The need for businesses to have a social media presence has been growing every day. I can go as far as to say that if your competitors are maintaining all their social accounts and you’re not maintaining yours, you’re most definitely losing conversions to them, no matter what you’re selling.
Think about it this way — if you’re out to buy a washing machine, would you prefer going to a store around the corner on your street where the salesperson is keen on making a profit, or would you be more willing to put your trust in an Instagram page with thousands of followers and customer reviews? I’d definitely go for the latter!
This is how vital a maintained social presence is nowadays. It’s simple math; the more open you are with your business, the more people will trust you. When a customer’s hard-earned bucks are in the equation, ‘assurance’ is what will convince them to invest.
What is Wikipedia?
Wikipedia is the world’s largest online, free encyclopedia. Free, because you can freely access, create, distribute, and recreate information there.
Wikipedia aims to make knowledge accessible to everyone, irrespective of gender, class, caste, sexuality, religion, or anything else. It is run by Wikimedia Foundation, which is a non-profit organization.
Wikipedia is created, maintained, and promoted by non-paid volunteers worldwide who make, edit, and suggest articles.
The significance of Wikipedia is that it has demonstrated that millions of people with highly varying backgrounds, interests, views, and native languages can come together and work to produce something of value.
Wikipedia Business Model
There are numerous companies with the same goals; some of them make a mark in the market, while others are forgotten as time passes. What do you think is the possible reason for this?
Suppose different companies are pursuing the same goal, but only a few are able to become successful. In that case, the issue must be somewhere in their process, i.e., in their business models.
A business model includes a company’s strategies and plans to propose, create, and capture value. It provides an articulated idea about how a company will be earning revenue and using its resources.
The end goal might be the same for several companies, but how the end goal is being achieved may differ.
Let’s take the example of the transportation business. The purpose of the transportation business is for individuals to pay the business to take them to their destinations.
You may deliver the same result by taking people from their current location to their destination by
- City Metro
- Executive services with security
- Shuttle service
- Helicopter service
All of them provide the same service but have different ways of delivering. Now that you know what a business model is, let’s take a look at the Wikipedia Business Model.
The Business Model of Wikipedia
Before Wikipedia, encyclopedias were mainly in the form of hard copies. As time went by, hard copies became irrelevant and were replaced by online encyclopedias. Wikipedia built its business model on this and was able to achieve success.
Articles on Wikipedia can be created and edited by anyone. Article modifications are also published extremely fast.
Wikipedia reports that Wikipedia’s content database consisted of 1,052,190,459 edits to approximately 6,412,946 articles by more than 80 million users. Because of this, Wikipedia is able to always remain updated.
All of Wikipedia’s content is designed by users. According to Time Magazine, it is the best model for any online encyclopedia to ever have.
The revenue model of Wikipedia
Wikimedia Foundation reported that Wikipedia had earned a revenue of $127.2 million in 2020. Wikipedia runs on a donation-based revenue model and receives most of its funds from numerous individuals and companies worldwide in the form of donations.
None of its revenue comes from affiliates, advertisements, or any other type of paid service.
Apart from donations, Wikipedia has some other sources of revenue.
These are donations that Wikipedia receives in the form of equipment, supplies, and other services.
Through the Wikipedia store, the organization sells merchandise like mugs, T-shirts, notebooks, etc.
Why Should You Make A Wikipedia Page
There are a bunch of platforms that have their own benefits. This leaves us with the question, why Wikipedia? Well, if you have an Instagram, LinkedIn, or Facebook page, there is no reason to leave Wikipedia out.
According to Alexa.com, Wikipedia averages more than 18 billion page views every month, making it one of the most visited websites across the world.
Here are some valid reasons for you to sign your business up on Wikipedia today!
1. Adds to Credibility
Today, whenever a reasonable person thinks about making a purchase, his first instinct is to look a business up online. If I were that person, a business with a Wikipedia page would clear up any doubts on its reliability, especially if the company is offering a deal that’s too good to be true or products that are unique. Day by day, scams are increasing, and people are getting smarter.
