Can you really measure a Facebook ‘like’?

Two experts in social strategy and measurement had it out in blog posts and on Twitter over how to determine the value of a Facebook ‘like.’ Who’s got it right?

On one side, you have Dan Zarrella, social media scientist at HubSpot, who laid out a specific formula for the value of a “like” [VOAL]—the factors include total likes, unlikes, links per day, clicks, conversion rate, and average conversion value—in the Harvard Business Review.

On the other, there’s Olivier Blanchard of The Brand Builder, who calls that equation “stupid, pointless, and overly complicated” on his blog. He suggests simply taking the number of “likes” you have and dividing it by revenue from inbound Facebook traffic.

“Next time someone tells you they’ve invented a metric, run,” Blanchard wrote. “Seriously. Turn around and start hoofing it.”

The disagreement spilled over into an often-contentious Twitter debate about tracking “likes,” equations, and how trustworthy data from links can be.

So who’s got it right? asked the commentators themselves, as well as some other experts to weigh in.

Clearing up the details

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