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When it comes to building a reputation for knowledge and creativity through social media, most people think the only options are blogs, Twitter and podcasts. Often overlooked is another key option, SlideShare.
It's easy to think of SlideShare as just "the YouTube of PowerPoints." I originally started using it as a back-up for presentations I was preparing to give, in case even my extra thumb drive conked out. But then I started to notice something: Those presentations were racking up views. And not just a few.
Soon, I found that presentations given to a crowd of about 50 were getting thousands of views within a few weeks, sometimes even days or hours. I began to focus on optimizing presentations for SldieShare so that they'd make sense, even if I wasn't there to describe the slides. As I figured out these simple tricks, the presentations started getting better play on SlideShare, often being featured on the front page of the site.
Most surprising was when I realized that a Google search for "Twitter Tutorial" brought up one of my presentations as the first result. I'd like to say I planned that kind of search optimization, but in all honesty, it was just a quick presentation I threw together for a lunchtime staff training.
If you've never used SlideShare, or you've only tried it out a few times with limited results, here are a few ideas to help make the most of it:
- Make sure you've got a great cover. Nothing is more important when it comes to getting featured on the front page of SlideShare.net. A good presentation name is a close second, though.
- Don't wait for a public speaking gig. There aren't a lot of those to go around, so think about how you could repackage information you have on hand, like, say, a blog series.
- It doesn't have to be PowerPoint. It can be a PDF or even a Word document. So if you're not comfortable with PowerPoint (or don't even own a copy), don't let that stop you.
- If you are working in PowerPoint, save your deck as a PDF before uploading to SlideShare. This will save you a world of hurt with font wonkiness.
- Tagging is crucial. People are looking for very specific topics in SlideShare, usually revolving around their industries. Use descriptive words and phrases to make sure yours will be easy to find.
- Share what you've posted. By embedding or linking to your presentation from Twitter, Facebook LinkedIn or your blog, you'll greatly increase the potency of your post.
I don't expect that you'll start using SlideShare as a place to post daily content, nor should you. But SlideShare is definitely one of the most underestimated resources on the Web, and I bet that with a little experience, you'll find it's a great way to get long-term exposure for yourself, your work, your company and your ideas.