If your library hasn’t started creating content for Slideshare, I think you should. It doesn’t cost you any money and it’s easy to learn. It’s a faster and cheaper way to teach your customers about the services offered by your library, particularly in comparison with YouTube videos or other social media sites.
Libraries and Slideshare are a perfect fit
Slideshare is a how-to platform where users get step-by-step instructions on topics of interest to them from experts. We’re the information experts! Libraries should be leading the Slideshare charge.
Content is seen by new eyes
Slideshare is a powerful tool that will connect you to your cardholders and potential cardholders in ways that no other platform can. The site receives 70 million visits a year and is one of the top 100 most-visited websites, which means it’s a great place to reach an audience that isn’t already actively looking for your content. It’s part of LinkedIn, which makes gives the platform an extra searchability boost. If your library has a LinkedIn account, it’s easy to connect the two within settings so every Slideshare you create is automatically shared on your LinkedIn account.
It’s easy to use
For your team and for your customer, Slideshare is easy to learn to use. If you know how to create a Powerpoint, you’re three-quarters of the way to creating a Slideshare. The platform has several Slideshares to teach you the basics of design and presentation. There is also a list of more than a dozen tools to choose from. I usually create my slides in Canva, then put them into a Powerpoint, adding links to pertinent slides. Then I upload the Powerpoint and… voila! I’ve also used Haiku Deck to create my slides. I also love free Slideshare Templates from Hubspot.
Make it happen
As with any new tactic, you’ll want to spend time looking at your content marketing strategy to decide which goals might be served by a visual presentation like Slideshare. Your next major decision will be to figure out how often you can handle posting to Slideshare based on your workload. My library is posting once a month and we’re using the platform to help our cardholders learn to use the more difficult digital aspects of our services, like Overdrive, Career Online High School, and our educator cards. By posting once a month and rotating the staff member responsible for each post, we’re not adding extra burden to anyone’s workload, and we’re giving all our marketing staff a chance to exercise their creativity and learn something new about the library as they create their decks.
Sometimes it’s okay to go off-strategy for your Slideshare content. I created three simple Slideshares to showcase behind-the-scenes construction photos for three new library branches. These desk are not fancy. They took me about an hour each to put together… but they are the most successful of our uploads! People love to peek at your process behind-the-scenes. So follow your instincts in terms of content!
How many slides?
This was a big question for myself and my staff when we started posting to Slideshare. To be honest, I’m not sure I have a concrete answer. There are about as many theories on the ideal Slideshare deck length as there are leaves on a tree. On average, our decks are between 20 and 30 slides. We’re still experimenting with length.
We’ve created an easy-to-follow workflow process for creating our Slideshares. You’re welcome to steal this as a guideline for your own staff.
Step one: Create an outline. Once you decide on a subject, create an outline, marking what each slide will contain including text and your idea for the visual. Try to keep text to a minimum and think outside the box about eye-catching visuals for each slide. Then take this outline through the approval process to get agreement before you begin creating slides. It’s easier to change an outline than a slide!
Create a Powerpoint. Once your outline is approved, you can create your Powerpoint. This is the fun part! You’ll want to embed links in as many slides as possible. But Slideshare has a weird rule… you can’t embed a link in the first three slides of your deck. After that, its open season!
Triple-check for accuracy. I email the Powerpoint to as many people as possible to make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors and to make sure the Powerpoint looks right on as many computers, laptops, and browsers as I can check. If you make a mistake after you’ve uploaded the deck to Slideshare, you can’t fix it. You’ll have the delete the deck and re-upload… and that means you lose all the analytics up to that point. Once you’re sure it’s error-free…
Upload and promote on your website and other social media channels. This is the fun part! Be sure to do ongoing promotions for your decks if the content is evergreen.
Analyze the statistics and make adjustments based on your audience response. As with every social media site, you’ll want to watch the analytics on your decks and adjust your content and distribution strategy if necessary. Slideshare gives you access to your analytics for free–it’s part of the drop-down menu under your profile photo.
Is your library using Slideshare? Do you have a question that I didn’t answer? Share your thoughts or a link to your library’s account with me in the comments section… I’d love to see what you are doing!
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