One of the forerunners of the visual revolution in social media, the presentations portal Slideshare is favoured by big hitters like NASA and Hewlett Packard, and provides millions of users with a unique combination of entertainment, information, and up-to-the-minute business content.
However, Slideshare is often neglected in favour of the more well known professional networks like Twitter and Linkedin. Don’t get caught out! Slideshare can be a really useful social media tool, with the unique benefit of tying together event marketing and social media marketing. Uploading the slides from your ‘real life’ presentations can enable you a) to reach a wider audience than the number of people in the room when you delivered the presentation, and b) to communicate your expertise in more depth than is often possible through other social media channels.
Here are some tips to help you make sure your business is getting the most out of Slideshare:
1. Quality content demands a striking headline
Users of Slideshare are looking for detailed discussion rather than the usual one-line soundbites, but sometimes you still need to entice them to click on your presentations rather than other people’s. Spend some time making sure the title slide of each presentation is eye-catching, and sparks the viewer’s curiosity. Opening with a question is a particularly good way of drawing your readers in.
2. Know and target your audience
Slideshare enjoys a predominantly professional user base: visitors to your profile will be looking for more depth and detail than most other social media users, and will expect original content with plenty of substance. Pay attention to the industry sector in which each presentation is listed, use key words to direct readers to the most applicable content, and prioritise knowledge-sharing, rather than promotional slideshows in your slide deck, to emphasise your expertise.
3. Make your presentations interactive
Visitors are more likely to follow links towards the end of an absorbing presentation, once they are fully engaged with your content and message. Also be aware that attention spans seem to be longer on Slideshare: the company claims that, contrary to most expectations, the more slides a presentation has, the more views it is likely to get. This renders Slideshare the ideal medium for your more deeper, more detailed, messages.
4. Feed the search engines
When putting a presentation together, or editing the details in your Slideshare profile, remember that its title, description, links and tags will all contribute to how the end result ranks in search results. This is also true of the comments that follow your presentations – and don’t forget that Slideshare features presentations based on their popularity, meaning that if your work is noticed and ‘liked’ by a large number of people, it will reach an even wider audience, creating a snowball effect.
Slideshare was acquired by Linkedin in May 2012, and this year Linkedin announced that it was rolling out the ability to add visual content to members’ profiles. Slideshare is obviously the perfect tool for this, and can help draw potential clients from their initial encounter into a more involved relationship with your brand. But don’t stop there – make sure you also embed your Slideshare presentations in your company blog, and broadcast them through your other social channels.