You’ve probably seen that blue check icon/badge on your favorite public figure or celebrity social media profile.
This is a verification badge.
These icons can be found on some Facebook pages, Twitter, and Instagram profiles with a blue check icon beside their names.
This badge means that the profile/account is verified, which means that it has been confirmed as an authentic representation of the person behind it.
Due to the exclusive nature of these badges, and the difficulty required to get one of your own social profiles, many users are desperate to get a verification badge for themselves. Unfortunately, the process involves much more than just entering a verification code sent to your phone to prove your identity.
It’s not difficult for a celebrity or well-known public figure to get verified. For a business or lesser known individual, it’s quite a bit complicated.
Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook do not publish the specific criteria they use to verify profiles, much like Google does not share the exact components of their algorithm for displaying search results.
Because of this, it’s necessary to read between the lines and learn from the stories of others sharing the process they used to get verified on Instagram.
With that in mind, here’s how to get verified on Instagram…
Benefits of Getting Verified on Instagram
To be sure, getting verified on social media is not just about having a blue badge beside your profile name.
Sure, it looks nice and provides social media street cred, but there are other very legitimate reasons for going through the process.
Celebrities and famous Instagram public figures get verified to let their followers know that they are the real owner of their accounts. Some people are well-intentioned, but create fan accounts that can be mistaken for the celebrity’s actual profile. Other people create fake accounts because they’re trolls and get a rise out of tricking people.
If you search “Jennifer Lawrence” on Instagram, you’ll get several results. The first one is an account with over 800,000 followers, but Jennifer Lawrence doesn’t use social media.
There’s a lesson here: a lack of a blue verification badge on a celebrity’s Instagram account is practically a sure sign that it’s not an official account.
On that note, in the past, it could be challenging to determine whether an account was real or fake, but the blue verification badge now helps to clear all doubt. According to Instagram, “Verified badges help people more easily find the celebrities, brands, or public figures’ Instagrams they want to follow.”
Other than proving the account owner’s identity, verified accounts can be helpful for businesses in many ways:
1) Brand Credibility
Even outside social media, brand credibility is one of the most important pieces of a good social media marketing strategy. Upon joining social media, you have to do everything you can to protect your credibility, since scams and trolls run rampant.
One of the most common brand-jacking scams is an account pretending to be a brand, claiming they’ll give away vouchers for the first 10k followers. While online consumers need to be wary of any too-good-to-be-true deals on social media, a verification badge can help to cut down on the confusion.
2) Social Search Presence
As you’ve probably picked up on, people love creating duplicate accounts to pay tribute to their idols, or for brand scamming. One of the greatest benefits of getting verified is that it puts you at the top of search recommendations for related searches.
To see this in action, try searching “Lululemon”. The verified account of Lululemon will always be at the top of related search results. It’s not hard to see how this can be very beneficial for brand marketing, to increase the quality of your overall social media presence.
3) Increase in Reach
if you have a verified account, people will go to the right profile instead of going to fake ones, which helps with increasing your overall reach (which may be divided by fake/fan accounts).
Increase in reach can affect your overall brand performance, and increase your conversion rates.
Roadblocks to Getting Verified on Instagram
Getting verified is not like verifying an account through an email link or through a verification code. You should expect to have a fairly large following before Instagram even considers your request.
Of course, there’s an exception to every rule. To give an example, The Stockroom was able to do it with less than 2,000 followers.
Can I Request an Instagram Verification Badge?
According to Instagram, they only verify some public figures, celebrities, and brands. It is currently NOT possible to request or purchase a verified badge…officially.
Facebook owns Instagram, but having a verified badge on Facebook doesn’t necessarily guarantee you a verified badge on Instagram. If you’re starting to lose hope, don’t give up just yet:
You don’t have to be a celebrity to get the Blue Badge on Instagram.
It can be challenging, but there are some simple strategies you can employ to increase your chances of getting verified on Instagram.
How to Get Verified on Instagram
Overall Instagram is interested in having celebrities, big brands, and other “influencers” feel comfortable on their platform, and Verification Badges is one way of doing that.
So when you think about getting verified on Instagram, you should think like Instagram, and become a person they would WANT to verify.
There are actual people that work for Instagram that manually do the verifying, so there is no “one simple trick” to get verified, but there are ways to increase your odds.
To become a public figure on Instagram, you will definitely need:
A Good Amount of Followers
This is perhaps one of the most obvious requirements for getting verified on Instagram. Of course, accounts with just a few thousand have successfully made it through the Instagram verification process, but in general, having a large following is easier to verify. This demonstrates that you were able to build a presence on the platform without the verification badge.
The challenging part is getting real numbers in a short period of time. A few quick tips:
- Take good photos and use a theme for your feed. Instagram is all about aesthetics. Influencers gain followers because of their beautiful photos and aesthetically pleasing feeds.
- Take advantage of your insights. One of the greatest new features on Instagram is the ability to access profile insights (as long as you’ve converted your account into a business page). Use this information to plan content that resonates with followers, at times when they’re most active.
