What is TION? In the social media world, it is simple.

Twitter is inspiration.

Facebook is relations.

Blogs are conversations.

LinkedIn is connections.

Quora is an interaction around a question.

It could look like this:

Social Media as a Noun

The reality is any of these nouns can be intermixed among the different social media platforms, so the lines should be drawn across the various outcomes or states of existence.

Social Media in Action

The origin of -tion was to turn verbs into nouns, describing a certain state of being or action. This makes sense. For each noun above, there is an associated verb, an action to get to that state. To build each of the social media elements, you need to:

  • Inspire
  • Relate
  • Converse
  • Connect
  • Interact

Being action-oriented is a good thing since that is what makes a community thrive. Engaging creates a dynamic network. After all, in my opinion, all the social media channels are available to enhance and build a community.

Are you just loading up your HootSuite and letting the streams of words drench everyone? Or, are you interacting with members of your community and welcoming new members?

Without activity (verbs), the ultimate TION happens — Stagnation. If everyone sits on their 5,000, 10,000, 15,000, 20,000 plus followers and acts above-it-all, then the community will become hollow and begin to deteriorate or dis-engage.

So, now that you have this online community, how are you going to stay involved in it or use it for some better cause, learning, and engagement? Will you choose to just sit on top of your nation, or will you stay in the mix of it, in the middle of it?

The choice is yours, and mine, as to how we use our community. That is the key. We should not let our communities — online or face-to-face — become a noun (stagnation). We should ensure it is always approached as a verb.

Our social media community model should look like this:

Are you still really active in your community? Are you leading as an engaged example? What other verbs would you use to describe how you engage your community?