It used to be that getting verified on Twitter was important for your credibility there. Verification means that Twitter knows that you are who you say you are, rather than (potentially) an imposter. However, the verification program wasn’t open for long. Twitter started verifying in 2009 but then stopped in 2017 to shift their priorities elsewhere.
However, with changing times come changing priorities. Because of this, Twitter has recently allowed people to once again request to become verified after a several year hiatus. While we don’t know for sure why this decision has been made, the need for authenticity has never been more apparent. Fake news and trolls are everywhere.
No matter the reason for Twitter resuming the verification process, Twitter has released their own FAQ on the process. This post will mix official advice with unofficial experience getting verified on Twitter and Facebook as well as seeing others successfully get verified on Instagram.
Who Can be Verified on Twitter
If you thought that Twitter verification was going to be available to just anyone, you’d be wrong. Twitter states that they’ve hired some people to handle applications, but their time is limited. For this reason, Twitter says that verification candidates must be “notable, authentic, and active.” This means that successful applicants are important to the community and send out Tweets regularly.
Besides this, Twitter isn’t going to verify people in every industry just yet. This limitation allows them to focus their resources on people who have a significant public policy role or stature in the wider community. Each of these groups need to know how to get verified on Twitter. 6 types of notable accounts currently being verified are:
Government actors can be national, regional, or local. This means that your mayor can get verified, and not just the governor or head of state. In addition, government accounts might be representatives of a particular agency, such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or Department of Defense (DOD).
Companies, brands and non-profit organizations
None of these are private individuals. Rather, they are corporate entities that have an interest in preserving their image. For brands that are subsidiaries, both the brand voice itself and the corporation above them need to be protected. Likewise, non-profits need to ensure that unauthorized people don’t speak for them. For that reason, Twitter’s verifying corporate accounts is an important way to protect everyone’s interest.
News organizations and journalists
Reporting the news can be like the Wild West sometimes. All kinds of people want to offer their perspective on world events, and there’s a real temptation to pretend that you’re someone else. Even worse, some people might impersonate journalists to discredit them. Public relations and reputation management are a real problem on social media, so verification is a powerful tool. If these people don’t know how to get verified on Twitter, they need to learn fast.
These are your big-name personalities and minor celebrities. For instance, actor Harrison Ford would fit in this category, as would Paris Hilton. However, I also see this including C-list names, too. If they’re well enough known in entertainment to attract imposters, they likely can qualify under this category.
Sports and e-sports
It’s worth mentioning that Twitter is including the electronic sports here. Specifically, esports is an organized competition involving video games. Sometimes it’s played with a team, and other times competitions are individual. So, esports is a subculture, and I find it interesting that Twitter is including them in verification eligibility. The need for verification in traditional sports is, of course, obvious.
Activists, organizers, and other influential individuals
I’ll describe this category as “movers and shakers on the grassroots level.” Your activists and organizers are often quite controversial, so they attract a lot of trolls. I’ll be interested to see if “influential influencers” includes your macro and mega-influencers. If so, this can be very helpful to us marketers.
How to Apply for Twitter Verification
As important as verification may become for those six account categories, it’s important to know how to get verified on Twitter. The platform has made it clear that they’ll expand eligibility over time, so being ready when your “turn” comes is advantageous. Simply put, you can apply for account verification through your Account Settings on the Twitter app and on twitter.com.
Here are the steps:
- Click on the More icon from the menu
- Go to your Settings and then select Privacy
- Go to Account information and confirm your password
- Where it says “Verified” tap Verification Request
- That’s it! Twitter will respond back to you
Of course, right now if you don’t belong to one of the qualifying account categories, you won’t get approved. It’s reasonable to assume that they’ll quit processing your request once they decide you aren’t eligible. This means that part of knowing how to get verified on Twitter is deciding if you qualify. Otherwise, you won’t get any results from applying. It isn’t clear if they throw the application away or just hold it until you’re eligible, though.
How to Improve Your Chances of Getting Verified on Twitter
Part of knowing how to get verified on Twitter is understanding what it takes to get approved. Your application itself is just a small part of the story. Twitter provides a lot of advice here, but once again based on my experience here is a summary with my advice.
First, you must have a complete Twitter profile with profile name and image. This matches the name and face for individuals, or logos for brands. Depending on your account type, you might have to be an authorized person to apply. By requiring this, Twitter is safeguarding both their reputation and that of verified account holders.
