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Social media quizzes: 10 tips from Brainbeats

“Is the music you listen to actually right for you?” Find out how an interactive quiz can help you conquer Facebook.

This chapter is part of our social media marketing series, using our invented company Brainbeats to test some social media assumptions. Learn more about Brainbeats in chapter 1 of this guide:

When the topic of social media marketing came up on our content calendar here at Typeform, we had an idea: find out how well social media quizzes really work for marketing by unleashing our own. Brainbeats was born.

Brainbeats is a psychology-based music recommendation service based on who you really are. Well, it will be. But to get started, we needed an MVP—a way to find out some info about people, then wow them with the musical results. A social media quiz would be perfect.

Using our expertise in music, psychology—blog manager Eric has a real PhD in this area—and making things up, we came up with this:

Pretty legit, right?

We made some rookie mistakes and learned a lot along the way. But you know what? It worked. We only spent sixty bucks promoting the quiz, and almost 200 people finished it.

Here are our top tips for creating social media quizzes to help your business.

1) Make the quiz about them

If there’s one thing people like to think about, it’s themselves.

Are we really all so self-absorbed? Yes. Playbuzz reports that 77 percent of its social media quizzes with over 100,000 shares are personality quizzes. And the top shared quiz in 2015 was “What color is your aura?”

That’s why our quiz recommends music based on who you are rather than what you like to listen to. This way all the questions are about the person taking it.

So when you’ve finished checking your aura, ask yourself: what personality quiz could your company make? If you’re selling tractors, try “What type of farm equipment are you?” And if you organize funerals, a “How will you be remembered?” quiz would dig up some shares.

Kick off your quiz with our quick-start personality quiz template.

2) Design the quiz to look and feel great

No one likes taking a school exam. So don’t let your social media quizzes make people feel like they’re back in the classroom. Make them look good and feel fun to take.

We went through a few attempts until we were happy with our design. Check out the visual vomit that was Brainbeats version 1:

Original Brainbeats concept art.

That’s what happens when writers try to be designers. Luckily, Typeform has ready-made designs by professionals, so we found one that fit the vibe of the Brainbeats brand.

Final Brainbeats design—writers turn to Typeform's public design templates.

3) Siphon people off social media and into your funnel

Yes, this article is about social media marketing. But repeat this equation after me:

Emails > Followers


Because email will always be email. A guaranteed destination for your audience’s eyes.

On the flip side, the value of a like, comment, or share on social media can change dramatically overnight. Mark Zuckerberg could destroy entire businesses by tripping over a keyboard. So relying on social as your sole content channel is crazy.

Instead, ask for an email address at the end of your quiz. This gives you a permanent, direct line of communication with your audience. Just make sure it’s clear what you’ll send them to keep GDPR off your back.

4) Size doesn’t matter

There’s a reason quizzes work on social media: people love completing them. So unless they’re ridiculously long, people will get to the end.

After some ‘user testing’ around the office, we settled on twenty questions. That might still seem like a lot, but almost 200 people have spent an average of 6:28 minutes down the Brainbeats rabbit hole.

The trick to make sure they reach the end: changing up your question types. Multiple choice, picture choice, short text answer, yes-or-no, a scale from one to six—we stirred all of these into our Brainbeats typeform:

Social media quizzes are unique in this way—people can actually get more invested in a quiz as they go along.

Not convinced? In his book Hooked, Nir Eyal reveals the science behind “variable rewards,” and how humans just can’t get enough of them. Facebook newsfeeds, email inboxes, and slot machines use the same addictive mechanism that your quiz could.

So craft some creative questions, mix up your question types, and you’ll pull people to the end.

All these question types and more—make Typeform your quiz maker.

5) Segment your audience by their answers

Remember how I said that people love thinking about themselves? Well, this means you can also use personality quizzes to ask revealing questions about your audience.

Likes, dislikes, buying habits, chunky or smooth—you can find out pretty much anything as long as it’s relevant to your quiz. Then follow up with a personalized email that takes their answers into account.

Brainbeats’ business model currently stops at the quiz itself—plus one generic follow up email. So unfortunately, we didn’t learn much about our audience that had future business value. But we did find out some other weird stuff:

  • 68.5% of people would rather experience the world around them than shape it.

  • 66.7% of people can easily taste food by imagining it in their mouth.

  • Given the chance to visit the future, more people would rather travel two years from now than twenty or 100.