In fact, for a brand to not have a Wikipedia page can actually leave a negative impression in the mind of its customers. It hints that either your brand is not notable or not-so-credible.
Thus, one of the most significant reasons why your brand must make a Wikipedia page is the fact that it can help you get more exposure, maintain your online reputation, and improve the credibility of your business in the competitive world.
2. Provides a Comprehensive Guide About Your Business
What are you looking for when you search for a particular brand or topic? Accurate and in-depth information, right?
People trust the information they find on Wikipedia. If you make a Wikipedia page for your business, you can take advantage of the platform.
You can provide your customers with massive information about your products and services. Facts, figures, and essential details people find about your business on Wikipedia will assure them of the credibility of your business.
Ensure that you put infinite efforts into curating your content and providing users with truthful information without any obscurities and ambiguities.
3. Provides An Effective Medium to Promote your Brand
Many people do not consider Wikipedia a marketing tool, even though it has information about billions of people, brands, products, movies, music, books, and other topics.
According to the GE Capital Retail Bank, 81% of retail shoppers conduct some kind of online research before purchasing a product. This is where Wikipedia can help you out!
Having a Wikipedia page can help convince potential customers to buy from your brand.
Ensure that your content is written in an engaging and convincing tone to compel the audience to try or buy your products or services.
4. Boosts Your SEO Ranking
Creating a Wikipedia page can help you boost your SEO rankings. Remember that Google treats Wikipedia as a trusted source, and having a page for your business on Wikipedia can help you get an instant boost in SERP rankings.
If you make a Wikipedia page, it will automatically show information regarding your business on the top of Google searches when users search for your brand. That is precisely what every business wants!
According to Search Engine Watch, Wikipedia is the number one result on Google for 56% of searches. In the same study, 96% of individuals also reported that they saw Wikipedia in one of the top five positions on Google. Thus, building a Wikipedia page for your website can help you boost your business’ visibility.
How to Get on Wikipedia – A Step-by-Step Guide
If you’re like me, you have probably thought of Wikipedia as a pretty authentic source to look at the cast of Squid Game or a collection of facts about something as random as cats.
In short, you probably haven’t thought about it as a channel you can use for brand visibility.
But think about it: when you search for a keyword on Google, you don’t have to scroll very far before you see its Wikipedia page.
Other than that, it is a well-known website, so most of the time, it is one of the first pages a person would click on to learn more about something.
Thus, If you want to create brand awareness online and are confused about how to get on Wikipedia, take a look at this step-by-step guide so you can make a Wikipedia page for your company right away!
Step 1: Create a Wikipedia Account
Head over to Wikipedia’s homepage and click on “Create account,” located at the top right of the page.
Enter all the required information, such as your username, email address, and password. Once you’re done, click on “Create your account,” and voila! You have just created a Wikipedia account.
Step 2: Get Promoted to “Autoconfirmed User”
Before creating a page for your business, you first have to become an autoconfirmed user.
These are Wikipedia’s guidelines for an autoconfirmed user: “The precise requirements for autoconfirmed users vary according to different circumstances; most English Wikipedia user accounts that are more than four days old and have made at least 10 edits (including deleted ones) are considered autoconfirmed.”
Here, you will require a lot of patience (and some effort). You have to spend the first few days editing other people’s pages.
Once you click on “Edit a page,” you will see at the top right of every paragraph the word “Edit source,” so don’t worry, it will not be too time-consuming.
Once you are an autoconfirmed user, you can proceed to the next step.
Step 3: Create Your Page
To create the page, head over to Wikipedia’s “Writing an article” page. Scroll down a little, and you will find a blue button that says “Article wizard – An easy way to create articles.”
If you are an autoconfirmed user, click on this button.
Once you click on the button, you will be redirected to the Article Wizard. Here, you will find two options:
- Next: by clicking on this option, you can immediately begin creating your own page.
- Practice in your personal sandbox: Here, you can practice editing your page in Wikipedia’s sandbox first.
To immediately create the page, click “Next.”
