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A question every brand should be asking: “What’s our verb?”

I actively try to not write blog posts that are specifically related to Facebook. Not because I’m anti-Facebook or anything silly like that. It’s just that I feel too many companies wrap their entire social media strategy (if you can even call it that) around the mega social network, and I didn’t want to contribute to that collective mindset.

Well guess what? I’m going to write a post that’s all about Facebook.

And why am I going to do that? Because I believe that one of the new features that they recently rolled out has the opportunity to revolutionize the way that brands interact with consumers. The feature I’m referring to is the “Actions & Objects” facet of Facebook’s Open Graph API. Known in some circles as “verbs and nouns,” this particular functionality will allow brands to move beyond the “Like” and develop truly meaningful interactions.

Instead of consumers simply “Liking” your brand page, they will now be able to “install” your software or “cook” with your appliance, etc. and so forth. Oh, and by the way, when a user performs one of these actions, all of their Facebook friends and their friends’ friends will see that interaction in their timeline and will be able to share it or perform it as well.

Powerful stuff.

But here’s the catch. Before you can leverage the power of this new application, you need to define the actions or “verbs” that define your brand. Mind you, you’ll also need to define the object or “noun” but I would argue that this will be the easier step once you’ve figured out the action.

Currently, Facebook offers only a limited number of preset actions and objects within their Open Graph API. However, you can submit applications for entirely new ones. Just make sure that you follow their guidelines and understand that any new actions and objects won’t be approved and won’t go live until after Facebook rolls out their new Timeline functionality to the entire Facebook user base.

Smart executives should get the ball rolling immediately, by figuring out what their verb(s) should be, so that they can subsequently pick an accompanying noun(s) and then submit this new interaction format to Facebook. By doing so, smart brands will be setting the stage for an entirely new form of online consumer interaction.

P.S. You don’t have to be a Fortune 100 company to partake in the Facebook open graph bonanza. You just need some creativity, and understanding of your brand, and some solid developer resources.

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