Wikipedia–“the free open source encyclopedia”– is just 8 years old and has millions of articles, out of which 3 million alone are English articles. Majority of businesses–small, medium, or big–are covered by Wikipedia articles. Since, it is the first point of information source for a majority of people, it is important that your business has a Wikipedia page. The importance of Wikipedia becomes more significant if your company deals directly with the end users.
Wikipedia is known for its legitimacy and your absence on Wikipedia can force a customer to think of reasons to avoid business with you. In the age of easily accessible information, if facts and figures about a company are not available on Wikipedia, people assume that something is not right. If they don’t find you here, they are likely to cross you off the list.
Ask yourself, if you want to learn about a company’s business, you either go to their website or Wikipedia. Therefore, it is no mistake that it is considered as a valuable asset for business. It gives straight facts and figures to your potential customers. And it’s no wonder why Wikipedia links always pop up at the first place in Google search results.
It is no surprise that it is highly desirable to get listed on Wikipedia, but at the same time many companies have failed trying it. Some go about it the wrong way. Putting up articles about ourselves won’t help because we cannot write about our own company. Doing it this way can get you marked as “candidate for speedy deletion”. Even though it’s an open source encyclopedia, it is kind of complex and you cannot edit any information about your business. Wikipedia has a small paid staff and most of its content is managed by a number of volunteers across the globe. Since, the site is quite neutral, it discourages people to write about themselves or their businesses.
We recommend doing a PR campaign to gain visibility in press and social media. The press releases make a legitimate source of information about you and your business and this is a precondition for getting admission to Wikipedia. Also keep your website updated. Promotional content on Wikipedia is a big no-no. If you know a Wikipedia volunteer, that’s even better. They can explain you the process. If you need more help, the web is full of articles on how to create Wikipedia articles. Always begin with short two-three line articles. Wikipedia volunteers consider these as challenges and look to expand them. This is a better approach most of the time. Don’t forget to link the article to your publications. Avoid including your company’s link initially. Once your article is live on Wikipedia, you can use the discussion page to discuss any concerns.
Remember that since Wikipedia is an open source community, anyone may write anything about you. In case you land into some trouble take help from the Wikipedia community. Avoid attempting to edit the article yourself as it can be seen as a censorship attempt. At last ensure that no one from your organization makes any attempt to touch your Wikipedia entry.