A picture says a thousand words, and when it comes to the world of social media, it’s no different. For some, having a “blue tick” next to their names on Instagram and Facebook is a dream come true — something that they can, pardon the pun, tick off their bucket list.
Having a blue tick next to your social media handle is not just a status symbol; it also differentiates you from your competitors and acts as a stamp of approval. It’s an accolade that shows you’re red-carpet-worthy, and it’s a badge of honor that people jump through hoops for.
But how do you get it? This is one of the questions I’m asked most often as the founder of an international PR agency. Many of my clients, from e-commerce entrepreneurs to celebrity Instagrammers, have increased their chances of earning this long-desired status symbol in these five ways.
1. Make Headlines
The blue tick is a sign that you’re a public figure or a global brand that people know about. Having news stories published about you that easily show up in a quick Google search is the most important criterion for building your blue tick worthiness.
Unfortunately, paying a newswire service to publish your press release on sites’ RSS feeds and having the same press release syndicated across news outlets doesn’t cut it. The media stories need to be real and written by journalists.
Make sure the story you pitch to journalists is truly newsworthy. If it’s engaging enough, it has the ability to go viral, and it could be picked up by other media outlets — an added bonus. If you’re not sure how to craft a pitch, consider engaging a publicist who can create a newsworthy angle and who has strong international media contacts.
Aim to get your story in at least five different top publications before even considering applying for your verified badge. Facebook’s verification application currently requires you to post links to media coverage that you have received, while Instagram states that the account must be “featured in multiple news sources.”
2. Report False Accounts
A verified badge proves that your page is the official one for you or your company, and it indicates that others that replicate your name and images are fraudsters. Therefore, it’s important to report such pages immediately to let Instagram and Facebook know that copycat accounts exist. This can strengthen your case for verification even more.
The blue tick is a sign that you are the legitimate company or person that you say you are. In the digital world we live in, filled with smoke and filters, reassuring your audience that they are not being catfished and increasing their level of trust in you or your brand is essential.
For influencers, a blue tick also can give you a new level of authority, which means that advertisers may be willing to pay you more for sponsored posts.
3. Don’t Bend The Rules
Think you can outsmart Instagram and Facebook? Think again.
If you have paid for followers, held loop giveaways (partnering with other businesses to form a collective prize pool and encouraging people to like your page in exchange for an entry in the drawing) or have pushed the boundaries in any other way, Instagram and Facebook will know about it.
Be sure that you are adhering to the verified badge requirements on your profile page. For example, don’t include “add me” links to other social media accounts in your Instagram profile.
When it comes to applying for verification, playing by the rule book is essential to increasing your chances.
4. Be Authentic
Show that you’re a real person or brand by sharing valuable, original content and posting frequently. Accounts that are filled with only memes and no photos aren’t likely to get verified.
Ensure that your posts connect with your audience — publish eye-capturing content that your followers would like to engage with and share. Don’t make each post about selling your product or service; make sure you have a mix of topics. After all, you wouldn’t buy a magazine that was filled with just advertisements. To attract more followers who may be interested in your content, incorporate relevant hashtags into your post while also tagging your location.
5. Make Sure Your Profile Is Complete
Go through your profile and double-check that it’s complete — you need to have an about section or bio and a profile photo, as well as at least one post. Also ensure that your account is active and public.
Page verification may just be the tick of approval that you need to help your sales soar and get potential customers across the finish line. Without a blue tick, consumers may be wary when engaging with you or your brand, especially if there are other unofficial accounts that may cause confusion.
“Originally written by Adrian Falk for Forbes”