Ever wondered why there are blue ticks against the names of famous individuals and brands in social media profiles of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? David Beckham and Kim Kardashian have them, Nike, Adidas, Lululemon, New Look, Gymshark, MissGuided, and a ton of other profiles too.
Most people in the fashion industry are already aware that these ticks are usually for verification purposes, generally regarded a “badge of honor” that confirms and assures all the users and followers that they are looking at the real deal, not some troll or imposter. But for those who don’t know, these badges are also useful for the added trust and help to protect brand’s equity.
Elevating the Brand above the Rest
The tick comes with additional benefits too; a unique kind of exclusivity or kudos that comes along with the elevation of the business or brand above the rest in the same product category or industry. Many social media platforms come with exclusive features or services for the verified account holders, such as editing rights.
Customer reviews are also another effective form of “social channel” for building brand awareness and trust. This is arguably one of the most powerful channels for forming opinions about a brand. But more on this later.
Is it Worth It to Seek the Social Media Verification?
If you haven’t verified your account yet, should you or can you seek verification? Does the tick make all the difference on a social media profile? Does it translate into any significant improvement in sales? Or is this just an emperor’s new clothes’ type of thing?
Well, no one has a definitive answer, but from the ever-growing number of retailers who have them, as well as the politicians, celebs, journos, among other opinion shapers, investigating the verification opportunities on various social media platforms further may well be worthwhile. From Facebook and Instagram to Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, and others are some of the most important marketing tools for in improving branding awareness and the trust in your business.
The kind of network you should be targeting for verification is a kind of a “horses for courses” consideration, and it depends on the kind of business and the demographics you want to capture. With some internet research, it’s possible to cut the cloth accordingly, and you can then target the important ones, the ones that are the best fit for your business.
Undoubtedly, an elite few players are dominant in world rankings based on audience sizes, and these just can’t be ignored, with YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, Messenger, and not forgetting the Facebook behemoth, which has 1.9 billion monthly users. In this post, we’ll share some guidance on how you should go about trying to get one of those Facebook Gray (business) and Blue (personal) Badge verifications.
Let’s also consider the photo and video sharing social media platforms, Instagram. It’s widely used by fashion retailers and has become one of the largest social networks in the world, boasting over 700 million users, and like its parent company Facebook, it’s quite difficult to get verified.
On Instagram, only those well-known celebrities, public figures, and “global brands” can get verified. According to Instagram, the verification is given to alleviate the high possibility of impersonation. It seems that this is a case of we’ll call you. The human adjudicators (they are not bots) on Instagram’s team will contact you if they deem you or your brand worthy of verification.
Instagram recommends other forms of social media verification or evidence of your identity to help your cause, such as linking with your other social accounts. However, there is no fast-track or shoe in way to verification; just because you have a tick on Facebook doesn’t mean you will automatically be verified.
But with a decent amount of following and verifications in place on maybe Google+ or Twitter, and have a growing following on Facebook, you could at least leverage some of the additional credibility and trust by linking from these to your Instagram account.
How to Jump Up the Queue
Rather counter-intuitively, some argue that a shortcut to winning over Instagram is getting impersonated, while others argue that you don’t need to get big on it in terms of your following, and just focus on another network.
A good example is an account by TheStockroom@Shopify, which broke all of the rules and was granted the Instagram’s blue tick having less than 400 followers. It seems that sometimes, the only rule is there are no rules.
Keep in mind that Twitter has now opened verification for all users, regardless of whether they are the high-profile movers and shakers or not. Nonetheless, instead of having to wait indefinitely to find out whether they’ll contact you themselves to tell you that you qualify, you can use their online application form, which is available to all Twitter users. Provided that you are well prepared to give out your details including a verified email address, phone number, and website, and be content to have your Tweets made public, then you can apply. However, it will be up to the Twitter team to decide whether you deserve their much-coveted blue tick.
Google+ page verification is another consideration you should make, to confirm that Google recognizes that there’s a connection between your official website and your Google+ page. This also reassures your visitors that they are in the correct web destination when they’re looking at or for your business. Just as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, Google will contact you when your page meets its qualification criteria. With that said, businesses can also request a verification directly, and phoning them is the quickest way for this.
If you want to increase your chances of your account being verified in all or any of these social media platforms, you should amass as many followers as you can. While it’s still not guaranteed that you will succeed with a verification, this is still a good practice for improving your organic SEO, and in turn your website visitors, and asserting your business credentials. the conventional wisdom dictates frequent posting and regularly using the platforms you want to get verified on, and this is quite logical considering it helps to attract the attention of those who make the verification decisions.
Of course, gaining and retaining a huge following requires commitment, time, and effort, and is essentially a whole science by itself. There are many digital marketing agency websites and articles that offer advice on how you can get more followers.
Let the Customers do the Talking
Customer reviews have been proven to increase the conversion rates as people tend to trust them more, and love to write them too. As such, there’s no shortage of material on the internet on how you can keep your conversion rates going. These reviews are also important in SEO, and even a few less than complementary ones can be quite beneficial.
Review service providers like Trustpilot, Reevoo, and Bazaarvoice are some surefire ways of boosting and generating a sustainable volume of reviews. Another way is actively seeking feedback on yourself, by sending out post-purchase emails to your customers and having a comment section on your website product pages.
Tick Box Takeaway
In general, if you still haven’t looked into verifying your profiles on social media platforms, whether it’s to build, market or boost your brand, or to develop protection from being catfished by other users (Copycatting), it makes a lot of sense to do so. Also keep in mind that if you want to harness the true potential of the “People Power” to build the credibility and trust of your website, you need to encourage and leverage customer reviews.
Don’t wait for the social media to contact you for verification. If it’s possible, contact them directly and request them to verify you. Make sure that you are active on all the social channels, and that you have gained as many followers as possible. It helps to find a celeb to represent you.
Don’t forget that regardless of the social marketing tools and techniques you use to gain consumer trust in your brand or business, there’s no substitute for getting the appeal, quality, design, and pricing of the products just right. Of course, offering excellent customer service and experience from the point of their order to the final delivery is the icing on the cake.
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Source: Social Media Week