Social Media is a Brand reinforcer…not a creator

So I often hear it said – Use Instagram to build your brand.

I will say this time and time again – That is both an incorrect and misleading statement. And the reason is this – Brand is not just an image that we project. It’s not just our logos and fonts it’s a bigger and deeper element than that.

Brand is a fairly chunky beast. Most of us develop our brands by default, it’s just something that happens…and these brands tend to be the most deadly from an effectiveness point of view. And when we do develop a brand like that, rarely are first planning our Instagram feed then thinking about how we want to be seen and perceived by others (be it customers, peers etc…). That’s cart before the horse stuff.

Rather the thought process is – This is me, this is what I represent…and then: These posts support all of that.

So therefore what you are using Social Media is to do is to simply reinforce the brand and brand message that you should have already established. Just simply posting loads and loads of pictures of things that you like and want associated with your brand is not building a brand. That’s just posting pictures. It will give a veneer of a brand. It will allow you to ‘pinch hit’ some market share, but any rewards will be short lived. It’s akin to using caffeine instead of proper sleep habits to help you stay alert.

Brand is the promise of an experience…AND the experience itself. I also actually think of brand in terms of: A brand is how you start a conversation about you without you in the room. And that takes a lot of elements, not just a bunch of pictures.

Therefore don’t make the mistake and think that carefully selecting a whole bunch of pictures is how you create and brand. It’s far from it.

Your brand is built around what your mission to your business is, who you are as a genuine person and lastly what is your story – Wholly and solely. Creating messaging and posts that help tell people about these points is what you should be using Instagram for.

It might seem like a subtle difference but it is an important one to note.

Anthony Cribbes