Business: Best Strategies

It’s an age old problem applied to the burgeoning cannabis marketplace: you have a product, service or idea and you want people to know about it. We are in a digital age where consumers are making decisions on who to engage with through active conversations. We hear about 4 strategies for promoting a cannabis business; marketing, advertising, public relations, and branding. They all mean the same thing right? Wrong. Let’s break these communication strategies down to their root elements so we can learn how to use them effectively.

Cannabis Marketing

This is the overarching concept of giving consumers something to consider. Marketing consists of determining what you want to sell and how it fits into the marketplace. The name of your product, the packaging it comes in, the price point you’ve decided to sell it at, all of this is marketing. Cannabis businesses have complete control over this part of the conversation, it is up to them to craft it all. Basically, you as the cannabis business are standing on a stage and unveiling a complete solution to a crowd of potential consumers. Apple’s iPhone unveiling is a great example of this.

Cannabis Advertising

The product you have crafted is complete and ready for consumers to purchase. Advertising is a traditional form of telling them to do so. Advertising is creating a specific message, or elevator pitch, about what you are offering and why they should buy it. Again, the control of the message comes from the cannabis business and is projected onto the consumer. Before digital communication and social media, repetition is how you got the job done. Consumers would be bombarded by the same message over and over.

Cannabis Public Relations

This is where the conversation really begins to diverge from a cannabis business projecting onto the masses to a bit more of a conversational tone. Public relations is at its core, the nurturing of a  relationship between said cannabis business and its potential consumers. Using third party sources, the cannabis business gets other people to talk about them within the crowd instead of to the crowd. The message is still crafted by the cannabis business, but it has taken on  a more conversational approach, with consumers hearing about the cannabis business through multiple third party channels instead of directly from the business itself.

Cannabis Branding

In marketing and advertising the cannabis business is broadcasting what they have to offer. In public relations the message begins to spread from within the crowd. Taken one step further we have branding. Branding is where the cannabis business shares not only what they do, but who they are as a business. This component is crucial to today’s consumer in digital media age. This puts the power of the relationship in the hands of the consumer. Those who identify with your business will choose to engage with it. A great example would be the story of Toms. Why does this matter? Because this relationship is one with the highest quality return. These engaged consumers will not only buy more, but do so more often along with becoming your greatest advocates and spreading your message through the crowd. Consumers rallied behind Toms because of who they are as a business, not strictly for what they made.

Spreading the word about your cannabis business is a multi layers approach, but these four key strategies are a great jumping off point. Need help promoting your cannabis business? Contact Social Media Unicorn and let us take your cannabis business to the masses.