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Verify Your Business and Brand on Instagram

Why Should Your Businesses and Brand Be Instagram Verified ? Verify Your Business and Brand on Instagram

What does Instagram verification mean to businesses and brands ?

Why Your Business Isn’t Verified On Instagram ?

How do you get your business verified on Instagram?

Instagram Verification: What You Should Know About Getting Verified

As Instagram continues to develop and expand with new features that rival other popular social media platforms, understanding the platform and remaining up-to-date becomes even more important.

With the prospect of Instagram Reels giving users the ability to share short, 15 second videos embedded with numerous creative instruments including personalised music, text, and special effects, Instagram is preparing to remain a social media platform that engages with its users and identifies, and delivers, its needs.

How to Get Verified on Instagram

Emulating the relaxed vibe of the primary competitor, TikTok, Instagram Reels presents users with a brand-new opportunity to showcase content that is fun and engaging and which counters the criticism that Instagram is too stylised and artificial. The feature allows users to decide on their own music or choose from a massive library, and this will only serve to attract many more users and retain the billions already on the platform. Social media influencers are offered a new way of creating and distributing content based on follower’s desires. Clearly Twitter and Youtube verification is equally desirable for this reason.

Instagram Reels vs TikTok ?

As such, now, more than ever, it’s essential to know how you can reach more people through Instagram and have people view your profile as credible. Instagram has more than one billion users monthly, after only Facebook and YouTube, and is one of the most well-known social media platforms. This reach means that Instagram has exceptional potential when it comes to media marketing. The Apple App Store ranked Instagram as the second most downloaded app of 2019, and in the same year Instagram brought in $20 billion in ad revenue. All of these users already know how to use the platform and it forms part of their daily social media intake so new features already have a massive following which have the potential to be strengthened immensely.

Now, social media influencers and brands have even more of a chance to tap into the existing Instagram community and produce their own unique content. This is especially true for businesses and brands who want to broaden their target audience and infiltrate new markets.

What does Instagram verification mean to businesses?

80% of Instagram accounts follow, at a minimum, one business or brand and this has exponential potential for the companies. In fact, 200 million Instagram users visit business profiles on a daily basis to learn more about a brand and learn about new products and services. This is a significant base for advertising and one that shouldn’t be underestimated, even for already established businesses and brands.

The platform doesn’t seem to be slowing down and users are only increasing in numbers. If you are a public figure or entity who wants to reach more followers, Instagram Verification is the feature that should be at the forefront of your mind.

What is a verified badge?

That little blue tick next to an Instagram account’s name is the envy of many. It serves as confirmation that the account has been verified as the genuine presence of a public figure, celebrity or a global brand. It is only given to accounts once a set of strict requirements have been fulfilled, as will be expanded upon below.

Why do you want a verified badge?

Verified badges help people find the legitimate account of public figures, celebrities and brands that they wish to follow. As there are many impersonators on Instagram who seek to pretend to be someone who is well-known, the blue tick is essential in establishing who is real and who is not.

Getting verified on Instagram allows your followers to know that they are seeing the content of a real person – this is especially important not only for businesses and celebrities, but also social media influencers who rely on their followers’ trust. They need to know that what they are experiencing is real and unique. For celebrities, this has special significance as the platform grew to such a degree that it’s difficult to distinguish between millions of accounts – especially the thousands of fan accounts who use their names in their account handles.

Businesses who become verified have exponential potential to reach more people by showcasing their products and where to get them. A verification badge has become a symbol of status – it shows that the account is known, and well-liked, by many. Getting verified is arguably the most significant breakthrough for social media influencers and brands who wish to use the platform but isn’t an easy achievement.

This is an overview of the general benefits that Instagram Verification offers:

Once you have a verification badge, you are safeguarded against impersonation, and your profile has a better chance of standing out from the masses of profiles available on the platform. This is specifically true when it comes to fan pages. The process is not easy to hack as it requires official documentation to prove your identity which in the era of cybersecurity is a major concern. It is no small matter to make sure that others cannot pretend to be you and cause havoc online. It is a strict process, and this stands in its favour. Verification results in the pages being put in the top search results and this improves brand awareness.