If only we were selling time machines.

6) Personalize the end results

Sweet, I got Ambient Drifter!
Someone who did the Brainbeats quiz, probably

People can’t resist comparing their results with their friends’.

So group people from “Expert” to “Novice” based on their score, compare people to celebrities, or come up with some fun personality types of your own. And think of some catchy categories to label quiz takers and boost shareability.

For our quiz, we assigned different psychological profiles to each result. Then we found a music recommendation to match, and added a personality name to tie it all together:

  • Stoic Psychedelic You are extroverted, affable and sociable, but sometimes you find it difficult to move on.

  • Ambient Drifter You have a great need for other people to like you, but not to really know you.

  • Slow Cooker You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage. This is both stressful and motivating.

  • Miami Nice You pride yourself as an independent thinker who enjoys the finer things in life.

  • Makeup artist While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them.

  • Happy Hollow Disciplined and self-controlled outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure inside.

  • iPod Shuffler You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations.

  • Suburban Bigshot You have big aspirations, but some tend to be pretty unrealistic.

Make sure it’s something that inspires people to share the quiz. Some people won’t be happy with what they get—but that only heightens the allure. This guy even did Brainbeats twice to make sure:

Maybe they were more 'Miami Nice.'

7) Facebook’s your best friend

The quiz format just feels at home on Facebook.

Even so, Brainbeats’ Facebook friendship got off to a rocky start. Apart from some initial targeting trouble, it took some time to work out the right Facebook ad specs.

But once we got the targeting options right, it really found Brainbeats an audience.

People are compelled to click on quizzes that pop up in their newsfeeds. And click is what they did—hundreds of times. So make Facebook the heart of any social media marketing strategy using quizzes.

Ready to get started with the big blue F? Check out our no nonsense guide to Facebook marketing.

8) Twitter’s good for finding followers, but not click-throughs

The residents of Twitter were quite receptive to the Brainbeats idea. We started by following music apps, people in bands, and psychology students. And a lot of them followed us back.

After repeating for several days, we’d built a healthy crowd that looked like Brainbeats’ target audience. But actually getting people to do the quiz was difficult.

Some social media quizzes still get shared on Twitter, occasionally hitting over 100k. Hashtags #quiz and #personalityquiz might help.

But Twitter’s link previews aren’t as appealing as Facebook’s. So while we had some buzz around our Twitter page—with people regularly retweeting articles we shared—the quiz didn’t really get much love.

That said, Twitter is useful for connecting with your community. So if you do decide to test your quiz there, make sure you reply to people who reach out. Like this guy:

A final note: since we ended our Brainbeats experiment and stopped actively posting, we’ve already lost over 10% of our followers. So if you want to stay strong on Twitter, be prepared to keep posting, sharing, and liking.

9) Instagram’s better for brand building than quiz taking

To build an identity on social media, Instagram is the king. But for sharing a quiz, it’s about as ideal as using LinkedIn to promote a bar crawl.

Need some brand tips? Here’s nearly everything you need to know about brand awareness.

We used Insta to build a mystique around the Brainbeats brand, hoping people would be intrigued enough to give it a go. What is this thing? Am I missing something cool?

Did we succeed? Not really—only a few people took the quiz. But our Instagram content fared well, and we slowly collected a cabal of likes and followers.

This is a problem with Instagram marketing in general. Unless you’re in the business of looking good, the path between someone liking your Insta story and trying your product isn’t that clear.

It’s also difficult to get people out of Instagram. Direct links are forbidden in most cases. So while the quiz got a couple clicks, most people bounced. People just aren’t used to seeing them on Instagram like they are on Facebook.

Oh, and don’t use Instagram automation bots. We tried, and while it got us tons of followers, what’s the point when they’re all weird accounts like this?

10) Have fun making it

That’s right—you’ve reached the cliche ‘but don’t forget to have fun’ sign-off. But in this case it’s true. Quizzes work as social media content because they’re fun.

Inject some personality into your social media quizzes, and people will enjoy them more.

We had a lot of laughs making Brainbeats. And we think our enthusiasm shines through in the end product. If you need more quiz inspiration, here’s another great example from Beardbrand.

It takes some work, but it pays off. We got almost 200 responses in three weeks with barely any promotion. And we’re still getting the occasional response today.

Ready to get started on your own quiz?

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