On February 15th, 2014 Portland Monthly Magazine released a quiz titled “What’s Your Portland IQ?” within seven days the quiz had been shared more than 2500 times and had accumulated 10,000 views. The best part is that the quiz was created by an intern who was assigned to do “something fun” and came up with the quiz. It was the top article on the site for a month running.
Portland Monthly isn’t the only publication to benefit from the viral success of online quizzes. In fact, eight of the top ten articles for 2013 were some form of a quiz. The lion’s share of quiz traffic comes through social, with Facebook clearly leading the way. That’s why it’s very important to create quizzes optimized for Facebook – here’s how to accomplish that.
Step 1: Create memorable quiz titles.
- Present a challenge. “How Much do You Actually Know about the World Cup?” In reality this is just a test of knowledge, but by adding the word “actually” it seems like much more than that.
- Compare to someone famous. “Which Celebrity Would be Your Best Friend?” This is just a personality quiz, but by adding a layer of pop culture, it becomes relatable and intriguing.
- Make it personal. “What’s Your Content Marketing IQ?”
Step 2: Write quiz questions that are worth answering.
- Spur some thought. Don’t be afraid to ask some deep questions on a goofy quiz. By injecting some real thought-provoking questions you’ll get the readers’ mind focused on your quiz.
- Keep it short. Don’t have more than 15 questions. 15 questions take about two minutes to answer, which is the upper limit of your readers’ attention span.
- Get a personality involved. In the way your questions are worded. A little snarkiness never hurt anyone. Your quiz will be much more memorable if it’s written in a way that’s enjoyable to read.
Step 3: Make quiz results that are worth sharing.
- Be overwhelmingly upbeat. People like to share things that make them look good, this dates back to the narcissist in all of us. Feed into our natural desire to be the envy of all our friends by telling people they are awesome in your quiz results.
— Jenn Saunders (@saunders_jenn) June 28, 2014
- Don’t be fake. This might seem hypocritical after my last point, but you must base your quiz results off of something real to avoid people becoming dis-enthralled by your quiz results. The example below is a great example, the quiz is literally telling people that they are a truck, but it somehow rebounds and turns that into a positive thing.
- Prepare to be shared. When people share your quiz, it will look something like this. “I got (my result) (name of the quiz)” make sure your quiz results fit well into this model so that when others share your quiz they will drive even more traffic back to your site.
Step 4: Share and embed on Facebook.
- Tabs. Quizzes can be embedded on Facebook tabs using HTML, which I go into full detail on here. As you can see in the example below from UC Davis, doing it this way keeps people on your Facebook page to take the quiz so you don’t lose control of them on another page.
- In the newsfeed. You can also share your quiz in the newsfeed, this option works best if you plan on running multiple quizzes or don’t want the same one to stick around permanently.