Should your firm have its own Wikipedia page?
By Charlie Britten
24 Dec 2019
Every firm needs to create awareness about its story and its products or services. But is a Wikipedia page the right way to do it?
Giving a company a good profile is always important. A new firm will need to generate awareness of its sheer existence to begin with, while a more established company will wish to ensure both its reputation and new marketing campaigns get all the publicity they need.
A question companies may want to consider is to what extent they seek to publicise what they do on third-party websites and magazines. This could include industry publications or local journals, all of which could create useful awareness.
Another possibility is for a firm to have its own Wikipedia page. Large firms will, of course, have a page, perhaps multiple, written about them on the online encyclopedia. However, they will not own it and it is perfectly possible the content could be written by someone who has no connection with the firm.
For a new firm or an SME without widespread public consciousness and a large number of people motivated to write about them, there may be no Wikipedia page. So, the question is: Should you write one yourself?
There are a number of pros and cons to this that are worth bearing in mind.
Pros may include the following:
- Simply having a page creates awareness and can include links to your homepage, content and details of your activities.
- By starting the page off, you have some ownership of the narrative. You will not have this if someone else starts a page on your firm.
- You get to create and edit a number of web pages that can be hyperlinked to each other and include lots of links in the references.
- Wikipedia’s large readership means a greater chance of getting your company name known and also highlighting the causes you stand for.
- The fact that your firm is being named on a well-used public website will increase its search engine ranking.
- It is free to do.
- You can update it whenever something changes at your firm, instead of waiting for someone else to do it.
All that would suggest there are lots of good reasons for having your own Wikipedia page. While the idea of the site is not to promote firms or causes, this does of course happen and editorial control over this is limited; unless someone flags a matter with them, what you write will stay on the page, potentially providing some very positive coverage of your firm and brand.
However, the very lack of editorial superintendence does raise some potential problems:
- Someone else can come on your site and maliciously alter details without you knowing.
- Editorial staff may, however, take a dim view of you deleting any negative edits
- If you pay someone to create a Wikipedia page you must disclose this
- You cannot make the page promotional. If you write about your company in too positive a fashion, it may be flagged up and the page taken down
The fact that anyone can come and edit a page is perhaps the biggest risk of all. It is not just that someone - such as a rival firm or disgruntled ex-employee - could make a malicious edit. It is also that you may be subjected to hoaxes.
Wikipedia has a long history of these: An example of a false story that caused severe problems for a firm was the 2015 case when someone wrote that Wrightbus was being sold. This caused panic at the company’s headquarters in Northern Ireland.
Indeed, this kind of thing has led to journalists being warned not to trust Wikipedia. The very fact that it can be edited by anyone creates such a risk of inaccuracy that the profession now regards it as an unreliable resource. Indeed, even Wikipedia itself accepts this position.
For this reason, if you do choose to have a Wikipedia page, you must approach the matter with caution and be ready to monitor the page regularly. There are many potential benefits to having a page, but it comes with a number of risks too.
What can BeUniqueness do for you?
At BeUniqueness we can help you expand awareness of your firm in many ways, not just with a Wikipedia page. With digital marketing tools like content marketing and social media management to develop awareness of your firm, there are several tools that can help you grow.
In addition, with online reputation management services we can also help you deal with any negative publicity that does come your way, ensuring your brand name increases in strength.