If you’re interested in managing a brand’s social media presence or increasing the engagement on your personal social media accounts, there are 10 basic laws you must abide by to succeed! Read more
Cannabis culture is always in flux. With a community that spans nearly every possible consumer demographic, it can be hard to nail down trends, but a glut of new products on the west coast has shed some light on the cannabis industry’s not-so-distant future.
Read on for our favorite new trends – ones we believe will continue growing well into next year.
We have talked before about the trend of super tiny doses that is picking up steam all across America. The euphoric high of THC doesn’t appeal to everyone, after all, so it’s only natural that low-dosage mints, candies, baked goods and beverages are beginning to fly off the shelves in every market.
No matter who your brand appeals to, it’s possible for you to embrace the microdosing trend in some way. Offering a more diverse product line will only strengthen your longevity as a cannabis company, as you’ll be accessible to a new demographic.
Modern cannabis consumers don’t want to be sold to. They want to create their own routine with useful cannabis infused products. That being said, a high dosage of THC won’t always be enough to woo patients and recreational users, who are continuing to learn more about minor cannabinoids. Custom ratios of cannabinoids, for example, a 1:1 THC:CBD strain or tincture, are appealing more and more to discerning buyers with healthy and active lifestyles.
If your company isn’t all over the latest cannabinoid science, and coming up with ways to utilize this new knowledge, you’re going to miss out.
As the rest of the world is finally beginning to recognize slick vape pens and edibles for what they are, the most discreet cannabis consumers are looking to go incognito. However, they also want their products to work just as well as if they had smoked a big joint.
Some of the most popular up-and-coming medical marijuana product types are water bottles, mints and transdermal patches worn under the clothes. These are branded to look like everyday objects we use all the time, making them ideal for travel or workplace use.
Set your product up for success in the evolving marketplace – contact our team to schedule a cannabis industry marketing consultation.
Did you know that you can put your brand’s social media activity on auto-pilot? It takes some strategy, just like anything else. But there are tools out there that can definitely make you feel like a one-person social media department.
These tools have many different functions, and not all of them are going to be useful or economical for your brand. In fact, everyday social media users have grown savvy to some of the automated tools out there and can spot automated activity a mile away.
You don’t have to go “full robot” – here are the most useful automation functions you can start using right away to politely grow your social media accounts.
For those of us (most of us) who are simply not around to post on their channels all day, managing social media can seem like a daunting task. Signing on and posting takes precious minutes that we could be spending on another task.
Scheduling tools can be found through software services like Hootsuite or Buffer, or, you can schedule future posts to a brand’s Facebook Page for free, right inside the Facebook platform. That way, you can schedule posts out for the week (or the month) in one sitting.
There are apps and tools out there to make it seem like you are liking, commenting and engaging with others’ posts on Twitter and Instagram. Typically it requires you to target the type of user, or a hashtag in order for the “robot” to find people to interact with.
Unfortunately, there aren’t yet automation tools for engaging with Facebook posts. You will have to engage authentically there by liking and commenting on existing posts.
On Instagram and Twitter, the amount of followers you get is proportional to the amount of time you spend following other similar accounts. Easy to do for those of us who live on our phones – but for a busy entrepreneur? Not so much.
Auto-follow, and more importantly, auto-unfollow tools are some of the most valuable in the social media world. Nobody in their right mind could sit and follow 400 new users per day with their thumbs, but with automation, it’s more than possible.
We’re getting started on InstaZood after another of our favorite tools got shut down. Give it a try and see how powerful your account can really be!
Need a team to help you delve into the world of social media marketing? Our experts are here to help, and located all around the west coast. Reach out to Social Media Unicorn to get started.
When we talk about an “elevated experience” in the cannabis industry, we’re not just talking about getting high. It’s a phrase that embodies the community’s mission to eliminate negative stereotypes through responsible consumption and education.
Think of it as brand strategy with the consumer in mind; you always want patients to feel comfortable, confident and informed when they’re considering buying your product to take home. Start giving back today with these tips.
A full ingredient list and laboratory test are just the bare minimum of what should be included on your product’s packaging and your website, too. This would be a good start, but the truth is that patients typically want to know a lot more than simply what’s inside.
They want to know, as much as possible, what the onset time will be and how they will feel after using the product. Should it be used morning, night or all day long? How long should they wait before re-dosing? Think of an answer to every possible question a new cannabis consumer might have, and make it an integral part of your branding.
Care About Details
High-end aesthetics and practicality are extremely important. This is true with both product and packaging design! Cannabis consumers really do care about the little things. They want to feel confident when they leave a dispensary that the product in their bag will work as advertised and provide a pleasant experience. If the consumer can’t gain that confidence simply by picking up the package, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
Some specific small details that matter to connoisseurs and newer consumers alike:
- Beautiful packaging which provides a clear product description, and a sense of the intended mood or effect.
