One of the highest forms of social media currency is a verification logo on top networks like Instagram and Twitter. Though both are governed by separate social media entities, the parallels as far as successfully being verified are very similar.For those not in the know, a blue verified icon on Twitter shows that an account of public interest is authentic. A Twitter verified account badge is always placed next to the account name and is only applied by Twitter. So it would be something important for many of us to get verified on Twitter.
Usually, the ones who want to get verified on Twitter are people or brands in the fields of music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business and other key interest areas.
Twitter has a built-in social hierarchy. There are those with blue tick marks next to their name, and those without blue ticks. The blue tick denotes a verified account, meaning this is a real person and is whoever their description says it is.
Why to Get Verified on Twitter?
Verification was necessitated by the number of phoney and fake accounts on Twitter, which were often mistaken for the real person. Checking if you’re tweeting to the right person is one of the basics of using Twitter without screwing up. But what started out as a way to help readers sort the real from the fake has turned into an ego exercise.
The blue tick mark has become a social status in the world of Twitter. A coveted award, bestowed upon worthy Twitterati by the good folks at Twitter themselves. As journalist Mike Rundle wrote when he got his verification:
In the world of Twitter, being “Verified” is the closest thing there is to gaining a knighthood. The program is theoretically restricted to “highly sought users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, advertising, business, and other key interest areas”, but there is no obvious way to apply to join their ranks.
Well, that has officially changed. Twitter now lets anyone apply for a verified account, as long as they meet certain requirements. If you’re important enough, you can now get that little blue tick. And that also applies to dead celebrities on Twitter, whose brands are still being managed by people they cared about.
“We hope opening up this application process results in more people finding great, high-quality accounts to follow, and for these creators and influencers to connect with a broader audience,” said Tina Bhatnagar, Twitter’s vice president of User Services.
What Are the Benefits of a Verified Account?
So let’s say you go through the rigmarole of getting your account verified and are accepted into high society. What do you get in return?
Well, actually very little. The biggest change you’ll notice is that you get a new notifications pane that filters only replies, mentions, and likes by other verified users. It’s a simple way to reduce the amount of junk interactions a popular account gets.
Of course, you can already do this if you use third-party Twitter apps and tools. For example, Twitter’s own Tweetdeck lets you sort notifications by verified users only.
But the bottom line is that in terms of the user experience, that’s the only tangible addition you get with a verified account. It can also help with Twitter’s huge harassment problem, as some pundits point out, since a verified user is a real person and can’t hide under the cloak of anonymity while making disdainful comments.
What seems to matter more, though, is the intangible benefit. It’s a social symbol. Rundle put it perfectly when, tongue firmly in cheek, he wrote, “Ah, yes: myself. For that’s what it all comes back to. Above all else, it is my sense of self that has undergone a process of Verification.”
How Can You Get Verified on Twitter?
First, head over to Twitter’s verification request form to start the process for how to get verified on Twitter. Note that you’ll need to be logged into your target Twitter account to complete the form.
Step 1: Fill out Twitter’s Verification Request Form
In order for your account to be considered for verification, you’ll need to have the following elements present within your profile:
- A verified phone number. This helps to confirm your identity and correctly associate your online persona with your offline entity.
- A confirmed email address. According to Twitter, if the account is a company or organization account, the email address associated with the account should be a company or organization email address.
- A bio. For best results during the process of getting verified on Twitter, it should accurately reflect the nature of your public persona.
- A profile photo. If you have a strong presence on another social network (LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, etc.), make sure these photos match. On networks like Instagram where you cannot yet request verification, they grab relevant information from other social networks to make a verification decision.
- A header photo. When considering brands for verification, Twitter holds those that have completed their profile in the highest regards. An incomplete profile will hurt your chances, even if you fit all other verification dimensions.
- Your birthday. This is only relevant for accounts that aren’t company, brand or organization). You can choose to display this information depending on the audience you’ve chosen and can change that in your settings. Like your phone number, this simply helps to confirm your identity.
- Your website. If you’re a public figure or brand, you really should have a website. Twitter will use this to determine your status as a legitimate entity.
- Tweets set to “Public.” It’s hard to be seen as a public figure if your Tweets are private!