How do I proceed with Instagram verification?

 

Here is a definitive guide to getting verified, including sections answering the most prominent questions:

  • How do you get a verified badge?

  • Are there different ways of being verified on Instagram?
  • What are the requirements for verification?
  • Can you lose the verified badge once it’s already been approved?

Getting verified might not be a simple process if you are stingy on marketing or unknown to the media, but it’s worth the effort once closing the gap. If you are serious about getting your brand, whether it be as part of a business of yourself, seen and heard then that little blue tick is the best way forward. It will establish you as a serious competitor and can only benefit your business.

However, you have to be aware that Instagram has strict community standards that need to be abided by. These terms and conditions of use are of the utmost importance and cannot be ignored.

How Do You Become Verified On Instagram?

Social Media is a global engagement and Instagram aims to provide a platform for everyone to be heard, seen, and expressed, not only respectfully, but authentically; being real is the goal for all.

It is a seemingly stringent process to obtain the level of verification required to mark an account as an established entity or an expert in a field, and to receive a verification badge. However, going through the process to have your account “verified” is worth it as it ensures authenticity, legitimacy, and professionalism, as well as establishing trust between the verified entity and their community.

The verification process on Instagram starts with the easy process of requesting a verification badge (Open Settings – Account – Request Verification), however, this also comes with a set of requirements and criteria to meet beforehand.

Eligibility will be determined by a specific status set, namely, celebrity, public figure, and brand status. Statistics indicate that 92% of top brands have profiles on Instagram and the top 50 brands have an estimate of 1.5 million followers. Furthermore, according to recent statistics, 3.26% out 6.5 million accounts with over 1000 followers are verified.

Additionally, eligibility for verification will also be evaluated upon the following characteristics held by the person, company or brand making the request.

  • Is the person real?
  • Is the company / business registered?
  • Does the account represent the person or business?
  • Is there only one account to this person or business?
  • Does the account have a biography, profile photo, and a minimum of one post?
  • Is the account public? (this will allow it to be seen by everyone, compared to it being a private account).
  • Is the person, company, or brand known across other media platforms or news sources, and do they have a high search rate? (this ensures that the person, company, or brand is real and already established in the community).

According to the stipulations on Instagram the above questions fall under four provided categories to ensure verification, namely: Authentic, Unique, Complete and Notable.

How Many Followers Do You Need?

Another question about getting verified on Instagram relates to how many followers a person, company, or brand has; a certain amount of followers shows that the entity (person, company, or brand) is already well-established in its community and trusted enough as someone or something to follow, but is this a deciding factor for verification?

Verification does not require a certain amount of followers, it only requires that the entity applying is already well-known and established in their field, and essentially requires being safeguarded against any other accounts that attempt to copy them or their page.

What Happens Once You’ve Applied for Verification?

The process of requesting verification, as mentioned above, is quick and easy, but how long will it take once it is approved, and what will the process be?

Instagram will first review verification requests before anything is approved, or not approved; once there is an approval or denial of verification, a notification will be sent to the recipient.

If an Instagram account is verified, the verification badge can still be removed if incorrect information is used.

Verified On Other Platforms, Why Not Instagram?

If an account is verified on Instagram, it might not be verified on other social media accounts that it’s linked to. As mentioned previously, the verification badge safeguards the person, company, or brand that is more susceptible to being impersonated or copied.

One way of addressing any discrepancies with the above is to link the Instagram account with the corresponding social media account where the entity is verified, in this way it will indicate there is verification on another platform already and show credibility.

No Badge, No Problem: Alternative Ways to Be Verified On Instagram

Not all Instagram accounts will have verification badges, however that does not imply that they are not well-established or trustworthy entities in the business or entertainment industries. There are other alternatives to enhance verification on Instagram.

Business Accounts Vs. Personal Accounts

Personal Instagram accounts can be changed to business accounts, which can offer another way to demonstrate authenticity and verification if the verification badge is not approved. Compared to personal accounts, business accounts provide access to a variety of settings designed to enhance doing business online (whether it’s a company service, brand or public figure).

