Images are like hyperdrive for shareability on social media. That is expected with obviously visual networks like Instagram and Pinterest. However, even on Facebook and Twitter, posts with images get shared more often. If you want to harness that shareability, one of the easiest types of images you can incorporate today are quote images.

In this post, I’ll share some data on why visual content is so powerful on social media. Then, I’ll dive into quote images and tell you how you can use them in a way that does not eat up all your time.

Why quote images will boost your social media engagement

If you want more engagement on social media, it’s just a fact that you need to incorporate images in one way or the other.

On Twitter, Buffer noticed that Tweets with images got 150% more retweets and 89% more favorites than those without.

(Chart by WordPress Charts and Graphs Lite.)

And it’s not just Twitter, BuzzFeed found that posts with images on Facebook got 2.3X more engagement than those without. HubSpot noticed something similar in their data – Facebook posts with images got 53% more likes and 104% more comments than posts with no visuals.

So why am I spouting this data at you? Because it’s the same data Foundr Magazine was looking at when they crafted their social media strategy.

Foundr wanted to create visual content that resonated with their audience of mostly business owners and entrepreneurs. They settled on quote images. And not just one or two – they consistently posted around four quote images on Instagram every single day.

The results were impressive. After 5 months, Foundr’s healthy diet of quote images had built them a following of 111 thousand users. Today? Foundr has 896 thousand followers. And their Instagram feed still looks like this:

Foundr success with quote images

Quote images aren’t just for Instagram

If you’re thinking quote images are only successful on Instagram, consider these stats:

  • QuickSprout found that Twitter accounts who tweeted quotes correlated with having 43% more followers than those which didn’t.
  • Quotes got 847% more retweets than questions according to the same QuickSprout analysis.
  • Twitter found that tweets with quotes got 19% more retweets than those without.

Best practices for shareable quote images

While creating a quote graphic is technically as simple as slapping some text on a decent looking background using a design tool, you’ll want to put in a bit of planning to maximize your results.

When choosing which quotes to share, you need to first consider things from the perspective of your average follower. What content resonates with a person like that? For Foundr’s audience of entrepreneurs and small business owners, that was quotes about entrepreneurship, productivity, and motivation. But those same quotes won’t work if you’re blogging about food and fashion. So you need to spend some time to get inside the head of your followers.

Once you figure out your general topics, you can dig into the nitty gritty of quote images.

Connect emotionally with your followers

If you want to maximize the shares that your images get, you need to choose quotes which connect on an emotional level with readers. According to data from Fractl published in the Harvard Business Review, content that elicits strong emotions is much more likely to get shared.

So, when you’re picking which quotes to share, focus on their potential emotional impact.

For example, this image from The Girls Mean Business is sure to resonate with the emotions of an independent audience:

successful quote images

That’s why it got 3,225 shares!

And no matter what niche you’re in, you’ll never go wrong with a motivational quote:

motivational quote images gets more shares

But really, it boils down to these emotional responses according to Fractl’s data:

  • Curiosity
  • Amazement
  • Interest
  • Astonishment
  • Uncertainty

If you can hit those emotional triggers, your quote is primed to get shared.

Leave plenty of white space

I know this post is all about adding quotes to images, but you can’t forget about the image itself. Don’t pack your image with so much text that it overpowers the white space.

Look at all the viral examples I’ve mentioned – they all include a balance between text and white space. This image from Kim Garst, which racked up over 200 thousand shares is no exception:

whitespace in quote images

White space actually makes your images more readable, which is important if you want your quote to get shared.

Pick a font that matches your tone

You may not know it, but the way the words on your quote image look is just as important as the words themselves. The font you choose actually affects your readers’ emotional responses. Font choice can even affect major decisions like how believable people find a piece of text. Side note – never write in Comic Sans if you want to be taken seriously!

When designing your quote images, you need to pick your font carefully. Try to match your font with the mood of your quote. If you’re not sure what I mean by that, Tympanus has a great guide on matching fonts with moods with some real examples.

For a successful example, look how Positive Focus chooses a lighthearted font to match its warm image:

match font with tone in quote images

And here’s some especially cool data:

A scientific study found that font size can actually affect a person’s emotional response to text. So if you want to strengthen that emotional response you’re targeting, larger text is a good way to do that.

As an added bonus, readers are also able to understand text more quickly as the font size increases.

The key takeaway here? Pick a font that fits the mood and make the text on your quotes as large as possible without sacrificing too much white space.

Brand all your quote images

Ok, so I told you all about how quote images get shared and retweeted like crazy. And that’s a good thing.

But it also means that the people seeing your image might not always immediately know where it came from. That’s why you should always brand your quote images.

Take a look at this example of Deepak Chopra retweeting a quote. While Twitter does make it fairly clear where the original post came from, the branding absolutely ensures people know it wasn’t originally Deepak’s post:

always brand your quote pictures

By branding your images, you ensure that no matter where your image gets shared to, people will always know where it came from.

Time saving resources for quote images

I told you that you need quotes that fit your specific audience. But finding those quotes can easily eat up your time. That’s why I’m including a list of places you can go to search for quotes by topic. Use them to narrow down the field and save time:

  • BrainyQuote – can search by topic, author, or keyword.
  • Goodreads – great for quotes from authors
  • QuoteLand – horrible UX, but lets you search by topic, author, or keyword

Once you’ve picked out a quote, you can quickly create a quality image by using one of these tools:

  • Pablo by Buffer – the absolute simplest way to create quote images
  • Canva – slightly more complicated, but also has more features
  • Stencil – great for marketers

Wrapping things up

Quote images are one of the quickest and easiest ways you can incorporate share-boosting imagery into your social posts. No matter which network you’re posting on, quote images will help you get more shares and engagement.

Just remember to follow some best practices:

  • Pick content that resonates with your readers’ interests
  • Make an emotional connection
  • Leave white space
  • Match your font with your tone. And make your text as large as possible
  • Brand your images

Then start posting and watching the shares roll in!