- Clearly marked dosage meters or perforations on edible and drinkable products.
- Air-tight sealed packaging for cannabis flower, with appropriate humidity control.
- Proper labeling and lids on topical containers so they can be handled.
- Current lab test labels on the outside of every package.
Always do your best to inform the consumer – directly on the package – of everything they’ll need to know. After all, you or your sales reps will not be in the store with them when they are checking out your product. Don’t rely on dispensary staff to educate patients about safe and effective ways to use your particular product. The burden is on manufacturers to make that information part of their packaging, labeling and overall branding process.
Elevate your brand to the next level with consulting, integrated campaigns and real, proven results with Social Media Unicorn, based in the thriving legal cannabis market of Las Vegas.
3 Lessons Learned as a New Unicorn
A new job always comes with a learning curve, and being a Unicorn is no exception. Within my first month, I’ve learned three very important lessons that will always stay with me.
Find What Works For You
Over the years, the adult-skill that I have struggled with the most has been time management. Having ADD can make managing my time particularly difficult, but since I joined the Unicorns right before 4/20, it was crucial that I had my schedule under control. I’ve combed the internet for any and every “hack” involving time management – and what I learned from it is something we all already know, that everyone is different.
For me, it’s lists – I’ve found that I respond best to visual reminders and cues. “Out of sight, out of mind” is practically my accidental life motto. How do I use this to my advantage? Write. Down. Everything. If it’s something I need to do, I write it down. It doesn’t matter if I need to do it immediately, or in a few weeks – if I don’t write it down I’ll forget it. Every morning, I write (and prioritize!) a new list of tasks that need to be completed. When something inevitably comes up, I add it to the end, and reprioritize if needed. While this might seem like a lot of unnecessary and repetitive work to some people, it allows me to function ten times more efficiently, ultimately making me better at what I do.
Be Honest With Yourself
New people and new environments can be truly intimidating – pair that with a need to prove yourself, and before you know it you’re enthusiastically saying “yes!” to everything that is asked of you. This is when you need to be honest with yourself, in order to be honest with your co-workers. The amount of work that you initially agree to will set the precedent for the workload that you are able to handle – but I’m not saying that’s a bad thing!
Being honest with yourself also means challenging yourself. Just because you’re not particularly excited about the new project doesn’t mean that you can’t absolutely crush it. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, don’t turn down projects simply because you’re afraid to fail either. Failure is simply an opportunity to learn and grow.
Super cliché, I know, but hear me out. Now, before you go out and quit your stable office job in order to pursue your dream of being a nomadic juggler, that’s not quite what I’m suggesting. “Following your dream” sounds great in theory, but the reality is that “following your dream” doesn’t always pay the bills.
What I *am* saying is don’t lose sight of your end goal. Figure out what you’re best at – what you undeniably excel at doing – and pair that with your biggest passion. That is your end goal. It’ll probably take time, hard work, and patience to get there, but persevere. Being content isn’t good enough. You deserve to be truly happy.
If you’re a marijuana retailer, odds are you have been eyeing investments in some of the major dispensary listing sites for the industry. These websites allow dispensaries to literally put themselves on the map, establishing a “home base” online with detailed menus that can be browsed by consumers in the area – even on mobile devices.
It’s true that these listing databases get feet in the door of your dispensary. But at what cost?
We’re diving into the world of high-priced listing services for dispensaries to help you determine what the ROI will be for your particular business.
Worth the Hassle
If you’re wondering whether or not you should even spend time on these listing sites, the answer is yes. At the bare minimum you must have a basic-level listing on at least one of the major databases (Weedmaps or Leafly). This listing may cost you upwards of a few hundred dollars per month, which is a small price to pay for being exposed to thousands of locals per week. Otherwise, there are many smaller and more local listing sites, frequented by different demographics, that you might be able to try out for a cheaper price.
The real question, in this case, is how much business owners should invest in promotion on these channels based on the customer demographics they want to reach.
Want to be the top dispensary on your block? You’ll likely have to fork over some cash to the listing databases. The highest price for a featured listing is in the several thousand dollars.
How do you decide if it’s worth it to pay up? Ask your customers or patients how they heard about you on their member intake form. If you don’t seem to get a lot of referrals from your listings, and you need more foot traffic, it might be time to try it out. Or, if you notice that a certain competitor in your area is running promotions, it may be wise to try and outbid them for the popular spot on the local map.
When choosing a listing service, make sure to consider all the benefits that the site has to offer, apart from the listing. Think of it this way – Leafly is home to one of the biggest educational cannabis blogs on the web. Some of their featured listing promotional packages may include some branded editorial content on the blog. That makes it a better buy than just a featured listing, because you are getting more long-term concrete value from the transaction. The blog post can be viewed and shared many times over on social media, even after your promotional campaign has ended.
