Wikis for Marketing
What do you call a Internet website that your readers can actually edit. That in a nutshell is a "wiki." Sound scary?
The term "wiki" comes from the Hawaiian phrase, "wiki wiki," which means "super fast." I guess if you have thousands of users adding content to a Web site on a regular basis, the site could grow "super fast."
Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites, to put together powerful community websites, and for shared note taking. Many projects that required diverse expertise and insight can be effective projects for a WIKI.
The best known is the www.wikipedia.com, which serves as an online encyclopedia in many languages. For a marketer, this site could be a good third party portial for history, data and information about products and services. But with any contributed site, issues do occur. Often, entries can be changed by those with strong political and social points of view. Also, these sites can fall prey to mischievous hackers who change the content for their own sense of humor.
The Wikipedia definition of Wikipedia reads: “Wikipedia’s articles have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world, and nearly all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the Internet. Having steadily risen in popularity since its inception, it currently ranks among the top ten most-visited web sites worldwide.
In fact, Wikipedia is the 7th most visited website in the world, according to Alexa, with 52% of its page views coming from the English version of the encyclopedia. Wikipedia is the worlds biggest and most successful wiki, but there are thousands of niche wikis out there and due to their collaborative and social nature, they should be part of any social media marketing strategy.
Wikis are a good way for people to write a document together, instead of emailing files to and fro. You don't have to use wikis for collaborative working - they can just be a quick and easy way of creating a web site.
Although wikis are easy to use, that doesn't mean everyone in a group will commit to their use with similar enthusiasm.
How to use Wikis in your marketing plans...
- Many wikis let you make updates anonymously.
Ideally, you should log-in and create an identity. Be honest and be yourself.
- Don’t use wikis for self-promotion.
It is not intended for that and your entry will end up being deleted or at least edited.
- While you want your business or brand to be added, it is better to build out complementary and appropriate information as part of adding your business. For example, if you are a professional direct response marketer, you’ll want to add content to the definition of direct response marketer or the definition of direct marketing.
- It is OK to correct mistakes, it is not OK to remove competitors.
- When you add a new page, make sure you start with the template that is appropriate. If you make mistakes, other people will fix them, and if you spam with inappropriate content, other people will remove you.
There is a set of unwritten rules that will ensure a successful use of wikis as marketing tool.The bottom line is that any significant wiki community will be very vigilant and strictly opposed to biased information. Any effort to enhance a Wikipedia listing should make sure that it aware of and follows the established guidelines.
Budget 2-3 hours a week to add content to Wikis: $50 - $200