Variables for Getting Verified – Does the Blue Checkmark Matter?
Elon Musk made national headlines last week when he declared that Twitter users will have to pay $8/month for the blue checkmark that verifies their Twitter account. The unexpected expense has some brands asking whether or not they should bother with social media verification. Well, does the blue checkmark matter? Let’s dive in and take a look.
What is a Blue Checkmark?
Many of the major social media networks including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok all use a blue checkmark to show that a social media account is “verified.” It means the person behind the profile is who they claim to be.
Different social media outlets have different rules for verification, but generally speaking, a user must apply for verification and then the social media network decides whether or not to approve that application. They determine verification status based on a set of criteria that usually requires the user to not only be a real person but also be significantly notable in their community.
Should you pursue a Blue Checkmark?
Becoming a verified social media account can be an intense process and one that you want to approach strategically. None of the major social media platforms will give you that verified badge unless you meet their specific, sometimes rigorous criteria.
The biggest benefit of having a blue checkmark is that it gives your brand credibility, trustworthiness, and authority. It also creates a sense of comfort for your audience. This is especially important for brands and/or public figures that want to position themselves as thought leaders or experts in their industry.
Having the blue checkmark is also a great way for brands to combat fraud and reduce the risk of misrepresentation or misinterpretation from the audience.
How to apply for a Blue Checkmark
This will vary depending on which network you’re looking to receive verification from.
Twitter is obviously in flux because of the recent Musk takeover, but currently, you need to verify your account with a valid government-issued ID, website, and/or email address. You also need to fall into a certain follower or mention count, be able to provide news articles about yourself, and otherwise prove that you are a buzzworthy account. Depending on your status and industry, you may also need to provide industry-specific references. You also must fall into certain categories. You can apply for Twitter verification and read more about the process here.
In order to get the blue check on Instagram you must meet certain criteria that prove you are notable and authentic. In addition to that, your profile must be public and active with a full bio and profile image. You can apply for Instagram verification and read more about the process here.
Seeing how Facebook & Instagram both have the same parent company, the verification requirements are very similar for both social media networks. You can apply for Facebook verification and read more about the process here.
TikTok requires that all verified accounts are active, unique, and have a completed profile. Much like the other social media platforms, TikTok will look for news articles about the person behind the account. You can read more about the TikTok verification process here.
How PR can help you get verified on social media
The verification requirements on all of the major social media have one big thing in common. They want to see news articles proving that the person/brand behind the profile is notable. They want to know who you are, why people follow you, and what makes you a credible and legitimate profile. Twitter describes it as a way to “encourage and maintain trust between users on the platform.”
The platforms all specify that they do not consider press releases, paid media, or sponsored posts during the verification process. Add this to the growing list of why earned media is so valuable in the 21st century. Does the blue checkmark matter? Ultimately, only you can decide the answer for your business. The items outlined above will hopefully help make that decision a little easier.
After all, social media verification is just one way brands can increase trust with their customers. If you need help getting your brand ready for the blue checkmark or if you’re not sure if you meet the criteria, schedule a consultation with a member of the Orca Communications team.