If you’re a blogger or a business owner who has a lot of visual content, then Pinterest is one of the best marketing tools that you could use. If you’re not on Pinterest already – you need to sign up now. Pinterest can make your product or your latest post go viral, just with a single image. Users ‘Pin’ images to ‘boards’ in different categories and areas, saving the images and links for later, and putting them on display for others.
Once you’ve signed up and you’ve got your account going, the next thing to do is make it as easy as possible for your users to Pin your images. Today in the blogging world, the accepted and expected function is that when you hover over an image, a Pin It button will appear, which you can click on to Pin the image. When users hover over an image and a Pin It button doesn’t appear, users are left confused and conflicted – because they want to pin your image, but don’t want to have to search for a way to do that. So, they will likely give up and move on, and you’ve lost a possible sharing and marketing channel.
jQuery Pin it Button for Images is an easy plugin that you can install to make sure that all the images you want to make shareable on your site have a Pin It button on hover. You can choose the image types and pages you want, and exclude images like the ones in your header or sidebar, so the button doesn’t get too annoying. I have it set so that none of the images on my home page show the Pin It button, since people are usually just scrolling through and looking for something, so they have to visit the individual post to read the full text and to see the Pin It button.
When you install this plugin it comes preset with a Pin It image – you can choose from a few options – all of which are red and white and variations on the Pinterest logo. But, few people know that you can use this same plugin to take your button one step further by using your own custom image.
All you have to do is go into the plugin settings, into the Visual tab, and then check ‘Use Custom Image’. Then just upload your own image, which will appear instead of the preset red and white Pin It button.
If you have a square or rectangular image, then you can just use a simple JPEG. But, if you want the image to have a transparent background like mine or the regular Pin It button, you will have to create your own PNG file so that you don’t see the white background. Though you have the option to set the size of your image in the settings, this does not scale the image, but rather repeats it or crops it, so you need to make sure the image is the size you want before you upload it.
Then you just need to upload the image, decide where on the image to display it (I chose the top left) and fiddle around with the other settings a little to get it perfectly as you want it. You can also change the ‘Description Source’ which will determine where Pinterest pulls the caption for the image from. I use the Page Title so that Pinterest pulls the name of the post and my blog name.
Here are a few custom Pin It buttons from different blogs that I love. I’m not sure if they’re using this exact plugin but it would do the trick.
When installing and customizing this plugin is so easy, there really is no reason why you shouldn’t have a hovering Pin It button, and a custom one at that. It’s just one more little step to let your readers know that you took the time to specialize something on your blog.
I’ve seen a pin it button that is like a ball of yarn with a lion head – something like that, but I can’t remember what blog I saw it on. Hopefully one day I’ll stumble upon it again and I can share it with you, because it’s really interesting.