If you use Twitter for business, you’ve probably wondered what it takes to get verified on Twitter.
Because you’ve definitely seen Twitter verified accounts before. They have that blue badge with a white checkmark. Twitter users can only get this official badge once their account is manually reviewed and verified by Twitter. In fact, it’s much like getting verified on Instagram.
When you get verified on Twitter, that signals to users that your profile is credible and authentic.
Accounts like this one:
Grace O’Malley’s exploits on the stormy seas off Western Ireland made her an Irish legend. Now, a new tourist route is being dedicated in her honor https://t.co/nEOSf81kZV
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) May 27, 2021
Or this one:
“All we can do is breathe the air of the period we live in, carry with us the special burdens of the time, and grow up within those conﬁnes. That’s just how things are.” A Personal History by Haruki Murakami. https://t.co/uZyMHrWkuO
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) May 27, 2021
Many different accounts can be considered for verification. That includes accounts used by businesses, politicians, celebrities, musicians and artists, influencers, journalists and more.
In May 2021, Twitter announced a new verification program after pausing the original application process in 2017 following a scandal that involved a white supremacist’s account getting the badge.
In this article, we explain:
- What Twitter verification is and why it’s important for marketers
- Twitter’s new 2021 verification program
- What you can do to get verified and stay verified.
- And things you definitely should not do if you’re trying to build an authentic reputation on Twitter.
Bonus: Download the free 30-day plan to grow your Twitter following fast, a daily workbook that will help you establish a Twitter marketing routine and track your growth, so you can show your boss real results after one month.
The blue Twitter verification badge signals the platform recognizes an account as real, credible, authentic and of interest to the public.
Not sure what an “authentic” Twitter account means? It means you’re not impersonating, manipulating or spamming anyone. And you’re not violating any copyright or trademark laws, either.
Only Twitter can verify accounts and add the blue checkmark badge to profiles. Third parties can’t do it. And you certainly can’t add it yourself. (That will get you suspended. Find more details on things not to do below.)
Here are a few more things to know about Twitter verification:
- Verification doesn’t mean endorsement. The blue badge only means your account was deemed credible by Twitter.
- The official verification badge will always show in the same place. Verified accounts will always have the checkmark next to their username, both in their profile and any tweet they post. It also shows next to the username in search results.
- The official Twitter verified symbol always looks the same. The badges are always the same shape and color.
- Having a big following on Twitter is not enough of a reason to get verified.
There are a few reasons why going through Twitter’s verification process is worth your time:
- Verified status builds credibility. Right away, users know your account isn’t run by bots or an impersonator.
- It shows your account provides authentic value. The blue verified badge signals you aren’t spamming, manipulating or misleading followers.
- It shows your account is of interest to the public. And this might lead to an increase in followers.
As of May 2021, anyone can now apply for verification — but not everyone will be approved.
Twitter’s new criteria specify that accounts from these six categories are eligible for verification:
- Companies, brands and organizations
- Entertainment (includes digital content creators)
- News organizations and journalists
- Sports and esports (gaming)
- Government and political figures
- Activists, organizer and other influential individuals
Twitter states that sometime in 2022, they will open up the verification program to new categories, including academics, scientists and religious leaders.
Minumum follower count requirements have been adjusted and now differ between regions to make the verification process “more equitable across geographies.”
The updated verification policy also includes a new definition of a “complete account” (required to get verified). A complete account is now one that has all of the following:
- A verified email address or phone number
- A profile image
- A display name
Twitter’s new self-serve verification application is available to all Twitter users on the Account Settings page on desktop and in the mobile app.
Simply head to the Account information page in Settings and scroll down to Request verification:
Then, follow the prompts to submit your application for review.
Applications will be reviewed by humans with the help of some automated verification processes. Twitter also plans to include a demographic survey to the application to assess the equity of the verification program.
While you do need to meet all of Twitter’s eligibility criteria to get verified, here are some steps you can take to build your account’s credibility before you apply. Following these tips will also help increase your Twitter following!
Don’t tweet sporadically. Being active on Twitter is one of the most important ways to increase interest in the content your brand shares.
For example, Wendy’s is known for its fun, cheeky tweets:
Every time I eat the Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger I say “Time to get my Bourb-ON!”
And then everybody laughs because I’m the only one at the table.
— Wendy's (@Wendys) May 27, 2021
And Wendy’s followers can count on the brand to share those tweets at least once a day.
As well as writing and sharing new content regularly, maintaining an active account also means:
- Engaging with other users’ content by liking it, retweeting and commenting.
- Responding to direct messages, mentions and comments.
- Following other verified accounts and engaging with their content.
