SlideShare basics: How to grow your audience and leverage your impact

SlideShare is exactly what the name implies: LinkedIn’s free product for sharing decks, slides, and other documents. Sounds simple enough, especially if you just want to find and share presentations, trainings, and reports. But did you know that SlideShare has 70 million users per month? Beyond increasing internal expertise, SlideShare has the capacity to

  • Increase your organization’s reach
  • Tell your organization’s story
  • Establish your team as a thought leader through case studies
  • Communicate with your constituents to update on your campaign or cause. Many disaster relief organizations, like the Cyclone Nargis Relief Effort, have done this successfully.

Sounds great! Now, how do you do that? For best practices on how to use this free tool to grow your audience and leverage your impact, check out our 7 tips below.


1. Choose your best content

Keep in mind the medium – slides are best for communicating top level information. Focus on using SlideShare for the big picture takeaways, case studies or high impact stories, and key statistics.


2. Treat it like a search engine

Google indexes all presentations shared on SlideShare, so treat each one like an article on your site. Use keyword research to find the most Search Engine Optimized titles, descriptions, and deck content; SlideShare automatically creates a transcript of all decks for usability, and to assist in SEO. SlideShare gets more than 80% of its traffic from organic search, so using a content marketing mindset when posting decks will give you a competitive edge.


3. Be Concise

45% of the presentations on SlideShare are between 10 and 30 slides, and on average each slide has 24 words. Keep your decks short, sweet, and to the point. This will also help with skim readers and mobile users.


4. Be Visual

Speaking of mobile users, they are 9 times more engaged than desktop users, so you want to appeal to their mindset. SlideShare will automatically optimize your deck for mobile, so focus on making it visually engaging, exciting, and aesthetically pleasing, to better attract and maintain users’ attention. Research shows that the most popular presentations have 37 or more images, and that good visuals increase retention by 42%. Plus, SlideShare uses the first slide as the thumbnail, so take care that this slide in particular is clear, visual, and interesting. As always, make sure your design is consistent in order to increase brand awareness.

If you want to make your presentations even more engaging, consider turning shorter decks into animated .gifs with GifDeck — you can embed the animation in Twitter posts, Facebook posts, email, and more.


5. Drive Users to Your Website

At the end of your deck, add a link to your website for users to “learn more.” If they’ve gotten to the end of the deck, chances are high that they are interested in your content. Track the traffic from SlideShare in Google Analytics under Referrals to see if those users go on to other pages or convert.


6. Add an Email Signup

Did you know you can embed an email signup form to old and new slides? We recommend adding an embed to your deck, and including a link to your site to drive signups from both users who are immediately ready to subscribe, and those that need to learn more first.


7. Use SlideShare Analytics

As always, we recommend using Google Analytics to track traffic from SlideShare to your site, but you should also check out SlideShare’s free analytics reporting. You can use it to find insights on geographical distribution, traffic sources, and timing to help you determine what’s working – and what’s not.

Are you currently using SlideShare? Share your tips and favorite presentations with us @WholeWhale!