You just held the grand opening of your marijuana dispensary. The turnout from your community was great and the daily paper had a nice write up. But it’s two weeks later and the initial excitement is wearing off.
You’re eager to grow your dispensary and tell more people about who you are, what you do, and where they can find you. So what’s your next move?
The best way to achieve business growth is to position yourself on social media platforms where your prospects and customers are most active.
Be There, Be Ready
Why invest in social media rather than traditional advertising? In today’s mobile world, when your customers aren’t on Main Street, USA they’re on Digital Boulevard, USA.
A few clicks on a smartphone give anyone instant access to your business. Your customers aren’t waiting until their day off to find out if you have what they need. And your prospects aren’t asking if you have a business card, they’re asking if you’re on Instagram or Pinterest or Facebook.
The speed at which people can find you online has also created the expectation that you will be there. And that you will respond to them in real time.[bctt tweet=”The speed at which people can find you online has also created the expectation that you will be there.” username=”marijuana_seo”]
But how does this make social media important for the overall growth of your dispensary?
Each time someone lands on your Facebook page and Likes it, social media is helping you create a list of responsive followers who, if you keep them engaged, can help spread your brand message to all of their followers. It’s not only the next best thing to building your email list, it can also help you build your email list.
You can’t get that with a traditional print ad.
They Ask, You Answer
Whether your business is new or established, one of the oldest and most reliable ways to attract and retain followers on social media is by answering questions.
People are naturally curious.
Make your social page an active space where they know you will answer their questions now, not three weeks from now. The biggest benefit to this type of dialogue is how often it encourages additional interaction among followers as they begin chatting with one another.
Activity on your dispensary’s social media pages is good. It encourages other people to join the conversation. And once they comment, they’ll receive alerts when others respond to the same thread.
Nothing influences and solidifies a social following like camaraderie. This is how you effectively grow your tribe and strengthen your online presence.[bctt tweet=”Nothing influences and solidifies a social following like camaraderie.” username=”marijuana_seo”]
Create Trust, Create Customers
Once you build a group of active, engaged followers, you want to start converting them to customers. What’s the best way to do that?
Don’t sell anything. Really.
This may seem counter-intuitive, but the single best way to convert a follower to a customer is by building trust, not by pitching products.[bctt tweet=”The single best way to convert a follower to a customer is by building trust, not by pitching products. ” username=”marijuana_seo”]
How? By creating informative, useful posts, rather than advertising a sale or touting the benefits of your favorite leaf blend. Serve up content that cements your authority in your field of expertise.
Share stories about your staff and their knowledge. Talk about community events you’ll be involved in, or point your followers to interviews and podcasts you’ve done.
As you continue producing useful content on social media offer a link to let people sign up for your email list. Your followers can get your weekly content delivered right to their inbox while being reminded that your dispensary is open for business.
Building trust in this manner gives consumers the confidence to walk into your dispensary and do business with you instead of the other company two blocks over. People have choices. Make sure you give them every reason to choose you.
Get Shared, Get Found
Once you position yourself on social media as an authority, your next step is to get your information shared out to a wider audience.
Why is social sharing so important?
It influences online and offline discover-ability. Period.
When your post or tweet or image is getting a lot of activity via sharing and commenting, Google picks up on those social signals. This helps boost your dispensary in search engine rankings. And a boost in your rankings helps people find your dispensary faster.
Get busy starting conversations around industry topics that you’re passionate about. Use keywords in your hashtags to make it easier for people to find your content and connect to those conversations. And encourage your followers to share your content to their friends and family.
Using social media sharing to increase search rankings for your dispensary is a great way to keep getting found. And get new business.[bctt tweet=”Using social media sharing to increase search rankings for your dispensary is a great way to keep getting found.” username=”marijuana_seo”]
New Spaces, New Faces
A new crop of cannabis-friendly social networks with names like MassRoots, Duby, GrassCity and Social High are emerging. These new networks cater to marijuana users who want a lively space to enjoy discussions around cannabis the way Foodies enjoy sharing which craft beer pairs best with grass-fed tenderloin. They also want to discover new products and share information among like-minded consumers.
Don’t shy away from younger social networks because they’re still growing. Consider joining them. Their focus on a specific area of interest, like cannabis, creates a ready-made audience for your dispensary. And a ready-made audience translates into additional prospects and customers.
Another positive aspect of these sites is that they permit advertising of cannabis and related products, something which established networks like Facebook still frown upon. This gives you greater leeway for marketing your products and creating fresh content.
Although these networks are not as established as more familiar platforms, the upside is that you won’t have trouble finding an audience for your dispensary. And as these spaces grow, your customer base and business opportunities can grow right along with them.
Grow Social, Grow Your Business
Social networking is now an integral part of today’s marketing and a key factor in growing your dispensary business. Use it the right way and it extends the digital reach of your brand so you can be found by more people faster.
It also means that you are no longer limited to a single website. Your dispensary can exist on several digital channels. This gives you opportunities to connect and engage with consumers in real time.
Being active in social media is not about creating overnight success. It’s a long game.
But if you play by the rules, engage with people authentically and show your authority, it will help you build the long-term success and growth that you want for your dispensary.