There is one elusive social media status symbol that remains unpurchasable, and therefore highly coveted and immensely valuable: The verified badge.
Since these badges are handed out on a case-to-case basis by moderators at Instagram, it is impossible to pay for one or fool an algorithm into thinking you are worthy of verifying.
A verified badge is a check that appears next to an Instagram account’s name in search and on the profile. It means that Instagram has confirmed that this is the authentic account for the public figure, celebrity or global brand it represents.
This badge confirms the authenticity of an Instagram profile, but it doesn’t affirm someone’s importance or expertise. The page also suggests that though many public figures opt for verification, not all receive the verification badge.
Here’s the thing – your follower count isn’t everything. For instance, look at the follower count difference between these verified profiles:
You can get an Instagram verification badge even if you don’t have a million followers. In this article, we’ll discuss the eligibility criteria, steps to opt for verification and some tips to make your Instagram account eligible for the shiny blue badge.
Let’s start with an overview of Instagram’s verification eligibility.
Eligibility for Instagram Verification Badge
As per Instagram’s terms and community guidelines, these key points will qualify you for a verification badge:
- Authenticity of your account: Your Instagram account has to represent a real person or registered business.
- Uniqueness: Your account should serve a unique and substantial purpose. General entertainment or meme accounts are rarely verified.
- Active and complete: Your account should be active and public with complete information, including an Instagram bio and profile image.
- Notability: Instagram doesn’t consider sponsored or paid media as reliable sources. Hence, your account should most likely represent a well-known person or brand.
Note: There are a few exceptions to Instagram’s eligibility rules. Additionally, you may lose your verification badge if your account goes against any community rules.
Steps to Get Your Instagram Account Verified
If you’re confident that your Instagram account checks all the eligibility boxes, you can request verification by following these steps:
Simply go to Settings > Account > Request Verification and fill out the necessary information:
- Your full name
- What you are commonly “known as” (This could be your brand name)
- Your “category” or account type (ranges from Blogger/Influencer to Business/Brand)
- A photo of your government-issued ID (It could either be your passport, driver’s license or a national ID. Businesses can submit a tax filing, utility bill or articles of incorporation)
This only submits your account for consideration and does not necessarily guarantee that you will be approved. However, if you follow the eligibility rules along with our tips, you can increase your chances.
Here’s a short video tutorial for your reference:
Source: Business Insider India
Tips to Get Your Own Account Verified on Instagram
There are hundreds of articles written online attempting to demystify the verification process, giving step by step instructions on how to get your account verified. By simply reading through the verification guidelines, you’ll realise that Instagram doesn’t only verify influencers or brand accounts with a huge following. Instagram can also verify your account if others can profit from copying or mimicking your identity or content.
Instagram’s verification badge confirms an account’s authentic presence. This blue check prevents people from following imposters who could misrepresent someone’s identity. Not only does this badge make it easier for people to find your account, but it also increases your account’s trustworthiness.
If your account is ineligible to request for verification or if your verification request has been denied, you can continue building your brand’s Instagram presence and give it another go at a later stage.
Read through these key tips on how to get verified on Instagram. If you follow these Instagram tips, we believe you can have a better shot at getting verified without needing a huge following!
1. Update your Instagram Bio and Profile
A key requirement to be eligible for verification includes having a complete Instagram profile, with a bio and profile picture. Optimise your Instagram bio content by giving a clear picture of your offerings accompanied by a call-to-action.
You can include a link to your website, online store or email signup. You can even incorporate unique fonts, bio symbols, categories and custom hashtags to make your profile stand out.
2. Build your Instagram audience
With almost 201 million profiles, India currently holds the most number of Instagram users. Brands can take advantage of this audience size and build their own loyal following. You can achieve increased engagement by responding to your audience’s comments, sharing user-generated content and posting at optimal times.
Reports show that Instagram can generate more audience interaction when compared to Facebook. Instagram has wonderful features, including Instagram Live and stories, which can be used to share behind-the-scenes content or host live Q&As. A higher post frequency can also lead to more engagement. Consistently post quality content to stay relevant and fresh in the minds of your audience.
3. Look out for imposters or fake accounts
This tip is taken straight from Instagram’s own declaration of how to get verified. They stress over and over that verification is done not only to make the user experience better but also to stop people from impersonating others:
Accounts representing well-known figures and brands are verified because they have a high likelihood of being impersonated.
A verified badge means Instagram knows you are exactly who you say you are. Instagram wants to help its users build the trust that they are, in fact, following the real @shopify_stockroom, not some imitator who could end up spamming you with illegitimate content you weren’t looking for.
It’s important to report any fake accounts you or your audience come across because any sceptical activity associated with your brand name could lead to a violation of Instagram’s community rules. It also indicates to Instagram that your account is being impersonated, which may increase the chances of your profile being verified.
4. Create high-quality personalised content
Whichever social platform is your goal, you need to work on building your presence on that. Personalising your social media content is an excellent way to establish your brand’s image. By incorporating custom or brand hashtags, adding your brand logo to your posts and maintaining a uniform aesthetic will help users identify your brand easily.
Your audience would prefer tailor-made content that they can relate to. Make the most of Instagram’s analytical tool, Instagram Insights, and figure out what type of content your audience prefers.
5. Keep up with Instagram’s community rules
Instagram moderators are always on the lookout for accounts that don’t align with the platform’s community guidelines. Refrain from misusing hashtags, spamming comments and reposting posts without permission or credits.
Instagram can take away a verification badge or disable an account if someone:
- Tries to advertise, sell or transfer their verification badge
- Uses their profile information to promote fake services
- Tries acquiring the verification badge through a third-party service.
There are also rules to limit posting, following/unfollowing, liking and commenting on a daily basis. You can keep track of your Instagram account status by going to Settings > Account > Account Status.
In addition to the platform’s rules, people who share sponsored content must also comply with the guidelines created by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). As per ASCI’s recent update, any ads or promotional content published on social media must be accompanied by a visible disclosure. Disclosure isn’t required if you’re simply talking about a product or service you like and you aren’t getting paid for sharing your views.
The guideline suggests adding terms like sponsored, ad or collaboration as a disclosure tag or label on the sponsored media content. This helps the audience identify if you’re sharing an opinion or if you’re promoting something in exchange for monetary gain. Not complying with the platform rules may lead to your account being penalised.
Getting Verified on Instagram: Our Take
It can be hard to tell how Instagram accounts with less followers get verified, especially when compared to brand pages with substantial followings. It can be a combination of a lot of factors, a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work and planning. Even if you don’t have thousands of followers, and your account is not the main place your brand lives, verification would be a good way Instagram can help people find you.
The most important takeaway is that verification is not reserved for celebrities and other big names. It is possible to get verified with only a moderate following, and the examples mentioned in our article prove the same.