Within the social media “party”, Slideshare is the cool, confident and level-headed kid.
Slideshare doesn’t make a scene, try to attract the spotlight or do things that piss off other people. It just quietly rumbles along, making friends and doing thing that make people happy such as getting rid of its freemium model.
I met with a startup entrepreneur recently who talked about how much traffic it generates when it posts content on Slideshare.
When asked to explain, he said there simply isn’t as much competition for attention as Twitter and Facebook where everyone is yelling to be noticed.
So, what is Slideshare’s secret?
I think it boils down to how Slideshare is an easy and effective way to share content.
Its success, in many way, is driven by its focus. You don’t find a lot of bells and whistles on Slideshare or a continual expansion of features. Slideshare just does what it does without making much of a fuss.
It has been interesting to see how little has changed with Slideshare since it was acquired by LinkedIn for $119-million in 2012.
Aside from the decision to eliminate freemium, LinkedIn appears to have left Slideshare alone rather than suck it into the fold – something it has done with other acquisitions such as Connected (a social CRM service that was a personal favourite).
Maybe the folks at LinkedIn realize that you shouldn’t mess with a good thing, so they have left Slideshare alone – at least for now.
It’s a smart strategy because Slideshare has such a strong reputation as a valuable service. What’s particularly interesting is how Slideshare’s utility has expanded even though it hasn’t gone out of its way to add more features. In a pretty organic way, people have started to use Slideshare in different ways.
For marketers, Slideshare’s unassuming personality can make it a really effective tool to publish and share content. Since it’s not a place that features loud place to have conversations, a flurry of personal updates or engagement, it’s not as difficult to get noticed.
As important, Slideshare makes it easy to share and consume content, particularly the ability to embed presentations on other Websites.
For people who haven’t used Slideshare, it’s worth exploring how it can be used for marketing, sales and sharing interesting content.
Why do you think Slideshare is so successful? What are some of the ways that you use it?