Summit Mondays: On Deck with SlideShare’s Marisa Wong

summitWe’re just weeks away from our second annual Spredfast Social Summit, and we are inviting a few of our customers and partners to preview some of the excitement coming to Austin this October 16-18th. This week, Marisa Wong from SlideShare, joins us to discuss brand journalism, viral SlideShares, and the one thing she plans to do while she’s in town for Summit.

You're speaking on a panel about "The Newsroom: How Brands are Becoming Media Companies" at Summit, how does SlideShare think about brand journalism and support companies that are embracing it?

We think of SlideShare as a great platform to showcase awesome brand journalism. When we first launched a few years ago, many companies used SlideShare more as a repository for content that had already been created (whitepapers, investment relations documents, etc). Recently, we’ve seen a shift, partly in response to the rise of visual content and companies realizing how well that resonates with people on the web.

We think of ourselves as a host, helping to elevate and socialize brand content. People go to SlideShare for knowledge. The companies that are embracing brand journalism and creating awesome content are doing well.

The theme of Summit this year is Achieve; describe your biggest social achievement in the past year.

I came on to SlideShare about 6 months ago as the first ever fulltime content editor. So I was able to take the reins on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You probably won’t believe this, but up until that time our tweets were automated. We quickly changed that and have spent time growing and nurturing those presences to great effect.

But what provides us the most happiness is when we see our users receiving social success on SlideShare. We get excited when we see people who were relatively, if not completely, unknown create an awesome SlideShare that goes viral. One example is Emiland De Cubber, who published “Dear NSA,” a deck that redesigned the NSA’s leaked PRISM program slides and received over 832,000 views in just two weeks.

On SlideShare, the best content rises to the top, great content gets recognized. To me, that’s how we achieve at SlideShare.

As social media marketers, we know that great social experiences build lasting relationships, can you share a memorable social experience?

For me, it is awesome to speak with some of our power users and to hear how much we are appreciated. It’s exciting when someone tells us, “Because of SlideShare, I created a business” or a book, or I changed careers. That is powerful, and definitely a memorable social experience. 

Why is your brand social? 

The core principal of SlideShare is “sharing knowledge” and that is social in and of itself. To that point, we have never thought of ourselves as competitive to other social networks, but as supplemental. We want SlideShare content to be discoverable in as many ways as possible so that people can access and share knowledge broadly.

How is your brand innovating in social? What new tactics or strategies is your brand currently exploring or planning to implement in Q4? 

We’re always trying to make SlideShares as easy to share as possible. We’ve been experimenting with infographics, which are shared 2x more than presentations and 3x more than documents. We’re in the space of visual content, which is always morphing. You have video on one end of the spectrum and traditional written form on the other. What is rising, and what is our sweet spot, is beautifully told stories and it’s taking place on SlideShare.

One thing we’re doing ourselves to drive engagement is an upload campaign where we ask SlideShare users to submit a SlideShare on a particular topic. At launch, we curate some really strong content on the topic to get people excited and inspired, for example this month we’re asking users, “What’s Your Startup Story?”  And this this month, we have a panel of celebrity judges—Hunter Walk, Guy Kawasaki, and more—who will help pick our winner.

What are you most looking forward to at Summit this year? 

I am really excited to meet people and hear about what others are trying and doing. That’s what’s exciting about the social media landscape, people are always trying new things and I’m excited to learn what’s working and what isn’t.

Have you been to Austin before? Anything else on your agenda while you are in town?

I have never been to Austin, and I’m so excited—I have heard nothing but great things about the city.  I really want to go to a good BBQ place.

Want to connect with Marisa before Summit? Follow her on Twitter at @marisa_wong. Interested in scoping out the BBQ scene (and other must sees) before you get to town?  Check out our Summit Bucket List Pinterest Board.

MarisaWong-SlideShareMarisa Wong is the Managing Editor at SlideShare, a LinkedIn company and the world's largest community for sharing presentations. Her editorial expertise spans both journalism and marketing: She has previously worked as an editor at The Wall Street Journal, Flipboard and People Magazine, and was the managing editor at a San Francisco content-marketing firm.'s picture

Courtney Doman

Courtney is the Content Marketing Manager at Spredfast. She focuses on sharing smart social ideas and insights to transform the way companies connect with consumers. Courtney is a passionate football fan (supporting Arsenal and the USMNT), curious traveller, and ambitious home cook.