How To Get 100 Likes From 2 People

// // November 08th 2010 // Analytics + Social Media

The other day I wrote about the potential for inflated Like numbers. In particular, I was interested in how comments were factored into the Like total.  It was pretty clear that Likes and comments were not mutually exclusive. But were comments a count of unique contributors or simply a total count of comments.

The Like Experiment

So, I ran a small experiment using an old satirical blog post: LOLCats and Religion: A Dissertation.

This post originally had two shares but no Likes or comments. So I went ahead and Liked it and asked my colleague Jeremy Post to have a comment dialog on the item. In all, we generated 10 comments.

Facebook Comments

One of my concerns was that comments might not always relate to the item and interestingly enough we actually did switch topics during the dialog from LOLCats to Dune. Go figure. (Note to self - fix image being attributed to blog posts.)

The Like Results

So what was the result? How many Likes did this old post rack up due to this comment stream? Sure enough, every comment is counted as a Like.

Facebook Like Numbers

A quick check using my Facebook Like Number Bookmarklet reveals how the number is calculated.

Facebook Like Count

So, did 13 others like this? No, it’s just two people having a conversation on a shared item. And that’s how you could get …

100 Likes from 2 People on 1 Item

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Comments About How To Get 100 Likes From 2 People

// 4 comments so far.

  1. Andy @ FirstFound // November 09th 2010

    This almost sounds too good to be true. That said, I’ll be testing it myself and making the most of it when it works!

    Cheers guys!

  2. Anirvan // November 16th 2010

    Good digging. So “X people like this” is shorthand for “there have been X interactions with this.” Next question to explore: is there any benefit to having a high “X people like this” count?

  3. aj // November 24th 2010

    Great to hear from you Anirvan.

    Yes, the Like count is a shorthand for number of interactions or activity on that item. The question about whether a high Like count is beneficial has a lot of dimensions. It’s clear that an item with more Likes – more interaction – will get greater prominence in the Facebook news feed. It’s the difference between a one line entry and a full entry with snippet text and an image.

    What’s not clear is whether the number of Likes creates momentum. If I see a high LIke number, am I more likely to Like that item? Do the rich get richer through a subtle form of peer pressure? I’m not sure exactly how you’d test this since the number of variables would make it difficult to compare like content with different Like numbers.

    I do think it benefits Facebook since the numbers speak to usage and ubiquity. A not-so-subtle form of public relations for the functionality.

  4. aj // November 24th 2010

    Thanks Andy. I’d love to hear if you found it worked for you as well.

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