The following are various features offered on an Instagram business account:

Business Categories

Business categories can be enabled on an account profile, which will provide further information about the type of services or products offered, it can also indicate the type of industry the business is in.

Instagram Insights

Instagram Insights allow businesses or public figures to track how many people engage with their posts or stories, and it can be viewed in the following three categories:

Content

The Content category indicates the total number of posts, stories, and promotions that were shared during a week.

Activity

The Activity category is separated into two parts, namely, Discovery and Interactions:

  • Discovery shows how many people view content in terms of Reach, which is how many accounts have viewed a profile, and Impressions, which is the total amount of time posts and stories have been viewed.
  • Interactions show what others do when visiting an account, for example, website clicks or profile visits.

Audience

The Audience category shows how many followers an account has; once there are more than 100 followers to an account more insights will be available in terms of who the followers are.
Business Contact Information

With a business account more information about the business can be provided to the audience, or potential clients; businesses can add their email addresses, phone numbers, and physical addresses.

Having contact information available on an Instagram account will enhance and verify a business even more, even when there is no verification badge.

Additional Instagram Features that Can Create Authenticity
Tagging

For a business to gain more exposure for their services or brand presence online they can ask their clients to tag them on their Instagram posts or conversely they can tag their business partners in relevant posts as this will increase the chances of having more profile views or contacts.
@Mentions

This feature can be enabled to choose who can mention the business account in comments, stories, or captions.
Stories

Businesses or public figures can utilise the ‘Stories’ feature on their Instagram profiles to showcase their work or services, or add more of a personal, behind-the-scenes look at their lives to be more authentic and build relationships with their audience.
Biographies

In the biography section of an Instagram profile businesses or public figures can write a description of their services and work to let their audience know what they do; more information and clarity will also create more authenticity.

The Darker Side of Verification

Seeking a verification badge can become a chase for ‘fame’ in some cases causing people to turn to buying badges. However, verification badges do not come with a price tag, and this is highlighted on the Instagram website. You may lose money when buying an Instagram account that becomes de-verified. It is a gambit for many.

What are the exact steps to applying for Verification?

You may apply for verification by following these three simple steps:

  1. Sign in to the Instagram account you have made sure is eligible for verification and go into “Settings” which is located on the top right side.
  2. In settings, you will find ‘Account’. Go into ‘account‘ and then choose ‘Request Verification’.
  3. You will then be provided with a form to fill in. Fill in the required fields with your information and then send it. Your request will begin to be reviewed.

There is no set time to know if you have been verified or not, and it should also be kept in mind that eligibility does not ensure verification. In cases where your request is denied, you will have to wait thirty days before being able to apply again.

Requirements When Applying For Instagram Verification

To be eligible for verification, Instagram requires you and your account to have the following traits.

Authenticity: Under this heading, you must ensure that your account represents an actual person, legitimately listed company, or entity. Suspicious activity such as impersonating accounts or plagiarising content from other accounts is ill-advised and will not be tolerated.

Uniqueness: The rules for verification eligibility requires the applicant’s account to be unique and distinctive. If you or your business happen to have multiple accounts, only one of them will be chosen to be verified. Businesses or individuals with accounts in multiple languages can be held as exceptions. Instagram, however, normally does not verify common interest accounts such as accounts about shoes.

A completely set up profile: Also an important requirement as Instagram does not verify accounts that do not have display pictures, have empty bio sections, or have no posts made on the account at all (there has to be one, at the very least). Any accounts with incomplete information cannot be considered eligible for obtaining a verification badge.

A public account: An important requirement to consider when applying for a verification badge is that Instagram does not verify private accounts, because the whole point of the verification is that the account has to be open to the public. Hence, it is imperative for your account to be public to be eligible for receiving a verification badge.

Notability: Media visibility is the most important aspect. To be eligible for verification, the account made after a business entity or a famous person must be popular. It must be an account that is popular among searches, mentioned in numerous news sources, and ultimately, widely known among the general public. Actively engaging with your followers also increases notability. Sponsored posts and paid content are not considered.

Honesty: Any kind of deceitful information or ambiguity will not only result in failed chances of receiving verification but if the account is verified, the badge will most likely be removed. Instagram might even take further steps and delete your account permanently. Accounts containing links to other social media platforms, prompting others to add them will also not be verified.

