Wiki Strategy: Promoting your Travel, Tourism or Lodging Website

A wiki is a website which allows users to add and edit content collectively. “Wiki wiki” means “rapidly” in the Hawaiian language.

A public wiki can be visited and edited by anyone using a browser. This creates a powerful online collaboration environment that is self-managed by its users. Wikis are considered part of the social internet, and a category of Web 2.0. There are many wikis that provide opportunities for hotels, inns, resorts and other tourism and hospitality businesses to post their own listings.

How big are Wikis? The most famous and, frankly, awe-inspiring wiki is Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org). According to Alexa, it is the 9th most popular website in the United states.

A private wiki can be password protected so only users can view and edit the information. This makes an excellent collaboration tool for your hotel’s work-team. We have tested over a dozen wikis for this purpose, and currently use several within our offices and manage hundreds of pages of collaboratively edited information.
From a hospitality and tourism marketing strategy perspective, a Wiki offers you the opportunity to copyright about your own area and business. The results will send your website qualified traffic, let you manage your hospitality brand, and most likely send you qualified traffic and online revenue. These are entirely free marketing resources, but you must make the time to utilize them.

Before you start exploring and entering your own copy, take 20 or 30 minutes and learn how to edit a page.

Etiquette: many wikis let you make updates anonymously. Ideally, you should log-in and create an identity. Don’t be self-serving or self-promoting — while you want your business added, it is better to build out complementary and appropriate information as part of adding your business (depends on the wiki what that info is. 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.

Wikipedia is a powerful resource that many hospitality businesses should be added to. Also check out its sister site, Wikitravel (www.wikitravel.org) for a website that is definitely appropriate for any hotel, inn, resort, hospitality or tourism website. Taking a few hours to create an information rich page about your area, your niche and/or your business is worth your time.

Wikicompany is a business focused resource that lets you add your company for free in just a few moments. See the listing I made for a hotel website marketing company.

There is a growing number of niche wikis, an example being SingleTrackwiki for mountain bikers. Keep your eye out for these and add to them if appropriate. They always appreciate quality content.

RoaringForkWiki. is an example of a wiki about an geographic area, the Roaring Fork Valley. That is the home of Blizzard Internet Marketing, and is a wiki produced and managed by Blizzard.

Many people want to set up their own wikis about topics they are passsionate about, or about their area. Mediawiki is a professional level version for real geeks. I would generally recommend you try an easy online versions try wetpaint, seedwiki, jotspot or stikipad which are easy to setup and get going.

We recommend you take a few hours and implement an online marketing strategy to promote your Travel, Tourism or Hotel website in wikis.

Resources:
Qwika is a wiki search engine if you want to search over 1000 wikis at once. Its results are dominated by wikipedia.
Check out the html to wiki tool if you plan on migrating web-based content to a wiki.
Mashable Blog on Stikipad
More about WikiCompany
New York Times on wikis in business

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