How Red Lobster used a quiz to create their most liked Facebook post ever

Find out how Red Lobster made a quiz that became their most liked Facebook post and how you can make one that does the same for your business!

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As far as I can tell (from looking through their Facebook feed), the most “liked” Facebook post from the Red Lobster for all time is the quiz in the screenshot above. It amassed 179,165 likes, which is a crazy amount for any post, and certainly surpasses your average status update.

I’d like to analyze the quiz itself and see if we can’t work backwards to figure out what led to this behemoth of a post.

The first thing to consider is how the post was shared in the first place. Facebook business pages require you to manually upload your post’s photo along with a link. Here’s a short set of instructions (I put this first because it’s important.

1. Take a screenshot of the quiz or pick an image to share

2. Upload the image to a new Facebook post manually
3. Write a description of the quiz “Have you ever wondered what kind of Cheese-y couple you are? Now you can find out”
4. Include a link to the quiz (use or similar link shortener to track analytics)
Making your quiz

Let’s dive into the process of creating this quiz.

1. Design elements.

While you get to choose what image to share with your quiz link on Facebook, the quiz itself is what gets people to click and take the quiz, building the connection needed to eventually have that person send a like or share your way which in turn gets more people exposed to the quiz.

As you can see in the screenshot below there are a couple of things that show up. First is the big picture that’s called the cover photo in the Interact quiz builder. The second is the title, and the third is the font style and button color.

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2. Create questions to break the ice

Your goal is to get people excited enough about your quiz to share it and amplify the reach. The leg-work of this happens within the quiz questions which makes no sense, but let me explain. The best way to think about this is to realize that no other form of content besides quizzes allows you to ask people questions and actually have them respond. This means you can have a scripted conversation with each and every person who comes to your quiz, building a relationship (using that word at it’s very lightest definition) with each person that can be leveraged to get that person to share the quiz. The only thing you have to do is be yourself when asking quiz questions, but in case that’s a struggle, here are some things we learned from Red Lobster.

-Have a personality

The personality of the Red Lobster writer is that friend who asks you questions and actually cares about the answers. How to be that person in a quiz is difficult, but it mainly means just asking very specific and personal questions. Obviously you don’t have to have that same personality, but it’s important to have some sort of distinct personality when writing quiz questions, this will really help people to identify with you.

-Don’t ask too many questions

I was just looking at a quiz made with Interact that had 17 questions, and I didn’t finish it, even though I have a vested interest in each quiz made with our platform. The Red Lobster quiz has six questions, which lands it squarely in the sweet spot (6-12 questions). That’s enough time to build some rapport (about 2 minutes of answering questions), but it’s not too long to the point where people will get bored and leave.

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3. Build results worth sharing

The results page is the last page of your quiz, this is where people will decide if they want to share your quiz or if they like it enough to give it a “like” on Facebook. The goal here is to continue the connection you started working on with the quiz questions and build enough rapport to get that like or share. Here are a few best practices that The Red Lobster did an excellent job of.

-Be nice. 

Regardless of which quiz result the person gets, no one wants to hear they they are not great, everyone wants to hear that they are awesome. Take for example the quiz result pictured below for Shrimp Linguini Alfredo, it’s borderline kissing up with how nice it is, but somehow you still believe it, that’s the goal – be almost too nice, but sincere enough to be believable.

-Keep it short.

Yes, people want to hear about how great they are, but not at the cost of having to read more than 200 words (our recommended upper limit for quiz results). Again, this is something The Red Lobster does really well, they make sure to tell people how great they are without droning on.

-Have pictures

If you told me I was “Shrimp Linguini Alfredo” without a picture, I probably wouldn’t care that much – however, you add in a photo and all of a sudden I really want it (and care a lot more). Make sure you use only high quality photos, blurry images are a sure-fire way to shoot yourself in the foot with a quiz.

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4. Have a promotion strategy

While the main thing is to just make sure you create a Facebook post that looks nice, there are a few other things to keep in mind if you want to maximize the impact of your quiz on social media.

-Reply to comments

No matter how big your company is, people will vastly appreciate if you reply to their comments. This is something The Red Lobster did an excellent job of, they took the time to go in and reply to as many comments as humanly possible (there were nearly 5,000 so every one just wasn’t in the options book).

-Post multiple times

Studies show that you should post things more than once to social media.  The main reason for this is that the biggest networks have created a system where only a small fraction of your followers (sometimes as little as 10%) will even see your post. Also, it turns out that even when people see your post more than once they don’t mind. Red Lobster posted their quiz multiple times, and while the first post got the majority of the “likes” and interactions, the subsequent posts combined to get the quiz more than 200k likes in total.

Quizzes do very well on Facebook. Red Lobster is a perfect example of a well-executed quiz that did pretty much everything right and reaped the benefits, reaching millions of people. We can all learn a lot from them, thanks Red Lobster for showing us the way!

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Josh Haynam

Josh Haynam is the co-founder of Interact, a place for creating beautiful and engaging quizzes that generate email leads. Outside of Interact Josh is an outdoor enthusiast, is very into health/fitness, and enjoys spending time with his community in San Francisco.

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