- Good content. Try your hardest to always produce good content so that you can gain your users’ attention. If you do this well, you might get a feature on the explore page for one (or more) of the hashtags you’re using. Doing this can help you to achieve virality.
- Don’t forget to spend time actively engaging with your followers. Reply to comments, or even just like their comments. Explore relevant hashtags and engage with other accounts.
Real Followers and Real Engagement (Likes)
You’ll need to have a good amount of followers if you want to be verified, and they’ll DEFINITELY need to be real followers. Just buying a bunch of fake followers from a Bangladeshi click farm will NOT work.
Some celebrities with millions of followers have been accused of buying their followers. On that note, if there’s anything that Instagram needs in order to get you verified, it’s authentic data.
- Real followers
- Real comments/engagements
- Real likes from real people
A Strong Social Media Presence outside of Instagram
Getting recognized as authentic on a parallel platform such as Twitter, Facebook, and even YouTube can increase your chances of getting verified.
Unfortunately, a verified Facebook page doesn’t automatically qualify your Instagram to be verified, but it helps increase your chances. Being active on your integrated Facebook page will also help your chances because this will also call your Facebook engagement into consideration as a verification factor.
Jane Lee of Launch Pop was able to verify her account at less than 3,000 followers because she built a solid presence on YouTube.
Lots of Earned Media
Google yourself. What comes up?
Real people on Instagram (or Facebook) review each and every verification request manually. Their process isn’t public, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the first thing they probably do after receiving a request is Google.
If you have lots of national press about you or your brand, then you will have a much better shot at getting verified. Moreover, a solid Wikipedia page with links to many references at the bottom will go a long way. The folks at Facebook/Instagram aren’t clueless. They know that Wikipedia can be falsified, and they know how to tell. So just creating a Wikipedia page about yourself isn’t going to cut it.
If you want to boost your chances at verification, and you’re not really close right now, probably the single best thing you can do is build your brand and digital presence. If you have the budget, consider working with a PR Agency that has connections to major digital publications who can pitch your story.
An Active Account
Instagram will never verify your account if it’s idle, as consistency and frequency are two of the most important tenets of the platform. In reality, there’s no use in getting verified if you’re not using the platform, aside from the bragging rights that come with having a verification badge.
Being active also helps to maintain the connection you’ve built with your followers. If you stop posting for few days, expect a decrease in your follower count. No one wants to follow an account who doesn’t post anything.
Access the 16 free tools we love and use every day at Jumper Media.
A Complete Profile
You won’t get verified if you’re not using your real identity or the actual name of your company. So include all relevant information by completing your profile, and including your website (if applicable).
Solidify the connection by linking to your Instagram account on parallel platforms like Twitter, Facebook, even Tumblr, with the same information as your Instagram profile.
Besides being a celebrity, there’s one other useful strategy for getting verified on Instagram…
To Be At Risk of Being Impersonated
The main purpose of Instagram and other social networks providing a method for verification is because of the likelihood of well-known figures being impersonated. Instagram wants people to be able to easily find and connect with authentic people and brands with the use of the verification badge.
It is easy for celebrities to meet the criteria because they get impersonated on a normal basis.
But before you jump to conclusions with regards to this tactic, don’t ask someone to impersonate you (or create a profile that acts as your impersonation). Instead, position yourself as someone at risk of being impersonated.
While this is not a foolproof method for getting verified, it is one of the pointed-out reasons for verification by Instagram.
Can you Ask to be Verified on Instagram?
So, right now there is no way you can ask to be verified by Instagram, but there are a few ways to get in touch with the right people:
- Work with a large social/digital agency that represents lots of celebrities. Many of them will have an “in” with Instagram and will be able to help get you a larger reach.
- Get in touch with Instagram support any way that you can, and be persistent with your request as they are notoriously hard to get a hold of.
- Show them you’re a REAL PERSON! Be authentic and show everyone more than just your Instagram account. A quick way to be authentic is linking your Instagram account to your Facebook and Twitter page.
Ultimately, to get verified you’ve got to sell yourself or your brand, and convince them that you are worthy of that blue verification badge.
Yes, this is difficult.
But that’s why verification badges are so exclusive and sought after.
Is Getting Verified even Worth It?
You’ll need to put in a well-rounded effort in order to get your account verified on Instagram. Start by building a strong online brand presence, inside and outside of Instagram. Even if you don’t have a large presence on Instagram, having recognition on other platforms will contribute positively to your identity on Instagram.
The process is simply too annoying to do it just for bragging rights. So do it for the right purpose, and the benefits it can bring to your brand.
If you’ve figured out another strategy, we’d love to hear what helped you to find success. Tweet your thoughts @Jumper_Media, and we’ll share our favorites!
To find out more about how to get more engagement and getting yourself verified on Instagram check out our 33 New Ways to Increase Instagram Engagement for 2018!