Social media based conversions are all the rage in business, and they should be. While leads can come from anywhere, generating sales from social media can be a relatively and comparatively low-effort way of bringing dollars into your business.

One of the sites that is increasingly gaining popularity is Slideshare. Slideshare is less a traditional social network like Facebook or Twitter; it offers users the ability to post and share presentations. Don’t let the name fool you, people aren’t sharing vacation photos and boring slideshows. Okay, maybe a few are — but the gross majority of value that Slidehare provides is that it allows people to share their ideas, expertise, and knowledge in presentation format.

What Is It?

As I said before, Slideshare is a site that allows you to upload and share presentations. Slideshare also allows the upload and sharing of videos, documents, and webinars. It’s a place where ideas can be exchanged, but at the same time it’s a simple outlet for hosting idea equity. Slideshare bills itself as the world’s largest community for sharing presentations. They boast 130 million page views per month and have 60 million monthly visitors. It’s embeddable, lead generating, and by its nature a social platform given how easily it is to share content.

The Value Prop: Slideshare gives you a broad audience and allows for easy sharing. It’s also a great way to use existing content to help promote your brand, as well as your services, and drive traffic to your site to generate social media conversions.

Who Uses It?

A bevy of companies, non-profits, and other organizations use Slideshare including The White House, NASA, the US Army & Navy, ad firms, tech firms, defense contractors and more. Even federal agencies use it! The point is that both big companies and small companies use Slideshare to their advantage, and you can too. Let’s take a look at two examples. Socialfresh tells us about 5 companies using Slideshare to improve their brand awareness, and at number 3 they list Oracle. Oracle is a big user of the site. With a tremendous amount of videos, they’re clearly finding value in sharing their expertise through presentation-sharing.

But at the same time, plenty of small businesses use it. That same Socialfresh article pinpoints several other businesses, significantly smaller in size, that utilize Slideshare to post and share their content. From a company that helps create presentations, to a digital marketing agency, to a hotel and spa, there are a wide range of types and sizes of businesses that use Slideshare go grow their business.

The Value Prop: In a social environment the nature and size of parties sharing is incredibly important. It’s not just important that NASA or tech firms and agencies use Slideshare, it’s important that entities with large networks are sharing. Bigger businesses will tend to attract more followers and generate more shares, and while some can view the idea that sharing with bigger companies is somehow leeching off the success of others, any way you can participate in bigger networks is going to be a benefit to you and your business.

How do you use it?

As I’ve illustrated before, it’s about sharing presentations. But in order to really get down to the meat of how to use Slideshare and get great value from it, let’s look at specific examples.’s Lisa Barone gives us some great examples of 6 ways small businesses can use Slideshare. First, she starts with repurposing assets — perfect. Use what you already have, and get it in a form you can put on Slideshare. Your business already has valuable assets, so how can you share it in presentation form?

Barone also mentions building thought leadership and brand awareness, as well as creating webinars and holding virtual meetings. All of these are related — as a small business owner, you’re forced to do a lot of work yourself, and as such have a lot of knowledge capital in your industry. By creating webinars you can actually work to build that thought leadership and brand awareness. It’s also important to consume other presentations. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for something new, trying to learn something about your industry, or simply trying to learn how to do something better; there are many presentations that can help. So just as it’s important to publish and share your own content, it’s equally as important to be a consumer of other content that’s out there. You never know what you might learn!

Another important suggestion Barone mentions is to integrate Slideshare into other social media sites to boost your presence, profile, and credibility. Not only is it a terrific recommendation, it’s bolstered by a post from this Mashable contributor that Slideshare can be used to be more social. One of the best ways it does this is by letting people post their Slideshare content on their own sites. You don’t have to simply link content; you can actually embed your content wherever you want.

Telling your story, highlighting experts, and sharing the right information spark conversation, as well as harness social cross-pollination; all are exceedingly important in finding and utilizing the benefits of Slideshare, one of which is actually generating direct leads for your business. The post from the details how one person decided to try to use Slideshare to generate leads for their own business, and how he developed a strategy (and learned to refine it) to reach that goal. Generating these leads is obviously the #1 way to bring social media conversions to your business. How might you be able to follow his lead?

The Value Prop: When you have good content, organize and store it well, post in-depth and useful information, and don’t forget to post your content wherever you can, this proper use of Slideshare couples with a broad network and other great content to really provide significant value by creating a sometimes-overlooked information format.

It might be a format you’ve never thought about, or it might be something you’ve never considered important, but there’s a lot of idea and experience-equity within your business and the professionals you employ. By putting your existing content, and even unformatted information you have into presentation format, you’re able to express your ideas, display your expertise, and do more sharing and learning than you could ever do just on your own.

There’s plenty of value in Slideshare, but like many things — what you get out of it is equal to what you put in.