Looking to grow your dispensary’s marketing strategy past the confines of a map or listing? Social Media Unicorn can help. We’ll guide your budget and your social media marketing to optimize how your listings work for you.
Doing social media strategy yourself is a learning process. There are new rules, trends and influencers to follow any given week. You’ve got to understand algorithms (as best you can, anyway) and principles of copywriting, photography and public relations. It can certainly be a lot to remember!
Whether you manage your brand’s entire social presence, or just have a say in the process, you should know these five guiding principles of social media.
The first rule of social media is to be authentic! Whether that means embracing your goofy side once in awhile, or telling the truth when your brand has a crisis, the idea is the same.
You might think that posting on Facebook about once a week, when you feel like it, is an adequate strategy. While this is the bare minimum to keep a page active on the platform, it won’t help your account gain any users. For the most part, you’ve still got to actively engage with other humans on Facebook in order to see success. That means:
- posting daily or multiple times daily;
- inviting your personal contacts to Like your page and asking others to do the same;
- engaging and adding value in Groups; and, likely,
- running Ads to generate traffic.
So you wrote a month’s worth of blogs, tweets, and Instagram posts, but now your 30 days is up and you’re out of material. The content planning process is literally never ending for social media managers. Remember, you’re playing the long game, and regular (even daily) authentic engagement is a must to stay relevant in a sea of trendy new accounts.
Use Spell Check
Typos? Grammar slips? Plain poor phrasing? None of these things make a pretty social media share. Yet, so many are too trigger happy and hit “post” before their content is on point. Run post copy, graphics and spelling past a colleague or friend that you trust. Sometimes all you really need is a second set of eyes on your work.
Our last piece of advice is to stay consistently on-brand with all your social media postings. Use the same colors, symbolism, voice and phrasing in ever post. By doing this, you’ll avoid confusing your audience like many brands do trying to capitalize on the latest memes and trends. Instead your fans will recognize your posts seconds before they even see the brand name.
Maybe you know all this already, but for some reason your social strategies just haven’t been sticking lately. Your content may just need a nudge in the right direction, or a second creative opinion.
Brands and individuals making their mark in the cannabis industry, we’ve got your back. Call a Social Media Unicorn to help give your project some much-needed direction.
When it comes to social media, far too many brands make the mistake of posting the same exact content on every single platform. This is ill-advised because there are so many diverse groups on social media, and they all hang out in different social environments – and respond to different stimuli as well.
We put together a guide for DIY marketers to help you plan your approach to each top platform.
From humble beginnings, Facebook has become extremely diverse and dynamic. Not only is every demographic present on the platform, it’s also now been segmented into Groups. People and brands providing quality content to their audiences are holding on to their organic growth and influence on the platform, even as Facebook continues to try and monetize almost every interaction.
One thing is for certain about the Facebook algorithm – it favors video posts. Heavily. A strong video content strategy will help you acquire more fans organically. Otherwise, set aside a small budget and learn to optimize Facebook Ads with amazing photography and graphics and some clever copy.
It’s changed a lot over the past year, but Instagram is still the place to be for the hippest and most social-savvy people in the world. It’s where trends are made, and visual content is king. You can repurpose some of your Facebook content here, but really make the captions pop. Professional photography is almost a must these days as outstanding “pinch-to-zoom” resolution photo posts are becoming the norm (especially delectable close-up photos of cannabis products).
There are lots of “tricks” and theories out there for how to hack this platform, but really, Instagram runs on a few key principles. If you engage genuinely, post regularly, and utilize the proper hashtags. How you get there is up to you – as long as you make it absolutely beautiful.
The original microblogging platform is far from dead – in fact, Twitter remains one of the most active platforms for breaking news and commentary on current events, as well as conversations amongst journalists and influencers.
That being said, all your content on Twitter should be newsworthy and put on display the unique voice and vision of your brand. Image and video posts, polls, memes and hashtags are essential parts of the Twitterverse you should know about. Research hashtags being used by your target niches, incorporate them into your tweets, and remember to always engage authentically.
On Snapchat, anything goes. The people following you are doing so for one reason: to catch a glimpse into what you’re doing all day. Again, authenticity is key. Using Snapchat gives you the opportunity to build your brand its very own personality from scratch – or, start building your personal brand as a living, breathing embodiment of the company.
So, in short, you should always share the awesome adventure that is your business with the world. Having partners in the industry who know the rules and trends on each platform will strengthen your influence even more.
Hire us today and learn to finally rock social.
Is your cannabis brand “high-end?” If so, how do you justify that classification? As rapidly increasing numbers of consumers try cannabis for the first time, and the market continues to segment, it’s vital to know where your product stands on the “luxury scale.”
Many business owners mistake luxury for something that a hip millennial would purchase. While this can sometimes be true, we’re here to set the record straight about cannabis marketing once and for all.
