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How to Properly Handle an Attack to Your Cannabis Brand

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The trolls are coming for you!

Internet trolls are an unfortunate side effect of social media and the connectivity it gives us to millions of people every day. We live in a time where all the information in all the world is available at our fingertips, and people seem more and more unwilling to research and expand their knowledge. They rely on misinformation, and only seem to listen to what supports their views. This goes double for the cannabis industry where there’s more bias and misinformation than ever.

Brand attacks happen almost more than constructive engagement. They read your post, and then come at you with second-hand stories they take as fact. Because you’re a business owner, they’re less likely to trust you than their third cousin twice removed who keeps a pet yeti in their backyard that no one has ever seen.

So, what can you do?

What are the opportunities?

What is the person saying? Is it something that can benefit you if you turn the tables? Is there a challenge in their comment that you can meet? Staying calm in the middle of an attack is crucial. You don’t want your emotions to take control of your fingertips and make the attack even worse. If you respond unprofessionally or in a way that goes against your brand values, then you open yourself up to further scrutiny and some of that scrutiny could come from your customers.

In the case of Ann Taylor, the social media brand listened to customer concerns about how their product would look on women who didn’t fit the body image of the model they used, so they turned the tables and took new pictures. The pictures were of women in their company wearing the pants in question. These women had different waist sizes and were of varying heights. They were prompt about the response, and they weren’t snide, but they saw an opportunity to answer the criticism, and they took it.

Finding opportunities to better a person’s impression of your brand and the cannabis industry at large, goes a long way in gaining favor for your company and your product.

Did an error on your part create a blunder?

Blunders happen when you’re posting on social media. Trying to find the right wording and catchy phrases to snag attention, you can accidently make some unfortunate choices and not realize it until you published the post and went about your day.

The best thing to do about a blunder like this is to be timely. Respond to concerns, explain your position, offer an apology if one is necessary, and change the wording or remove the offending post. Your followers will love the transparency and you’ve gained the advantage of interacting honestly and openly with potential customers. It will show integrity on your side for having taken other views into consideration.

Trolls attack without warning or reason

At the start of this article we mentioned internet trolls, and they’re a big part of brand attacks. Some of them may come armed with information, but most of them will come with only one goal: making a mockery of you. You can’t let them get to you. No matter how much you would love to, you can’t put them on blast. Your brand is at stake, and they will have gotten what they want: baiting you into a downward spiral.

There’s only so much you can do with one person who refuses to learn from the interaction. Don’t rush into a response even if you think you must. Rushing can lead to more mistakes and a bigger mess. Be confident, arm yourself with information, go over your response, and finally hit post. Remember, you’re likely not going to win over a troll. What your response will do is win over those people who are following the interaction.

When legitimate customers have complaints

Customers are the lifeblood of all businesses. With so many regulations on how the cannabis industry can market, customers are even more vital. It’s important that you respond to upset customers because they’re definitely waiting for a response.

Negative reviews and complaints can be seen as an advantage as well. It’s the time where you can open up, be honest, and show a bit of the humans behind your brand. You’re apologizing, seeking to make amends, and explaining what happened. That’s going to be seen in a favorable light. Complicated issues or concerns that people want to address further should be handled through messaging or over the phone, that way you can explain better and get to the meat of the concern without airing everything out on social media. Don’t run from negative reviews, and don’t get too emotionally invested in them. Handle the customer with care and treat them well. That’s all they want.

Marketing in the cannabis industry is met with a lot of red tape. At ContentBacon we understand this, and we want to help. With our services you can leverage one of the few marketing avenues available to you. Inbound marketing is a way to build your brand from the base up by establishing yourself as an authority, and bringing people to your website day or night to read your advice, tips, and industry related news. Don’t delay. Start building a stronger foundation with our help today!

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