These days, one of the most common forms of advertising anything – a new product or service – or spreading an important message is to use social media. Almost everyone has a Facebook account these days, and just as many seem to have multiple social media accounts with sites like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and more. Social media is one of the most effective and cost efficient ways to reach a large number of people with limited efforts – set up a post, share it with your followers and. in turn, they will share it with their followers. This model works wonders for small and large businesses alike – unless you’re a part of the cannabis industry.
Since last year, Facebook and the Facebook owned image sharing website, Instagram, have unexpectedly taken down the accounts of dozens of marijuana related businesses. Some that have previously been affected include MassRoots (which is a social media site specifically for cannabis users), multiple New Jersey dispensaries and then last December, The Emerald Cup (an organic medical marijuana competition) lost their Facebook, Instagram and Gmail accounts the day they were supposed to announce their headlining entertainment.
It’s been a couple of months since we’ve heard of much trouble when it comes to social media taking down cannabis related pages. However, recently a California based analysis laboratory called SC Labs began their day by finding out that their Instagram account – with 10,000 followers and around five years worth of photos documenting the growth their company has seen since they got started – was taken down. If that’s not starting your day off rough, I don’t know what is – that is years’ worth of hard work and a large number of followers (which is not easy to accomplish) gone quite literally overnight.
“On a personal level, now I don’t have access to the five or six years of history documenting our process, our interactions with the community and the story of our company,” an SC Lab employee told Cannabis Club TV — an interest news outlet.
Along with losing their many years’ worth of work and fans, the company has to realize that this is a problem that faces smaller cannabis related companies who use social media to reach customers – even if they don’t directly sell a cannabis product or advertise products or prices on their pages. In some cases, it seems that companies may even be flagging competing companies posts and pictures in order to get their accounts removed and while it seems like a childish tactic, it appears that it happens more than it probably should.
“I guess the Cannabis science and education was a bit too much for some of our followers we never like to see our social media accounts flagged or removed (4x now) but we also won’t let it stop us,” SC Labs stated.
SC Labs chooses to think that they must have been flagged by someone in their audience – or someone who found them through hashtags or boosted posts perhaps? The good news is they don’t plan on letting this keep them down – they will do as many others have done in their situation and either fight to have their accounts reopened, or simply start all over again. In their case, with the many years’ worth of pictures they lost, I would hope they are able to get Instagram to reopen the account – or at least have their lost images returned.