Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Wikipedia often ranks high in search engine results for a large variety of topics. Because of this, it would be advantageous for businesses to become involved with Wikipedia. However, since Wikipedia is open to editing by anyone, the editors are very strict. In order to offer the most accurate information, Wikipedia strives to remain free of advertising, so that the information presented is unbiased and fair. It is important to remember that Wikipedia is unpredictable, and though an article could be online for a year without any changes, Wikipedia editors could remove it at any time.
In order to integrate Wikipedia into your Social Marketing plan, there are 10 things you need to keep in mind.
1. Wikipedia editors are quick. If you are doing something inappropriate, the editors will find it, often within minutes. Make sure you are following Wikipedia's policies and guidelines. Craft your submissions to be objective, unbiased and ethical. Spammers are not tolerated. Visit Wikipedia's "Help: About" page for more information on its policies and guidelines.
2. Wikipedia is not a place to advertise. If you try to advertise on Wikipedia, your contribution will be deleted and you will likely be banned. Use Wikipedia to inform others, not to market your brand or sell product.
3. Offer value-added content. Users of Wikipedia are looking for accurate, current information. Provide information to articles that make the articles stronger and more accurate. Link to other objective Web pages to corroborate your information.
4. Use your Website as a source when appropriate. This is a great way to demonstrate your expertise in the topic as well as help generate links and traffic to your site.
5. Be generous with source links. Use a variety of sources for Wikipedia articles to demonstrate that you have good intentions and are not just on Wikipedia to benefit yourself or your business. Wikipedia strives to give users the most accurate information on a given topic.
6. Contribute to relevant articles. Don't try to link your Website to articles that are barely relevant or not relevant at all to your business. Wikipedia will find these and delete them immediately. By contributing to articles that don't mention your business or brand, you are proving you have a balanced approach and impartial objectives.
7. Wikipedia does not like personal Websites and blogs unless they demonstrate expertise. Avoid using these as sources. Often these are biased, and perceived as self-promotional.
8. Create an article about yourself or your business only if relevant. Not all businesses and people are qualified to have their own Wikipedia article. Read the Wikipedia guidelines for writing your first article.
9. If you do think your business qualifies for its own Wikipedia article, have someone else write it. This will help limit biases and decrease information that could be perceived as advertising.
10. Remember that anyone can edit articles. Because of this, edits you make may be changed or deleted. Quality, accurate information is important to ensure your edits are not deleted. You need to check on your Wikipedia article from time to time to ensure that information remains accurate.
Wikipedia is a growing information source that is one of the most heavily trafficked Websites on the Internet. Follow the rules of Wikipedia and you can benefit from increased traffic and visibility. Plus Wikipedia can increase the perception that your business is an expert in your industry.