If you’re an entrepreneur looking for the best marijuana business social networks, you’ve landed in the right place. Social media is a vital component to any business marketing plan. One of the first lessons they teach in business school is to always go where your customers live. In today’s digital society, customers live, work, and play online. To be successful, you need to reach them there.
For cannabis business owners, this has been challenging for a number of years. Widespread legalization may have opened up new markets, but a number of mainstream marketing venues still have prohibitive policies in place. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter top this list.
What’s the solution? Demand will almost always create supply. The dawn of the cannabis business social network happened several years ago when Grasscity opened up a forum for cannabis growers. Today, there are dozens of growing cannabis social networks.
In this article, we’ll try to weed out (pun intended) the good cannabis business social networks from the not so good. There are other lists like this out there, but we have found that many of them are populated with outdated information and invalid site links. We’ll also go over how an entrepreneur can get business loans to start a business.
Grasscity: Best Cannabis Online Forum
We’ve already mentioned that Grasscity is one of the oldest cannabis social networks. They’ve established themselves as a go-to spot for bongs, bubblers, vaporizers, papers, and grinders. They’re essentially an online headshop, one where you can advertise your products.
The marketplace component is excellent, but the real value at this site for a cannabis business is the Grasscity Forum. They have 650,000 members and over 20 million posts published. That includes marijuana news, legalization posts, and business and industry posts.
Engaging in conversational threads on forums is a key activity in social media marketing. This site provides the best venue to do that. If you are a cannabis business owner, we recommend that you bookmark Grasscity and log on to their forum frequently.
WeedWorthy: Best Cannabis News Network
WeedLife is actually a network of forty websites, including a community social network where you can engage in conversations with other cannabis business owners. WeedWorthy is their cannabis news component, which is one of the better sites we’ve seen in this space.
You can log into the social community using single sign-on through Linked In, which makes it easy to get started. The user interface is very similar to Facebook, which is not surprising. You can create pages and groups and add videos, events, and discussions.
As a news resource for cannabis business owners, WeedWorthy should be bookmarked. For those looking for a marketing tool, you’ll need to be selective about which conversations to engage in. WeedLife has a diverse mix of users, not all of whom are potential customers.
LeafWire: Best B2B Cannabis Business Social Network
If you don’t have a Linkedin profile set up for your cannabis business, do that right now. Then, come back to LeafWire and set it up again. Developed in conjunction with Denver-based Ceylon Solutions, this website is professional, B2B focused, and a great venue to find investors.
The cannabis business market is currently estimated at over $25 billion a year. That’s pretty impressive for a product that spent most of the past seven decades on the banned substances list. With kinder legislation on the horizon, expect that number to grow substantially.
To join LeafWire, you must be an accredited investor or cannabis industry professional. It’s not a social commentary site, so don’t start posting memes of your housecats getting into your stash. This social network is Linked In for cannabis, not Facebook.
WeedMaps: Best Listing and Review Site
Think of this site as Google Maps for cannabis businesses. You can list your CBD store or marijuana dispensary on WeedMaps and have it show up on a map that tracks user locations and shows each site with an icon representing what their particular services are.
But wait, there’s more. Weedmaps also provides reviews and customer input, product pages to list your merchandise, and a learning guide to help users better understand how to use cannabis and what the legal guidelines in their particular state are.
The social component of Weedmaps is not as widely used as Grasscity or as professional as LeafWire, but the map component is great for SEO and search marketing. This site should be on your top five list of cannabis business social networks for marketing.
MJ Mary Jane: Best Image and Article Directory
You can compare this cannabis social network to Pinterest, with an article directory added. That elevates MJ Mary Jane above others for business marketing purposes. A social network where you can add written content with links is a valuable resource.
At first glance, the business applications of this social network may not be instantly apparent. It’s mainly a venue for stoners to post pictures of their favorite bud and good times hanging out with friends. You should look at that as evidence that you’re in the right place.
Pictorial websites are link building opportunities. They’re not sites to advertise your business directly, but pictures of your product will bring traffic to your main website. Articles should be educational, not promotional. Follow those guidelines and MJ should be worth some effort.
MJ Link: Best Site for Cannabis Investors
Accessible via WeedLife or by going directly to MJLink.com, this is the cannabis business social network where the adults gather. You need to be approved by connecting your Linked In profile, which is then reviewed by a moderator. The process takes a few days.
They say anything in this life that’s worthwhile is worth waiting for. MJLink is well funded and one of the best sites in the space to connect with growers, sellers, marketers, and potential partners, not to mention a great place to search for potential financing sources.
MJLink and WeedLife are also connected to the HempTalk Forum, which organizes their posts by user on their home page. They also have a mobile app for IOS and Android that can help you tap into a network that’s currently operating in more than 120 countries.
High There: Best Dating Network for Business Reviews
There are multiple dating apps in the cannabis space now, but only one that we consider a good venue for cannabis business owners. High There mixes a social media and cannabis education platform with a mobile dating app that works like Tinder.
