Never too many cooks Leverage Wikipedia to communicate with prospects

Posted by tom klein May 30, 2007 at 2:30 am

Your customers might be able to find your website, but can they find your brand in the most popular and trusted encyclopedia?

Create an entry in the Wikipedia (the user-maintained, web encyclopedia with more than a million articles) for every brand or product category that you sell. When customers don’t know where to find information about a company, a brand, a product, a service . . . or just about anything, they usually start with a Google search. And Google points them to . . . the Wikipedia.

When you search for a fishing rod on Google, the top result is the fishing rod Wikipedia entry. When you click on a link to trout worms, you learn that Creme Fishing Lures in Texas is credited with their invention. If I’m interested in trout worms, where am I going to go?

Once you do create an entry, it will be edited and updated by any of the 200,000 english language users of the site. Creating an entry is free and accessible to anyone on the web. What’s your excuse for not having one?

If you would like to apply the power of the Wikipedia beyond the online encyclopedia, you can create your own Wiki. It's a simple tool that lets an unlimited number of people create and edit content. You could harness the perspective of all employees to create the new employee guide. Or, maybe ask customers to create and manage their guide to using your product. Leading Wiki companies are MediaWiki and TWiki.

While it may be tempting to fill your Wikipedia entry with slick or slanted language, don't. The number one rule of Wikipedia is that entries have a neutral point of view (NPOV). This is your chance - you have no limit on how much you can write on any topic. Be sure to highlight real points of difference that might catch the eye of your target customer segment.

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