As a brand would you prefer to have a consumer “using” your “product” or that of your competition? That is the question you should be asking yourself and working to define in the coming month.

As marketers we’ve now had a few weeks to digest the changes that Facebook announced at their f8 Developers Conference. Changes to profile pages with the introduction of Timeline was certainly a huge development, but one of the bigger announcements was the change to the Facebook Open Graph and the introduction to “model user activities based on actions and objects.”

This is a significant change for Facebook, developers and the social media marketing community. Essentially Facebook has announced that the “Like” button can now be replaced with a specific action.

As an example, a recipe app may define the ability to “cook” (action) to a “recipe” (object). The framework uses actions as verbs that users perform in your application and objects are defined as nouns that the actions apply to.

What does this mean to marketers? In my opinion, Facebook will now reward brands and marketers that focus on more than “Likes” and content creation, you will now need to have Open Graph development as part of your social media strategy.

We are seeing the migration from social actions (clicking a “Like” button”) to social engagement (tracking a specific “action”). This is a very important development for Facebook because they will now expand user-tracking outside of their platform as developers and brands define new social actions. For brands and marketers it means that we no longer care that a consumer “Likes” a product page or post, but that they are “cooking” with our “recipe” or “riding” our “bike”.

By expanding the “Like” button to track any object and action we will more clearly understand how the consumer is engaging with our brands. Ad agencies, brands and developers that are first-to-market with these new Facebook Timeline apps will reap the rewards. As consumers decide what applications they will install and track their every online movement, those that are ahead of the curve can benefit from being the first to define these actions.

Earlier I asked if you would you prefer to have a consumer “using” your “product” or that of your competition? It is safe to assume that consumers will be careful about what applications they install on their Facebook Timeline, and I doubt they will install competing apps that provide the same (or similar) functionality.

Are you prepared to take advantage of the changes to the Facebook Timeline and Open Graph? Share your thoughts below or find me on Twitter (@djenders).