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How to Sell Cannabis on Social Media Without Getting Your Account Banned or Removed


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How to sell Cannabis on Social Media? Don’t try this if you are afraid of having your accounts banned or removed!

If you try to use Facebook’s ad platform to promote your dispensary or cannabis related product, the odds that your accounts will be suspended or banned is quite high. This is because most of these social media platforms have strict rules against marketing anything drug related – except maybe for alcohol which generally gets a free pass. But even in places like Facebook, to use the advertisement platform to promote these substances will surely get you banned.


While this is true, there are plenty of brands that are able to bypass this system and market their products on Facebook. In fact, I’ve seen many people sell psychedelic mushrooms online by using smart marketing tricks that bypass the censors. I know, because I have done it for clients with some success.


Before we continue, I must express that this article is meant for educative purposes. If you are to take any of the things I will discuss in this article, apply it, and then get your account banned – that’s entirely on you. While I have done this in the past, I don’t think it’s the best means of selling your products online – even though if done right you can create an additional revenue stream.


Now that that’s out of the way – let’s take a closer look at how I was able to sell cannabis utilizing the Facebook Ads platform.


Buying Ad accounts


While this is probably able to be done on other platforms, I’m going to be focusing on Facebook for now considering that it still is the largest social media site on the planet and despite it becoming more of a SM network for the “olds” – there still is value in utilizing it to tap into new consumer circles.


The first thing I recommend that you do is to purchase an ads account that isn’t your own. If you were to open up a new account and try to market from there, you’ll have to jump through millions of hoops before you can get any traction. If Facebook gets a whiff that you’re pushing cannabis – they will immediately ban your account.


To buy a Facebook ad account isn’t easy. Firstly, you’ll have to find a reputable source and an account that will allow you to drop some serious advertisement dollars on it. Fresh accounts have limits on how much they can spend. Once you find one, you’ll need to set up a proxy server in order to “access the account” from the region it is hosted.


Not doing that will immediately tip Facebook off on your activities. I won’t be telling you where to buy these accounts because I have not done the work on verifying which sites are the best and thus, might be suggesting one that simply isn’t that good.


In my case, the client already had all of this done and so I didn’t have to follow this step – simply setting up a proxy on my browser was what I had to do.


Got an account…now what?


Let’s say you figured out how to add a new ads account – congratulations!


Now, what follows is working out on how you’ll market your weed. Firstly, if you directly sell cannabis and use any of the related terms – you’d be flagged. Even if you don’t use any of these terms in your advertisement but link directly to your store – you’ll also be flagged.


So how do we bypass all of this? Simple!


You create a forced redirect from your ad and DO NOT mention weed. It’s good to hint at it. What I did was use cultural references to infer that what was being sold was weed.


For example, “Mama said we need to get our greens! Here’s some of the best Greens on discount!”


That right there will fly over the head of the censors and the algorithm because at no point are we mentioning weed. Most people that check these ads do not speak English as their first language. This means that idioms often fly over their head. The algorithm also can’t be tweaked to include terms like “greens” because it would widen its search query too much and would create too many false positives for the “ad checkers”.


Therefore, substituting your language and using words that stoners would pick up on is your best friend. But as mentioned, you can’t directly link to the store…so how did I work around this?


Can’t link to a store? NO PROBLEM!


In order to ensure that you’re not flagged immediately you can use a redirecting protocol within your campaigns. In the one I did, what I used was “lead pages” which is a platform where you can host landing pages. They provide a unique URL which can be tracked and easily built.


I simply utilized this as the official “in betweener”. People would click on the ad, get redirected to the landing page where they are sold on the benefits and where I could be more “open” about the cannabis related content.


Nonetheless, I kept any and all cannabis related language off this page too. This was just to ensure that Facebook wouldn’t scrub the landing page and see if there’s any conflicting terms.


In the campaign I worked on, the people had characters for all of their products which gave me a great excuse to prompt up the character profiles in order to leverage the traffic to sell.


When someone clicked the “buy button” on the landing page, it would redirect them to the checkout of the store with the product already added.


Bottom Line

It’s hard for cannabis related brands to get traction on social media because of all the regulations in play. However, if you’re a smart marketer, you’ll always be able to find a work around. However, as mentioned – if you do decide to do this, be sure to get an ads account you’re willing to lose because while my campaign ended before I was caught, the risk was always there.









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