In a world where social media holds so much influence over our lives and businesses, verification of our profiles has become a coveted position, as it not only protects you from online imposters, but also lends a degree of social credibility.
In this article, the Clearwater team explores how to get verified on some popular channels like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
What Does It Mean to ‘Get Verified’ on Social Media Platforms?
Most social media platforms have some form of verification process to help users confirm the identity of famous or well-known individuals, brands, and organisations. The primary purpose of verification is to protect users from impersonation and fraud, and it also helps platform administrators keep fake accounts and bots off the service.
Having a verified account comes with some perks, too. For example, verified users on most platforms will get a checkmark or badge next to their name to show that they are whom they say they are. This small symbol can give you more credibility and help you stand out from the crowd as you try to grow your brand and business, and in some cases, being verified may also give you access to special features or customer support.
But how do you get verified on Instagram, TikTok and other social media channels? While the specific requirements vary from platform to platform, in general, you’ll need to provide proof of your identity. This can include government-issued identification, links to verified online profiles, or confirmation from a third party such as a publicist or manager. Once you’ve submitted your information, the social media platform will review your request and decide whether to grant you verified status.
How to Get Verified on Instagram
The highly-coveted, blue, checkmark badge on Instagram has spearheaded this push for individuals and brands to obtain verification. It is as much a social status symbol as it is a recognition of authenticity, used to make ‘real’ accounts standout, and deem those verified profiles ‘worthy’ of imitation, thereby awarding them the position of leaders in a given space. For this reason, these badges are rare, offering further exclusivity to members of this verified club.
So, how do you get verified on Instagram?
Who Is Eligible for Instagram Verification?
Anyone can apply for a verified badge, but Instagram is infamously selective in how they decide on who gets the tick. The common statement from the platform is that they will only offer a badge to accounts that are likely to be impersonated, such as those of celebrities, industry leaders, public figures, and larger brands.
With that being said, you don’t need to be ‘famous’ to be eligible for the verification badge. Instead, you must work to best meet the platform’s Terms of Service and Community Guidelines, as well as manage a profile that is:
- Unique: Each person or brand is only allowed to have one account verified (unless they are using language-specific accounts).
- Public: Private Instagram accounts are not eligible for verification
- Authentic: Is your account working to represent a real person, registered business, or brand?
- Complete: You will need to complete all sections of the account, including the bio, profile photo, and have made at least one post.
- Notable: While subjective, Instagram wants to verify accounts that are both ‘well-known” and have a higher search volume.
Instagram Verification Application Process
When applying for verification, the process is fairly straightforward:
- On your profile, open the Menu
- Select Settings and then go to Account
- Select Request Verification
- You will then need to complete the application form, cover points like your legal name, your industry, and the submission of a photo of an official government ID, such as a driver’s license for individuals, and utility bills for businesses.
- Finish it off by tapping Send.
Once the application has been reviewed, you will receive a notification either announcing your success, or letting you know your account wasn’t verified because it did not meet the criteria, and that you can reapply in 30 days.
Tips on How to Get Verified on Instagram
- Identify imposter accounts: Conduct periodic social media audits to monitor for any imposter accounts and document/report them. While this might be unfavourable to the rest of your business, this can actually help your application for verification.
- Increase Followers: Given how Instagram favours verification for well-known profiles, it makes sense to grow your followers to demonstrate your influence. Don’t buy them, as Instagram can shut you down for breaking their Community Guidelines when examining your account. Instead, rely more on organic activities through the Explore page, and targeted Instagram advertising.
- Remove competing platform links in your bio: Instagram has some big competition in the social media space, so they prefer to verify accounts without mention of other channels in their bio, such as your TikTok or Twitter accounts.
How to Get Verified on TikTok?
TikTok is fast becoming one of the leading social media platforms in the world, with close to a billion active monthly users. What’s more, the channel has made it clear that verified accounts will receive a range of benefits in terms of increased exposure and credibility on users’ ‘For You Page’. They know the power of credibility, and with that prestigious stamp of approval from the TikTok higher-ups, brands are not only distinguished amongst fake or fan accounts, but also instantly receive better engagement and perceptions of authority from audiences.
The only difference? There is no application process for TikTok verification. It’s up to them who joins the club.
How Does the TikTok Verification Process Work?
With so much discussion around the benefits of becoming TikTok verified, the criterion for selection remains clouded in mystery. Is it a count of your followers? A cumulative score on the engagement metrics of your posts? Do you need fame in some other regard outside the confines of the platform?
Most can only shrug their shoulders, as the system of verification has only been described as staff searching out users with high-quality and popular content.
Fortunately, we can still apply common sense and trends on certain data points that indicate how to get verified on TikTok.
