social media how toDo you use SlideShare?

Are you using it to its full potential?

SlideShare decks let you share conference presentations, curate content, create how-to guides and more. But none of that content matters if people don’t see it.

In this article I’ll share five tips to get the most out of your SlideShare deck.

optimize slidshare for exposure

Discover how to optimize SlideShare decks for more exposure.

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#1: Make the First Slide Irresistible

Don’t underestimate the power of your first slide. It’s your presentation’s cover and will appear everywhere—as the thumbnail of any social shares (Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest) or SlideShare search or if you’re lucky, when you’re featured on the SlideShare home page.

slideshare share to twitter

Your first slide is featured in social shares.

Because it’s so important, take your time designing your opening slide. Find just the right image that catches your audience’s attention and makes them want to click through.

Here are some free tools to find and create awesome visuals. I also use this site for inspiration too. Even though it’s not for digital images, it has one of the most inspiring collections!

Double-check how the image appears at various sizes so it looks great no matter where it’s shared.

I recommend two tools that make it a cinch to create a nice-looking presentation: Haiku Deck and Canva—neither requires design skills nor experience.

The web version of Haiku Deck helps you put together beautiful decks—even on your iPad if you’re on the go! The tool only has six themes right now, but that’s enough to create stunning presentations.

Haiku Deck is currently free, but they’re launching paid accounts soon.

slideshare created on haiku deck

Haiku Deck lets you create awesome presentations while saving time designing them.

Tip: After you download your finished deck, add some watermarks in PowerPoint to brand it.

Canva, also free, has a Presentations section. The designs here are attractive, but you can upload your own images for backgrounds and watermarks if you like.

canva slideshare themes

Canva offers lots of beautiful presentation designs to choose from.

Be aware, though, that you can only download your Canva slides as an image or PDF. Since there’s no PowerPoint option, it’s harder to edit or customize your deck after you download it.

As an alternative, you can save each of your Canva slides as a picture and add them to your SlideShare deck one by one.

This isn’t an ideal solution because SlideShare extracts text from presentations to display. When you use pictures, SlideShare won’t have anything to extract.

You can also try industry-related charts (People are always attracted by stats and numbers). R+Examples in our industry include:

Here’s the collection of marketing stats to illustrate my point.

#2: Write SEO-Friendly Descriptions

Don’t ignore SlideShare’s description field. The text you include here is what the search engines see.

What you say and how you say it can improve your SlideShare natural rankings dramatically. When someone does a search on SlideShare, the search terms appear bold in the results, which draws more attention to them. More attention easily translates into more clicks.

As you’re writing your description, check out tools like SEOchat to get an idea of which phrases and keyword combinations to use for maximum effect.

search terms bolded in results

SlideShare bolds search terms in results.

Tip: The name of the file you upload to SlideShare becomes the URL slug, so when you name your file, choose something SEO-friendly. Your SlideShare presentation will have a better chance of ranking in SERPs, which drives more reliable and continuous traffic to your presentation.

#3: Include Links and Video

To take advantage of SlideShare as a content marketing tool, make sure you link to any resources, articles or tools that you mention in your presentation.

clickable slide in slideshare

Make the whole slide clickable.

Links only work from slide four and onward. To make a link clickable, add the hyperlink in PowerPoint or Keynote. If your slide background is an image (like the one above or perhaps one saved from Canva), you can link the whole slide to an external website.

Tip: If you embed one-page documents or infographics, there’s no way to create clickable links, but these uploads work great for branding and exposure.

If you’re writing an online article and realize a slide from one of your decks can reinforce or demonstrate your point, you can link directly to that slide within your article. To do that, simply put “/” and the number of the chosen slide right after the SlideShare page URL.

For example:

Deep linking to a deck slide is a great way to introduce people to even more of your relevant content.

Video integrates very well with SlideShare. You can place one right inside a slide. Use them to share more in-depth information, show how something works or even for a bit of comic relief.

Video introduces a range of opportunities—it’s up to you, so see how they fit with your project.

adding youtube in slideshare

Add your YouTube URL here and the video will play right inside your SlideShare presentation.

To add a YouTube video to your SlideShare presentation, just follow these quick steps:

1. Go to My Uploads and click Edit > Settings > Edit YouTube video.
2. Type or paste the YouTube video URL into the box.
3. Select the position and click Insert & Publish.

Regarding video, read the FAQs for more information. You aren’t allowed to upload copyrighted videos, TV shows, movies, music albums or videos of a personal nature, so no personal vlogging here. Given those rules, your best bet is to upload videos where you present or instruct.

#4: Update Existing SlideShare Decks

If you need to update or improve your presentation (e.g., with clickable links), you can edit the file and re-upload it to SlideShare without changing the existing URL. (Yay for no embed code errors or outdated links!)

reupload improved slideshare

Re-upload a new file to the old URL.

