These days, getting verified on social media platforms is equivalent to gaining publishing guest posts and getting backlinks to establish authority and be considered a thought leader in any industry. With so many fake accounts being created, especially for celebrities, influencers, and large brands on Instagram, that blue checkmark symbol is considered a badge of verification and is a coveted status symbol for many.
While having that verified checkmark may not increase the chances of being seen in social feeds, it does help a brand’s followers distinguish their account from a clone or fake account. After all, the badge signals to Instagram users that this specific account is the brand, celebrity, or influencer’s valid account.
Table of Contents:
- What is Instagram Verification?
- Who is Eligible to be Instagram Verified?
- Why Getting Verified on Instagram is Worth It
- How to Get Verified on Instagram
- Tips to Boost Chances of Getting Verified
What is Instagram verification?
From a business perspective, Instagram verification helps brands to prove that their account is authentic. The badges are designed to ensure that real accounts stand out and are easy to spot in search results and on profiles. The reason verification badges are a coveted status symbol is because they’re rare, and exclusivity comes with a certain level of prestige, which may translate into better engagement.
Who is eligible to be verified on Instagram?
On a basic level, anyone can apply to get verified on Instagram, but this does not mean that everyone who applies will get the coveted badge. At the moment, verified accounts are reserved for public figures like sports stars, actors, influencers, CEOs, politicals, and brands. The reason for this is that these people are more likely to be impersonated than an average person. So, unless you are an individual or brand with a large following and authority in your industry, it will be challenging to get verified. However, just because it is difficult does not mean that it is impossible. So, if you’re planning to get that blue badge, your account needs to be:
- Authentic – In other words, the account needs to be genuinely owned by the brand claiming to be the account owner. If not, it goes against the Terms of Service and Community Guidelines of the network. It also needs to be a real person or brand applying.
- Unique – A brand might operate multiple Instagram accounts, but only one that the brand owns can be verified on Instagram, except language-specific accounts. If that is the case for you, then you need to choose wisely which account you would prefer to get the verified symbol.
- Public – Only accounts with their security setting set to “Public” are eligible to get the verified badge.
- Complete – You need to make sure that your Instagram bio is complete before applying to be verified. Instagram’s business algorithms guide people on all the aspects that need to complete. The process that the algorithm guides you through will help you to ensure that your bio, along with a full name and profile picture, is complete.
- Notable – Unless an account represents “a well-known, highly searched for person, brand, or entity,” individuals and brands may struggle to get verified.
It is also important to note that even though brands may have verification badges from other social media platforms, it does not guarantee that they will get one on Instagram.
Why Getting Verified on Instagram is Worth It
1) Discourages copycats and impostors
We can’t emphasize this enough: one of the best things about getting the verification badge is that any user looking for a company will immediately identify the real one. This ensures that the brand does not lose any potential followers to fake accounts, including fan accounts, parody accounts, or imitators.
2) Proves newsworthiness
Getting verified proves that a brand has appeared in several independent news sources and that the individual or brand is so notable that people want to keep tabs on what the brand is doing. While this may guide partly by the opinions of the platform moderators. It shows current and future followers that the brand is considered a public authority.
3) Great for Instagram SEO
If you want your account to rank high and be at the top of relevant Instagram search results, then getting the badge guarantees an automatic win. Verified accounts will consistently rank above non-verified accounts for the exact Instagram search.
How to Get Verified on Instagram
As mentioned before, any person or brand can apply to get verified, but only a tiny percentage are accepted and verified. So, to boost your chances, there are a few things that your brand needs to do before you send out your application.
Firstly, you need to state whether you already have an established digital brand through organic SEO and other social media channels. If not, you need to focus on building your brand first before applying for the verification badge. Secondly, you need to find out whether you are actively using Instagram to its full potential. Let’s assume you aren’t posting daily, using stories, or other publicly available features. In that case, you need to start doing so because proving that you are investing in your platform is a great way to earn some extra goodwill.
Let us now look at a few simple steps brands need to follow to apply for verification.
Steps 1 and 2. Open Settings and then Open Account
Step 3. Request Verification
Step 4. Fill in the application form
Sounds simple enough, right? Yes, the application process is easy enough, but actually getting approved is a lot tougher. For this reason, we’ve put together some tips on how to get approval and get verified on Instagram.
Tips to get Verified on Instagram
1) Do NOT buy fake followers – follow the rules
Many brands believe that buying followers to increase their following artificially will help them get Instagram verification. That is not the case because the followers obtained through this method use bots. Since the platform monitors the use of bots and other unethical practices, your brand’s follow count will eventually go down as Instagram gets rid of the bots. And, remember, at this point, you’ve already paid for the bots. Only authentic growth and reach that generates meaningful engagement will help you achieve that goal to get verified.
2) Monitor for impostor accounts
As mentioned previously, verification badges generally go to accounts with a high chance of being impersonated. Let’s assume your brand struggles with persistent unauthorized, fake, or fan accounts that are impersonating the brand. In this case, you are a prime candidate for verification on Instagram. To determine whether you have impostor accounts, you can do a social media audit. Use social media monitoring tools to monitor and document those accounts.
4) Delete any cross-platform links
Most brands will have multiple social media accounts over various platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. According to Instagram, the verified account cannot have “add me” links to other social media platforms in their Instagram profiles. You can include links to your website, landing pages, and other owned media but you should not link to your other social media accounts. However, sometimes you get verified on Facebook before you get verified on Instagram. In this case, the platform actually encourages that you link both accounts to help prove your authenticity
5) Aim to rank highly in searches
Social media drives organic discovery. This is why the “Explore” page on Instagram was created. When it comes to verification, Instagram’s moderators want to see whether users care about your brand enough to click on your posts and look at your content. While Instagram Analytics does not provide data for this, their verification team has access to the data. They will consider how often users search for your brand while browsing.
6) Apply when your name is in the news
Along those same lines, you should search for news about your brand on multiple search engines. By Googling themselves, brands can see whether they feature in numerous news sources. They can also find out whether there has been a press release or white paper published about them, etc. This means that your public relations efforts should be up to scratch. In other words, you need to be taking time to spread the word and boost online visibility for your brand.
7) Work with an agency or publicist
While social media is a form of PR, there are other components of PR that brands need to have to get verified on Instagram. Thanks to the digital revolution, PR professionals have a very detailed understanding of how to do effective PR and generate publicity for brands.
PR agencies like Pressfarm work with brands to create newsworthy content ranging from email pitches to press releases, press kits, and guest posts, thus helping them to establish authority in their industry. They also help build organic visibility by building brand SEO. They help brands to feature on relevant search results across different search engines. While verification is never guaranteed, partnering with a PR agency might be just what you need to establish your brand as a thought leader and be recognized by Instagram as a leading authority in your industry.
8) Be honest
As we’ve already said, it’s important not to buy followers and to follow the rules of Instagram’s Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. You need to be truthful with the information you submit on your application above all else. You need to use your real name, choose an appropriate category, and most importantly, avoid falsifying any government documents. If you lie or stretch the truth anywhere on your application, Instagram may not only deny your request but also delete your account.
10) Keep trying
It is common to feel discouraged after being rejected, regardless of the situation. However, rather than giving up, you need to embrace the opportunity to understand your goals and double your efforts. Take time to hone in on your Instagram strategy, build a dedicated following, and create a buzz on the platform. You will probably find that you’re ready to apply again after the 30-day waiting period.
As you can see, getting verified on Instagram is a demanding process. Even so, getting that blue badge can help establish your brand as a credible authority in your industry. Ultimately, getting verified will help you attract a wider audience to the platform.