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Once upon a time, in a world not so distant from ours, lived 2 pens called Penorama and Penny. They looked so similar that one would say they were twins. However, they weren’t alike in their thoughts.  Penorama felt he was the best pen ever, while Penny always thought herself as work in progress. They lived in a stationary box of Master Murakh.

One day, Master Murakh opened the box to pick a pen for writing. He did not know whether to choose Penorama or Penny. Suddenly, Penorama jumped, picked up a bullhorn out of nowhere and started shouting on top of his lungs, ‘East or Best, who is the best? Penorama is the best…… Pick Me for I am the best, I am the best, I am the best’. Penny did not speak a word. Staying true to his name, Master Murakh chose Penorama.

Penorama attained his success of being the first choice but that wasn’t enough for him. He would sneak out of the stationary box and catch Master Murakh’s attention in advance, to make sure he remains his first choice. Master Murakh enjoyed the company of Penorama, but his shenanigans of “Look at me! Use me!” were getting louder. He would squeal every time that he was the best and force Master Murakh to choose him. He would even leave out notes on Master Murakh’s desk reminding him that he was the best and a pen like no other. 

One day, Master Murakh decided to draw something and opened the stationary box. Penorama began his usual stint. Master Murakh wanted to choose a pencil but Penorama just wouldn’t have it. Just to shut him up Master Murakh selected Penorama again over pencil. This incident made Penorama insecure and made him think that he had to try a new way to hold Master Murakh’s attention.  So, he poured glue onto himself. Master Murakh lost his cool when he realized he can’t get Penorama off his hand. Somehow, he managed to get him off. 

The next day, Master Murakh opened the box and as usual, Penorama began boasting about himself. Master Murakh deliberately ignored him and chose Penny had been developing herself all this time.

Penny made Master Murakh feel comfortable when he wrote and would let go off him as soon as he was done writing. Sometimes Penny would even give out suggestions on how he could improve what he had written or compliment him on his writing. One time, Master Murakh used Penny to draw something but Penny stopped him. She suggested it would be better if he used Pencil for the diagram. 

Jealous Penorama considered the advice stupid. He asked how she would be around Master Murakh if she suggests him to use other items. Penny replied back saying Master Murakh was not a Murakh. He had his own mind. If she allowed him to use his own mind and provided enough encouragement and suggestions to do the same, he will trust her and her advice more which means he will turn to her more to solve his problems. 

And she was right. Master Murakh used the pencil and drew an illustration which earned him Penny’s compliment.  Feeling encouraged, he used penny and wrote a poem below the illustration. Penny genuinely loved the poem and let Master Murakh know that it was beautiful.

He turned up to Penny more often for help and not merely looked at her as a means to an end. Also, he disposed the constantly annoying Penorama for good. His desk and stationary box and writing has been peaceful ever since and they lived happily every after.

What’s the point of this story? The point is who is your brand? Is it the Narcissistic Penorama who seeks to get audience’s attention  around the needs of their brand or is it Humanely Penny who focusses on building the brand around the needs of their audience’s?

How do we build our brand around the needs of the audience?
Your followers on any social media platform are your biggest assets. But brands hardly look at them beyond numbers. The battle is to constantly keep the followers growing. But it is very rare that a brand pays attention to the current followers and engages with them. Brands are being selfish in their approach. They want engagement from their followers but they do not want the same for their followers. Why? Because with being a great brand comes the greatest overrated word used in marketing -sophistication. ‘Our brand won’t follow people’’… …‘’Okay, and why not?’’…… ‘’Because our brand is sophisticated’’……  ‘’NO, YOUR BRAND IS STUPID!!!’’

No, I am not saying we have to go by follow for follow strategy. No! When someone follows your brand, get a check in place to see if the follower belongs in the niche your brand is catering to and if engaging with them will provide any value to them.

The process to engage with your audience doesn’t end with a follow back. It doesn’t end by replying with a like or a heart in the comment section of your posts. It only starts by being a part of your audience’s life and it’s a never ending process.

One great way to engage with your current followers is via checking their stories. Comment on their stories and by comment I don’t again mean a random like or heart or a one word reply. Be a part of their story, write a heartfelt comment. Celebrate their little moments.

Following the audience from your niche also enables their posts to be seen on your feed. Check their posts. If it makes sense like it and write a genuine comment pertaining to the post.Simple and genuine acts as mentioned earlier, your brand will be perceived as a company that connects with them on a humane level.  That will lead to a positive word of mouth among other people who belong in your niche. This means, more followers. Also, not to forget the goodwill and loyalty your brand will earn by just being human.

Your brand can choose sophistication and be a Penorama or choose to be Penny, but you cannot afford to consider your audience as ‘Murakhs’.

Contact Alter Marketing Management’s social marketing team, for expert solutions for improving your brand engagement.