Content published by businesses on Instagram can directly lead to increased brand awareness, advocacy and drive sales. According to research by Facebook, 83% of users say they've discovered new products or services on Instagram. Similarly, 81% have researched products or services on Instagram, and 80% have decided whether or not to buy a product or services by using Instagram.
But that's not all. 87% of Instagram users say they've taken action after seeing product or service information on Instagram. Specifically, they have:
- Searched for more information (79%)
- Visited the brand's website or app (65%)
- Made a purchase online or offline (46%)
- Visited a retail store (37%)
- Followed the brand's account online (31%)
- Talked to someone about the brand, product or service (29%)
The data shows that Instagram is one of the most effective platforms that businesses can use to promote their products and services to online audiences, but Instagram has a history of shutting down cannabis and cannabis-related businesses and brands.
Despite that history, some cannabis businesses have found success on Instagram, and your cannabis business or cannabis-related business can be successful on Instagram too.
Specifically, Instagram’s Community Guidelines state, “buying or selling firearms and illegal or prescription drugs (even if it’s legal in your region) is not allowed.” That means buying or selling cannabis products (even if recreational marijuana is legal in your state) is not allowed on Instagram because marijuana is still illegal at the federal level.
The key to leveraging Instagram for cannabis marketing is to take that statement from the Community Guidelines very seriously. Instagram is notoriously inconsistent about deleting cannabis business accounts. One account may get away with publishing posts that blatantly violate the guidelines while others are deleted for simply pushing the edge of those boundaries.
How To Set An Age Limit On Your Instagram Profile
- Go to your profile and tap the three bar button to expand the navigation
- Tap Settings
- Select Business or Creator depending on your profile type.
- Tap Minimum Age
- You can add a minimum age that will be applied universally. Alternatively, you can add ages by country.
Why It Is Important to Age-Gate
Health Canada's marketing regulations set out in the The Cannabis Act require that promotional activities only occur in age-gated environments.
The promotions read:
“Subsection 17(2) of Cannabis Act provides that, subject to the regulations, a person that is authorized to produce, sell or distribute cannabis may promote cannabis by means of informational promotion or brand-preference promotion if the promotion is:
in a communication that is addressed and sent to an individual who is 18 years of age or older and is identified by name; in a place where young persons are not permitted by law; communicated by means of a telecommunication; where the person responsible for the content of the promotion has taken reasonable steps to ensure that the promotion cannot be accessed by a young person”
For cannabis companies, an age-gated Instagram profile allows you to argue that you have taken reasonable steps to ensure that your Instagram content cannot be accessed by individuals under legal age.