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Ever notice that some users get that special blue check next to their name, making them look more professional? The blue verification check is a coveted thing among Instagram users because it helps professionals and big brands stand out. This sign of status is typically only given to the more popular and influential users. Most social medial platforms have a similar badge to set apart verified accounts from all others.
These symbols are designed to point out profiles that have been proven as real. In a time where social media is widely used, it is important to set the more popular accounts apart from the fakes or knockoffs. It can be hard to know which Taylor Swift Twitter account is real, or which handle is really Beyoncé on Instagram, if everyone can make an account with the handle of choice. It makes sure that brands, influencers, professionals and celebrities are able to make accounts that clearly represent their brands over the similarly named accounts. The accounts @target, @targetstyle and @targetdoesitagain are all verified accounts from the brand, while @targetgems and @targetiseverything are not.
However, this also means that getting the verified check isn’t easy and require an effort from the platform. For the “normal” user, there is no reason to need a verification status, since no one is likely to impersonate your account. But for the influencer, this can be a challenge. Most influencers find that the blue check gives them more attention from brands and helps build their following. However, Instagram doesn’t easily see these “normal” accounts as worthy of verification. It takes more than promotional content or large followings to get the verified badge.
Instagram’s Official Statements on the Blue Check
Instagram doesn’t’ hide it’s stance on verification, though it doesn’t lay out a straightforward equation to get a badge. You can request a verified badge by logging into your account, clicking on the three bars, clicking on the gear image (settings), going to Account and then Account Verification. However requesting a badge does not ensure you get one.
Instagram says that to get the check you must be:
- A public figure
- A celebrity
- A global brand
But Instagram also makes it clear that they make the deciding factor on what exactly those titles mean. For some people, like Will Smith, or brands, like Walmart, it is obvious. But for public speakers, authors, bloggers and influencers, these lines are far less clear. You will not be accepted unless you meet certain requirements.
Specific Verification Badge Requirements from Instagram
In order to get the blue check, Instagram has laid out four general requirements your account must meet:
Authentic: You account must represent a real person, entity or registered business.
Unique: You cannot have multiple accounts verified for the person or business it represents and cannot be a general interest account (like @puppymemes). It is important to note that this rule doesn’t seem to apply to brands, like Target and there are verified accounts like @dogsofinstagram.
Complete: All verified accounts have to have a filled out bio, profile image, at least one post and be set for public view. Your bio cannot have “add me” links to services for other social media.
Notable: Probably the most subjective requirement, your account has to be well-known. You need to be highly searched for and featured in a variety of new sources that aren’t paid or promotional content.
How do You Get Verified on Instagram?
So, how do you get that blue check on IG? You need to find a way to make yourself a public figure or celebrity worth the notice of Instagram. For Influencers, this can be a daunting task. It helps a lot if you can build a blog with notoriety, publish a book or go on speaking tours. You can also post in news sites and work to get links back from there.
You really need to build up your following on a platform other than Instagram. If your followers find you easily and aren’t confused, there is no need to be verified and Instagram is unlikely to do so. If you share a name with another influencer, this could be a different case.
1. Build a Following Based on Your Brand
The key to being an influencer is having an authentic angle and audience. You want your followers to engage with your content and consume your social media posts. Getting followers to boost numbers is considered a vanity metric and not valuable. Your levels of authentic engagement are going to be the most important factor for your success as an influencer.
Having a certain look, feel and topic you tend to cover will make it easier to gain a following. Many verified Instagram users will build a following on YouTube or their blog before turning to Instagram. When their followers are confused by other piggybacking accounts, Instagram is motivated to verify the original account connected to the source of popularity (the blog or YouTube) bringing people in.
2. Cover Valuable Topics
From Pinterest how-to Pins to recipes and Facebook memes and TikTok entertainment, there are tons of valuable content that people love to consume. Some of it is fun and some of it is very serious. Whatever your niche, make it something that people are actively looking for and sharing. This will help you gain the most steam, as your reach grows every time your content is shared.
3. Use Multiple Platforms
You want to post your content in several places, while using the hashtags or trending styles of that platform. If you post the same caption to Twitter as you do to Instagram, you are probably going to have a funny looking post on one of those platforms. People are quick to spot a platform newb, so spend time learning the ropes before you start posting your content.
4. Pay Attention to Engagement Levels
The time of day, use of images, topic and kinds of captions will all impact your audience. Look for the kind of content that gets top engagement and note the days and times you seem to gain the most steam. If you are targeting mothers, for example, early morning and late evening are often the best times for engagement. Studies have found the best time to post on LinkedIn is noon—probably because people are on their lunch breaks.
5. Keep it Personal
The authentic and personalized account is more likely to gain a following that is centered around you. If you make a cold or general interest account, Instagram is unlikely to verify you. Instead, post images that you can tie to your perspective. Include images of yourself in the account as well.
Always play by good social practices and don’t buy your followers or use bots for engagement. Instagram is quick to penalize accounts that use bots or follow spammy activity patterns (too much liking, adding/deleting followers or generic comments). It isn’t impossible to be verified, though it is a long road of consistent effort.