On the social web, quizzes are more than just a guilty pleasure. In 2013, the most shared piece of content from the New York Times was, in fact, a quiz. The nature of quizzes lends itself to be shared on social media: it’s an easy way to disclose new information without the risk of stirring up controversial discussions or shocking the distant relatives or coworkers who follow your account.
Marketers and publishers love quizzes for similar reasons: they don’t take long to create, they generate a lot of engagement, and sometimes, they can provide you with some pretty interesting data about your audience. Finally, quizzes are also a superb way to generate brand awareness by exchanging the new insights on “What snack food are you?” for a social share.
Social media professionals are no strangers to the power of quizzes. Creating an entertaining and informative quiz is a tough balancing act. There are many factors to consider: the format, the content, the shareability factor, the value proposition to the quiz-taker, and the level of expertise one would need to complete the quiz. The best way to learn about interactive quizzes is by example, which is why I picked 6 quizzes around the web that test your social media knowledge. These quizzes cover a number of topics, such as past PR disasters on social media, knowledge of social network features and trivia, and the origins of various platforms. So take a break from your work day, test your knowledge, and learn about what makes a good quiz.
6 quizzes to test your social media knowledge (and learn about quizzes)
This interactive quiz from NY Times’ The Upshot tests your knowledge of what makes an engaging Tweet, and compares your results to those of an algorithm created by a team of Cornell University computer scientists. The format is simple: you have to pick the Tweet you believe got more retweets. While outperforming the algorithm is harder than you think, the quiz and its accompanying article does come to a hopeful conclusion: guessing which Tweet got more retweets is easier than creating one that gets shared. The article also explains what predictors were used by the algorithm to find the best-performing Tweets, such as the Tweet’s length or whether it contains a question or a request; but the authors warn social media professionals to be mindful of the “correlation, not causation” rule—just because Tweets containing “please” or “retweet” get more engagement, it doesn’t mean you should be asking your followers to do something in every message you post.
Quiz difficulty: Advanced
Quiz format: Side-by-side comparison of 2 Tweets from the same account, with the correct answer displayed immediately after the subject makes their selection. This allows you to learn any common characteristics of most retweeted posts over the course of the 25 questions. At the end of the quiz, your results are compared to the algorithm’s performance.
What this quiz tests: Your knowledge of what makes a good Tweet.
This 12-question quiz from the digital marketing agency Jellyfish tests your general knowledge of social media platforms, most popular content on various networks, and facts related to the Internet culture.
Quiz difficulty: Moderate
Quiz format: 12 tiles with multiple choice questions hidden under each tile. Once you’ve made your pick, you’re given the correct answer along with some context for the question. At the end of the quiz, your results are tallied up and you’re given a title of either Social guru, Spectator or Hermit.
What this quiz tests: This quiz asks a little bit of everything, and you don’t have to have a job in social media to get the answers right. Much of the knowledge seems pretty accessible if you’re active online every day. But it does give you some insight into the relationship between different platforms, as well as some cool stats related to social networks.
While less interactive than its two predecessors, this Digiday quiz does impart some wisdom about social media marketing mistakes that have caused brands a lot of grief. If you want to test your knowledge of best practices when it comes to promotion, engagement and branded content on social networks, this 12-question quiz is for you.
Quiz difficulty: Advanced
Quiz format: Multiple choice Polldaddy quiz. Your results are tallied up once you answer all 12 questions.
What this quiz tests: To get the majority of the questions right, you have to be familiar with some social media scandals of 2013—and seeing how that’s fairly long ago, especially by Internet standards, some might have trouble remembering. However, it’s still makes for good reference material for digital marketers to help avoid similar mistakes in their own strategy.
This 12-question quiz (are you noticing a trend here?) from Pew Internet research centre tests your general knowledge of the history of the Internet and digital technology, and then compares your results to those of an average online American. You are also given results breakdowns based on your demographic by age, gender, and highest education level completed. You can also read an in-depth analysis of the quiz and survey results, and what these results say about the Internet users’ knowledge of the tools and platforms they use on a daily basis.
Quiz difficulty: Moderate
Quiz format: You can answer one question at a time in a variety of formats, including True or False, multiple choice, and a photo question.
What this quiz tests: The quiz contains questions about a variety of topics, but a general trend seems to be the history of Internet tools and terminology, such as “net neutrality.” As a long-time netizen, you may no longer ponder on the definition of “the Internet,” or even question whether you should be capitalizing that first ‘i’—and this quiz makes you aware of those knowledge gaps.
What happens if you look for social media quizzes away from think tanks or industry experts? Judging by this quiz from ABC News, you get a variety of questions you never thought of asking, such as Chatroulette’s country of origin. While some questions may be outdated (the current number one Facebook Page by the number of fans is “Facebook for Every Phone”), this quiz gives a good snapshot of what constituted social media knowledge a few years back.
Quiz difficulty: Easy
Quiz format: Multiple choice, with the correct answer displayed immediately after you make your selection.
What this quiz tests: Most of the questions have to do with social network trivia. Also, having taken a few of these, it seems like every social media quiz deems it necessary to ask about the maximum number of characters are allowed in a Tweet.
With emojis taking over your text messages, emails, and Instagram captions, it’s important to be able to speak the language. This NY Times quiz tests your knowledge by composing sentences entirely from emoji, and giving several choices for translation.
Quiz difficulty: Advanced (but if you’re a teenager, parent to a teenager, or have a younger sibling, you have an advantage)
Quiz format: The quiz consists of 10 multiple choice questions. You get to see your score at the end of the quiz, but for some reason, you can’t see which questions you got right or wrong. How am I supposed to make up for this terrible lack of knowledge?
What this quiz tests: The quiz tests exactly what the headline promises: your fluency in emoji. With the ever-increasing popularity of emoji and the introduction of emoji hashtags on Instagram, a minimum reading comprehension level of emoji fluency is necessary if you want to be well-versed in Internet things.