We all understand the importance of acquiring the coveted blue checkmark on our Twitter account. But how does this mark affect our brand perception?
With it, people may automatically perceive your brand as official (at least in the eyes of Twitter) or authoritative. Without it, people may not have an opinion either way. Well, that may soon change as Twitter announced that it plans to open an application process for verified accounts.
We want to make it even easier for people to find creators and influencers on Twitter so it makes sense for us to let people apply for verification.
– Tina Bhatnagar, Twitter’s Vice President of User Services
It seems like Twitter wants to make a clear distinction between fake accounts and official accounts. I can see how this enhances the network’s appeal, but what about those users who are stuck in the middle?
The ones that Twitter has not determined to be of public interest.
A Verified Twitter Account Affects Your Digital Brand
Naturally, your verified status may affect your digital brand’s identity, visibility, and credibility. Meaning, if Twitter begins to isolate and highlight verified accounts it can decrease your perceived authority, push your account into the shadows of nothingness, and have people question why you don’t have that blue checkmark.
If you are looking to increase your creditability and visibility on Twitter, you need to [blue] check yourself before you wreck yourself!
Trust matters on Twitter and that’s exactly why anyone who wants to be verified should take steps to make it happen. If you carry any impact in your community, field of work, or areas of heightened awareness and visibility, a verified account will let your followers know you’re the real deal.
Here are three reasons why a verified Twitter account is important to your digital brand:
- IDENTITY: Distinguish yourself from fake accounts – They say impersonation is the ultimate form of flattery–not on Twitter. Gaining a verified Twitter account can ensure the actions of another account aren’t mistaken as being your own.
- VISIBILITY: Improve your social search presence – A verified Twitter account can help fans find you on the Twitter search tool. Hands up if you’d like some additional followers!
- CREDIBILITY: Verified Twitter accounts improve brand credibility – If you’ve been reading this blog for some time, you understand that you can get more customers, clients, and leads with a ‘credible’ digital brand. Verifying your Twitter account can enhance your social media presence making your digital brand more attractive to your target audience.
Who Is Affected
At first, the main use of verification was to help users determine between genuine celebrities and their imitators or parody accounts, but soon afterward any high profile user with tweets of particular note in any field of interest became eligible for verification.
Morgan Freeman has been a victim of several unverified accounts claiming to be him. Although he is the industry standard voice of God, it has certainly impacted his brand. This example should motivate you to begin your Twitter verification application.
You should prioritize this because Twitter has been lambasted with research showing a significant number of users on the social network are actually fake.
The chart above displays a staggering number of fake followers for Twitter’s top 10 accounts. If this represents the social networks total user base, it won’t be long before these fake accounts begin to completely consume the site.
Now is the time for Twitter to take action.
No matter how you feel about this move, you should take a look at Twitter’s point of view regarding its own digital brand. Twitter’s stocks are plummeting and there has been a mass exodus of senior management so the company must take action to protect its brand. Its identity will be impacted negatively and the credibility of content on its network will diminish.
To compete with other emerging social networks such as Snapchat, it must regain the public’s trust and cultivate a network of authentic users.
Previously, you couldn’t actually apply for the verification label. You were just offered it by Twitter when they ‘noticed’ you.
Twitter is now taking the same approach as other companies that are finding it difficult to solve an operation issue. They are essentially crowd-sourcing their way to an authentic user base. And it starts by allowing users to self-identify as authentic.
If you have, as Twitter describes, an “account of public interest, particularly in the music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business, and other key interest areas,” I suggest you start your Twitter verification process now.
How do I get my Twitter account verified?
Follow these steps to give yourself the best chance of getting verified.
Go to your Twitter account settings and make sure you have:
- Verified phone number
- Confirmed email address
- A bio
- Profile photo
- Header photo
- A website and
- A birthday (required for personal accounts only)
Your tweets must also be set to public in your privacy settings.
You can improve your chances of approval by having a username that reflects the real name of the person or company. Your account’s profile or header photo should also reflect your company’s branding.
Fill out and submit the form to request account verification. Explain why Twitter should verify your account and provide examples to help the company understand your impact.
Provide at least two URLs to showcase your newsworthiness or relevancy in your field.
Finally, Twitter may also request a scan or photo of a government-issued ID to confirm your identity.
Twitter says it will respond to all requests via email, and users who get denied can submit another request 30 days later.
Question: Do you know how many fake Twitter followers you have? Why is it important to remove them even though it will decrease your total number of followers? Is there a benefit in purging?