Make your PDFs really work - Make them social media friendly

By Angela Schuster

With social media playing such a growing role in the marketing and communications mix of many businesses, it's surprising how few people take a few extra steps to optimise their PDF documents for social media.

You may ask "why bother?". Well, the reason is to increase your readership (and thereby increase exposure to your brand or message).

Regardless of what your document is, for example: Research findings, a white paper, brochure, case study or best practice guide, ensuring the document is "social media friendly" is quick and painless and can prove useful.

Why create social media friendly PDFs?

Simply put, creating social media friendly PDFs:

  • Prompts readers to share documents;
  • Makes it easy for readers to share your documents with others; and
  • Allows you to track the sharing of your documents.

It's also a great way to incorporate social media into material you're already producing and can make stepping into social media fairly easy if you're just starting out.

Tips for social media friendly PDFs

So, it sounds like a good idea but how do you do it? Here are a few tips (you can also download our tip sheet for examples):

  • Don’t write the full link as content. Instead include an icon and/or short descriptor (eg “Tweet this”) and make the descriptor the link.

  • Make it easy to share by pre-populating fields such as email, Tweets etc.

  • Make the link launch the right application (with pre-populated information).
  • Use a link shortening service to track links – for example shorten the link in and then you can track the pass along readership of your PDF.

  • If you use Google Analytics make use of the URL building tool to add tags to the link for thorough tracking.

  • Keep a quick guide or reference handy of social media links (feel free to download ours).

The Upshot

You generally go to a lot of effort to create PDFs and with a little extra effort you can easily embed social media sharing options to increase your readership. 

  • For more information, download our tip sheet of social media links and start creating social media friendly PDFs today.