In the social media world, the perception of your brand is everything and nothing cements a reputation online more than that little blue (or grey) checkmark. Verification is somewhat of a holy grail in social – not only does it ensure your profile is validated as the official one for your brand, it demonstrates to peers and customers a higher value by having the networks recognize you as an integral and esteemed member of your industry.
Here’s how it’s done.
There are two types of verification for Facebook: the blue checkmark, which generally applies to well-known public figures (musicians, actors, athletes, entrepreneurs, etc) and major companies; and the grey checkmark, which generally applies to local businesses. Both methods ensure that 1) your page is recognized as the official one for your brand, and 2) that your page shows up higher in search results.
For now, we’re going to focus on the grey checkmark for local businesses using a case study on one of our clients, The Substance Group (shown below).
- On your Facebook Page, go into the Settings menu on the top right of the cover photo.
- Under the General tab, you’ll see a Page Verification option. Click on ‘Verify this page’.
3. A pop-up box will appear, prompting you to punch in the public telephone number for the business (if you have one). Facebook will call you with an automated message and a 4 digit code. Once you’ve input the code – voila! – your page will be verified.
4. There’s also an option to ‘Verify this page using documents instead’ at the bottom of the pop-up. If you click that option, you’re prompted to upload one of the following documents:
- Business utilities or phone bill
- Business licence
- Business tax file
- Certificate of formation
- Articles of incorporation
This process can take a while longer as someone at Facebook physically has to verify the documents and respond to your request, but it’s a convenient option for those companies without a public phone line.
Obtaining the grey checkmark on Facebook is comparatively easy to landing that elusive blue one on Twitter. The requirements are much more vague and the ultimate decision seems to be much more subjective, however there are a handful of best practices to maximize your chances of getting verified.
- Ensure your profile is completely filled out – including a profile picture, cover image, company name, website, location and full biography.
- Verify your telephone number and confirm your email address, which typically would have been done when you set the account up.
- Add your brand’s birthday, even if it isn’t set to “public”.
- Ensure your account is not private and your tweets are set to “public”.
- Then head over to the verification form on Twitter.
This is where the process gets tricky and subjective. There’s nothing really concrete about what exactly will guarantee you to succeed in verifying your account, but here’s some things that seemed to work for us when we verified our artistsCee, Notion and Jonathan Emile:
- Stay active. All our artists tweet regularly, whether directly to the app or via synchronized content from Instagram and other platforms. Twitter needs to know you use the service before considering verification.
- Choose a handle and stick with it. We’ve noticed that newly changed handles won’t be accepted for verification, and once you’re verified, if you change your @ name, you’ll lose the verification.
- Make your brand look as important as possible in your biography ensuring all key points are included, such as associated verified accounts, any important numbers or stats (eg. if your company has been valued at a certain figure), and achievements.
- Only use high resolution profile and cover images. Nobody trusts the brand with the grainy profile pic.
- Twitter’s verification form requires five links to corroborate your request. Make these count – include any major press pieces on the company, articles you’ve written on behalf of the brand, write ups on any achievements or awards and anything else that presents an image of importance and noteworthiness.
- And lastly, you’re required to submit a paragraph as to why your profile should be verified. Be sure to appeal to Twitter’s sense of community, including points about how verifying your profile ensures your customers and followers know they’re dealing with the real company, and how it will allow you to better interact with and support your network to help it grow.
Best of luck! Let us know how you go in the comments below!
Need your accounts set-up in a way that makes sense for your brand? We can help with that. Contact us.