You have probably heard it more than once: get to SlideShare homepage and you’ll get a plethora of fresh, exuberant and highly convertible traffic. Or at least you’ll be able to write a blog post about it afterwards.
Few folks shared their knowledge about being on SlideShare homepage and their theories can be rarely tested as other folks keep their success to themselves. Fortunately, we at WebMeUp are thrilled to share our story and prove that you can get featured on SlideShare twice with two separate presentations within one week.
Sounds unbelievable? Let me tell you how it all happened to us.
NB: before reading this post, I’d love to pay your attention to the fact that we’re talking about featuring on “Hot On Facebook” section on SlideShare and our semi-scientific assumptions should not be brainlessly applied to your overall strategy on SlideShare.
It all started with a presentation
Needless to say that you have to create an outstanding presentation to be featured on SlideShare (more on this you’ll know later in this very article). Do you know how many decks are downloaded to SlideShare every minute? More than it’s humanly possible to process. Which means that SlideShare is bound to have at least a basic algo to see what’s hot and what’s deadly cold. Your presentation must be simply cool for your users, not for a program.
WebMeUp’s account on SlideShare is young and that’s why we were not expecting any huge success at the very beginning. Our objective was to raise traffic slowly and possibly getting featured on SlideShare homepage in a significant amount of time.
We published our first presentation Getting Started in SEO: Right Keyword Choice and On Page/ On Site Optimization For Rock Star Indexation on May 20, shared it on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn corporate accounts. The very next day, May 21 at 10.04 am EST I received an email from SlideShare that I was about to delete as I took it for a newsletter.
First I thought it was a joke, and then I shared it with my boss just to make sure I am not dreaming. Then we checked it at SlideShare to make sure it’s for real. And it was for real.
We were placed in the “Hot on Facebook Section” and it was important to understand what happened on Facebook first.
Kicking EdgeRank ass is like kicking all social networks algorithms at once?
You must have heard of the famous Facebook algorithm called EdgeRank. In short it’s a system that chooses which Facebook posts your fans/subscribers will see and which ones even you, an owner of this page, will never ever see in your newsfeed. The choice depends on many factors (most of them are unknown), but generally the more people like and share your content, the more chances that Facebook will show it to your fans. If you want to know more about it I strongly recommend visiting this site.
After we had analyzed the impact of our presentation we suddenly came to a conclusion that even EdgeRank must have been in awe because having 256 page likes (read: 256 fans) the total number of people who saw this post amounted to 427. We earned 19 shares and 38 likes.
After analyzing this post and sudden SlideShare success you don’t need to be a wunderkind to see the straight-forward connection:
Your total outreach on Facebook and the number of likes do matter. Certainly getting 68 likes is no guarantee that you’ll smash SlideShare homepage, but if the number of social signals significantly surpasses the predefined maximum outreach (say, 256 page likes in our case) you enter a win-win area.
It all sounds like an interesting theory, but in order to prove it we would have to repeat this success one more time.
Every success is followed by a failure… Sorry, lesson
The next presentation was published on May 21. On Page/Content Factors in SEO was less popular on Facebook and even in spite of its high total outreach (336 views in comparison with 264 page likes) it wasn’t featured on SlideShare homepage.
Were we disappointed? Kind of. Were we going to give up? Come on, we are one of the best SEO tools in a highly competitive market; if we give up we’re simply not worth it.
The conclusion is that even if EdgeRank still remembers your previous success on Facebook and shows your posts to a greater audience with a lowered number of likes and shares, it doesn’t mean that 32 total likes are enough for SlideShare.
Slap SlideShare. Twice
We published our next winning presentation on May 27. On May 28 Off Page SEO and Social Media Popularity was on SlideShare homepage again in the same section.
As you can see from the screen shot below even in spite of the fact that this post was seen only by 12 people more than the previous one it still did hit SlideShare homepage.
By having a keen look at our Facebook post we made some assumptions:
- Total Facebook post outreach doesn’t matter for SlideShare. These are two separate algorithms after all.
- Total number of likes and shares plays a huge role.
- Potentially the timeline and speed of getting likes and shares count too (aka virality score).
- Ratio of a total number of page likes and a total number of the post likes on Facebook is probably the key factor.
- Anyone can get on a SlideShare homepage, but if your Facebook page has a smaller amount of likes it’s somewhat easier for you to “cheat” the algo.
- The SlideShare age of your account might matter too. Young accounts can be given some bonuses for a huge growth right at the very beginning.
- SlideShare algorithm might choose a number of presentations on a certain topic and send the list to the editor who will decide which one will be featured on homepage.
SlideShare Hot on Facebook Effect Debunked?
The traffic we got from SlideShare was less than anticipated. Does it mean that we’re leaving SlideShare for good? Definitely no. It was just a first try that ended in being featured on SlideShare and still it’s a promising start for an account with three presentations.
It’s no big secret that SlideShare is extremely good at driving a consistent and periodical traffic when you have an established account with a decent number of various presentations. This is why we are now focused at growing our account and exposure on SlideShare to see how much we can get from the platform.
And yes, we’ll share next story with you too.
Tips for getting started on SlideShare
This tremendous experience taught us a number of priceless lessons on what you have to do to create an awesome presentation:
- Think carefully on the topic of your presentation. It can be a new piece of content that you will start from scratch or you can just take your guides, case studies, and even blog posts and turn them into slides.
- Do not try to sell in your presentation! Your site will do that for you, you just need to give people the reason to visit it. Remember the aim of your presentation: make people visit your site, not buy whatever you are selling.
- Be authentic and use incredible images. Stock photos are strictly prohibited!
- Incredible images. Yes, I repeat it once again because the current situation is such that people do not read. First we look at the picture and if we like we may read the content. Or we may not.
- Structure is the key. Imagine that your presentation is a short story; it needs at least a beginning, climax and breathtaking end.
- Are you bored when creating this presentation? If yes, you’re doing it wrong and have to delete it from your computer and face of the Earth. How could you expect anyone to like it if the process of its creation is so painful and devastating for you?
- Remember that slides serve a very important function: they give people the information they might need without asking them to read a lot/at all. Thus, make sure your text information is brief, concise and is given as a list. If you cannot make a list then make it 1-2 sentences per slide.
- Use schemes, but make them colorful and easy to follow. Overthinking always leads to an increased bounce rate, and that’s not our aim.
- Color is an important factor in psychology and is especially important for your presentation. Follow the rule of vintage war posters: 2-3 colors MAXIMUM per poster. Otherwise user’s attention can be distracted and lost.
- Feel free to use arrows and other signs to guide the user through your slide.
- Be funny, everyone likes to laugh and prefers to digest any information in an entertaining format.
- Even if your content is super valuable and extremely good, please make sure your presentation is not too long. If you browse SlideShare you’ll see that 20-40 slides are a golden mean. Everyone can get tired of a too long content no matter how awesome its form and implementation is.
- Risk. Stand out. In other words see thousands of SlideShare presentations and try to make yours as different from them as it’s possible. You are authentic, show it.
- If you’re a young page with a small number of followers and want to try yourself to beat the SlideShare algo you may want to ask your friends to like and share your presentation on Facebook/Twitter and do it fast. If you have a huge list of fans then probably your friends’ likes will be insufficient.
- Believe in yourself and in your brand.
There’s nothing impossible in this world and there’s most certainly nothing impossible for Social Media. Work hard, believe in yourself and listen to your inner voice of beauty and sanity to create a bombastic and successful presentation.
Right now why don’t you share your success or failure stories on SlideShare? Does it work for your business? Are you dreaming of getting to SlideShare homepage or maybe you were there once?