High There is not just for dating. You can set up a profile and use it to tap into a cannabis user market that numbers 35 million and counting. You can use the app to promote products, solicit reviews, and stay up to date on cannabis industry news and information.
A close second in this category is 420 Singles. The app itself is not as robust as High There, but they offer advertising in the form of mobile banners and email notifications. They also do geo-targeting if you’re looking to expand your local customer base.
CannaSOS: Best Cannabis Social Media for Network Growth
With over 400,000 monthly visitors, CannaSOS is hands down the best cannabis business social network for growth. They also have the largest database of cannabis strains and extracts and all the data you’ll need for checking on THC content and market demand.
CannaSOS is designed for social networking, but it’s obvious that the minds behind the site kept the cannabis business community in mind when they designed it. This is a prime online venue for connecting with other professionals, customers, and suppliers.
One of the features that sets this site apart from others is their community store. If you’re a user, you can reach out to suppliers and buy cannabis online. If you’re a supplier, you can advertise your product and include a message link. That goes for bud, CBD, and accessories.
Smoke Network: Best Blockchain-Powered Cannabis Social Network
What happens when your Facebook group is continually blocked for no reason? You decentralize your platform. That’s what the folks over at Smoke Network did. They turned to blockchain technology and now have a social network that can’t be blocked.
For those unfamiliar with the concept, blockchain stores all information on multiple servers, called nodes, which are not subject to management oversight. It’s the technology that makes cryptocurrency a threat to centralized fiat currencies in developed nations.
Smoke Network offers monetary rewards for posts that are upvoted or liked. These rewards are paid out in the form of cryptocurrency, making this social network the only one out there where you can actually get paid for smoking and commenting on your weed.
Linkedin: Best All Around for Business Promotion
There’s no place else online where you can access over 700 million professionals in 200 different countries. LinkedIn is a business-to-business network, not a consumer facing social media platform. If your cannabis business isn’t listed there, you’re missing out.
Unlike Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, Linked In does not have prohibitive content rules that shut out cannabis business owners and users. Their focus is to provide content that is relative and useful to the business community. As a member, you can help provide that.
There are several social networks on this list that offer single sign-on using Linked In. If you’re looking for investors, you’ll be asked for your Linked In URL to help with the vetting process. That alone should be a compelling enough reason to build a business page there.
Going Beyond the Top Ten Cannabis Social Networks
Anyone running a cannabis business should set up profiles on the ten social networks we’ve listed above. Don’t stop there, though. We started this article by researching others like it that did their own “Top Social Networks” list and found most of them to be obsolete.
In a growing industry like ours, there will be companies that rise and fall quickly. Some will last and pass the test of time. Others will fade away or get absorbed by larger companies. A few choose to operate strictly as mobile apps, foregoing the traditional website route.
Mobile apps can be social networks also. Weedmaps, one of our top ten above, is an example of this. There are others. We feel that we need to include a few of them as “honorable mentions” to our top ten list. The following mobile apps qualify:
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- Leafly: Similar to Weedmaps, Leafly is a cannabis education app that also includes maps of dispensaries, CBD stores, and cannabis suppliers. It’ available for IOS or Android and has over one million installations to date.
- Green Entrepreneur: Targeted to cannabis businesses of all sizes, Green Entrepreneur is a website, magazine, podcast, and video production app. It’s a good source for learning about the industry and also a multimedia venue for advertising your products.
- Trym: Best growing app for professional marijuana growers. Trym gives you the ability to monitor your plant growth and manage team and individual tasks. The analytics are on point and workflows can be optimized for better efficiency.
- Go Fire: Medical cannabis works. Go Fire is an app that can be used to dose and track edibles, tinctures, and topicals. They even offer an inhaler to help you get it right. This is an app for you if you’re on the medical side of the cannabis industry.
- Best in Grow: Looking for a good scheduling and task management tool. Best in Grow does that and more. You can coordinate team activities and communicate using timelines, news feeds, and an internal chat feature to talk one on one.
Managing multiple mobile apps along with ten social networking sites is a lot of work. Don’t try to take it on all by yourself. Hiring a dedicated person to post and converse on your networks and apps is one of the signals to investors that you’re a mature company.
Another tip for doing this successfully is not to get too caught up in social media conversations. If you do choose to handle your profiles and pages on your own, which is a bad idea, schedule specific times to do it, preferably during off hours. Late afternoon/early evening works best.
Finding a bad credit business loan shouldn’t have to be difficult. If good credit was required to finance a business, many business owners would never have opened their doors. The truth is that you can acquire funding even if you have bad credit, provided that you go to the right institutions to get it.
High-risk business loans have two defining qualities of being high risk and centered around businesses. These businesses are typically startups, based in volatile industries, or have poor or no credit.
Kevin is a contributing author to several financial publications online. He has worked in the industry as a writer for several years now, and often works with financial planners to create world-class content.