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Thursday, August 26, 2010

The 'CAGE' Methodology of Social Media Simplified

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Have you ever heard of CAGE methodology of social media? Well, CAGE, in my definition, abbreviates to ‘Create’Attract’, 'Generate’ & ‘Engage'. Yes, there are 4 stages of social media. Once you are done with a project plan of social media, it’s time to execute CAGE methodology. Let me explain each of the alphabets to clarify my thoughts.

C =Create – This is Stage I of social media plan. First, you need to identify ‘channels’ where you want to create profile. For example, create a ‘twitter’ account and then get ready with the content you have already created to tweet based on social media project plan. Also, create a list of audiences (employees, stakeholders, customers etc.) who have twitter accounts. Invite them via personal mail or request to join your corporate Twitter account. Post daily 2-3 ‘unique’ tweets for a list of audiences who have joined Twitter. Not necessarily, your tweet should always be about promotional stuff of your products & services nor it should be off track. It should be something interesting not only about your company but also about others that should compliment to each other. Many companies use social media as one way communication tool to promote their stuffs. This might not work all the time.

A = Attract – This is Stage II. As the number of tweets increase, extend your efforts beyond in-house list that you have created in Stage I. You can increase your list of followers. There are many articles written on ‘how to increase followers in Twitter. However, the basic idea is to ‘promote’ Twitter profile the way you focus on promoting your website. Make use of advanced segmentation of Google Analytics or any other analytics software and identify what type of audience is visiting your website. Also, make use of ‘Heat Map’ analysis and place the social icons to bring in more clicks and exposure.

G – Generate – This is Stage III. Once you have growing list of audiences (not necessary a huge list of unwanted audiences) following you on Twitter, encourage them to‘re-tweet’. However, this is not easy. Followers are both passive and active. Identify both type of audiences and invoke their responses as well by posting on Twitter. Exchange comments, appreciate some posts of your audiences and re-tweet their content. ‘Virtual Communication (VC) might play an important role in encouraging your audiences to re-tweet. Also, make use of # tag to optimize your tweets to ensure a result on search engines. Read here an article on how to optimize Twitter. Be active in communicating, chatting, responding to re-tweets made by your followers. Your quick, fast and smart gestures are the key ingredients to generate interest that automatically paves in a way for Stage IV which is a final stage of ‘Engagement.’

E – Engage – This is Stage IV, a final stage of social media. You can find some instances inBlack Atlas. Click on the link and see how the company has used Twitter to engage its audiences. However, the fundamental rule of ‘audience engagement’ is to develop humane trait – Patience. You need to have patience to listen to your audiences that you already knew in Stage III. Yes, Listen first and then react to address their voice. This is the most difficult stage. Once you succeed, you’ve already learnt the matured way to use social media. Once the maturity level is achieved, make sincere efforts to manage and maintain. Keep a track of records by effectively managing your audiences. You can use Online Reputation Management and go in depth to understand ‘sentiments‘of your audiences via ‘Automated Sentiment Analytics Tool. Read here an article for reference on How Companies Can Use Sentiment Analysis to Improve Their Business.

All these four stages of social media make a ‘CAGE, a virtual cage of your followers, peers, prospects and customers. This is easier said than done but not virtually tough.

Go, & follow the ‘CAGE’ methodology after you are done with social media project plan.

Note – This article represents my personal thoughts that I always wanted to share with my audiences.


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