This week we look at the amazing Quite frankly I could write a book here as there is so much to say, but for now you will have to put up with a brief overview.

What is SlideShare?

Acquired by LinkedIn in March 2012 – SlideShare is a platform that allows you upload and share your presentations and content effortlessly.

It is in itself a social network and a place businesses often overlook when trying to get their content seen.

SlideShare is a free platform that not only allows you move your presentations online, but also gives you great analytics on who is viewing and downloading your content. For this reason SlideShare can be used as a powerful lead generation tool. However, it amazes me how many people fail to seize upon business leads on SlideShare. So if someone downloads, comments or likes your presentation, engage with them.

5 Ways can help your business

1. Researching Content

With well in excess of 15 million presentations SlideShare is a super place to go when researching your next blog post, white paper or even when crafting your next speech.

You can search for content via the SlideShare search bar or explore content by topic

Search and Explore Content on SlideShare

Use the search bar to find great content or explore SlidShare by clicking on the appropriate interest tab.

Once you find content that interests you– you can share it via Social Media or even embed it on your blog. If the author has allowed – you will even be able to download the pdf or powerpoint presentation.

You can also express your appreciation for a presentation by leaving a comment or even hitting the like button (heart shape).

NB – Many people jump onto SlideShare to research/rip off third part content and fail to double check the statistical facts quoted in the content. Always remember that, just because someone claims something on SlideShare, it does not mean it is true. After all, what is that famous statement? – 98% of all statistics are made up. (Got you – I just made that stat up;)).

Another opportunity when researching content on SlideShare is to engage, connect and even collaborate with other content authors. In fact some of my most valued LinkedIn connections were initially discovered on SlideShare.

Like Twitter, if you find a great content contributor you can decide to “Follow” them. You will then be informed when they upload new content.

Tip – to search for a content creator just type their name into the search bar and when you get your results select “Users” instead of “Content”.

Follow People on Slideshare

Once you find a content creator you like Follow them and get alerted when they upload new content.

2. Uploading/Creating Content

When using SlideShare to showcase your content you can either:

  • Upload a Powerpoint presentation or pdf document .
  • Design and create your masterpiece using Haiku Deck.

Uploading your presentation:

Simply click on the upload button to add a presentation

Click on the upload button to add a presentation or pdf document.

When uploading your presentation just click on the “Upload” button and select “Public” or “Private”. Obviously – if we are trying to get our content seen we should select the “Public” option. The only time I would select private as an option would be if I wanted to share bespoke training content to a client’s staff members or share my slides with an internal team. More info on private presentations here here.

[slideshare id=38873293&doc=privateuploaddeck-140909090642-phpapp01]

Configure your Privacy settings

Click on the Privacy Settings tab top make your content public or private. You can also decide whether people can or cannot download your presentation.

Another option here is to decide whether you will allow users the ability to download your content. Personally I typically allow people to download my content and in fact use every download as a potential sales lead.

Make sure you give you presentation a great title, add a description and tag. (more information on this below in the SEO section – point 5)

Once you have uploaded your presentation you will be asked whether you would like to add it to your LinkedIn profile. Adding regular content to LinkedIn from SlideShare can keep your profile looking fresh. For Example – if I was an Accountant I could add a new presentation with accounting tips to my profile summary every month. Eg. 5 tips for hassle free VAT returns. NB. Just make sure you remove old unwanted content on your LinkedIn profile.

SlideShare also allows you to insert YouTube videos into your PowerPoint presentations. Once you have uploaded your file just click into your settings and select “Edit YouTube video”. Just cut and paste the YouTube url and select the position in your deck where you would like it to go.

You can add a YouTube videos to your powerpoint presentations. Simply go to settings and select "Edit YouTube Video"

You can add a YouTube videos to your powerpoint presentations. Simply go to settings and select “Edit YouTube Video”

Create content using Haiku Deck: 

SlideShare has teamed up with the fabulous Haiku Deck to allow users create amazing presentations right on their site. Just click on the magic wand next to the Upload button to get started. Haiku Deck allows you to pick from a large number of templates and fonts. They even have 1,000s of great visuals you can use to make your presentation stand out. You can of course upload and use your own images too. Once created you can add your presentation directly to SlideShare and even download your presentation in powerpoint.

Haiku Deck allows you to create brilliant looking  presentations on SlideShare.

