Content analysis of instagram posts by leading cannabis vaporizer brands.

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2020 Oct 19;:108353

Authors: Spillane TE, Wong BA, Giovenco DP

BACKGROUND: Cannabis vaporizer companies leverage social media to market their products, but little is known about the content of the messages being delivered to consumers. This study describes characteristics of Instagram posts from three popular cannabis vaporizer brands in the U.S.
METHODS: A content analysis was performed on posts uploaded between October 2017 and October 2018 by the brands Kandypens (n = 731), G Pen (n = 454), and Pax (n = 71). Posts were coded for: characteristics of individuals pictured, health and risk statements, references to cannabis, co-marketing activities, cartoon images, and product price. Descriptive statistics highlight the prevalence of these characteristics and between-brand differences.
RESULTS: Posts had a wide reach, with a total of 467,700 followers across brands. Two-thirds (68.0 %) of posts depicted someone using the product. Among posts featuring a person, (83.9 %) depicted female users. Overall, cannabis was rarely mentioned (8.9 %) or depicted (10.0 %) in posts. « Tagging » social media influencers (34.3 % of posts) and other companies or their products (31.9 % of posts) were popular promotional strategies. Few posts mentioned age restrictions (0.3 %), health risks (5.2 %), or health benefits (0.2 %).
CONCLUSIONS: Cannabis vaporizer companies reach thousands of consumers through brand-owned social media accounts. Strategies to promote their products on these channels include posts that may appeal to sociodemographic groups and leveraging social media influencers and other companies to increase overall reach. As legalized recreational cannabis expands and a range of consumption methods become popular, an understanding of brands’ social media marketing practices is needed to inform policies and interventions that promote population health.

PMID: 33109462 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Source: ncbi 2

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