Marketing in the cannabis industry is difficult. There aren’t many platforms available to use. Every state is different. And anything legal is often followed by a long list of rules and regulations that dispensaries must follow.
But LinkedIn is different.
It’s quickly becoming the most cannabis-friendly social media platform for cannabis businesses. In an industry where social leads most marketing strategies, that’s huge.
But many dispensaries aren’t using this channel to their advantage.
In this post, we’ll walk you through why LinkedIn is a great tool for dispensary marketing, how to get started with LinkedIn, how to grow your audience, and how to use the platform for paid advertising.
Pro-cannabis. Other social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok, are deleting cannabis pages and censoring content. LinkedIn doesn’t do this.
Ideal audience. LinkedIn’s audience may be smaller than other platforms, but there are 200 million active monthly users in North America. These users are generally professionals with higher spending power (aka ideal customers for dispensaries).
Content shortage. There’s a shortage of content on LinkedIn. Many other social media platforms have a surplus of content. In a content shortage scenario, you have a much higher likelihood of being seen.
Reach. A single post on LinkedIn will reach an average of 1,000 people. As a new account on Instagram, you’ll struggle to reach even half that. Plus algorithms work so that even people who follow you may not see you. On LinkedIn, not only will your followers see your content, but if they engage with it, their followers see it too.
Open to advertising. You can’t advertise your dispensary on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. But it’s possible to do so on LinkedIn. Keep reading for the specifics.
Because LinkedIn currently has a shortage of content on the platform, a single post will commonly reach about a thousand people. Whereas, if you're a new account on Instagram, you'd likely be struggling to reach even half of that.Matthew O'Brien, Founder of Cannabis DailyTweet
How to create a LinkedIn page for your dispensary
Step 1: Open LinkedIn’s business page setup. The first page asks how many employees your business has.
Note that your personal LinkedIn profile is different from a business account. Once your business account is set up, you can add “Admins” so that multiple people can post to and manage your business account.
Step 2: On the second page of setup, you’ll fill in some basic information about your dispensary, such as your company’s name and website address.
You’ll also be asked what industry you’re in. Since there isn’t a cannabis option yet, best practice is to use “alternative medicine.” Another option is “retail.”
Then select “Create Page” at the bottom and you’re all set up!
Step 3: Grow your page’s audience.
How to grow your LinkedIn audience
Growth on LinkedIn will come from two avenues — organic and paid. Let’s walk through organic growth first.
Keys to growing your dispensary page organically on LinkedIn:
LinkedIn does NOT censor content — you can post images of cannabis and talk about it all you want. Just make sure to avoid actually trying to sell any cannabis products; this is prohibited.
Share interesting cannabis news, information, or ideas — people respond positively to simple posts that share topics of interest.
Use your page invites — LinkedIn allows you to invite up to 100 people per month to follow your company page.
Encourage comments — comments will improve the number of viewers for your posts. Leave open-ended questions on your posts and encourage people to respond.
Highlight your employees — LinkedIn audiences respond well to employee achievements.
Engage with other accounts — the more you engage with others, they will engage with you. This will also expose your brand and page to new people.
While there are plenty of other strategies to try out on LinkedIn, these will help get you started. It’s been crucial to Flowhub’s success and will be for you as well.
Watch the replay!
LinkedIn for Dispensaries Webinar
How to run a LinkedIn advertising campaign
Disclaimer: Only attempt paid advertising if you feel you have marketing operations in order. Paid advertising can be very expensive and lead to poor results if your business isn’t ready.
LinkedIn advertising is a helpful tactic to boost traffic to your business. It won’t be a sudden, dramatic increase, but it is still useful if done correctly.
Step 1: Install Google Tag Manager. This tool allows you to manage and deploy marketing tags (snippets of code or tracking pixels) on your website without having to adjust the code.
Step 2: Determine your campaign goals. Who are you targeting? What results do you hope to see?
Step 3: Open LinkedIn from your personal account and click “Advertise”.
Step 4: Click “Create account” on the next page.
Step 5: Enter your account name (your dispensary name) and LinkedIn company page URL.
Step 6: Click on your dispensary’s account.
Step 7: Go to Google Tag Manager and install the LinkedIn Tag. You can find the tag in LinkedIn under “ACCOUNT ASSETS” > “Insight Tag.” See this link for further details.
Step 8: Click “Create Campaign Group” and enter the name of the campaign you want to create. Example: “Specials Campaign - Industry Types.”
Step 9: Click “Create campaign” to begin setting up your ad campaign.
Step 10: Select your campaign objective. You can choose from options like website visits, brand awareness, engagement, etc. This will depend on the goals you outlined previously.
Step 11: Select the location of your audience. Where do you want to target people? For dispensaries, this will be the city or area of your store.
Step 12: Select audience attributes. What demographics, education, job experience, etc. do you want people to have who see this ad? You can get pretty specific here.
Step 13: Select what type of ad you want to create. “Single image ad” is most common, though other options exist.
Step 14: Set a lifetime budget. This is the maximum amount that will be spent on this campaign. This is important because if you set daily limits but not a maximum lifetime budget, you could end up overspending.
Step 15: Select “Create new ad.”
Step 16: Enter your ad copy and images. See tips for ideal copy and images below.
Tips for getting ads approved
While LinkedIn is cannabis-friendly. There is still a chance your ad won’t be approved.
Here are some tips to get them approved:
Use images that contain no cannabis products. Note: You can post cannabis products on your company feed, but for paid ads, steer clear.
Use images that are still obviously cannabis-related (i.e. someone smelling a jar).
Don’t use language like cannabis, weed, pot, etc.
If your ad is not approved, try editing the ad copy and/or image and save it again.
The approval process is done by actual people so you can resubmit and a different person may be approving or denying it each time.
Try waiting until later in the evening to submit for approval to ensure someone else is looking at the ad.
Good luck on LinkedIn!
Ready to get started with LinkedIn for dispensary marketing? Here are a few quick ideas and reminders:
Share interesting cannabis news.
Highlight employee accomplishments.
Share new products and high-quality images.
Set clear goals and make sure you understand all details of paid advertising before running a campaign.
Follow the steps laid out above to get your ad up and running.
- Examples of paid LinkedIn ad campaigns that might work for dispensaries:
Target nurses for a nurses-only promotion.
Target teachers for teacher appreciation week.
Target students for a student-only special.
Want to learn more about LinkedIn marketing for your dispensary? Watch this on-demand webinar!