Edwin has just ended his interview on TV about his agribusiness. Beaming with broad smiles and visible dimples, he descends the stairs and bumps into Abugre who wants to help him.
Eyes locked, Abugre speaks: “please, I am a broadcast journalist with Citi FM/TV and will want to create a Wikipedia article on your business. Are you interested?”
Edwin, uninterested in the idea, started boasting of the company’s digital presence; website and active social media platforms. He concludes by saying, “Young man, thanks for the opportunity, but we have a formidable digital presence, so we’re uninterested.”
With a stern look, Abugre begins attacking him with questions such as:
Does your business have a better digital presence than Apple, Dangote Cement, Zenith Bank, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other leading brands which have a comprehensive Wikipedia article?
With all these attacks happening in his head, Abugre smiled, thanked him, and headed to his department in the newsroom.
Huh! Don’t you agree with Edwin’s argument?
After all, why does a business need a Wikipedia article if it has a well-defined digital presence? Or his remarks have fallen flat like millet TZ.
Wikipedia is a repository of knowledge contributed by volunteers across the globe. It acts as an information collation centre. Its content is derived from credible websites, journals, and others.
Ghana had a total of nine million page views as of May 2021 and Hootsuite reports that Wikipedia falls in the 9th position on social media referrals.
Businesses draw a huge budget to enhance visibility on digital platforms but pay little or no attention to Wikipedia, which doesn’t require any financial commitment.
Wikipedia and Ghanaian businesses seem to be on a parallel line. In a conversation with my mentor, Enam Ami Afenyo, she explained that there needs to be a connection between investing in it and their sales. This was her explanation when I informed her about a recent pitch made to a company that will in turn support the Wikipedia community.
Some established business entities in Ghana do not have Wikipedia articles, however, their foreign counterparts who set up businesses in Ghana have an article.
Should it be interpreted that Ghanaian businesses do not have regard for Wikipedia or Ghanaian Wikipedia editors are not enthused in projecting businesses in Ghana?
One major reason for companies in Africa not being on Wikipedia is because companies have very limited secondary or tertiary publications about them. The information available to editors is mainly published by the company itself, which cannot be used to write the article because Wikipedia avoids bias. Its content is from a neutral point of view.
Wikipedia is one of the sister projects under the mother body, Wikimedia Foundation. The other projects include Commons, Wikibooks, Wikiversity, Wikisource, Wikinews, Wikiquote, Wikispecies, Wiktionary, Wikidata, MediaWiki, and Meta-Wiki.
I will address each project in subsequent articles.
Now, let’s stroll to the benefits of creating an article on Wikipedia.
Benefits of creating Wikipedia article for businesses:
- Sign of credibility and authenticity; Wikipedia articles are created based on information from credible sources/publications, which are verified before being published on the main space on Wikipedia. This endorses the legitimacy of the businesses especially in the digital era where there are cloned and fake websites.
Wikipedia ensures that information added on the platform is objective and unbiased, so readers are able to make informed decisions on the status of the company.
This elevates the status of the company in the digital space.
- Unmatched brand visibility without fees; Wikipedia articles are ranked first in every search on the web; providing visibility for the organization. This is such a great organic search that is not exploited by local businesses in Ghana.
Exploring this free Search Engine Optimization (SEO) makes business sense as compared to monies paid to boost digital presence. This translates to an increase in sales and customer retention when articles are regularly accurately updated.
Wikipedia’s articles are built by references hence potential customers are redirected to the business’ website.
- Comprehensive historical development of business; a well-updated article gives detailed information on the status of the company. This also includes dates and timelines which gives the reader a history-class feeling.
Wikipedia doesn’t restrict the amount of information and digital content uploaded to space provided it’s backed by credible sources. Except for copyright issues, this provides businesses with the opportunity to increase their literature.
The online encyclopedia is available in both local and international languages, thereby resolving language barriers.
You can reach out to me via [email protected] for assistance. Also, you can kindly contact these organizations in Ghana for assistance.