Tips on How to Get Verified on TikTok
If you are a movie star, god of rock, or titan of industry, then chances are you won’t need to go to these additional steps to be noticed by TikTok. If not, then all is not lost, as everyday people and organisations frequently receive that verification badge, while other accounts boasting hundreds of thousands of followers do not.
Try these simple, yet effective tips and strategies that have been suggested to help get verified on TikTok:
- Own your niche: An established brand on any channel needs to find their industry niche where they can authentically create streams of organic, engaging content that will attract and retain followers. Don’t spread your posts too thin by trying to cover everything – instead, make appealing content that keeps audiences coming back for more.
- Feature in wider media: Having your brand feature in articles and featurettes is still a valuable asset, as it shows others (such as TikTok verifiers) that yours is a name that others are discussing. The more you appear in wider media, the more people are familiar with your brand, building towards your case for verification.
- Receive verification on other platforms: Why do the work when others have already done it for you? If Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms have already verified an account, this will show the TikTok verifiers that they must be doing something right!
- Produce viral content: Easier said than done, but producing viral content is a sure-fire way for your brand to be noticed by TikTok.
- Follow the rules: Again, community guidelines and terms of service are put in place for a reason. If your account is breaching these on a regular basis, then it is unlikely you will get verified by TikTok, for fear it will encourage similar behaviour from others.
How to Get Verified on Facebook?
Despite being a step-sibling of sorts to Instagram – a platform that places so much attention over its verification badge – when it comes to Facebook, this is often wrongly overlooked. It works in the same way, with the intent of noting authentic accounts of notable brands and individuals. In fact, being verified on Facebook actually preceded Instagram by an entire year.
The main difference today is that while Facebook verification is mostly a voluntary process functioning similar to that of Instagram, pages with large audiences are now required to be verified as of 2018, with the process automatically instigated once the audience reaches a particular count. It is also important to recognise that the verification checkmark is not related to other badges available on the platform, such as top fan badges and seller badges.
Facebook Verification Application Process
Verification is available for both Facebook profiles and pages, with a simple form to complete for each:
- Begin by selecting whether you wish to verify a profile or a page (if you are logged in whilst completing the form, the options within your account will appear.
- You will then need to confirm your authenticity by providing a piece of identification, such as a driver’s license, passport or utility bill. Again, this is done to make it impossible for imposters to be verified.
- Next, Facebook will want to review your notability by asking you to state what category your profile or account will come under, as well as the country or region your account gains the most traction. Following will be a range of optional questions, such as descriptions of your audience, and examples of articles and other media where you have been mentioned, that can help secure your account verification.
- Once these questions have been completed and submitted, you will now have to wait for your application to be reviewed. Typical timeframes span from a 48-hour turnaround to 45 days of waiting.
Following the same core strategies of being authentic, having a unique and complete profile, as well as provable notability (as described above with Instagram), you will go a long way toward improving your odds of verification.
How to Get Verified on Twitter
Despite our focus on Instagram & Facebook leading the charge for verification, it was Twitter that birthed the trend way back in 2009. Given the opinion-style nature of the platform, this seemed an imperative move by the company to ensure comments made by imposters or fraudulent individuals were not misconstrued as being made by real public figures and brands.
Twitter makes clear, however, that verification does not mean endorsement from their business – only that the profile is ‘credible’, or at least the person they claim to be. What’s more, a big following will not prove enough reason to be verified, instead the platform is focusing more on identification and authenticity.
Who is Eligible to Be Verified on Twitter?
In May 2021, Twitter made applications for verification open to anyone, only with a more stringent acceptance criterion. Firstly, only accounts from six categories are considered, being:
- Brands, companies & organisations
- Entertainment outlets & digital content creators
- News outlets and journalists
- Sports & eSports platforms
- Governmental organisations and political figures
- Activists, influencers and public organisers
There are plans, however, for these categories to be expanded with academics, scientists and religious leaders.
You must also have a ‘complete’ account, which includes a:
- Profile image
- Display name
- Verified email address or phone number
Twitter Verification Application Process
Twitter has a very streamlined approach to verification. Users can find a self-serve application on the Account Settings page on both the desktop and mobile versions.
Select Account Information, then Settings, and down onto Request Verification.
You will be required to follow a series of prompts that will ask for you to submit your application for review. And that’s it!
Common Themes to Being Verified on Social Media
When setting out to have your account verified, it is important to recognise the common themes with each channel. Firstly, you must have a complete account that is acting in accordance with the channel’s guidelines. What’s more, you need to be cultivating and maintaining high amounts of engagement in a manner that is organic and authentic. Lastly, you need to get your brand name out into the world as much as possible, to create positive conversations about what you are doing, and catch the eyes of each platform’s verifiers. Do this, and those checkmark badges will naturally follow!