PDFs are useful for providing visitors with downloadable, printable information. Unlike web pages in HTML, you can’t use social media buttons to get people to share content. You can, however, use links to ask readers to share your document with others. Here are four steps to achieving social media engagement with PDFs.
1. Put social media icons into your document
On web pages, social media buttons make it clear to visitors where they can share content. In a PDF, social media icons are also a good way of showing your readers how they can let others know about what they’ve read.
You’d be surprised at just how many styles of social media icons there are. If you have a designer, or you’re feeling extra creative, you can make your own icons. Alternatively, there are many available on the internet. You can crop images down to the right size using software like SnagIt, or even in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint.
It’s best if your icons for different social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn match to create a uniform look. Use icons that fit with the style of your document, and your brand as a whole.
2. Upload your document as a PDF
Create your document in PowerPoint, which can then easily be saved as a PDF. When saving your document as a PDF, it is important to optimise it for the search engines. Below the document name and type, you can create an author, title and tags. Ensure the title contains the key phrases targeted in the document – it could be the same as the first heading.
When you’ve saved the document as a PDF, upload it to your content management system (CMS). You need to do this so that you can get a URL, which allows people to share the document.
You can get the URL easily by opening the PDF from your CMS once it has been uploaded.
3. Make your icons into links
When you have the URL for your PDF, you can turn the icons into links that take visitors straight to pages where they can share the document with others. You will need to edit the original PowerPoint document to do this.
Hrefshare is a good resource for creating social media sharing links quickly, and it also lets you add an automatic message to accompany Facebook shares. Alternatively, you can use the URLs below. Hyperlink each icon with the following corresponding link, replacing “yourlink” with the URL of your document:
Twitter: When creating your Twitter link, you can populate the tweet with the message you want to appear. Keep the “%20”s between each word when writing your message.
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/share?url=http://www.yourlink.com
4. Upload again
When your images have been hyperlinked, ‘save as’ a PDF again, and replace this updated document with the previous one in your CMS. Check your PDF to make sure your icons take you to the right place.
And that’s how you make content in the form of PDFs easily sharable!