- Searching for new people on Twitter to follow.
- Using hashtags to participate in what’s trending.
You want your Twitter account to look good and reflect your brand. Be sure to optimize your account by writing a brief, descriptive bio, including your business’s location and including a link to your business’s website.
An optimized Twitter account will also use high-quality images for the profile picture and heading picture. And both will reflect your brand.
Take optimization one step further by pinning your top tweet. That way users visiting your profile for the first time will see your best, or most timely, content.
For example, Nike uses its logo for its Twitter profile picture. It uses its slogan for the header photo. Nike’s latest ad campaign is pinned so it is always easily visible to users visiting Nike’s account:
Part of having a credible presence on Twitter comes down to how your brand engages with other accounts. Ask questions, try Twitter polls and mention other verified accounts to bring them into the conversation.
For example, Coca-Cola is showing its commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement by participating in the conversation and using the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag. It’s also connecting with another Twitter user that’s part of the important conversation, the non-profit organization 100 Black Men:
Buying followers or relying on bots will undermine your account’s credibility — fast. So will posting spammy content.
To appear authentic, credible and reliable, your brand has to be authentic, credible and reliable. Shortcuts won’t cut it. Your brand has to put in the work.
Having a clear Twitter marketing strategy makes putting in that work a little easier.
Do this to:
- Outline clear, realistic goals.
- Determine what your competition is doing.
- Plan a content calendar.
- Track engagement and growth.
As well as helping your brand determine whether it’s meeting its goals, having a strategy in place will help you monitor what content your audience is engaging with and stay on track to post content regularly.
Twitter users can change their privacy settings to protect their tweets. But for brands, this limits interaction and engagement. It will stunt growth and will show Twitter that your account isn’t one that’s of interest to the general public.
To maximize engagement and public conversation with your brand, make sure your tweets are set as public.
When you only have 280 characters to work with, using imagery and video can help emphasize what you’re trying to say. Plus, adding a high-quality visual component can boost engagement.
Disney, for example, generates excitement for the new Cruella movie by sharing a high-quality trailer on its Twitter account. With an 11 second video sharing the details, less needs to be written:
— Disney (@Disney) May 27, 2021
Any time you write a tweet or a comment, make sure you’ve double-checked it for spelling mistakes, typos and grammatical errors before you hit publish. Publishing a tweet with errors isn’t exactly professional. And you can’t edit a tweet after it’s been published.
The way you write is also a way to show off your account’s credibility and authenticity. Write in a way that reflects your brand’s tone and its personality. Be original, be sincere and be human!
Using Twitter analytics will give you an in-depth understanding of who is engaging with your brand’s account. By tracking important analytics like top tweet, new followers, engagement and Twitter reach percentage, your brand will have qualitative data showing what content performs well.
Tracking analytics will also give you an idea of the days of the week and best times of day for your brand to share content and for optimal engagement. Then, use a scheduling platform like Hootsuite to make sure those planned posts are always published at those ideal times.
Find more information, check out our guide to scheduling tweets using Hootsuite’s Publisher.
Even once your account is verified, you can loose your blue verification badge if you don’t follow Twitter’s rules and community guidelines.
Doing any of the following will result in the removal of your Twitter verified badge. And if you lose it, you might not get it back.
By the way, doing any of the following is always a bad idea, regardless of whether your account has been Twitter verified or not.
Don’t want to wait for Twitter to verify your account? Think it’s okay to Photoshop your own blue check mark badge over your profile picture or background picture?
Think again. Only Twitter can verify accounts and give accounts the verification badge. Any profile that puts a fake badge anywhere on their Twitter account to imply that Twitter has verified them, will get their account suspended.
You were verified because your account was deemed authentic, credible and something the public is interested in. Changing your Twitter name or bio is seen as intentionally misleading, especially if the modifications alter the account’s original purpose. Whatever you were verified with, keep it (unless you have a legitimate reason, e.g. your business name changes).
This is just generally good life advice.
But also, promoting hate or violence of any kind, including harassing other Twitter users and sharing gruesome imagery of any kind, will result in your account being suspended and unverified. Just don’t do it.
Not sure about Twitter Rules? Unsure if something you’re planning might violate them? Just take a quick read of the rulebook to be sure. Doing anything that violates the rules will result in your account being unverified and even suspended.
Make sure you’re using your account in a way that builds a credible, engaging and real Twitter presence for your brand. That will pay off down the road.
Manage your Twitter presence alongside your other social channels and save time using Hootsuite. From a single dashboard, you can schedule and publish posts, engage your audience, and measure performance. Try it free today.
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