In the olden days (aka 2015) the only people who could get verified on Twitter were bona fide celebs (and @snooki, go figure). That elusive blue checkmark was a badge of honour; it was like the quarterback’s letterman jacket in the days of Grease… everyone wanted it, but few could claim it for their own. While 2016 offered up a heap of stinky doo-doo (the U.S. Presidential election, the death of David Bowie, George Michael, and Prince, countless shootings, the Zika virus, to name a few) the year also gave us a silver lining – verified Twitter accounts available for all.
More accurately, applying to be verified on Twitter is now an option for anyone with a Twitter account. Whether or not Twitter actually approves your request is another story, but I’m getting ahead of myself. As Maria once said in The Sound of Music, let’s start at the very beginning. A very good place to start.
WHAT IS TWITTER VERIFICATION?
The little blue checkmark badge you sometimes see next to the name on an account’s profile is a verified badge. It’s not an endorsement from Twitter, but simply an indication that the account is authentic; in other words, it belongs to who or what it says it belongs to.
Need an example? @kimkardashian is a verified account, so the real Kim K (or someone acting on her behalf) is posting the tweets. Conversely, follow @kimkwestonline and you won’t be hearing from the show pony’s mouth, you’ll be getting posts from one of her fans. See the diff?
In fact, this is basically why verification began in the first place, to give users a way of knowing if they were following a fake account or the real deal (although today it seems to be less about maintaining integrity, and more about an ego boost). According to Twitter,
“An account may be verified if it is determined to be an account of public interest. Typically this includes accounts maintained by users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business, and other key interest areas.”
Basically all the cool kids are getting verified and you want in. So how do you do it?
A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO GETTING VERIFIED ON TWITTER
- Go to the Twitter verification request page (get there here) and enter the username associated with the account you’d like to verify. It should be pretty obvious, but you need to be the owner (or someone with the appropriate authority if it’s a business) to verify the account.
- Fill out your profile completely because if you haven’t, you’re going to be directed to the page below, telling you your account’s not eligible for review.
- Fix all the things the Twitter gods tell you to fix. Make sure your profile includes a profile picture, header/cover photo, name, website, bio, verified email address and phone number, and birthday if your account is a personal account (it seems Twitter doesn’t know a woman never tells her age, sigh). Also make sure your tweets are set as public.
- Once you’ve got everything completed, go back to the verification request page and try again.
- If you’ve made it this far Twitter is going to ask you to prove why you should be verified, in other words, tell them why you’re a big deal. The form is recapped below. Now is not the time to be shy, it’s the time to pat yourself on the back until you look like you’ve undergone an Olympic cupping session. Game on.
- If you’re applying for verification of a personal profile (as opposed to a business profile), you’ll be asked to provide a copy of a photo ID for the next step.
- After that, confirm your information, click submit, and bingo bango, Bob’s your uncle! And by that I mean your request for verification has been sent. If your wish is granted you’ll receive an email from Twitter, confirming you’ve joined the Twitter elite.If you haven’t made the cut, you’ll get this message:”We reviewed the account, and unfortunately it is not eligible to be verified at this time. Please visit our Help Centre for more information about the types of accounts we verify.”
But don’t fret, this process is like the LSATs, plenty of people won’t make it on the first try. Wait 30 days and try again.
WHY DO YOU EVEN WANT A TWITTER VERIFICATION?
It sounds like a bit of a process, but is the juice worth the squeeze? The answer is probably yes, if you can get verified, do it. Here’s why.
While it’s true that a Twitter verification is not an endorsement, there is still a signification amount of credibility that comes from having that little blue badge. It’s an indication that your account is legit and you’re someone worth following.
Get verified and you’re more likely to see an influx of new followers who are attracted to (or at least assured by) the little blue check.
Verification requires a validated email address, an accurate birthday, and a verified phone number. These can come in handy for two-factor authentication or password recovery if your account is ever hacked.
Prevents Twitter Identity Theft
Speaking of hacks, being verified can help ensure that someone doesn’t set up an account pretending to be you, wreaking all sorts of havoc in the digital world. Users see the blue check and know instantly that you’re the real deal.
Get Verified on Other Sites
If you want to be verified on Facebook for example, start with Twitter verification first and it may help tip that first domino on the road to digital domination.
Build Your Reputation as an Influencer & Industry Authority
Influencer marketing is the new frontier, and in the wild west, people with authority are in high demand. Get verified and suddenly you may make it onto the radar of new followers, news sources, or new connections that can help make your brand a success. Tools like Social.co will make it even easier, giving businesses ways to connect with social media influencers faster than you can click ‘retweet.’
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