On Tuesday I discussed how to use questions on your Facebook Page to dramatically boost traffic to your company blog. The one thing that I glossed over quickly was how Facebook calculates share and like counts. The number that Facebook currently displays is the total number of likes, shares, and comments on any given link. Many people previously weren’t aware of how that number is calculated which is why I’ve gone and created the Facebook Like Count Calculator.
Since we just launched it, the calculator can sometime take a while to load, however we’ll release an asynchronous version shortly which doesn’t run into the same type of page load issues. The tool was created to simply illustrate how Facebook calculates Facebook share and like counts. The first thing that may come to mind is whether or not this is how Facebook should display counts? Since it’s not actually the number of likes or shares, why is Facebook displaying it like it is?
I would argue that this calculation benefits the publisher. The greater the number in the like or share box, the more likely a visitor will click on it. While it’s not the most accurate representation, it’s helping out the publisher, and ultimately, that’s Facebook’s primary goal with the like and the share buttons. If you want to see how share and like counts are calculated, go check out our Facebook Like Count Calculator.