How to get verified on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter according to top PR agency
Sitetrail, the agency that single handedly supported 500+ successful media verifications answered some questions about getting verified on social media.
Social media verification has been around since 2009 and started to accelerate substantially in the last 2 years as more platforms sought to combat hacked accounts, impersonation and fake news. It is not a way to endorse real news, but at least helps to authenticate the source of content. Theoretically, when it comes to Instagram verification, everyone from Beyonce to Eminem, Justin Bieber to Obama and Biden would have had to apply for it, but in the case of TikTok verification, the platform will automatically choose who to verify based on a set of transparent factors.
According to Adriaan Brits whose agency supported a record 500 verifications in 12 months, there are 7 key considerations when it comes to verification.
Respecting platform and community policies:
“These platforms are powerful and as we’ve seen with Twitter, it can even debase important politicians and leaders. As an influencer, you should set yourself up to at least stand for something good that is not offensive if you expect a long run with social media platforms. For example, one of the key criteria enlisted by TikTok who will automatically find the right influencers and verify them, is adhering to platform guidelines.”
Not cheating the system, understanding how it works and exploiting it correctly:
“First, you have to understand that the platforms really seek to mirror the real world. They do not want to pass you off as an influencer if in reality you are not that. That is also the foundation of tackling fake news: to ensure that at least the sources that share a story, are really who they say they are. This is a crucial move in an era where virtual personas are taking over.The ways to gain followers and notability in social media is almost the same for all platforms and can be exploited lawfully without breaking community rules – these are smart ways, and are not wrong in any way. Jumping onto trends right away, leading the discussion with specific issues and being proactive is all part of the game. You do not need fake reviews or even good reviews, since the social platforms are merely trying to establish authenticity.”
Have a name or entity that is legally verifiable:
“Individuals are usually easy to verify as far as official ID is concerned. One of the key issues with brand theft is paperwork: If an account gets hacked, how can you show that the brand is yours? So owning other things like company registration documents, trademarks, domain names as well as other verified social accounts all help. If you come up with a name that is loosely identifiable and it gains followers, later on it can become difficult to verify if it is not mapped to the ID of an individual or trademarks – this is why the management of singers and bands have good legal paperwork ready to take on rogues and get their accounts back from hackers. However name changes are difficult, so keep this in mind when setting up on social media.”
Be an active influencer:
“Celebrity clients feel that TikTok policies who require them to be active as influencers are akin to slave labour because they do not want to be sharing content all day and may want to enjoy their private life off stage. However if verification is important to you – odd policies such as activity, can come into play. In the case of Instagram this is not a concern, but again with Youtube – they’d want to see some videos on your channel before verification.”
Be seen in the news and have your names in the headlines:
“In reality, real celebrities, popular with the media, will never have to request that their names be spelled in a certain way or that it be mentioned in the title of a news article. But if you are gearing up for verification and failed a request, well – then getting verified will require more of your name in the news headlines. Beyond that, a Wikipedia page or other very official online profile will assist greatly.”
Disregard scammers who want to fleece you:
“Our clients are mainly wealthy – that is after all what it is like to be an influencer in the real world for the majority of them: actors, politicians, So scammers know this and promise things like guaranteed Instagram or TikTok verification. They also try to make you believe that only submitting a case via an agency partner portal will lead to verification. If you believe both these things you’re probably about to get scammed. No verification can be guaranteed or bought as it is an independent platform decision – and no agency can influence the platform on this decision regardless of whether an agency portal is used to request verification.”
Any PR costs are usually quantifiable:
“Influencers find that PR costs usually pay off. Experienced media agencies can quantify things too, so the idea that you submit a pitch and have no clue about who might respond to it only goes so far: there is a quantifiable element in all media matters, even in earned media. In cases where PR was needed, we have seen Sitetrail clients doing it for anywhere between zero if they were already in the news, or between $1500 and $9000 where PR assistance was needed. That said, currently as of 17 March 2021, I see another company called Famous Influencer doing this for $18K to $23K, which is still entirely reasonable if you consider that a luxury brand can easily increase revenue by $8M given the viral reach a verified account provides”
In conclusion: Getting verified should not be a science if you are real
Regardless of individual requirements, all platforms do have some common requirements for verification: As Instagram says, influencers have to be “authentic, unique, public, complete and notable”. Whether influencers seek to be Instagram Verified, TikTok Verified or Twitter Verified, meeting the common requirements will mean that very few tweaks might be required, if any at all, to be a multi-platform influencer.