Wikipedia.org, the free online encyclopedia, is a force on the Internet and in the world of social media. This wholly interactive way of sharing and retrieving information has over 13 million articles. According to their website, the word Wikipedia means a technology for creating collaborative websites, from the Hawaiian word wiki, meaning “quick”) and encyclopedia.
Having an article about your business in Wikipedia is beneficial for the simple fact that it can drive great quality traffic to your website:
For instance, when a business (such as IBM) appears prominently in the search results pages of Google, the Wikipedia entry is considered to be such an authority, that it will rank very prominently in the search results. This results in more traffic to your site because of the valuable real estate that it takes up in the SERPs.
Links coming from Wikipedia to your site do not have any value in terms of “Link Juice”, but, again, will drive traffic to your site and will give your business credibility in the industry.
Wikipedia is human edited, so any Wikipedia editor can delete your article if they feel that it is merely a “commercial” for your business and/or it doesn’t have any cultural significance. This means, obviously, that not all websites will be successful at submitting an article to Wikipedia and keeping it there. Articles on people or businesses should read like biographies, in that they are written from a neutral point of view. So, has your business made any industry innovations? Is it notable and culturally significant? If so, you may have a shot at gaining a presence on one of the largest sites on the web.
By now, most companies see the value in engaging with their current and potential customers via social media channels. As you attempt to manage your brand and interact with consumers, you should be aware of both the opportunities and potential pitfalls that you could face.
Look Within Your Walls
Social Media channels should be chosen based on the relevancy of the audience and marketing goals. However, the ultimate decision should be based on your level of commitment and the involvement required by the channel compared to the internal resources that you have available to you. Before you publish your pages on any social media channel, you should clearly define who in your organization will be responsible for managing the content, as well as outline topics of interest and at what frequency they should be covered.
Promote, Promote, Promote!
Gaining followers takes commitment. Not only do you need to keep the content fresh and relevant, but you also need to promote the pages constantly so that they can gain a following. The most important place to prominently display social media presence is on your website and blogs. Links to your social media pages enable visitors to easily connect with you. Be sure to promote your social media pages on print advertising, business cards and letterhead as well.
Put Your “Relationship Cap” On
Avoid seeing every consumer interaction as an opportunity to sell and instead look for ways to engage with them. Rosetta Stone’s Facebook page encourages visitors to try the free demo for their newest product. Yet, their page also has a strong focus on building relationships by their recent roll out of Parature for Facebook customer service features. Talking to consumers, listening to what they have to say and developing ongoing communication can be far more valuable than a one-time sale.
Social media communication and interaction occurs twenty four hours a day and seven days a week. If your brand is running a special promotion, launching a new product or received an award, then social media is a great medium to communicate your successes to your followers. If your company fails in any way, it must be proactive and address the issue at hand. By staying involved and ahead of others, you ensure that your company retains some control of discussions occurring on each channel.
Like any marketing program, social media involvement is an investment of resources that should be carefully thought out prior to launching. Goals and messaging should be communicated to all members of the organization in order to build a strong foundation for success.
Rather than just retweeting a link, blog post, article, etc. why not personalize it a little? In other words, what exactly about the item (you are about to retweet) struck you enough to pass it along? What facts, statistics, and/or data did you find to be the most helpful and informative? Was there a quote or paragraph that really stood out to you? If so, share that information with your Twitter world, as well!
I think it helps make you sound more like an actual person with real thoughts and feelings, rather than just an automatic responder (if you will) when you take the time to mention something specific in your retweet.
A few options I have seen as of late are:
Retweeting is considered a compliment and in my opinion, personalizing the retweet makes it even more of a compliment. Twitter is a great way to stay current with anything and everything in real time. As Twitter states on their home page, Discover what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world.