Once you’ve double checked that your profile is set up correctly with all relevant information, you’ll be asked to enter the username of the account you would like verified. If you’re trying to have a business account verified, don’t forget to check the box at the bottom left of the screen to indicate this.
Step 2: Fill in the Missing Requirements to Get Verified on Twitter
If you haven’t optimized your Twitter profile or filled out the information required (as stated above), you will be prompted to do so. You’ll know right away if this is the case with your profile, as Twitter will display a page that says “Account Not Eligible for Review” if you lack something important mentioned above. You will have the chance to fill in the missing information for another chance to submit yourself for verification.
Increasing the Chances of Having Your Account Verification Approved
Twitter verification isn’t just about crossing your t’s and dotting your i’s in terms of satisfying Twitter’s profile requirements. Here are a few additional hints that will assist with how to get verified on Twitter:
- If you’re trying to get a personal account verified, the account name should reflect the real name or the stage name of the person. Similarly, if the account is a company’s or corporation’s, it should reflect the real name of the business.
- The profile and/or header photo should reflect the person or the company’s/corporation’s branding. If you’re trying to verify a personal account, make sure to use a profile photo that matches other online profiles. If you’re trying to verify a brand account, make sure to use your logo, and incorporate other elements of branding (like color scheme) into the cover photo.
- The bio should specify an area of expertise and/or a company mission.
- Make sure that your Twitter account is active. Twitter introduced the verification application process to help people find high-quality accounts to follow. If you aren’t tweeting often, you aren’t helping Twitter reach this goal, and they’re unlikely to recommend you for verification.
- Use professional photos. Having a consistent brand image will make your account easily recognizable, and will help Twitter to confirm your identity.
- Be precise with your location, especially if you’re a local business. This is so Twitter can connect you to people nearby.
- Learn from the users featured on Twitter’s @verified account to see what they’ve been doing, then emulate parts of their process.
Step 3: Enter Websites as References
The next step in the process for how to get verified on Twitter will ask you to enter up to five websites that can be used to identify you, and associate you with your Twitter account. As your official website is listed in your bio, there’s no need to enter that again.
It would be a better use of space to introduce additional websites that can help to verify your identity. For best results, share links for websites that show proof of your public influence. These might include high-traffic websites or instances of appearances in the news.
Step 4: Make the Case for Why You Should Get Verified on Twitter
At this point in the application, Twitter will provide a section where you can make the case for why your account should be verified.
If you are applying as an individual, demonstrate your impact. Show your public reach, as well as instances where you have made waves in your industry. For companies and corporations, highlight your mission/vision and what you have been doing to achieve it.
You only have 500 characters to make a case, so don’t over think things. In general, focus on sharing the ways that you or your brand adds value to the Twitter community.
Another angle you can take would be as a rising star in your given industry. If you are getting more attention, there may be a higher likelihood of other accounts trying to impersonate you. As the major goal of verification programs on social media is to clearly identify public figures, Twitter has a vested interest in helping people to protect their identities as they get more well-known. If you can demonstrate that this is a pressing issue, Twitter will be more likely to grant your request.
Step 5: Submit Your Verification Request
Once you have carefully confirmed the validity of the information you want to submit, then actually do so, all you can do now is wait. Twitter will email you as soon as a decision has been made. Additionally, you will know that you have been verified once the @verified Twitter account follows you.
If your request is rejected the first time around, know that you can apply again after 30 days. And if you do get verified, note that verified Twitter accounts that do not follow Twitter terms and conditions (or use the account for another purpose) can have their verified badges revoked.
Closing It Out
It is yet to be seen what impact this verification application process has on the perceived value of the blue tick mark.
Agencies and marketers don’t care about the verified tick when working on promotional campaigns with influencers. Social marketers have previously said that the blue tick is a vote of confidence and clout, but it is worth noting that part of a verified account’s appeal previously lay in the fact that users couldn’t simply apply for it. If anyone can apply, will the blue tick still hold the same power? Will users trust that Twitter will continue to only verify celebrities and relevant figureheads, despite how Twitter came to know of them? Share your ideas about these questions with us in the comment box below.