As if cannabis social media marketing couldn’t get any harder, Meta and Instagram launched its latest new platform, Threads earlier this month. With a brand new platform comes new possibilities for brands to engage with their customers and another opportunity to potentially “take off” and gain astronomical success from a single post.
We’re breaking down everything you need to know about the new social media platform and how you can incorporate it into your cannabis marketing strategy.
What is Threads?
As with most social media platforms, Instagram’s new app is about staying connected and building community. Made to be a rival app to Twitter, Threads is a text-based platform that is used for back-and-forth communication.
Currently, posts can be up to 500 characters long and include links, photos, and videos up to 5 minutes long.
According to the official announcement, “As with all our products, we’re taking safety seriously, and we’ll enforce Instagram’s Community Guidelines on content and interactions in the app.”
In other words, you can’t promote the sale of cannabis.
Of course, we have our workarounds for Instagram, so we can’t let you down with Threads. Here are five ways you can safely use Threads to market your cannabis business:
1. Trending Cannabis Culture
Stay ahead of the curve with Threads’ to-the-minute updates by incorporating cannabis commentary into pop culture topics or simply weighing in on the latest trends in cannabis culture.
For instance, ask your audience which strains they would consume for Beyonce music vs. Adele music. Or muse about the best cannabis products to take before watching the “Barbenheimer” double feature.
Particularly for a new app like Threads, we recommend playing around with more culture-adjacent lifestyle topics to avoid getting flagged for policy violations that relate to cannabis.
2. Connect with the Cannabis Community
Threads embraces the concept of building community more than some of the other social media platforms out there. Comparable to Twitter, people want to voice their opinions and share their thoughts.
Connect with the community of fellow cannabis enthusiasts by creating content that shows (not tells) your audience that you are a connoisseur and even, an industry leader. Be sure to engage with users on the platform instead of just focusing on creating content.
Remember, social media is for being social. Creation is valuable as a cannabis business, but if you don’t actively reach out to your audience or potential customers, you’ll fade from their minds.
3. Engage with Cannabis Influencers
One of the most notable things about Threads is that it allows content creators and brands to carry over their audiences to a new platform. Since Threads is currently connected to Instagram, cannabis influencers are likely bringing over thousands of followers from their other platforms onto Threads.
In other words, you get a new form of access to cannabis influencers, particularly if you’re an early adopter of the app.
With this opportunity, you can connect with industry-leading influencers, experts, and passionate individuals who are shaping the cannabis landscape. Not only does Threads allow you to build a relationship with them, but it allows you to take that relationship offline and extend it into brand partnerships, campaign collaborations, and more.
4. Host Debates and Industry Conversations
As a marketing agency, we predict that brands that are successful on Threads are going to be ones that don’t take it as “seriously” as other platforms. As of right now, brands with the most success are those that are treating this like the lighthearted playground it is.
An example of Cinnabon, King’s Hawaiian, and Truff interacting on Threads.
In other words, if you can spark conversation, you can find success with Threads. For example, drop your “hot takes” or controversial industry-related opinions, ask silly cannabis culture questions, and take customers behind the scenes into the personalities of your team.
Some ideas to get you started:
- Wake + bake: yay or nay?
- If you had to pick one way to consume for the rest of your life, why is it edibles?
- Good morning to everyone except the people actively fighting against legalization
5. Get Buy-In from Your Customers
Releasing a new product? Thinking of collaborating with a new brand? Whatever is coming next for your business, let your customers be part of the journey.
Ask specific questions about what they want to see next. Unlike other platforms, you can have real-time conversations with your customers that allow you to build community and even conduct informal market research.
Take a look at this example from Amazon:
Try asking questions like:
- What is something you feel is missing from our dispensary experience?
- We want to create a new product flavor. Give us your best suggestions.
- What brands do you want to see in our inventory that we don’t have yet?
The more you can tap into your customers’ experiences, the more you can improve your overall brand and cater to your audience.
A word of caution
Remember, Threads is a brand-new social media platform, so we still don’t know a lot about how cannabis businesses can safely use this platform. However, what we do know is that many of the censorship and flagged words in other industries are carried over from Instagram to Threads.
In other words, if you can’t say “cannabis” on Instagram, you can’t – and probably shouldn’t – say it on Threads either.
Moreover, at this time, both your Instagram and Threads accounts are synced, meaning if you delete your Threads account, you delete your entire Instagram account as well. Therefore, you can’t risk getting your Threads account deleted on grounds of policy violation, because you’ll lose your Instagram as well.
For this reason, we recommend:
- Censoring the word cannabis (e.g. c-nnabis)
- Using alternatives (such as “ouid” which is becoming popular)
- Simply using a leaf or smoke emoji to replace the word
Until federal legalization happens, we don’t see this changing for any of the Meta brands such as Instagram, Facebook, and Threads. So, tread carefully.
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Right now, only time will tell if Threads continues to thrive and take hold as the replacement for Twitter. Considering the app surpassed 100 million users within a week, the odds aren’t looking so good for the blue bird app.
Still, Meta has shown that it wants Threads to be more than just a social media app; it’s a forum for global conversations. We predict that brands that embrace internet culture, immerse themselves in their customers, and engage in camaraderie will see the most success.
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