How to rock your Twitter Chat with SlideShare: an interview with Mark Johnson, FAIA

January 5, 2012

Kendra MayfieldWe're pleased to introduce guest author Kendra Mayfield, a new addition to the editorial team here at SlideShare. As a professional writer, Kendra has reported for Wired News and companies such as LinkedIn, Gap Inc. Global Communications and the University of San Francisco Medical Center. To kick off our series highlighting best practices from the SlideShare community, Kendra interviewed Mark Johnson, FAIA.

We love to spot presenters who are using SlideShare in new ways. That’s just the case with Mark Johnson, a marketing exec, licensed architect, professional building designer and certified kitchen designer. Mark’s iPad + Apps for Designers presentation, created with Eric Schimelpfenig, gained lots of traction when global brand Formica embedded it in a blog post on In this interview, Mark talks about how his presentation went ‘niche viral,’ and shares some tips for SlideShare users.

How did you get started on SlideShare?
I spoke at the Ignite Social Media Conference a couple months ago. The keynote speaker tweeted that her presentation was available on SlideShare. I clicked on the link in her tweet and was immediately connected to her presentation. I thought, wow, this is a powerful social media component I’d never seen before. That convinced me I needed to try SlideShare, since presentations and Twitter are two of my primary media. Presentations have been my 'second voice' for years in the design and building products industry. The SlideShare community is fascinating and I'm enjoying experimenting with the site, promoting presentations through Twitter and embedding them on Facebook.

Your iPad + Apps for Designers presentation has created a lot of buzz, how did you come up with it and why did you use SlideShare to share it?
When I worked for Masco Cabinetry, our VP of Sales had a vision for bringing easy-to-use business applications on an iPad to our Kitchen & Bath dealers. I volunteered for the assignment and enlisted the help of Eric Schimelpfenig. We each bought an iPad and tried out different apps to see what we liked. We first presented iPad+Apps for Designers at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in April. It was a hit, so we continue to update it with new apps as we discover them.

[slideshare id=9964834&doc=markitectipadappspres-111031141356-phpapp02]

I was recently asked to guest host #kbtribechat, a live Twitter chat for kitchen and bath designers. Having taught the iPad+Apps presentation live several times, I knew the first question would be, "is there a list of these apps for designers?" SlideShare seemed like the perfect solution to repurpose the presentation for a live Twitter chat.   We embedded it on the kbtribechat blog to promote the chat a week ahead of time, posted it the day of the live chat, and again post-chat for those who may have missed it.  The presentation went ‘niche viral,’ reaching 90,000 individuals on Twitter and generating 1,400 views during the week-long campaign.

Editor’s note: For a behind-the-scenes look at how Mark conducted the iPad + Apps social media campaign, check out his presentation below:

[slideshare id=10709193&doc=markitecttwitterchate-learningpres-111228112350-phpapp02]

How did your presentation end up on the blog?
@FormicaGroup attended the live #kbtribechat Twitter chat and I'm guessing they saw the popularity of the presentation and how great it looked embedded in the kbtribechat blog. Formica logo I was surprised and delighted when they used it for the Formica blog!
The momentum has just kept building from there. I recently embedded the presentation on various LinkedIn group pages for interior designers, and it’s generating some interesting comments among industry professionals.


What opportunities have come to you as a result of sharing your presentations?
My social media focus is largely B2B for the design community and building products industry. It's a very visual audience, so using high-quality imagery is part of my content-marketing strategy. Approximately 60 percent of my Twitter tweets contain links to rich content—either a website, blog, photo or video.  Now I'm able to add presentations to that mix as another medium for deeper engagement. Here are two of the business benefits I'm seeing:

1. Instead of forwarding one of my presentations to secure a conference speaking engagement, I’m now able to refer people to my SlideShare channel. It's like an online portfolio.

2. I get quite a few Twitter click-throughs and re-tweets from my tweets that contain links to SlideShare presentations. This has translated into more numerous—and more relevant—Twitter followers. When someone re-tweets a link to one of my presentations, they’re engaged, likely to follow me, and someone I’ll likely want to follow in return. That saves me a lot of time.

What tips do you have for SlideShare users who may want to have their presentations embedded?

  • Don’t think of SlideShare as just another repository; think of it as a social media portal that embeds across all the other major platforms.
  • Integrate SlideShare with your entire social media strategy and leverage the power of its community.
  • Launch a social media campaign to drive interest around your SlideShare presentation – tweet about it or embed it in Facebook, a blog or other website.
  • Join or start a Twitter chat group related to your expertise. If you showcase your expertise through your chat comments and a link to one of your presentations on the chat topic, you'll build credibility as an expert. You may even be asked to guest host a Twitter chat. Twitter chats are a great place to network, build a following and meet some brands. SlideShare may give others looking for blog content a reason to contact you or embed your presentation.

How does your SlideShare presence fit into your overall business strategy?
I'm making a transition from 20 years in corporate life to consulting. I wanted to differentiate myself by showcasing my social media campaigns and how I dig deep into the metrics. I use Apple Keynote to make my case study presentations visually exciting, and now SlideShare to make them accessible to everyone. While my own website is under construction, my SlideShare channel is showcasing my work and helping me come to the attention of other companies quickly. When I’m talking to potential clients about my social media services, I can direct them to my SlideShare channel, where they can judge my expertise.