Trying to get verified on social media? Here’s what you need to know.

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Twitter originally introduced social media verification to authenticate the identities of public figures and celebrities. Since then, verified users also include companies, brands, influencers, activists and journalists.

Verifying your social media accounts has many benefits. First of all, the blue tick confirms that you are real, official and not an imitation. It is considered an endorsement that tells people that you are credible, important, and worthy of attention. Also, verified accounts always rank higher in the same search queries. Your posts and comments are placed above those of unverified accounts, which is a great way to reach a wider audience and boost your engagement. A previous study reveals that the engagement rate is 30% higher for verified Instagram accounts than for regular accounts.

Undoubtedly, earning the blue badge is highly desired by anyone looking to grow their brand or business. However, the verification process can be difficult. According to research, only 3.26% of Instagram accounts with over 1,000 subscribers have verification check. Additionally, 73.4% of verified accounts are among accounts with more than one million followers, while for accounts with less than five thousand followers, only 0.87% are checked.

Related: This Is Why You Should Have That Blue Verification Checkmark On Your Social Media Accounts

Social Media Verification Myths

So how do you get verified? There are various myths surrounding social media verification. Some people think you have to be famous to get the blue badge, or you have to have millions of followers to qualify. However, none of this is true. While social media verification was restricted to celebrities and famous people in the past, it is now open to all individuals, businesses, and brands. So even if you are a coach or other professional, you can apply as long as you meet their requirements.

In terms of the number of subscribers, there are also no minimum requirements. It might be easier if you have millions of subscribers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get blue ticked if you only have a few thousand subscribers. There are many examples of users with only a few thousand subscribers who have managed to get the blue tick, such as a virtual insurer ADegreedigital investment platform Aqumononline broker Webull Securities and financial portal MoneySmart. And journalist Pierre Yeung also earned its blue badge with only over 1,000 subscribers.

Different social media platforms may have slightly different requirements. For instance, Facebook and Instagram require your account to be authentic, complete, unique and notable. The first three requirements are pretty simple, but most people struggle with the notoriety requirement. And that’s why I hope to shed some light here.

Related: How I Got Verified on Instagram Without Being Famous

Notability criteria explained

What happens when you submit your account for verification is that an online Google search will take place to determine your “notability”. In the case of Instagram, for example, to be considered “notable” you must be well known, highly sought after, or prominent enough to be talked about (i.e. featured in multiple outlets). There are many articles online that also mention this point of media coverage to “explain” the notability criteria – but very little detail is given on what it actually entails.

Basically, to increase your chances of passing the notoriety criteria, you, your company or your brand must be featured in the media and meet the following requirements:

  • News organizations only: Media must be media. Although there are many prominent online publications, not all publications are considered media. Some are actually blogs and therefore do not meet these criteria. One way to check is to see if your article actually appears under Google’s News tab. The key here is to have lots of articles about your business appearing under the Google News tab.

  • No sponsored or paid content: Your articles cannot be sponsored or paid media placements. If you pay close attention to the various articles on online posts, you will find that some are labeled “sponsored”, “paid content” or similar. Some companies think they can do a “PR burst” and put out a press release through a newswire and post it on hundreds of sites. But sorry, these types of articles are basically useless. They are considered sponsored content and are therefore not eligible for the notoriety requirement.

  • News recency: There should be enough recent news articles about you or your brand. If you have been sporadically featured in the news over the years, it will be very difficult to convince the social media platform that you are a notable user. There is constant talk of people or brands that are notable and no less frequent than earthquakes, so to speak.

  • Full Features: Articles should be full stories written exclusively about you or your business – for example, interviews or in-depth stories about your business or products. Brand mentions (i.e. stories in which your brand is only mentioned as an example or reference) are not eligible.

  • Sufficient number of items: As a general rule, aiming for at least ten comprehensive recent articles about your brand or online business is recommended. If you can get more, great! But otherwise, a little more than one page of Google search results will suffice.

Under these conditions, unless you have consistently made headlines, the process of getting the blue badge will clearly be a challenge. Therefore, you may want to consider investing in PR activities or hiring a publicist to help you establish a strong online presence and become “brand-worthy”. Social media verification may require effort and investment, but considering its exclusive benefits, it is definitely worth the effort.

Related: Instagram’s Verification Self-Submission Form Update Enables More Comprehensive Verification Request

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