We spent some of our lockdown working out how to make a quiz go viral.


If you don’t live under a rock and use Facebook, it would be hard to miss the rise in BuzzFeed’s personality quizzes. They have spread furiously throughout the social network. Answering seemingly random questions like “what could you eat forever?” or “What’s your fave tune”, to get an answer to a fairly weighty question about what city they should actually live in. It’s also perfect for sharing- “look guys, I should live in Paris!”. People enjoy learning about themselves, and personality quizzes let them do that, well at least provide the illusion of doing just that.

After watching BuzzFeed quizzes go viral for years, we thought we’d embrace this style of interactive content and saw massive amounts of success, learning and who doesn’t love trying something new? Setting ourselves a COVID-19 lockdown project, we created a ‘What is your isolation spirit animal?’ quiz. We not only designed and wrote the quiz, but also built it using React, a javascript library for building user interfaces.

Don’t read a book by it’s cover...unless it’s a quiz apparently.

Before we set out, we needed to come up with a topic. It had to hit home with a general audience whilst at the same time being highly entertaining. At the end of the day, people take quizzes because they’re amusing and a great way to pass time. What would be more appealing then finding out what type of person you’ve turned into during lockdown?

Whether we like it or not, people tend to judge a book by its cover. In the case of quizzes, this means that a compelling quiz title and first question is the key element to attract people to complete the whole of your quiz.

As it turns out, when we first launched the quiz we hadn’t got it quite right, 60% of users left after completing the first question.This led us to amend the language in some of the questions to be more directly linked to each personality you could achieve. We wanted our users to be impressed about the accuracy of their results, initially they were just left a bit confused. We also changed the order of the questions to lead with the most interesting questions, whilst including in a mix of more serious and fun. Every question then felt like it naturally flowed into the next one. It ended up being more like a roadmap that helped our audience get to where they wanted to go. Only by answering each question could quiz takers find their holy grail: personality results that felt like the perfect fit. Lastly, we amended the image on the homepage to be larger, shortened the title, and made the buttons that you clicked to start the quiz bigger and bolder to make everything more eye-catching.

The result; a 199% increase in the quiz completions and 15% increase in time spent on page!

The bigger the button, the better the results.

While our new strong opener helped us achieve 52,000 completed quizzes, it wasn’t generating any organic shares. The result each participant was key in order to make the quiz shareable. That was our ticket to attempt going viral. While writing the results for each personality type we kept in mind that people are a little vain and they like to share results that make them look ‘cool’. Also, the result didn’t always have to be positive and heartwarming, we wanted to (try) make them funny, sarcastic and well.. savage. We kept asking ourselves the question, would I share these results if I took the quiz?

The aim was to achieve super high engagement, social sharing and interaction. So our initial idea was to integrate social sharing buttons when the participant got their result to promote viral distribution. Initially, we were having over 10,000 link clicks, and these participants completed the whole quiz, but they weren’t sharing it. How were we supposed to go viral if no one was sharing it?! This led us to redesign the participants’ results so the share buttons were bold, bright and in the users face, resulting in a 350% increase in shares of the quiz.

We’re getting pretty good results now.

Our title lured the participants in, the results encouraged them to share the quiz. But, if the questions were boring, participants might leave our quiz midway. So once we had our results ready, we started creating interesting lighthearted questions. We kept them short, simple and tried to make them relatable yet humorous, such as “How likely are you to report a Neighbour for not following social distancing rules?”.

With a questionnaire completion rate of 56%, and anything from 50% or over is considered excellent according to SurveyMonkey, it’s safe to say I think we nailed this.

In order to broaden our marketing efforts and gain more exposure for the quiz, we promoted it through Facebook Ads Manager. The success of our ads really depended on how effectively we targeted the right audience for our quiz. We curated specific target audiences for each personality result you could get- the social media obsessed, quizzer, alcoholic, snitch, slob, neat freak germaphobe, gamer and the home athlete.

By creating a clear call-to-action in the ad we achieved over 10,000 clicks. As well as over 200k impressions and a reach of over 170k suggesting our ad was effective in grabbing the user’s attention when it appeared on their screen. Paired with a bounce rate of 7.32%, which is very low, we knew our targeting was on point and all-in-all a pretty engaging piece of content.

We’ve cracked the code for personality quizzes.

Just to challenge ourselves even more we built the quiz using React, a javascript software, which we’ve previously used for clients websites. The main problem we faced was to capture the users’ journey and sessions as React is a ‘one pager’ website. As the entire quiz was one page, it meant that the user didn’t need to reload the page. On the flip side it had lots of pros, such as improving the speed of the page- yay! Moving forward, we’ll be using different libraries within React to make the entire user journey more trackable, whilst making it more desktop friendly rather than having it set up for mobile use only.

While we could never guarantee our react quiz would go viral, there is a clear formula for success. Factors such as the content of the quiz, the quality of the title/ opener, and social media promotion of the quiz all play into the equation. Once you master this formula, which is used by mega-viral creators like BuzzFeed, you can keep churning out quizzes that will amplify your marketing results and massively boost you or your brand's online visibility.

Lets make something together.

Enter your name*
Enter your email address*
Enter your telephone*
What services are you interested in?*
Please provide a link to your website

Ready to grow your brand?
We should talk.

My full name is .
I work for and I'm in need of a
partner to help me with .
You can reach me at to get the
conversation started.
Let's talk