By: Linda Fulkerson
My Facebook Insights show that no matter which client page I post content on, compelling image quotes get the most engagement. Period. It doesn’t matter what cool tip or exciting blog post you share – people LOVE image quotes. I’ve almost always made my own because it’s pretty quick and easy, but I just recently started placing a web address on the images I create. (Duh – I should have been doing this all along, which is why I’m sharing this tip with you today, so you won’t make my mistake!)
Why use branded image quotes on social media?
The thing about creating content that engages more readers (i.e., more comments, likes, shares, favorites, retweets, and repins, etc.) is that most social networks have an algorithm that “serves” content according to popularity. In other words, the more popular your page’s content, the more of it will be delivered to the timelines of your followers. Some are shocked to know that just because your pages has 100 followers doesn’t mean all 100 will see your posts in their timeline. To increase your odds of getting noticed, create the type of content people are more likely to share, like, or comment on.
Here’s an example of a branded image quote I posted this morning on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. I used a stock photo and found a quote that I felt went well with it.
What you’ll need to create branded image quotes:
You really only need a few tools to do this, and if you create them in batches, you’ll have a storehouse of ready-made, original (and BRANDED) content to post on your social media sites. This may seem like a long, drawn-out process, but trust me, once you get the hang of it after a few tries, it will take far less time for you to do this than it will for you to read this post.
- You’ll need images. It’s not nice to take other people’s work and make it your own. It’s called “Internet Piracy,” which is a nice way of saying “Theft.” The thing is, there’s no need to steal photos from the web when there are so many resources for free ones. In fact, on my former blog (the content’s still there – I just no longer update it), I posted a list of places to find free images – Where to find free images for your blog. I’d like to add another to that list – BigStockPhoto.com. BigStock Photo is not a free service, but you can sign up for a 7 day free trial and get 5 downloads a day, so you’ll have 35 images to get you started. I have a monthly subscription to BigStock because I use so many images for client sites, but if you don’t want to keep the service past the trial period, be sure to cancel it or they’ll charge your credit card (which is required to sign up for the free trial).
- You’ll need quotes. Quotes abound on the Internet. I typically type into Google a phrase such as, “quotes about books,” “inspirational quotes for writers,” “quotes about writing,” etc., and jot down my favorites in my content planning notebook.
- You’ll need photo-editing software. If you don’t have PhotoShop or the less expensive edition, PhotoShop Elements, then you can download Gimp for free. It’s an open source photo-editing software that has many of the same robust features as the expensive professional programs.
Here are the steps to creating branded image quotes:
- Select either an image or a quote to get started. It doesn’t really matter which – I do both. If I see a great image (like the little boy in the above example), I’ll save it and search for a quote to go with it, either online or from those I’ve saved in my notebook. Or, if I find a great quote, I’ll jot it down in my notebook and then later look for an image to go with it. Always include the person who originated the quote. If the quote isn’t my own and I don’t know the origin, I put “Unknown” so people don’t think I came up with it. And, if the image requires an attribution or link, then please comply with the licensing agreement for the photo source. Tip: For beginners to creating your own branded image quotes, it’s easiest to start by using images on a white background.
- Open the photo in your photo-editing program.
- Create a new blank image. For photos to display well in the timeline of a Facebook page, they need to be one of two sizes: 403×403 pixels for normal image and 851×315 for the highlighted images (those big ones that go across both sections of the timeline). Otherwise, the image will be skewed or parts of it may be cut off or it will be smaller than the timeline area. I always make my images the exact size needed for Facebook pages. For Twitter, the dimensions are 440×220 px, but any 2:1 ratio will look okay.
- Resize the original photo to make the largest side the same height or width of your new image. In other words, if the free image you found is 600×400 px, resize it to be 403 px wide and constrain the scaling so the shorter dimension will auto-resize properly, otherwise, your image will be out of proportion and will look unprofessional. You’ll need to set the image resolution to 72 dpi (dots per inch), which is the standard resolution for web graphics.
- Select and copy the part of the image you wish to include in your branded image quote. Now paste it into the new image. Reposition the layer so you’ll have room to add your text.
- Create a new layer and select the “text” tool from your program. Type in your quote. You may have to adjust the font and the text size until it looks good to you. You can use the “color picker” tool, which looks like an eye-dropper, to choose a color that matches a color from the image. You can also (optional) add styles to the text layer, such as a drop shadow or bevel and emboss to make your text stand out more. This often helps if your background is “busy.”
- Add your website URL. Create another text layer and type in your website address in small font, near the bottom.
- Save your image. If you have PhotoShop, use the “save for web and devices” under the File menu. This will compress your image and make it faster to load on web pages. If you don’t have PhotoShop, simply save it as a JPG.
- Share your image on all your social media profiles. Now, when people like, share, pin and tweet your image, they will be spreading YOUR website’s URL across the world wide web!