How to Use Quotes to Get More Instagram Followers

Whenever you crave a visual feast, Instagram is probably one of the top social media platforms you visit. As you browse through your Instagram feed, you might notice that it only takes a few scrolls down the page before you come across some Instagram quotes. They are often overlaid onto a photo, illustrated with an eye-catching design, and/or typed into the post’s caption alongside an optional hashtag or two.

The driving force behind the popularity of Instagram quotes is similar to that behind Instagram’s claim to fame: users love content that is relatable to their interests, aspirations, and inspirations.

For brands and people who want to go viral and get more likes and followers on Instagram by using Instagram quotes, there’s a three-part success formula to follow: First, research on current trends and top Instagram quotes to get inspiration and ideas. Second, dig into your data so you can cater to your audience’s deeper needs and wants. Third, use the Instagram follow button to effortlessly grow your Instagram following overnight.

To get started, let’s look at some of the top Instagram quotes 2021 has in store.

1. Funny & Entertaining Instagram Quotes & Captions

Humor is one of the best ways to engage your Instagram audience. After all, everyone can use a good laugh now and then, and you might just brighten someone’s day with a bit of self-deprecating humor, a silly play on words, or a hilarious joke. 

Of course, this is easier if your Instagram image lends itself to humor, but you can add a touch of funny to many mundane photos on Instagram in your captions, too. One of the easiest ways to get started using funny and entertaining Instagram quotes and captions is to post goofy photos of pets or other animals and use your caption to attribute some commentary about what’s going on in the animal’s mind – or a quote of what they’d be saying if they could talk. For example, you might post a photo of your dog wrapped up like a burrito in a nice, warm blanket accompanied by a funny quote or caption about how freezing cold it is outside or the dreadfully long wait for summertime. 

Check out this post from @lifeofstellaandlola, for example. This Instagram account features two gorgeous felines named Stella and Lola who get into all kinds of antics (as most cats do). In this case, the author uses a funny play on words to accompany the image: “Hanging on because tomorrow’s Friday.” It’s the perfect caption for the short video, which features two cats lounging on a cozy-looking chair, one of which is drooping dangerously over the edge – like most of us when the end of the workweek is approaching. 

Life of Stella and Lola's Instagram post and caption

Image: Instagram

Captions using the famous, “But first…” setup are often funny and entertaining, as well as those that play on current internet memes and add silly commentary to photos depicting you and your friends or coworkers in silly situations. Self-deprecation is always good for a laugh, too, but don’t be too hard on yourself – you’re amazing just as you are! 

There are plenty of funny quotes that make for humorous and entertaining Instagram captions, too. Consider quoting funny things famous people have said that relate to your photo. For example, a photo of your and your spouse giving each other good-natured dirty looks might be accompanied by, “‘Not sure which is harder on a relationship: sharing a dresser for three years or sharing an iPhone charger for one day.’” —Rhea Butcher” (Just be sure to credit the person who actually said it.) Check out Reader’s Digest’s lists of the funniest quotes of all time or this list from Parade for some inspiration. 

Ideal audience: Funny and entertaining quotes have a mass appeal. Make sure that your humor style aligns with your audience, and that you avoid controversial or potentially offensive jokes unless pushing boundaries is part of your brand strategy.

2. Selfie Instagram Captions & Selfie Quotes

What kinds of captions and quotes should you use for your Instagram selfies? Selfies, as you know, are wildly popular on Instagram. Whether you post a continuous stream of selfies or just the occasional selfie along with a variety of other content, a great Instagram selfie caption is a must. The good news is, the possibilities are practically endless when it comes to Instagram selfie quotes and other types of captions. 

Depending on the effect you want the post to have, you might opt for inspirational captions, funny selfie captions, or even captions or quotes about everyday life. 

Posting a photo of your new hairstyle? Play on the widely used, “New phone, who dis?” quote with a caption that says, “New hair, who dis?” (Which just happens to be a popular hashtag on Instagram, too.)

Posting a photo of yourself laughing? Use a quote like “‘Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.’ — Elbert Hubbard.” Or, post a sleeping selfie accompanied by the quote, “‘Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.’ — Anthony Burgess.” 

There are lots of quotes about self-reflection that make for inspiring Instagram selfie captions, such as, “‘We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.’ — May Sarton,” or, “‘You should never give up your inner self.’ — Clint Eastwood.” Check out BrainyQuotes for tons of quote ideas that make great Instagram selfie captions, or get some ideas from this big list of selfie captions and quotes from Facetune. 

Selfie Instagram captions can have any tone – funny, moving, motivational, philosophical, etc. – and set just about any mood. For example, this selfie posted by @riamichelle has an intriguing caption that gets you thinking with a touch of inspiration: “Don’t talk to me about it, show me.” 

