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Layne Schmerin and Jonathan Lepow: On The Do’s and Don’ts of Marketing Cannabis on Instagram

Cannabis and entrepreneurship: a joint venture we have all seen, heard of, or engaged in.

Layne Schmerin, the founder of TopTree Agency and his brother Jonathan Lepow, co-Founder of Top Tree Agency, have some advice he wants to offer entrepreneurs regarding how to market your cannabis business. His firm TopTree agency has deep roots in the Cannabis business as his brother suffered from cancer and wished that he promotes the positive aspects of medicinal cannabis. Cannabis itself has had many negative connotations amongst social media. However, this did not stop him from creating a successful marketing firm which now focuses on entire marketing campaigns on artists, music producers, brands, and services.

The most important tool for brand marketing is currently Instagram. Instagram founded in 2010 has grown rapidly in the past decade with over 1 billion active users coming second to its parent company Facebook. This makes it a phenomenal resource to run effective marketing by exposing to users around the globe. Many cannabis-related businesses actively promote on Instagram to gain traffic on their websites.

However Instagram has its’ own connotations against marijuana and makes active efforts to censor marijuana related content. Often times posts are removed and accounts are also entirely deleted by Instagram’s database due to connection with marijuana related activities. Many times out of 10, pages cannot be restored and this leaves many 420-friendly users wondering what to do.

As entrepreneurs and business owners who celebrate April 20th annually, how do we overcome this hurdle?

Layne Schmerin gives a few tips on promoting cannabis on Instagram:

  •       Do Not openly sell your product on the platform directly

We must account for legal issues and ensure that we don’t sell the product directly on Instagram as it is illegal and depending on the circumstance, it could call for misdemeanors and jail time in addition to being banned from the platform altogether. A helpful tactic is to transition the conversation over to email or text if you are feeling ballsy. Whatever you do, it’s best to avoid Direct messages out of respect for Instagram’s policies

  •       Do Ensure Page privacy

One way to mitigate risk is by keeping the page on private so that only people you trust will be able to view your content. Build a quality network While this limits exposure, it keeps you from issues such as flagging reporting by public users who may not be so 420-friendly. This also helps you ensure that you are abiding by the law since you can track new users state and age to make sure you aren’t doing anything illegal.

  •       Do Not Smoke Weed on Instagram

C’mon man! Don’t do something your momma wouldn’t approve of.

This is a full-proof way of getting banned from Instagram. Instead add a link of your website on your bio and then post whatever you want on your website. 

  •       Do Actively try to recover your account

There are links on Instagram’s customer service section that help business accounts who lost their accounts due to violations file a complaint. Do this. Consistently.

This is still a hit or miss but your consistency improves your odds of reactivating your account.

Things like invoices, driver’s licenses, utilities, domain name registration proof, business license, tax filings, and receipts are all things that could come in handy when you are filing your case.

If there is an option to get on the phone and speak with a representative, do that as well.
That can only help your case.