You Must Follow The Rules: The Instagram “Community Guidelines” and “Terms of Use” should mindfully be followed. Not following them lowers your chances of being verified.

Who Can Use Instagram?

Instagram requires its users to follow some terms and conditions in exchange for their service and to be part of their community, to ensure the safety and security of all, as their ethos is to be as open and inclusive as possible whilst still remaining in accordance with the law.

You are required to be 13 years of age at the very least, or whatever age is considered the legal age in your country.
If you happen to be on an applicable denied party listing, you must not be exempt from Instagram’s Service. The same rules apply for paying for certain services.
You must not be involved in any type of law violation or the policy violation set by Instagram, which would result in your account being disabled.
You must not have committed any criminal offense or be a registered sex offender.

How Not To Use Instagram

To ensure further safety and to take full legal advantages of Instagram’s services, it encourages its community to abide by the rules mentioned below to avoid unfavourable and avoidable consequences. In the spirit of the above open and inclusive space, Instagram believes that it is within everyone’s power to ensure that the platform remains as it believes it should. As such, there are eight aspects to consider when deciding what is appropriate to do on Instagram:

  1. You are not to impersonate other accounts made for a public figure or business entity or attempt to spread false news about them. Instagram strictly disallows the impersonation of other accounts. If you wish to create an account after someone, such as a tribute account or a fan account, you must have their permission and consent to do so.
  2. While it is not obligatory to share anything personal about yourself on Instagram, you still are required to provide your updated information, and that includes the information you put in when registering.
  3. Any action that is against the law, is deceptive, or enables and indulges in any sort of illegal activity, is strictly prohibited and could result in dire consequences.
    Violating or enabling the violation of Instagram’s set Terms or
  4. policies, namely the Instagram Community Guidelines, Instagram Platform Policy and Music Guidelines will also be followed by strict action taken against your account. Instagram also discourages interfering with how the Service operates.
    You are not allowed to collect information or create accounts through illegal means i.e. using “bots” to collect information without permission.
  5. Buying, selling, or transferring any feature of your account is against Instagram’s rules. This includes your username. Using or collecting login info or verification badges that are not yours is also considered a violation of Instagram’s rules.
  6. You are not allowed to threaten or violate someone’s rights and intellectual property through your posts.
  7. You must also abstain from using any domain name or URL in your username unless you obtain permission from Instagram to do so.

Can my verification badge be removed?

Once you have your verified badge you will need to continue to abide by Instagram’s guidelines in order to keep it. Instagram reserves the right to remove your badge if you are caught participating in, or posting about, anything that they feel goes against the values of their platform. Some guidelines that need to be kept in mind will be discussed below.

Advertising, selling, or transferring illegal objects or services is not allowed.

If you receive a verification badge it is only allowed to be used by you and appear on the account you used to apply for it. You cannot transfer or sell it to other accounts on Instagram or even use it on other accounts even if they are owned by you.

Your badge can also be removed if your profile picture, Instagram handle or biography is being used to promote other services or companies in competition with Instagram. Another reason your badge can be removed is if you are caught trying to have your account verified using a third party service. Your verification badge cannot be bought and must be applied for using the official Instagram platform. Any company or service promoting the selling of badges is fraudulent and could result in Instagram removing your badge and even deleting your account.

Selling or even just posting any sexual content involving underage individuals is also prohibited on the platform. Any person encouraging or urging people to embrace dangerous behavior such as self-harm, eating disorders, or avoiding seeking help will also risk having their account deleted. The use of the platform to sell sexual services, illegal drugs, tobacco, or prescription medication will also not be condoned.

Be sensitive towards content

Instagram is an extremely popular platform and is used by people from all cultures and backgrounds. Content that is displayed on the platform needs to be sensitive to the diverse range of opinions and viewpoints that could encounter the post. If you want your account to be verified you must ensure that your content is culturally appropriate.

