7 secrets to becoming a SlideShare power user

October 29, 2012

In this article, originally published on LinkedIn Today, Ross Mayfield describes the tactics that help SlideShare power users get that extra edge (and more views.)

Ross MayfieldUsing SlideShare to share slides is pretty easy. Being a SlideShare ninja is another thing entirely. In this post (and deck), let me share seven secrets to using SlideShare that you probably shouldn't know.

1. Most of Your Viewers Come from Search

Presentations are just the kind of thing search engines love to eat. When creating a presentation you tend to pick your words carefully, and that text is somewhere between the terseness of a tweet and the verbosity of a blog post. When you upload content, pay particular attention to the keywords you use in your title, description and tags (in that order) to make your content more findable. Also, note that SlideShare extracts the text from your file and presents it as Transcript below. This Transcript is read by search engines, so your actual content matters.

2. Social Networks Provide the 2nd Most Viewers

The second largest source of traffic you can get for your content is social networks. And if done right, it can go viral and become the largest source. Click all those like buttons to promote your content across LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Notice how I put my Twitter @handle in the title above? Every time someone Tweets about my presentation they are also advertising my handle to other potential followers. Also be sure and add the SlideShare apps for LinkedIn and Facebook. All you have to do is log in with either service on SlideShare and it will automate sharing across both social networks.

3. SlideShare is a Social Network

Not enough people realize that connecting with people on SlideShare can substantially increase your content views. First and foremost enrich your profile with your professional identity. Actively Favorite and Comment on other's content. Follow other people and they may Follow you back so they are subscribed to your uploads.

4. Embed Your Content

Embedding your content into a blog post or web page not only distributes the content there. It also creates a link structure pointing back to your SlideShare content to increase search engine visibility. While a blog is not a content strategy, blogging in tandem with SlideShare can be a big part of it. Every time I write a blog post (like this), I consider making a simple summary of it in a presentation. And whenever I create a presentation, say for speaking at a conference, I can write a one or two paragraph summary of the talk, and embed the deck. This is a good personal tactic, but also one that can scale for businesses. For example, we do interviews for blog case studies, which we then hand over to a design firm to create case study presentations. You can also embed these kinds of decks into landing pages to make them more visual and engaging.

5. Design for SlideShare

Take one look at the SlideShare homepage and you'll find something different is going on. The design that takes shape on SlideShare is its own style, not traditional corporate powerpoint template. Put the most design work into your title slide, as the first slide in effect serves as a visual advertisement for your content. When someone sees the thumbnail of your content, that image effects the click-through rate to view it. Also note there aren't long paragraphs and bullet point hell. Use words carefully for people to scan slide-by-slide rapidly. People skim content on SlideShare faster than you would normally deliver slides in a presentation. When uploading to SlideShare, consider saving your PPT into a PDF, as while the details are small, PDF generally can convert and render better on SlideShare.

6. Enrich Your Media

SlideShare supports more than conference presentations. We support pretty much any presentation, document or video format. But even if you are focused on presentations, you can enrich them further. Click edit on your presentation and you can add a YouTube video as a slide. And you can add audio and synch the movement of the slides with our unique SlideCast format.

7. Go Pro

You can be a better ninja with a little investment. SlideShare PRO lets you generate sales leads, have Analytics to understand and track engagement, privately share content, and much more.

So there you have it, 7 secrets to make you a SlideShare ninja. I'm sure I've missed a few, so please do others a favor by sharing secrets I've missed in the comments below.