n this month’s Success Magazine, Seth Godin answers the question, “How many social media sites should you use?” with, “No one asks how many hours you ought to spend answering the phone… Use the tools that help you achieve your purpose.”
I’m taking this as permission to tell you about yet another social media option that you might be overlooking: SlideShare. SlideShare is the largest stage for sharing presentations, as in PowerPoints and Keynotes. SlideShare had over a million visitors in 2007, and last year they topped 60,000,000,000.
SlideShare lets you upload your content, create a branded channel (with paid packages), and add links back to your website. You still own the content, and you can easily embed it in your blog, Facebook page, and so forth. So far, they sound a lot like YouTube, right?
That would be a good enough reason to use them, frankly. YouTube has enormous potential for most businesses, so what’s not to like about a service that works much the same way? It gets better.
At YouTube, the average viewer is a young person whiling away free time with videos of battles between cats, old TV episodes, or tutorials on eye make up. At SlideShare, the average viewer is a business decision maker. Depending on your business, this can greatly increase your chances of conversion from viewer to serious lead.
YouTube, terrific as it is, has one major issue as a social media channel for business. While it allows you to share your own content with others, you have to make a video. Not everyone can do that, and even those who can will find that it takes more time to make good video than to make a good blog post. At SlideShare, though, you can upload all kinds of content, from videos to PDFs and Word documents. When you do a presentation, think about SlideShare as you prepare your slides and handouts and upload them afterwards. Share your infographics, brochures, whitepapers, or any other content you’ve created or paid for. In other words, you can use SlideShare to extend the reach even of content you develop for offline use.
SlideShare is also one of the social media channels that can be used sparingly without doing you any harm. An inactive Twitter or Facebook account is worse than none at all. SlideShare can be used for one or two good presentations, and still give you a beneficial link. I actually found one of mine uploaded there by someone else with no link back to me but with tweets and downloads; I hadn’t thought of uploading it there myself, and I should have.
Take an afternoon and make a solid profile at SlideShare, especially if you have appropriate content hanging around your computer. Of course, if you need help, let us know. We’ll be glad to assist.