Often people post photos that show instances of nudity for artistic expression or creativity, but images of this type will be taken down for a variety of reasons. Images or videos of partially nude children will also be removed, even if the images were posted by the parents. Instagram is unable to monitor if and how third parties will use the pictures for ill-intent so for the protection of all users it is safer to lean on the side of caution when deciding if the content is fit to be posted. If you want your verification application to be accepted you need to make sure no posts of this type can be found on your feed.

As a user, you are only allowed to share photographs that you have personally taken, or have the rights to. If you are posting content that you do not own, you must reference the original owner or ask for permission to post it.

Also keep in mind that if you are posting content about newsworthy events, the same guidelines still apply to the images. If what is posted involves violent or upsetting content or glorifies violent acts the posts will be removed.

Only participate in genuine engagement

To use your platform in an acceptable way you must ensure that you are making meaningful connections and participating in genuine interactions when using the platform. People who buy thousands of followers, or use bots to create comments and likes will be removed. Repeatedly commenting on other accounts or spamming people in their personal inbox is also not acceptable. Offering money or giveaways in return for likes or follows or other types of engagement is strongly discouraged.

Although creating fun or interesting names are allowed on Instagram, individuals may not create accounts that impersonate or act as the account of a different individual. You do not have to use your real name, but you are required to provide accurate data to the platform. If it is discovered that you have provided false or misleading information during the verification process, Instagram will remove your verified badge and may take additional action to delete your account. Users may also not post any content that supports fake or misleading user reviews or ratings.
Only spread positive information

Any posts that incite hate speech or credible threats will be removed from the platform. Any serious threats to damage or harm public or personal property will also be removed. The same goes for any post that targets specific individuals with the purpose to degrade or shame them. Instagram also does not support terrorism, hate groups, or organized crime.

Any content that encourages violence or attacks anyone based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disabilities, or diseases, will be removed. However, when hate speech is being shared to challenge discrimination or to raise awareness, exceptions can be made. In the aforementioned situation, the individual posting must ensure their intention is made explicitly clear.

If any of the above guidelines are overstepped Instagram can remove your verification badge and also has the ability to completely delete your account. Once your account has been removed you will need to wait 30 days before you can reapply. Instagram reserves the right to award you the badge for a second time. The outcome will be dependent on the severity of the misdemeanor that resulted in you losing your verification badge in the first place.

Final take on Instagram Verification:

The only “quick fix” to getting verified is if you have a strong follower count and strong press. Otherwise, if you are unknown, not willing to spend on PR or building your follower count – then becoming verified on Instagram will only come from a culmination of years of work that is put into developing a popular, well-known brand or identity. If your business or personal brand is truly influential in your industry and has a large supporting audience then it will be quite easy for you to apply for your Instagram verified badge.

You will however have to maintain a clean reputation to ensure that Instagram has no reason to remove your verification badge at a later stage. The Terms of Use and Community Guidelines highlight in detail what is allowed and what is not. For those who are verified, the rules are of even more import than the average user. Being verified means that you have a following who will strive to emulate you or your values; as such, the guidelines set out by Instagram will be closely monitored and action will be taken should they be violated. Still, being verified is a goal for many brands and the benefits are numerous, especially as the platform expands its capabilities.

 


How to Get Your Brand Verified On Instagram

The blue check mark that appears next to an account name on Instagram is coveted and for good reason. Instagram badges verify the authenticity of brands and provide an opportunity for increased visibility and credibility. If you are looking to gain more traction on the platform and improve your digital branding efforts, you want to get your brand verified on Instagram.

How to Get Your Brand Verified On Instagram

Instagram established badges to help people find public figures, celebrities, and global brands without being misled by fake accounts. This essentially means that Instagram has confirmed the authenticity of the account to let users know they can trust the account is represented by the person or brand claiming ownership. In other words, Instagram helps you build credibility through these verified badges.
While earning a verified badge on Instagram is a challenge, there are some steps you can take to increase your likelihood of gaining verification. So, how do you get a verified badge?

Why Should Your Brand Be Instagram Verified?

Why would you want an Instagram verified badge? The whole purpose of this badge is to communicate your credibility. Celebrities, famous public figures, and brands are verified in order to let their followers know they are indeed communicating with the actual celebrity, public figure, or brand. You can guard your brand against impersonators or spoof accounts by earning a verification badge.