It is important to note that since there is likely no already-existing Wikipedia page for your business, you can include as much or as little detail as you want.
Remember to structure the page to make it easier for people to read, and feature all the basic and vital information regarding your company first, such as what your company does, your location, etc.
For example, take a look at how Tiffany & Co.’s Wikipedia page is structured:
The page starts with an overview of what the brand does, followed by a table of contents on the left and a fact sheet on the right. Right below the table of contents, you can see Tiffany & Co.’s history, followed by information regarding its store and more.
For a person who hasn’t heard of Tiffany & Co before, a quick glance at the page can tell them, for instance, what Tiffany & Co. is, where they are located, what their products are, etc.
Step 4: Add Citations
To prove that the topic of your article is legit, you must include citations to third-party sources.
Before you make a page on Wikipedia, the organization says that: “An article’s topic must already be covered in authentic sources, including books, academic journals, magazines, and websites with a reputation. This excludes press releases, social media, or professional/corporate profiles.”
Citations make your company look credible and allow readers to trust your brand. This can be challenging, but look at articles that feature your company and other sites that backlink to your website.
There are not many startup companies that qualify to create their own Wikipedia page. This is due to the lack of sources that are needed to create a page.
Do not get discouraged if there are no sources about your brand as of yet. Reach out to media sources to see if they would be willing to write an article about your business.
Continue to work in the niche you belong to so that you can begin receiving the coverage you need to help you qualify for inclusion on Wikipedia.
Step 5: Submit your Page for Review
Once you are done creating your page, submit it for review. Once Wikipedia reviews it and thinks of it as an authentic source, it will be uploaded on the digital encyclopedia as an official Wikipedia page.
Step 6: Update Your Page Regularly
The hard work isn’t done yet! Once your page is approved and starts ranking on page one of Google for your brand’s name, you need to update it regularly to ensure that the information is up-to-date.
What Your Brand Should Know About Wikipedia
To make a Wikipedia page can be surprisingly complex due to Wikipedia’s guidelines regarding verifiability, notability, and conflict of interest.
Verifiability and Notability
According to Wikipedia’s notability guidelines, companies are considered notable when they have been the subject of “coverage in secondary sources.”
This means that any edit about your company should include accurate citations to verify the information. You cannot reference your own company’s website or press releases.
Conflict of interest
While it is pretty easy to create a Wikipedia account and post an article about your company, Wikipedia advises against it.
On Wikipedia’s conflict of interest page, the organization gives an example that “An article about a band should not be written by the band’s manager.”
Considering this, it is evident that an organization’s owner or employees shouldn’t write a Wikipedia article about their own company, even if the article is unbiased.
Worse, adding an article that is seen as having a promotional intent will result in the article being removed, and it is also possible that your editing account will be revoked.
Besides that, Wikipedia’s conflict of interest guidelines also states that it is against their policy for a company to pay someone to create and maintain a page on behalf of the company.
What Should A Company Do?
A Wikipedia page about your company will indeed help you increase your brand awareness online, but there is a significant amount of work involved to create, edit, and maintain your Wikipedia page.
If you are willing to put the effort in for the potential gains, ensure that you follow Wikipedia’s guidelines that you can find at Wikipedia’s FAQ for organizations page.
Following are some basic suggestions:
- Conduct research to identify authentic third-party sources that you can cite on your Wikipedia page.
- Create a Wikipedia account and announce your conflict of interest. Let the audience know that you are a member of the company.
- Request an article covering your company. Here are tools to request articles and draft articles.
- Monitor your company’s entry. If you find information that is negative or incorrect, you can use the Talk tab to discuss the problem with editors. Ensure to present the facts that support your case calmly.
Nowadays, once you search for something on Google, you will be provided with a hub of knowledge and information, including articles, social media accounts, websites, and press releases.
Wikipedia is one of the world’s most significant sources of knowledge.
Make a Wikipedia page for your business and ensure that the information on your page contains the latest information regarding your brand and its products and services – it will make the readers see your brand as trustworthy.