Next, you must have a confirmed email address or phone number. One of these can be used to reach out if Twitter has questions or needs more information. In addition, email addresses and phone numbers are often registered to individuals or companies, making them a further security feature.
Finally, you must follow Twitter rules and have not had a 12-hour or 7-day lockout for violating Twitter Rules in the past year. In other words, only those people and companies that behave themselves on the platform can have the blue and white check. By adding this provision, Twitter is making Verified status a privilege not a right.
Meeting the notability requirement to be Verified
Try to get mentioned in the media. if you are “notable” a Google search should yield information about people from people that are talking about you. Twitter brings up a guideline of “3 or more featured references within the 6 months prior to applying.” Twitter also talks about being found on Google Trends “with evidence of recent search activity,” which being mentioned in the media will help with.
An extension of getting mentioned in the media is to have a Wikipedia page for your organization (if you are applying as an organization) or yourself. If you’re a good writer, you can put the page up yourself. Or, you can hire someone to write it. But keep in mind that if the article appears to only present the subject’s opinion of themselves, it isn’t worth as much.
Get more Twitter followers. One of the criteria mentioned for brands and organizations was to have a follower count “in the top .05% of active accounts located in the same geographic region.” This is a lot of followers, and it means that brands in larger areas need a huge follower count. It also means that even if you’re a corporate account you might not qualify for this reason.
Further Reading: Twitter Followers vs Following: What is the Ideal Ratio?
Consistently use Twitter for 6 months before applying. Before Twitter will Verify you, they require six months of activity. One reason for this is that they are intentionally preventing zombie accounts and newcomers from getting Verified. Otherwise, the Verification badge would be useless.
If you are in a leadership position in your company or an organization, make it sure it is clearly stated both on your Twitter profile and on your website and ideally includes a link to your Twitter profile. Here, knowing how to become verified on Twitter comes in handy as an industry leader or influential person. Corporate executives are, in many ways, a bridge between the business community and consumers. And from a Twitter perspective, this is especially true because executives do so much to control the corporate image.
If you are a journalist or writer have at least “3 bylines/credits in qualifying publications published within the 6 months prior to applying.” Getting a credit every other month or so sounds easy. And it is, if you have a long-established reputation. However, for the newcomers, getting even one is challenging. So people who qualify for Verification under this criteria are well established.
Twitter Verification FAQs
Now that we’ve discussed how to get verified on Twitter, I’d like to go over some questions that people ask often. One reason this is important is that you’ll want to know what to expect. In addition, the better prepared you are going into your application, the easier this process will be. Standards are different for people than they are for brands. In addition, some answers depend on the demand for Verification.
Do you need to submit an ID like Instagram asks for?
The short answer is no. While verification of your identity might be needed, outside of Government issued IDs, Twitter says you can also use an official website with direct references to your Twitter account or an official email address with a domain relevant to the category you choose.
For corporate and brand accounts, this makes the Verification process easier. After all, if an ID is required for these accounts then it’ll have to be the ID of an authorized representative. Which means that Twitter will have to determine if someone is authorized. This can get complicated rather quickly.
How long will it take for Twitter to get back to me?
Twitter says a few weeks as each request is reviewed by a human. They also say if the backlog is too long that they might suspend allowing new applicants. Because of this second point, it’s important that you not apply unless you think that you’ll qualify. But with that said, retaining the value of Twitter Verification is important.
How will I know if I got verified or not?
They’ll contact you both in-app (notification) as well as through your registered email address. This way, you’ll have a copy of their response for your records. And if you get a rejection notice, they’ll tell you what the problem is. Over time, we’ll get plenty of datapoints to help get people verified.
What happens if I am rejected?
Similar to Instagram, you can apply after waiting 30 days from the day you received your rejection notice. While I wouldn’t suggest spamming Twitter with requests, this does mean you can get another chance at making your case. It also means that if you’re an influencer that doesn’t have enough followers yet, you can try again as your following grows. Try some of my Twitter bio ideas to attract more followers.
Can a verified badge be automatically removed from an account?
Yes, if you change your username, your profile becomes inactive or incomplete, you are no longer in the position for which you were verified, or you violate Twitter’s various rules. This means you’ll want to apply only after you’re happy with your username. It also means that the Verified seal really is only for people who are considered notable.
It is important that you know how to become verified on Twitter. Even if your “turn” to get Verified hasn’t come yet, Twitter intends to expand the program later on. And if you think that you’re eligible, take a moment and apply. In today’s social media climate, it will prove highly beneficial.
Photo by Jeremy Zero on Unsplash