The blue tick. Spend merely minutes browsing popular accounts on Instagram and you’re bound to see one. Why does the blue tick exist? Instagram refers to it as a “verified badge” and according to them, “means that Instagram has confirmed that this is the authentic account for the public figure, celebrity or global brand it represents.”.
Why are verified badges important? To assist in users identifying impersonation. Instagram wants to ensure that users enjoy their experience, therefore continue using the platform. If popular people or brands are difficult to find among fake accounts and a user is exposed to spam or undesirable content as a result, then a user’s experience suffers, and they are deterred from further interaction with the platform.
Essentially, the verified badge has developed to be a symbol for accounts that users can trust. The badge may also raise your position in searches, as well as help you to land on the explore page more often, improving exposure. For these reasons, it has become highly sought after by anyone wanting to use Instagram for business. Consumers buy from whom they can trust. Given, as discussed in our previous blog post “What is cross promotion?”, that in 2015 nearly half of all millennials were influenced by social media when making a purchase, the demand for the coveted badge is understandable. If Instagram cannot confirm you to be trustworthy, why should other users?
The inevitable question then is, how do you get a verified badge? Unfortunately, it is not possible to request, nor legally purchase a verified badge, even if you have gained verification on other platforms. This has led to in the past, and more than likely still to this day, illegal deals worth thousands of dollars to be made with insiders to obtain the badge.
When you consider, as an example, the amounts that influencers can earn promoting brands on the platform, the investment can easily appear to be worthwhile for some. Of course, be aware that you are risking your account by engaging in such activities.
So, is there anything you can do to improve your account’s chance of earning a verified badge safely? Aside from becoming a global brand, celebrity or popular public figure, one can only speculate. The same applies for even us, or account holders with unsuspected verification badges. Below is what we have found to be the consistent advice from our comprehensive research.
1. Be popular elsewhere.
“We want to make sure that people in the Instagram community can easily find the authentic people and brands they want to follow.”.
This suggests that developing an audience on other platforms including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. has a significant impact on how deserving your account is of the blue tick.
2. Make impersonation possible.
“Accounts representing well-known figures and brands are verified because they have a high likelihood of being impersonated.”
How do you increase your likelihood or being impersonated? Keep your profile small. If you’re appearing at the top of Instagram searches for words or a combination of letters that are like your username, you’re at less risk of being impersonated than an account that appears lower in search results for a matching word.
3. Comply with community guidelines.
“Though we don’t proactively monitor verified accounts for changes, we may take away an account’s verified status if it posts spam or some other content that doesn’t follow our Community Guidelines, uses the profile picture, full name or bio section to promote other services, or doesn’t remain public.”
This should go without saying, but Instagram is hardly going to mark someone as credible and authentic that cannot comply with the platform’s guidelines. Steer clear of mass following/unfollowing, spam, bots, and anything else that is not supported by Instagram. This will also prevent your account ever receiving a “shadowban”, which tSBN members can read more about in one of our previous blog posts, Instagram: The “Shadowban”.
4. Remain positive and active.
This makes sense, however is not disclosed in any information that Instagram provides about verified badges. If you’re regularly posting ‘negative’ content, that is, material that may offend a large group of people, you cannot expect Instagram to associate themselves in a way with your account by verification.
In addition to this, posting quality content regularly and engaging with the following that you do have can improve your chance of verification by demonstrating to Instagram that your presence is important to other users and as such your identity is worth protecting.
Anything we’ve missed? Have any questions? Let us know in the comment section below the blog, via email or via Instagram. We’d love to chat!