In Canada, cannabis producers are not able to advertise or promote in most mainstream ways. Therefore, social media platforms are undeniably some of the most important communication channels for these businesses to connect with their current and potential consumers. Let’s take a look at our finalists for the “Best Social Media Category” and honour the brands that have built the most engaged communities online in Canada.
Choom is a cannabis retail chain with shops across Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. The brand is inspired by “The Choom Gang”, a cannabis-loving group of friends from Hawaii that former President of The United States, Barack Obama, is said to have been a member of.
Choom’s aesthetic in-store and on social media is focused on Hawaii, West Coast vibes, and surf culture. Choom also frequently utilizes giveaways (sometimes in partnership with LP brands and other companies) to boost their following and engagement – which has helped them grow their Instagram community to over 6000 individuals.
In addition to native social media content and community engagement, Choom has also found creative ways to run paid advertising on Instagram and other social media platforms. During the first wave of the pandemic when stores were forced to close and operate Click-and-Collect only, Choom ran a series of advertisements on Instagram Stories promoting their reservation system. Using words like “click and collect” and “reserve your herb” instead of blatantly using terms like “cannabis” or “marijuana” likely allowed the brand to bypass Instagram’s prohibited content filter. These ads were likely age-gated and targeted at those living in the greater Niagara Falls area.
GOOD BUDS is a proudly independent cannabis flower and extract producer from Salt Spring Island, BC. They are a small-batch craft grower focused on bringing unique strains and high-quality solventless hash and rosin to the Canadian market.
Like most other cannabis brands, Instagram is GOOD BUDS’ main digital platform. They feature a variety of content including photos of and about Salt Spring Island, employee profiles, and drool-worthy plant and concentrate shots.
GOOD BUDS does an amazing job of featuring their employees online. This gives the company a sense of authenticity and transparency in a space that is largely deprived of those two qualities. Many legacy market cannabis consumers are and were used to knowing the grower and dealer they bought from. Allowing a behind-the-scenes view into the employees creating the products gives these consumers a reason to trust (and ultimately become loyal to) the brand. It adds a human touch.
Simply Bare features a variety of content on their Instagram page including beautiful photographs of their plants, their facility, their employees, their mock packaging, and nature images of British Columbia.
The brand has a bit more fun on Twitter – where they openly engage with the cannabis community in sometimes humorous and quirky ways. They make sure to always share follower’s posts of their products through Twitter and Instagram Stories.
The brand has continued to find creative ways to connect with retailers and consumers since in-person events and shopping has been postponed due to COVID-19. For example, Simply Bare teamed up with The Nomad Cook, a professional chef specializing in cannabis-infused dishes, for an interactive workshop to teach their followers how to create a tasty apple cider for the holiday season. The workshop was broadcasted live through their social media pages.
Additionally, Simply Bare knows how to harness the power of giveaways to grow their social media following. During the holiday season, they have been teaming up with cannabis retailers and brands to give back to their followers through social media contests and giveaways. Prizes include Simply Bare-branded Converse shoes, AirPods, an apple cider kit, and a pipe and bong ceramic workshop in Vancouver. These giveaways help attract new followers to their page and keep their current community-engaged.
”Everyone at Simply Bare is delighted that we’ve made it as a finalist in the Best Social Media category. The team work tirelessly to create engaging content so we’re happy to get the recognition. It’s been a fun year launching the Simply Bare and starting to grow its awareness and reputation. We’re looking forward to even more new products and formats next year and of course consistency in product quality for every consumer, every day of the year in every store in every province. We aim to be leading the way in that.Andy von Hirschberg, Marketing Director
Foray finds many creative ways to keep their content engaging and fresh. They ran the #MyForay contest, which required entrants to follow their Instagram page, sign up for their newsletter, and tag a friend for a chance to win some Foray-branded clothing and merchandise. They also created a quiz on their website that helps identify the best Foray product for a given individual based on their answers.
Truss Beverage Co
Truss Beverage Co is a joint venture between HEXO and Molson Coors. Their corporate social media accounts feature a mix of CSR-type content and select images from their three brands – XMG, Little Victory, and House of Terpenes. These three brands all have varying content strategies but all have beautiful, aesthetically-pleasing feeds.
XMG is a line of “high-intensity flavoured potions” that encourages you to “Find your X”. Their social media imagery is bright, exciting, uplifting, and edgy. Much of their content is word plays on the letter “X”, featuring trippy, psychedelic designs.
House of Terpenes is a high-end beverage brand that features a mixture of classy images of their mock-up packaging next to drinking glasses and graphics explaining the flavour of their drinks. The brand also has a content series titled “House Rules” – in which they impart pieces of advice such as “Start low. Sip slow.” and “Savour the moment.”
Little Victory is a playful brand that offers a line of naturally flavoured sparkling beverages. The brand’s ethos is to help their customers “toast life’s little victories”. Examples of these “little victories” have been made into a content series and include “the barista spelled your name right” and “finished the whole head of kale before it wilted”. This brand also features colourful, bright imagery and graphics.
”It means a lot to the Truss team to be nominated for this award. It’s been important to consistently obtain feedback from consumers and budtenders to ensure that we’re having a two-way dialogue with our community as we continue to build our brands. Our social channels have been a great platform for this, while also allowing us to educate on cannabis beverages in a more approachable way.Chaman Sandhu, Marketing & Digital Lead
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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 Canadian cannabis industry by voting in the 2020 ADCANN Awards.
Last Updated on December 30, 2020 by ADCANN