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How To Verify Your Social Media Profiles (UPDATED January 1st, 2017)

by Tilo Kmieckowiak on August 26, 2013

If you manage a business social media profile and want to stay on top in this fast changing social media world it is important to create relevant content and engage with your audience right in time. That's of course not all. Authenticity is the cue. When your social media profiles wear this typical checkmark it is a clear sign for visitors and your existing audience. There are a bunch of studies and it is simply logical that people automatically trust those social media profiles a lot more than those without a verification sign. This maybe leads to a higher engagement and a higher brand reputation.

Next to that, a verified profile is nearly crucial especially for highly famous brands to avoid that prospects will move to a fake account. And, there are really a lot of social media profiles which illicitly use the names of well-known brands. Therefore, learn how to verify your social media profiles.

Facebook Page Verification

Example - Verified Google

Although the worlds biggest social network, Facebook was comparatively late to introduce a verification feature. In fact, Facebook announced Verified Pages and Profiles at the end of May this year. So, how to save your brand identity and get verified? Sadly, Facebook stated this:

Verified Pages belong to a small group of prominent public figures (celebrities, journalists, government officials, popular brands and businesses) with large audiences.

That means you won't have the option to apply for a blue verification badge. Facebook will decide by itself, who will get this coveted checkmark. However, the world's largest social network decided to change its approach to page verification recently. Local businesses and also organizations and other businesses can now go through a new process to get verified. Pretty much all you need is the phone number of your business. However, there are two minor drawbacks. You won't get the fancy old blue verification badge, but a new one that is grey. It is also only possible to get verified as a business or organization if you pick the exact page categories that correspond to that.

Twitter Profile Verification

Example - Verified Twitter Profile

Already since 2009 Twitter shows a blue badge next to the account name if the profile is officially verified. At least Twitter had the biggest problem of all social platforms with fake profiles and identity theft in the past. Again, the blue checkmark shows authenticity and verified profiles also have the effect of preference. For example, these profiles appear first in a Twitter search. But how to get this VIP sign?  Similar to Facebook, the Twitter FAQ for profile verification questions shall indicate the following:

Twitter verifies accounts on an ongoing basis to make it easier for users to find who they're looking for. We concentrate on highly sought users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business and other key interest areas. We are constantly updating our requirements for verification. Note, verification does not factor in follower count or Tweet count. We do not accept requests for verification from the general public. If you fall under one of the above categories and your Twitter account meets our qualifications for verification, we may contact you in the future.

In fact it is the same game as seen for Facebook. If you aren't famous whether as a person or brand chances are low to get your badge any time soon.

Download the following study to further dig into Facebook performance and understand how you can make the most out of it specifically in your page size. 

Facebook Native Video Study H1 2017


Instagram Verification

Example - Verified Instagram Account

Verification badges on Instagram have been introduced in 2014. Since then, only major brands and celebrities got this sign of prestige granted. As for Facebook and Twitter, according to the Instagram help site, there is no way to actively apply for the badge:

Some accounts are verified by Instagram to let people know that they're authentic. If an account is verified, a blue verified badge will appear next to their name in search and on their profile. The accounts with verified badges are some well-known public figures, celebrities and global brands on Instagram. These accounts have been given verified badges because they have a high likelihood of being impersonated, and we want to make sure that people in the Instagram community can easily find the authentic people and brands they want to follow.

So there is no number of followers or any other solid criteria mentioned. Accordingly, if you're not famous and or a big brand, chances are currently low that you will get verified on Instagram.

Do you want to know more about social media analysis? Check out our blog article on how to combine social media analytics and listening for a great social media strategy!

Pinterest Verification

Example: Verified Pinterest Account

For Pinterest a verification a bit different. To show Pinterest users that you are trustworthy you just need to verify your website. This is in fact a lot faster and easier than on all other social platforms. You can see the full instructions here. Basically, you just have to go to the settings of your Pinterest account, add the URL of your website and click confirm.

YouTube Channel Verification

Example: Verified YouTube Channel

Just like on Facebook, there is no way to actively apply for verification and there are a couple of rumors floating around the web regarding a required number of subscribers and so on. In fact, what Youtube says on its help site is that your account needs to be connected to your Google+ profile. While Google's network has never reached a huge audience and is on a decline, this step is still necessary. According to the YouTube help page, the following criteria should be met:

You'll see a verification badge next to a YouTube's channel name if it's linked with a verified Google+ page or profile. (...) YouTube doesn't accept general requests to receive name verification. If your channel meets the qualifications for verification, you may receive the verification badge. If your channel has fewer than 100,000 subscribers, it's usually not eligible for a verification badge.

Verification Of Your Social Media Profiles

In summary a profile verification for the two biggest social networks Facebook and Twitter isn't an easy to-do. Brand awareness and the incidence of fake accounts are crucial to get verified. Getting the verification badge for YouTube is more feasible, but you still have to wait for them to reach out to you. When it comes to Pinterest, a verification can be done in a snap.

What do you think: Are verified social media profiles a sign of authenticity and therefore engaging their audience more than normal profiles?

Facebook Native Video Study H1 2017

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Tilo Kmieckowiak

Tilo is part of the communications team at quintly. His focus lies on product communication and data storytelling. He also manages all marketing and PR activities in the US and the German speaking markets. With his academic background in both political science and marketing, he creates all our political analyses on the blog, covering events like the US elections in 2016. His work has been shared by WIRED Germany and The Guardian besides others.

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