Inception - Applying the Concepts From the Movie to Your Social Strategy



Dom Cobb: What is the most resilient parasite? A bacteria? A virus? An intenstinal worm?
Arthur: Ah, what Mr Cobb is trying to...
Dom Cobb: An idea. Resilient, highly contajous. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it's almost impossible to iradicate. An idea that is fully formed, fully understood. That sticks, right in there somewhere. [points to his head]

I watch a decent amount of movies but I am rarely that excited about a movie. Tomorrow the movie Inception is released on DVD. After seeing this in the theater it quickly became one of my favorite movies. If you have not seen the movie I don't want to ruin it but I will talk about the concept of Inception and how you can apply it to how you think about social media.

Soon after the movie came out Brian Solis wrote a post drawing parallels to your social media team and listening to your network. The basis of my philosophy on social is that it is about building relationships, and if you understand how your network works you can build more strategic relationships. Your network of relationships becomes one of the biggest assets you have, which will pay dividends in lots of ways over time.

The concept of Inception is that you can plant an idea into someone's head and like the quote at the beginning of this post indicates an idea is resilient. A resilient idea will spread throughout a network. In the movie part of what they are trying to do is plant an idea into someone's head. The point they make is that you can't just suggest to to someone. It is much more complex than that. You need them to believe the idea was their own. If you are trying to influence a network you want to be able to do this with key strategic relationships in your network (or the network you wish to have).

The problem with services like Klout are that they only look for the obvious points in the network. If you really can understand your network you will understand that the obvious point of insertion of an idea is rarely the best place for an idea to take hold.

Understand how your network truly operates and you can build relationships that allow you to break through the ever increasing noise that will give you the chance to understand a point of inception.  This concept is critical for businesses going forward that need to reach people in a way that allows them to be heard.  The days of bombarding people with irrelevant messages are coming to an end and only messages that come from trusted networks will make it through the noise.