Did Barack Obama Just Break Some Kind of Facebook Record?


Peter Claridge

August 8, 2014 3 min read

Updated on September 18, 2019

Zuckerberg may have been stealing the limelight recently with his record breaking IPO, but there’s another man in town making his own Facebook records. Sure, Eminem and Rihanna have more than double the number of fans, but as social media gurus around the world keep telling us: It’s all about engagement. Now, with that in mind, if there is one thing we can tell you about Obama, it’s that he knows how to engage with his audience.

On the 10th of May, Obama announced that he would fully support same-sex marriage in his upcoming re-election campaign and his team posted an image (and we all know that images drive engagement, right?) on his Facebook page. What happened next was nothing short of spectacular, and we’re fairly certain that Obama has broken a Facebook record for the most engaging post ever made. Even Lady Gaga, with her legions of loyal “monsters“, hasn’t been able to post something with more Likes, Comments and Shares.

Engaging Obama Post

At the time of writing, this post about the President’s views on same-sex marriage had over 213,685 people liking it, 40,399 people commenting on it and a staggering 62,379 people sharing it. The numbers were correct as of 22nd May, but keep growing day by day.

Truly Record Breaking?

There are some well loved brands in this world, idolized celebrities and wildly popular TV shows but none of these can compete with the recent Obama post. We looked at the top ranking Facebook posts from 2012 to see just how far ahead this post was in terms of engagement when compared to other brands. In the chart below, you will find the number of Likes, Comments and Shares per post, ordered from left to right by the post with the most number of shares. Disney, with its particular brand of sentimental content, features twice thanks to the hugely popular images it posted.

Obama Engagement Chart

Unmetric considers Shares to be more valuable than Comments which in turn are more valuable than Likes. A Share is like a personal endorsement to others that you want to be associated with a particular brand, celebrity, TV show or sports team. A Like takes a fraction of a second and is the virtual equivalent of an “OK”.

We talk more about social media engagement on our guide to Facebook analytics page.

Not Just Facebook

It’s not just Facebook where the current US President is tearing up the record books. The tweet on Twitter where his campaign team announced his plans to back same-sex marriage has potentially broken records for the most retweets. According to Retweeting Obama, the tweet has so far very nearly 62,000 retweets which puts it in to a league of its own.

Romney must be thanking his lucky stars that elections are decided at the polls rather than on social media. With Obama’s opening shot in his re-election campaign, he got more Likes, Comments and Shares on one post than Romney manages to get in ten posts. One thing is for sure though, the Presidential Election campaign is going to be fought as much on social media as it is in town hall meetings, live debates and of course, the ubiquitous attack ads.

President Barack Obama photo sourced from Flickr and used for editorial purposes.

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