Once you’ve made the fix and re-uploaded the file, it may take some time for the new file to go live. In my experience it usually just takes a few seconds before you have an improved version of your presentation up and running.

#5: Use SlideShare Analytics

SlideShare offers a robust analytics feature, allowing you to track the daily progress of all of your content.

On your dashboard you can choose to see stats for separate uploads by clicking the Uploads drop-down menu.

statistics in slideshare analytics

The SlideShare analytics dashboard shows you statistics for all of your content.

You can also see outbound clicks from your presentation, including which slide the clicks originated from and where the link points. This is priceless data because it can help you design more clickable slides!

statistics in slideshare analytics

Track which links people clicked on.

You can even view recently engaged users. It’s a good idea to connect with those people and follow them—maybe they’ll return the favor!

multiple slideshare analytics in cyfe

You can connect Cyfe to several SlideShare accounts.

If you manage a few SlideShare accounts (e.g., a personal one and a couple of corporate ones), consider using Cyfe to monitor progress on multiple accounts within one dashboard.


SlideShare is one of the most useful content marketing and blogging tools over there. SlideShare makes it easy to curate content, showcase your team’s knowledge and brand yourself. To see the best results from your efforts, make SlideShare one of the properties you track and update regularly.

What do you think? Do you use SlideShare to distribute your content? Do you have suggestions for improved SlideShare content marketing? Please leave your comments below.

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  • treb072410

    Great post Ann, thanks for sharing useful information..

  • Thanks Ann. Perfect timing. We were just talking about using SideShare more effectively.

  • Owen Hemsath

    Slideshare allows for around 2k wds in the description- thats like 4 website pages! Do you suggest using all 2k wds?

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  • Amanda Hurley

    I really wanted to put my slideshare in an email. There is no way to do this huh?

  • Fatemeh

    hi,great content. i have a question. i want to share my slideshares on our Facebook page, and i want it to be used directly from the Facebook page, with buttons to navigate slides. i have found solutions like adding a slideshare tab to the page, but i want it to be embedded to the timeline section. what’s your suggestion?

  • ellennaylor

    Thanks Ann. I wondered why my links never worked on the cover page. I figured I was doing something wrong. Now I know: wait until page 4 onward. Great tips.

  • You are welcome! Glad you found it useful!

  • Good question… I don’t know the way but I’ll search around

  • Hey Amanda, not sure what you mean! You mean like embed it into the email?

  • Thanks for reading!

  • Thanks, Jeff! Glad to know it turned out to be a timely article!

  • I never tried… I guess around 300 words of original text would be optimal…

  • Amanda Hurley

    Yes, exactly. 🙂

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  • Great article! I’d also recommend tweeting your new SlideShare to @SlideShareToday. We’ve been featured on the homepage twice and the visibility is substantial. Tweeting at that handle can increase awareness from the SlideShare team about your content.

  • ellennaylor

    Great idea! I am learning so much from everyone. Thanks.

  • Jkoczela

    Thanks for this information, Ann. I have been wanting to start using SlideShare but wasn’t sure how to begin But thanks to this article, I can now dive in.

  • Good luck with it!

  • Great points!
    Also, adding social media icon in slideshare profile is important to easily promote the slide on different social networks.

  • Amanda Hurley

    Thanks so much Ann!

  • Thanks, Jason! Great idea! I’ll try it

  • treb072410

    It was a pleasure.. Ill be waiting for your next post..

  • Now I understand why my video never upload to my Social Media Strategy.

  • Now Im sold on Slideshare, I was still flirting with the idea. Thanks for the toolkit Ann!

  • Great! I hope SlideShare will work out well for you, Julie!

  • Thank you Ann, Getting to grips with it and finding the time to do all this 🙂 getting there.

  • Eugene Zach

    Great tips Ann, I was wondering why my links aren’t clickable on my Slideshare presentation, and I found your post. Thanks a lot for writing such a helpful post.

  • Dianne

    Thanks so much – I’m loving SlideShare!

  • Great post, some very useful tips 🙂

  • louhoffman

    Really enjoyed this post. Very useful. You pointed out that video can be effective in Slideshare, but is there a way to insert a GIF into Slideshare as well?

  • No you can’t use animated GIFs in Slideshare unfortunately!

  • Just caught up with this – great work Ann. I love how detailed this is. I thought I was pretty savvy with SS (until now).

  • Hello Ann,

    Great post!!

  • Good points, Ann. I use Slideshare pretty often, it’s indeed a great platform. I’d just add that a point: Be aware of different way of viewing Slideshare. It influences if the links inside presentation work and also how slides are presented. On tablet or mobile links don’t work. Also quasi-animation done by slide switching doesn’t look the same.