Using a celebrity example, consider Jennifer Lawrence, star of The Hunger Games movie series. She doesn’t use social media…yet you can find a profile under her name on Instagram.

The lack of the blue verification badge on this account helps fans realize that this user is not actually Jennifer Lawrence.

How Can Verification Benefit Your Brand

1) Keeping your Brand Credible

Brand credibility can mean the difference between a profitable brand and a failing brand. Any loss of credibility will not only cause a decline in your audience on social media but can also trigger customers and potential customers to take their business elsewhere.

An Instagram verification badge is their stamp of approval and signals to Instagram users your brand can be trusted.

2) Top of Search Results

As it is now well understood that users are known to create duplicate accounts of popular brands, without verification, your brand can end up outranked by a profile of a similar name or an impersonator. Verifying your brand on Instagram ensures you appear at the top of search results for searches of your brand name.

3) Expand Visibility

Once you achieve verified status on Instagram, users are more likely to encounter your account before others, providing an opportunity for more traffic.

Steps to Make Your Account Verification Worthy

While the task may seem daunting, it’s not impossible to become Instagram verified!

For smaller brands, the odds are even greater but a little creativity goes a long way.

1. Start With Followers

You want to grow your following to start. Some brands have done just fine by having a few thousand in their audiences, even less than 2K, but it’s easier to be verified with a large following.

This isn’t easy to do in a short period of time, sadly, but there are things you can do today to get one step closer.

Aesthetics Are Important

Quality photos and videos that capture your audience’s attention are important for both your brand identity and your verification pursuit. Provide enjoyable content for your audience by considering the aesthetics of your profile and posts on the platform.

Insights Tell All

If you have a business profile on Instagram check your profile insights. This information may be used to plan content that will resonate with your target audience and at the time that they’re most active.

Produce Great Content

Great content is important for getting users to know, like and trust your brand. You want to pique your audience’s interest and position your brand as a source of value.

Engage with Followers

Keep the social in social media. Get the conversation started with your followers and encourage engagement with your posts. Engagement is a factor considered by Instagram for verification. It pays to interact and stay active.

2. Keep it Real

Yes, you want followers. However, they have to be real users. Brands have attempted purchasing followers and creating their own but this is counterproductive when it comes to seeking verification. Make sure your followers, comments, engagements, and likes from authentic and from real people.

3. Establish a Strong Social Media Presence Externally

Social media is highly intermingled. Your success on one platform can benefit your performance on another. For instance, having a verified profile on another platform or extremely large following on another network can work in your favor by signaling your brand credibility. With that in mind, you should keep a strong social media presence outside of Instagram to increase your chances of becoming verified on Instagram.
Recognizable brands on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have a better chance of becoming verified. However, a verified Facebook page doesn’t automatically guarantee you will have a verified Instagram profile.

4. Hold An Active Account

Activity is a factor in verification. An inactive Instagram account will not be verified. Remain consistent on the platform and interact frequently. Not only does this increase your chances of becoming verified, but consistency and activity are also important for gaining and maintaining a following.

5. Complete Your Profile

While this may seem obvious, you want to make sure you complete all profile fields for your account. You can’t prove you are who you say you are with incomplete fields.

How to Request Verification

There is no official form, number, or email address you can use to be verified on Instagram, but you still can contact Instagram to seek verification. It’s all about talking to the right people. Here are a few options!

Get in contact with an agency that represents celebrities and large brands. They’ll usually have a connection with Instagram that can speed up your request.
Speak with Instagram support. You’re going to have to contact them more than once. Stay persistent with your request…they’re hard to get ahold of!
Spend money on Facebook ads. You’ll be more likely to reach a support team member this way.
Prove your account is at risk for impersonation and it can be damaging to your brand. If you can demonstrate there is a real threat, you’ll increase your chances.

Final Thoughts

Yes, there’s a lot of time and effort to be put into the verification process, but you will reap the rewards from increased credibility and visibility. If you decide to seek verification, stay diligent. The process is tedious, but not impossible and can have lasting benefits for your brand.

 

 

 

source : newstrail | digitalbrandinginstitute

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