Haiku Deck allows you to create brilliant looking presentations on SlideShare. They offer great templates, cool fonts and even free images.

In many ways Haiku Deck is the Canva of presentations and warrants a stand alone post. So don’t be surprised to see it as a weekly Cool Tool in the future.

3. Promoting Content

SlideShare is a great platform to reinvent or repurpose some of your old content. So why not take that white paper or popular blog post and give it a new lease of life by turning it into a SlideShare presentation? I use to turn my blogs into pdfs that I can then turn into SlideShare presentations.

Like many other Social Networks one of the first objectives is to build up a relevant following. Tell your online community you are on SlideShare and tell them why they should follow your account. A simple tactic to generate followers is to follow others. 20-30% of the accounts you follow will follow you back.

Share and where possible embed your content on other Social Networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. For example if I have a SlideShare presentation on Employment law I may want to share it on a number of LinkedIn Groups.

One of my favourite SlideShare presentations of all time came from Jordan McDonnell who managed to find his dream role by creating and promoting his SlideShare presentation : “This is not my resume

[slideshare id=13718503&doc=thisisnotmyresume-120722090649-phpapp01]

Jordan was living in the Netherlands at the time and looking at opportunities in Ireland. Anyone that has looked for a job whilst living in another country will know he was in many ways at a disadvantage from local based candidates. His creative presentation generated 100,000 views in a number of weeks and more importantly lead to two dream job offers. One of them was Twitter where he now works.

You can measure and track who is viewing your content in your SlideShare account’s Analytics section. You can see which locations your viewers are in, what companies they work in, where they originally found your content (eg. Google, Twitter etc) and who exactly commented and/or downloaded your content. SlideShare even allows you export your data in a csv file.

See how many people are viewing your presentations, where the are located and more in the Analytics section.

See how many people are viewing your presentations, where the are located and more in the Analytics section.

4. Using SlideShare for sales

SlideShare can be an ideal inbound sales funnel. Share and promote your relevant content in the right places and you will find potential customers. When creating content for SlideShare consider adding “Call to Action” slides into your presentation. This could be a slide offering, a deal or a special offer. The key here is to add a few slides; don’t over do it. Finally make sure your final slide encourages an action – Contact us, Sign up, Share etc.

Use SlideShare analytics to see who is looking at your content. Pay special attention to people who are “Liking”, Commenting and Downloading your content. SlideShare allows us to see exactly who this people are, so seize the moment and reach out to each and every one of them.

Follow up with people that download your content. They could be your next BIG client.

Follow up with people that download your content. They could be your next BIG client.

Keep an eye on the competition and look at what content they are creating and how it is being received. Look at the users commenting and engaging with their content and where applicable try to connect and engage with them.

5. SlideShare’s SEO benefit – get found on Google

SlideShare is built with SEO in mind. All text in your uploaded presentations are transcribed. This helps search engines like Google and Bing to understand and index your content. For that reason very often SlideShare presentations seem to rank high in Google searches. Many companies embed their SlideShares on their website in the hopes of generating some SEO juice.

When uploading a presentation or pdf document to SlideShare, follow the same SEO logic that you would give to your Blog:

  • Optimise your title: Ensure your SlideShare title includes your keyword(s)
  • Write a description using the keywords and phrases your readers will use when searching for similar content on the web.
  • Tag your presentation with relevant keywords.
  • Where applicable add clickable links to your SlideShare presentations. This works well for pdfs.
  • Embed and share your presentation in as many relevant places you can. Think of ways you can encourage 3rd parties to embed your content. The more places your content is shared the more prominent your presentation will be in your search results.
Optimise your title and description for SEO purposes.

Optimise your title and description for SEO purposes.

Well that is it for this week. My brain is fried and I can write no more. Give SlideShare a go and remember it is no different from any other social network – if you create and share regular valuable content it will generate ROI. However, what you get out will depend on what efforts you put in.

Looking for some inspiration for your next SlideShare? Here are some of the best presentations on SlideShare in 2014 

[slideshare id=42769905&doc=2014bestof-final-141216140041-conversion-gate01]

Not in the mood for reading today? Well, I’ve put an overview of Slideshare on video just for you!

What are your thoughts on SlideShare?  Do you have any cool tips or stories to share with us? Leave your comments below.