In the same way YouTube is a platform for sharing videos, SlideShare is a platform for sharing business documents – presentations, PDFs, videos and webinars.
Pitched as a business resource to help colleagues share documents more easily, users can upload documents which can then be viewed by others. In this article, we’ll explore the key features and benefits of this social media channel.
Billed as “the world’s largest community for sharing presentations”, SlideShare sees approximately 60 million visitors each month, with over 130 million page views, making it one of the 200 most visited websites in the world. Its 16 million registered users include political institutions (The White House), global brands (Dell, IBM), military bodies (US Army), educational facilities and charitable bodies, as well as millions of SMEs.
While still primarily used as a sharing tool by businesses – both internally (between colleagues) and externally (between businesses), SlideShare’s popularity means that its user base is broadening – and you can now find Princess Diana slideshows and the obligatory cat picture presentations in between the case studies and business tips.
- Allows upload of PowerPoint, PDF, Keynote and OpenOffice slide decks
- YouTube videos can be embedded inside presentations
- Documents can be shared via social sharing links on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Pinterest and WordPress
- Individual documents can be marked as favourites and individual users followed
- Documents can be downloaded, emailed or embedded into your own website
- Comments and questions can be left beside individual documents
- Channel branding, analytics, ad-free pages and lead capturing are available with the SlideShare PRO service
- Zipcast service (available with PRO service) allows video conferencing – presenters can broadcast an audio/video feed while ‘driving’ the presentation through the web, and communicate via an in-built chat function
SlideShare has three clear business benefits:
With presentations on everything from photosynthesis to Photoshop, SlideShare is a useful – and free – resource for anyone trying to get to grips with a new subject matter. In fact, its educational clout saw it voted amongst the World’s Top 10 tools for education & e-learning (Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies, 2011).
Be warned though: quality of content varies dramatically, so you will undoubtedly need to look at multiple presentations in order to find the information you need, presented in a manner that works for you. If you find a user who consistently uploads useful and relevant content, it’s worth following them to stay up-to-date.
SlideShare is a great opportunity to promote your company’s expertise. Insightful information can help define you as an expert in your field – useful for those looking for a new supplier of business partner. For this reason, it’s essential for your channel profile and documents to include your company branding and contact information – so any interested parties can find you easily.
Whilst aiming for expert status it’s worth considering how much information you want to give away – try to strike a balance between showcasing your knowledge and providing enough information for a potential client or competitor to replicate your success.
In May 2012, SlideShare was bought by professional social network LinkedIn. With over 161 million users, LinkedIn has swiftly become an invaluable resource for B2B marketing – both for individuals and the companies they work for.
Its purchase of SlideShare shows a further focus on content for the channel – something started by its launch of discussion groups. Its expanding user base will hopefully provide businesses with an added opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise with a wider audience, fuelling conversation, connection and business opportunities.
1. Create your profile
The first thing you will need to do is sign up for an account. Once you’re registered, you can then enter profile information about your organisation, to give other users an idea of what you do, and upload your company logo. Your public profile makes it easy for your followers to keep up-to-date with your new uploads and activity – and using relevant keywords will boost your visibility amongst other channel users.
2. Upload your content
It’s easy to upload content – just look for the buttons below and upload your best presentations to reach an audience of millions.
3. Optimise your content
This is one of the most important steps to ensure your presentations are seen by the right audiences:
a) File name – when you upload a presentation make sure its file name contains the most important keywords related to its content. This file name will become a part of the presentation’s SlideShare URL.
b) Title text box – when entering the title for your file, consider the information covered in your presentation and what sort of queries search engine users might be entering when looking for it.
For example, if your presentation is about how to train a puppy, name your file with a phrase likely to be inputted into a search engine by those looking for that information, such as “Puppy Training” or “Puppy Obedience”, rather than “How to train Fido.” Choosing the right title will make your presentation more likely to appear in search engines.
Also, add a dash or pipe character (“|”) to your title, followed by a brief but compelling description of your presentation’s contents. For example, if you chose “Puppy Training” as your title, add a pipe character followed by “How to get your puppy to behave.” Search engine users will see your full title, so adding a description will show relevancy, boosting the likelihood of them clicking on its link.
c) Description – write a description in the ‘Description’ text box that will appeal to your potential readers. Again, an attractive description will make users more likely to want to open your file. For example, “Discover the top tips to get your puppy to obey you in seven days or sooner”.
d) Tags/ Category – after you’ve uploaded your presentation, add tags – the 10-15 most important keywords from your presentation. Also, select an appropriate category for your presentation. Well-chosen tags may increase your internal traffic from SlideShare, as users sometimes browse by category or tag.
e) URL – include your website URL in each presentation, preferably on the first and last page, to encourage readers to visit your website and find out more about your company.
f) Keywords – SlideShare takes the words you use in your presentation and includes them as text on the page where your presentation is published, allowing Google to index the content. Make sure the most important keywords to your subject are included in the presentation itself to boost its visibility.
4. Share your Content
SlideShare makes it really easy to share presentations – you can embed them in your blog, website, or send a URL via email. What’s more, the transcripts of your files will be indexed by internet search engines and enhance the ranking of your presentations and documents. You can also share on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Don’t forget to include a strong call-to-action on your final slide to generate leads.
Follow other members whose content interests and inspires you. You can also ask questions and start conversations by commenting on content.
SlideShare can be an excellent channel to market your brand and products to millions of viewers, especially if you have interesting content to share. Just remember to ensure you correctly optimise each presentation and watch how quickly your views increase!