How Meeker's 'Internet Trends 2013' Became the Most-Viral Deck on SlideShare

June 17, 2013

slide-1-638 (51)Mary Meeker's Internet Trends 2013 report became the most viral presentation on SlideShare: It got 1 million views in just four days. How and why did it spread so fast? And how can others replicate such success?

We decided to take an in-depth look at the waves of traffic Meeker's deck brought -- when it got spikes, who picked it up, where it got shared. And we compared it to the waves of traffic we've seen with other viral hits on SlideShare. What we found: Meeker's deck has more virality to come. Top presentations on SlideShare often have a second life, where a delayed wave of people find the deck via search and embed and share, making it viral once again.

The above presentation looks at three examples of viral distribution. First is the Mary Meeker deck, which is unique in how much blog and press attention it gained from the moment it was delivered at the D11 Conference last month. Meeker's slides have become an annual bellwether for the internet industry. This year it got 11 times the views her report last year fetched, with most technology press reporting on it and embedding the presentation.

Second, is Netflix CEO Reed Hasting's presentation on the company's corporate Culture. Released in 2009, most of its views came from people searching and browsing on SlideShare. It is the 5th most popular presentation on SlideShare, with 4.5M views.

Three years after its publication, Culture experienced a second wave of virality. It continued to gain search visits, but also was repeatedly embedded in blogs, and Netflix promoted the deck on its own site for recruiting purposes. With the second viral wave, its embed views are now twice that of views on the SlideShare site. The deck has been embedded in over 1755 sites on the web.

Third, we have an example of a influential conference presentation. Sam Ramji originally presented on Darwin's Finches, 20th Century Business, and APIs at the Web 2.0 Expo in 2010. It gained its initial views from SlideShare, a post by Sam, and a post that embedded the deck in ReadWriteWeb and some smaller blogs. Over time it prompted blog posts like this one in 2012.
The second wave of virality for Sam's deck came when the API startup space heated up two years later. Three acquisitions happened in eight days for over $450M, and the deck was referenced in posts like this one on TechCrunch. This second wave made it so embed views of the presentation are almost twice that of on-site views.

Not everyone can post content as influential as these examples. But here are some tips for how you can make your SlideShare content a hit:
  • -Publish content that is cutting-edge, informative and insightful, or news-breaking
  • -Present it at a conference
  • -Embed it in your blog or company blog
  • -Promote it through your social networks or through your company's social channels
  • -Email a link to it if the content could prompt the media to write about it and embed it. Also consider if your content could add something to a story that has already been posted
  • -Use good descriptive and unique language in your presentation, title, description and tags to aid search engines
  • -Use SlideShare Pro analytics to monitor the traffic you get and take advantage of a second wave of virality if it happens.

Now, go make your own viral waves!