A Practical Guide to Using Hashtags For Cannabis Brands
Social media marketing is all about getting your brand noticed online and directly communicating and engaging with your customers. We’ve shared several ways for cannabis brands to attract loyal customers to their social following by creating original content, knowing where their target audience exists online—possibly on Snapchat, or by authentically engaging with customers on Instagram. Today we’re talking about another, incredibly simple way to gain a dedicated following on social media – by effectively using hashtags.
What are Hashtags?
Hashtags are a phrase used with the pound sign (#) symbol. The keyword or phrase is put after the pound sign (#) and spelled without spaces. For example, #RefinedBud, #Cannabis, and #womengrow are all hashtags.
Hashtags are used in social media posts across social media platforms and are used to link or categorize conversations together. When you click on a hashtag, you see to a single stream of every conversation or post on Twitter and Instagram involving that specific hashtag.
Hashtags are used to track millions and millions of posts and hundreds of thousands of topics every day. They are often used to track conversations like:
- Events or conferences (#SXBW or #coachella)
- Disasters or emergencies (#PrayforOrlando)
- Holidays or celebrations (#Christmas or #420)
- General topics (#SweetSummertime or #Ganjapreneurs)
- Popular hashtags (#WellnessWednesday or #TBT)
Hashtags began on Twitter in 2007, a little over a year after Twitter started. The idea came from Chris Messina in the tweet below:
how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?
— 👁🗨 Chris Messina (@chrismessina) August 23, 2007
Soon hashtags jumped to all the social networks, including Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Facebook.
Why should you use Hashtags?
It groups your brand into a larger conversation – globally. Your post becomes available to millions of users rather than just your following and allows people who are unaware of your cannabis brand, to find it.
According to CoSchedule, there are three elements to the perfect hashtag:
Be Memorable: People must remember the hashtag.
What our #postworkout recovery looks like. Water, stretching and a great #paleo #medible from @moonmansmistress. Nothing like feeling good + being #highlymotivated💪🙌. — #mmj #edibles #cannabiscures #prop215 #goodvibes #wellnesswednesday #wellnesswarrior #healthylifestyle #paleosnack #medicalmarijuana #losangeles #glutenfree #fueledbythc #edibles
A post shared by @greensoldiershealers on
Green Soldires Healers, a cannabis delivery service in Los Angeles dedicated to giving patients the best quality medicine, are actively working to combat the stoner stereotype. By using the hashtag #fueledbythc coupled with a picture of workout gear they are turning the lazy stereotype on its head. Not only is #fueledbythc memorable to their audience but it also presents a very positive image of the cannabis community.
Be Unique: Stand out in a crowd.
A movement is afoot. Thousands are raising their hand to expose government's hypocrisy of owning a patent on marijuana's medicinal qualities while the DEA insists there is no medicinal value. Search #6630507, follow @talktothe6630507hand, and consider raising your hand. Recently a few related hashtags have been censored for "violations of community guidelines," and Facebook boosts were denied because they "promoted illegal activity." So, @zuck, what EXACTLY is illegal about this grassroots awareness campaign? It's time to #EndTheSocialCannaBan #facebookcensorship #facebookdiscrimination #instagramcensorship #discrimination #endthedrugwar #freecannabis #freespeech #legalweed #legalizeit #legalizecalifornia #MMJ #medicalmarijuana #cannabisbusiness #worldreefers #memeoftheday #womengrow #diversityincannabis #talktothehand #talktothe6630507hand
A post shared by Rise Above Social Strategies (@riseabovesocial) on
Our colleagues over at Rise Above Strategies highlight the importance of using a unique hashtag in the post above. By using #talktothe6630507hand (the patent number the US Government holds for medical grade cannabis), they spoke to a very specific community, cannabis activists. If you search #talktothehand, you’ll see that there are many posts that are irrelevant to their issue. Using the unique hashtag allowed them to really target a specific audience.
Stay Relevant: Makes sense and stay on point.
Montel Williams’ keynote is about to begin! He’ll be delivering a powerful speech on his experience with medical marijuana and multiple sclerosis. Make sure you don’t miss it! @realmontelwilliams #CannabisMeansBusiness #Cannabis #medicalmarijuana #MS #cannascience #CWCBE #CWCBExpo #multiplesclerosis #cannabusiness #business #medicalmarijuana #mmj #CBD #montelwilliams #cannabiscommunity #cannabisculture
A post shared by CWCBExpo (@cwcbexpo) on
The Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo holds cannabis business conferences across the country and uses the hashtag #CannabisMeansBusiness. This hashtag is not only unique and helps reach a very specific audience, but it also makes sense for their brand. Being a business expo, they must emphasize the business aspects of the cannabis movement. With one hashtag, they do just that. These are just a few examples of how these are an incredibly simple tool for your company to create a unique community of brand loyalists.
PRO TIP: Keep your hashtags sweet and straightforward. If your hashtag is too long or confusing, people will simply ignore the entire post.
Keep in mind that hashtags only work when people share them and use them in their posts. If the hashtag is too unique, too long, or not relevant to your brand message, then people won’t remember to share it. As we’ve said before, sharing on social media is key to growing your followers and creating that loyal customer base.
Are you ready to #hashtag with your cannabis brand? What are some hashtags you’ve seen brands use well? Let us know in the comments below. If you’d like a hashtag cheat sheet, Refined Bud created a list of the best hashtags to use as a cannabis brand. Go ahead and download it.
Tune in next week, as we dig deeper into hashtag use and break down the use of hashtags across social media platforms. If you’d like to receive updates from Refined Bud’s blog, simply sign up here.