Social media is undeniably one of the most important marketing channels for cannabis companies in legalized states. The top 5 finalists in this year’s best social media category have large online communities consisting of tens of thousands to millions of loyal followers. Let’s examine the content production and community engagement strategies that have made these companies so successful.
Cookies is one of the most well-recognized cannabis brands worldwide, in part due to their social media presence. The brand has 200,000 followers on their cannabis-specific account and over 700,000 on their clothing-focused page. Cookies have used celebrities and influencers to become a household name among American consumers.
Their clothing Instagram page features a variety of photos of celebrities and well-known individuals wearing and representing the Cookies brand. The @cookiesenterprises (weed page) posts a variety of content including bud photography, packaging shots, business updates (ex. In-store COVID protocols and influencers/celebrities smoking their cannabis. Cookies advertises its many sub-brands including Lemonnade, Runtz, and Fiore through their main Instagram and Twitter.
Cookies has recently introduced a series of animated videos to announce each one of their new store openings. These videos are playful, highly-produced, and use recognizable elements from the city/state they are opening in to connect with local residents.
Cookies is one of the biggest and best in the game. The brand has been setting the standard for cannabis-related digital and social media content for years.
Gage Cannabis Company
Gage Cannabis Company is a cannabis producer and retailer with several locations across Michigan. The brand has risen to prominence over the past few years through their exclusive partnerships with sought-after brands like Cookies and Lemonnade.
Their social media pages feature a mixture of content. Gage produces a lot of jaw-dropping plant photography and videography of their in-house grown strains. They also share a lot of the same social media posts that Cookies shares, as Gage carries a lot of Cookies-branded products.
The company has also created a “Vibe of The Week” content series that pairs one of the strains they offer with a new hip-hop song of their team’s choosing. This series is a great way for their followers to discover new music and learn about pairing cannabis with different songs and experiences.
People either love or hate Dan Bilzerian and his cannabis brand Ignite’s social media strategy. Similar to Dan’s personal page, Ignite’s marketing primarily consists of scantily clad women, guns, weapons, workouts, and pool parties.
For a certain segment of the population, this type of content is aspirational (or at the very least, entertaining). We aren’t necessarily big fans of this promotional strategy, as it requires next to no creativity or innovation. But if it works, it works.
Ignite has the largest social media following out of all five of this year’s nominees. With 3 million followers on their main Instagram page, they may have the largest online community out of any cannabis brand in existence.
The focus on sex appeal extends past just pictures of half-naked females. Ignite’s entire brand is focused on this energy, with messaging that seems solely targeted at young men. Their product-focused social media posts still utilize sexual innuendos such as “your new oral fixation” for their CBD-infused toothpicks.
Ignite’s success on social media can largely be attributed to Dan’s personal brand and popularity. He has over 32 million followers on his Instagram page that he is constantly promoting Ignite products to. It will be interesting to see if Ignite changes its social media strategy over time as the cannabis industry becomes more professional and tightly-regulated.
Old Pal is a California and Nevada-based cannabis brand with a mission to always be accessible, affordable, and abundant. Their vision is simple “it’s just weed, man”. They believe cannabis should be simple, understandable, and is meant to be shared. These values are reflected in their digital and social media content.
Their aesthetic reminds us of the 1980’s hippie culture and is seemingly targeted at the “flower childs” of the world. The brand offers whole flower, pre-milled “ready-to-roll” flower, 510 vape cartridges, and disposable pens.
Old Pal’s Instagram content is meticulously designed and executed. Each image is visually-pleasing when viewed in the feed, but every post fits together and adds up to create a digital mural on their page. The result is a psychedelic-looking online scrapbook of sorts that clearly communicates the brand’s values and positioning.
Trees By Game
Trees By Game is the cannabis venture launched by rap icon The Game in partnership with top cannabis branding agency Green Street. Trees By Game product offerings include clothing and apparel, rolling trays, tobacco wraps, cannabis flower, vape pens, edibles, topicals, and more
Trees By Game social media is cool and hip-hop focused. Their Instagram feed is a combination of product shots, nug shots, and images of The Game smoking his own product. Trees By Game at the time of writing has over 41,000 followers on Instagram, making it one of the largest social media communities in the cannabis space. Having an audience that big is especially valuable in an industry that is restricted from buying traditional and digital advertising. Much of this following was grown by The Game promoting the brand through his own personal social media accounts.
American Cannabis Social Media Trends
Celebrities and Hype Culture: Three out of five of this year’s finalists could be considered celebrity cannabis brands. Ignite piggybacks off the popularity of Dan Bilzerian, Trees By Game was founded by and is promoted by the rapper The Game, and Cookies was founded by Berner and frequently collaborates with famous artists (including Rick Ross and Run The Jewels) on strain releases. Tapping into a celebrity, influencer, and hype culture is one way for cannabis brands to grow large social media followings.
High-Quality Bud Photography and Videography: American cannabis brands are producing some of the finest cannabis flowers and products in the world – and they want to show you. Many brands, including Gage and Cookies, post well-produced content including rotating plant videos and macro trichome shots. Cannabis is a highly visual product. In a regulated, pre-packaged purchasing environment, viewing pictures on social media is one of the only ways for consumers to examine buds before buying them.
Creative Graphic Design: Old Pal is a perfect example of a brand that successfully utilizes creative graphic design on social media. Their Instagram feed is a work of art that clearly communicates their brand positioning and value proposition through visuals. Cookies and Gage have also started producing and posting graphics and videos that require a lot of production to introduce their new store locations. Unique and clean graphic design will continue to be an important differentiator for cannabis brands.
Vote in the 2020 ADCANN Awards
More and more cannabis brands and marketers are understanding the importance of producing and disseminating consistent and quality social media content. Some companies have stepped up their community engagement and have started cultivating passionate and loyal communities online. A whole new avenue of marketing has opened up as brands like Twitter and Snapchat allow paid advertising for cannabis clients on their platforms. 2020 was an amazing year for creativity in cannabis marketing and we can’t wait to see what 2021 has in store.
Help us decide who had the best social media this year in the American cannabis industry by voting in the ADCANN 2020 Awards.
Last Updated on December 30, 2020 by ADCANN