Ria Michelle's selfie and caption

Image: Instagram 

Ideal audience: Selfie quotes work best for individuals and solopreneurs building a brand around their own personality on Instagram. They can work for larger businesses in some cases, but be careful not to make your brand appear too casual if your brand is a bigger business going for a more professional vibe. 

3. Inspirational Instagram Quotes & Captions

Many people browse through their social media feed when they are bored or experiencing some routine and mundane parts of the day. You can capture and engage this audience if you can help them dream big and immerse themselves in a new world.

There are plenty of sources where you can find inspirational Instagram quotes perfectly suited to your niche and your audience. Lists from sources like and are good places to start. If you’re looking for a unique, not-often-used quote, check out sources like BrainyQuote and GoodReads

A quote for the masses

Image: AdWeek

Ideal audience: As a more catch-all kind of quote, inspirational Instagram quotes generally appeal to all audiences. Just watch out for more cynical users who find them to be cliché and try to avoid them.

4. Motivational Instagram Quotes & Captions

Motivation usually comes hand in hand with inspiration. Motivational Instagram quotes tap into a user’s desire to be a better version of themselves. Maybe they want to be healthier, learn a new skill, or make the world a better place.

Nike has developed a strong reputation for motivational quotes, like this one: “When two people are just living their true life, it can give so many other people confidence to just really live their true life.”

Nike's motivational Instagram quote

Image: Instagram

Ideal audience: Millennials and gen Z-ers – younger audiences who are talented, opinionated, and determined to achieve their goals. This is a big opportunity for health and fitness brands, fashion brands, and other types of businesses that promote a certain lifestyle that users might aspire to.

5. Instagram Captions & Quotes for Business

A 2020 survey conducted by GoDaddy found that millennials are leading the pack when it comes to entrepreneurship, which is on the rise in the United States. In fact, 30 percent of millennials surveyed reported having a small business or a side hustle, and 19 percent said it’s their primary source of income.

Considering that 25- to 34-year-olds are the most active age demographic on Instagram (making up 31.5 percent of Instagram users in the U.S.), brands have a massive opportunity to appeal to these “millennipreneurs.”

Jason Stokes, Founder and CEO of Eastside Co, the world’s largest Shopify agency, uses Instagram quotes to share insights and tips on entrepreneurship with his followers.

Jason Stoke's leadership Instagram quote

Image: Instagram

Ideal audience: Entrepreneurs and business owners, especially millennials – but not limited to them. This audience will typically be college-educated and earn a higher-than-average income.

How to Properly Credit Quotes for Instagram

Another thing to consider about using quotes to get more Instagram followers is that it’s important to properly credit any quotes you use. Chances are, someone will recognize that the words aren’t your own, and the last thing you want is to get called out on social media for trying to take credit for someone else’s work. If it’s unclear who originally made the statement, use “Unknown” to make it clear that the words aren’t your own. Typically, you should put quotes in quotation marks. If that’s not desirable due to aesthetic concerns, you should still make it obvious that it’s a quote from someone else. Ideally, you should credit the source immediately following the quote as well as at the beginning of your Instagram caption. If you’re quoting another Instagrammer, get permission before sharing their quote and tag them in your post. 

How to Make Quotes for Instagram

Cooking up good quotes is a lot like brainstorming blog post ideas: you should lean on your customer-facing coworkers, stay abreast with news and current trends, and make data-driven decisions.

Once you’ve chosen your quotes, it’s time to create your masterpieces. If you don’t have graphic design experience to make the images yourself, there are dozens of free and cheap tools that can make the process quick and simple. Check out desktop tools like Media ModifierCanva, Crello, and Stencil. There are also plenty of mobile apps for iOS and Android, like Text2Pic and VanillaPen. Check out our list of free image creators for marketers, most of which can be used to create quote images for Instagram in minutes.

You can certainly brand your Instagram photos when it’s appropriate but don’t go overboard – you can lose engagement when a quote starts to look like an inauthentic ad. A small, un-intrusive logo in the bottom corner or a branded hashtag in the caption will do the trick.

Want An Effortless Way to Get More Instagram Followers?

You can also learn a lot more about Instagram quotes and giveaway captions as it relates to Instagram giveaways in our guide on the topic.

Beyond that, if you’re looking for even more ideas on how to grow your Instagram following, we’ve also created a series of free Instagram resources, including: our guide to the Instagram post word limit, our guide on share post on Instagram, and our guide to choosing the perfect Instagram profile pic.

By using the right types of content and images, you’ll be on the right track to creating entertaining, thought-provoking, and beautiful Instagram quotes that keep users flocking to you. While you’re creating stellar content, don’t forget to make it easy to get more engagement from Instagrammers.  The ShareThis Instagram follow button is mobile optimized, lightweight and easy to configure and install. Check it out!

About ShareThis

ShareThis has unlocked the power of global digital behavior by synthesizing social share, interest, and intent data since 2007. Powered by consumer behavior on over three million global domains, ShareThis observes real-time actions from real people on real digital destinations.

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