The following qualities are what truly make a cannabis brand high-end:
Before you can be considered a luxury brand, you’ve got to target the right kinds of people with your marketing. In other words, if you think your product fits the interests and profile of a 40+ woman making over $100K per year, don’t cater your marketing to the college aged Coachella-bound crowd.
When your product catches the eyes of your audience on social media, you want them to know it was made for them; not wondering whether they should do their research first. That’s the difference between luxury and generic brands.
What goes into your product is just as important, if not more so, than the way it looks on the outside. Luxury consumers crave a few things from their health and wellness products, including potent active ingredients, natural or organic components, and sensations that are pleasing to the touch, taste or smell.
The takeaway here is that if you use only the highest quality flower to start your process, then your concentrate, edible, or topical product will automatically rank among the high-end.
One of the most important finishing touches on your brand is the final presentation – how your product will be packaged, displayed and sold. The colors and symbolism of your brand must match up artistically and aesthetically to other luxury brands on the shelves of your favorite high-end boutiques.
Now, whether you want to follow in the footsteps of the fashion industry, specialty food products, apothecary and beauty store styling, or the stark, scientific stylings of the pharmaceutical industry, is all up to you. That’s the fun of branding!
Playing by these suggestions will help you prepare your cannabis brand for the luxury market, but in reality, there are no strict rules to creating an amazing new product. Part of the beauty of marijuana is the spectrum of new and innovative ideas being developed from the plant and the culture that surrounds it.
Ready to groom your product for the spotlight it deserves? Get in touch with Social Media Unicorn today and put one of our stellar cannabis marketing Unicorns to work for you.
We love to talk about sharp branding photography for cannabis because, in today’s social media universe, it can truly make or break your communication strategy.
Product or lifestyle photography for your brand should embody as much of your identity, personality and colors as possible, while inspiring creativity or new ideas in the person viewing the photo. Instead of just thinking, “that’s a pretty photo!” your goal should be to stimulate in the viewer a newfound desire to incorporate your brand into their existing lifestyle. People in the cannabis community hold their routines and rituals in high regard; show that your product understands that.
These four companies have been #killingit with their social media photography lately, and savvy cannabis consumers are taking notice. Take a leaf or two out of their book!
Coming up in the personal vaporizer market against major competition that’s been in play for years (think PAX vs. Firefly, Dabado vs. Dr. Dabber) isn’t easy for most brands to strategize.
Dab & Puff 💨💨 #HappyDipping #TossTheTorch #Dipper #Dipstickvapes
A post shared by Dipstick Vapes (@dipstickvapes) on
Dipstick Vapes handles the pressure with style, using gorgeous professional photography of their sleek metallic devices and full, luscious puffs of smoke to attract the eye. Their Instagram account is new, but already wooing high-end vape customers to their portable “nectar collector” for easy concentrate consumption on the go.
Humble Flower Co.
A topical company with roots in California’s famed Humboldt area, this brand brings the outside in to create a beautiful and appealing social media photography strategy.
Our products are non-psychoactive, meaning they won't get you high. However by applying Humble Flower Co. topicals to your skin, your bodies natural system of receptors will utilize the medicine where it is applied. Headache, cramps, arthritis, you name it, cannabis has powerful healing properties when applied to ailments.
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All of Humble’s product photos are staged with colorful wildflowers, herbs and shrubbery in contrast with the clean and modern lines of their packaging.
The Kush Queens
Already well-known for their Instagram imagery that is female-friendly and full of memery, The Kush Queens are putting their photo prowess to good use now that they’ve launches their very own products.
Come visit us in the @sol_distro Village @hightimesmagazine #Cannabiscup #thekushqueens #TheLitKit #soldistro
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Earlier this year they released The Lit Kit, a pretty box filled with a pre-rolled cone, small chocolate edible and medicated bath bomb for the perfect night in. The professional-looking package has inspired hundreds of fans to create their own Instagram photo content around The Lit Kit – a social media gift that keeps on giving for its creators.
Remedy, out of Las Vegas, continues to stun the market with packaging and brand marketing that is ahead of its time. Clearly they are gearing up to serve the exploding 21+ market come summertime.
We have set the gold standard for wellness with our Gold Capsules. For solvent-free pain relief and overall wellness nothing is better. #MMJ #MedicalMarijuana #Wellness #Health #Fitness #ChronicPain #CannabisCommunity #VegasWeed #WeedFam
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From color-coordinated pill cases for their cannabis capsules, to their sleek black-and-white vape case, to their brand symbolism of hands in their lifestyle photography, and even the close-up shots of their golden oils and top-grade flowers, Remedy is one of the top brands to watch in Nevada.
What are your favorite cannabis brands putting out first-class brand photography? Share a link with us in the comment section.