Wikipedia is a powerful tool for learning and researching information. It is an online encyclopedia that features community-contributed-content. The articles get added to and improved on continually. The goal of Wikipedia is to include articles that are both accurate and neutral; however, because it is open to public involvement there can be inaccurate and biased information.
Because of the authority of much of the content, Wikipedia entries are often very highly ranked by the search engines. Also, people are using social search – community based sites to do their searching. Type a brand into Wikipedia and it returns a wealth of objective information as well as links to the official and related sites. Social search (based on human information and recommendations) is taking over the old algorithmic search engines such as Google. Some major brands receive a large percentage of visitors from Wikipedia.
Many companies and business entrepreneurs, CEOs etc., are featured in the site, thus allowing you to use it to communicate with your target audience. If you have a Wikipedia entry, it is in your best interest to monitor the information. Be aware that competitors will often use it to try to discredit your company and products. Also, be aware that any attempts to sell your company or products, alter opinions in your favor, or change accurate information may have repercussions within the community and your brand reputation may be discredited.
Although anyone can edit Wikipedia articles, more weight is given to members of the community that contribute regularly. Wikipedia has editors that monitor the activity of users. Therefore, if you want to contribute to your own listing it is advisable to find out all about the site and become a regular and valued participant.
So, what do you do? First of all read the Wikipedia policies and guidelines. Then you should become a regular active contributor that adds value to Wikipedia. When you want to edit an article make sure you communicate with article editors when you are making edits. Include only verifiable information, (that you have written and is not plagiarized from other sites), and cite references. Contribute to the talk page of articles to which you wish to contribute. Stay within the Wikipedia code of conduct and respect other contributors.
There are over 2 million articles on Wikipedia. Have a look around, contribute, and help grow your brand.