If you hadn’t noticed, all of those quizzes showing up in your Facebook feed are very similar. There is a formula from which great social media quizzes arise, and nearly every single hit quiz follows the same pattern. I’m here to point out some of the main pieces that are present in every viral quiz.

Here are three secrets that great quiz writers know that you can follow.

1. They all use the same title

We analyzed 100 quizzes that received 10,000 or more views to discover what kind of quiz title works best. It turns out that nearly half of those top quizzes have the same title formula. The formula is the “Which (blank) are you?” quiz title. So for example, “Which cake are you?” which is an actual quiz that got over 25,000 views.

After finding this out, we took things one step further to find out what kind of an effect the “Which (blank) are you?” title could have on increasing quiz views. We organized 454 quizzes into two categories, one category of quizzes had titles that included the words “which” “are” and “you” and the other category had quiz titles with none of those words.

which are you

The results are telling. Title with the words got more than double the views. To make this point more concrete, let’s look at an actual example of a quiz that uses this kind of title. The quiz is “Which cake are you?” and was created by Food52.com a blog that covers all things food (and has some pretty awesome content). The cake quiz was a hit, and Food52 has copied the same title template for sandwiches, snacks, and several other subjects, all with similar success.


2. They are much more informal than you’d expect

It’s our natural tendency to get more formal as we address larger audiences. A president’s address to the nation is much more academic than your presentation to a small group of colleagues, and that makes sense. However, a quiz is never an address to a lot of people, even if a lot of people take it. Regardless of how many people take your quiz, every single one will experience it in a one-on-one scenario that feels personal.

It should be less surprising then, that the highest traffic quizzes are written in a very personal tone.

That’s not just an assertion, to test this hypothesis, we organized quizzes into groups based on how many personal pronouns were present in the questions of each quiz. (personal pronouns being “I” “you” “we” etc.) The idea is that since we talk about ourselves a lot in normal everyday life, a natural-sounding quiz would contain words like these, which are needed to talk about ourselves.


It turns out that the closer a quiz is to our normal conversation, the better it does. Now to help close the gap between the very quantitative graph above and the real world where you are creating a quiz for your business, let’s look at an example question that is natural without pushing it.


The word “you” is used, and there are lots of images. This question would be a fun dinner table topic, and that’s why it fits perfectly into a quiz.

3. The results are all positive

If it seems like every person posting quiz results gets an extraordinarily awesome answer, it’s because they do. It turns out that nearly every popular quiz has results that are all uplifting. To find out if this seeming truth is real, we analyzed 2000 tweets that came from Interact quiz results to see if they contain positive trigger words.

We divided tweets into two groups. One group contained words like “awesome” “great” and “excellent” and the other group did not contain any of these words from our list.


The results were impressive, a full 3/4 of tweets contain positive words. Now again, this is a graph, so to show an example of what a positive quiz result looks like, let’s take an example from a travel quiz “What type of traveler are you?’ that has seen over 35k views. My quiz result tells me I’m a “YOLO Fiend” which could be taken as good or bad, but then the result continues to tell me why I rock for being willing to take chances – well done.


The best quizzes are all very similar. There are “secrets” to how the quiz writers put them together, knowing that the quiz will be successful before it ever goes live. You can follow this formula to drive traffic for your own quizzes. Get in the game by making one of your own.

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