Only 29% really “liked” Zuckerberg on SNL

The number on Mashable’s post about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appearing on Saturday Night Live claimed that 1,333 people “liked” it by 12:15 a.m on January 31. The truth is that the like button was pressed only 384 times, 269 comments were left on Facebook about that post and the link was “shared” 680 times on Facebook walls and pages.

I used my RealShare tool to find the real Facebook counts.

I apologize if I’m beating a dead horse here, but I thought it would be helpful to just pull out another example to illustrate how misleading Facebook button counts can be.

  • No, I won’t assume that the 680 people who shared the link genuinely liked it.
  • Yes, I’d be ignorant to believe all 269 comments were made by people who liked the link.
  • No, 269 comments do not equal 269 people.
  • Yes, Facebook should change the wording or the count so that the statement about how many people like a particular page is correct.

4 thoughts on “Only 29% really “liked” Zuckerberg on SNL

  1. You are most certainly not beating a dead horse. We seem to just adore inflated metrics. Why say that you got x number of unique visits, comments, likes, etc when you can say you got 3 times that?! I mean it's not really lying right? And we want to feel better about ourselves. I think if people following metrics did the work that you did here they would find that their signal isn't quite as large as they thought, and they might realize they had more work to do.

    • Right, Anna, and those other numbers could really help journalists and companies gain a better understanding of how they are connecting with their audience. For example, a story with 400 comments is probably a good talker and should be followed up with more information to feed that discussion. A product video with 250,000 "likes" is probably truly enjoyable to that audience, and retailers might be wise to stock their shelves with that item.

  2. Ouch! Maybe that's why the Facebook 'like' button is so inaccurate, to make Zuckerberg look better :-P

    "I apologize if I’m beating a dead horse here" – not at all, you have made a valid point, and this is just another post being used to show an example of the error. I 'like' it :-)

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