Do you have a sizable following on Instagram?
You’ve worked hard to earn your loyal following. Success on this booming social media platform is rewarding both socially and financially.
You have dedicated countless time, energy and even economic resources in establishing your Instagram presence.
Unfortunately, if you are too popular, you might find yourself fighting for your identity.
Have you started to find “impostor” accounts, claiming to be you or your business?
Flattery through imitation is harmful to your social media and business goals. It can be a frustrating side effect of your hard-earned success.
If you are tired of reporting imposter accounts and want people to be confident that they are following the real, authentic you – you are ready to get that little blue checkmark next to your name that proves your account is the real deal.
So, how do you do that? How do you get verified on Instagram?
According to Instagram, It’s Easy!
First, log into the account you want to request verification for.
Get into your settings and click on Account. Then find the Request Verification option.
You’ll need to provide your full name and a copy of a government-issued photo ID.
Sounds simple, right?
It’s a straightforward process, according to the official Instagram tutorial. Submit your request, they’ll let you know in a few days. If you are denied you can always try again 30 days later.
But in Reality…
That simple blue check that verifies your account’s authenticity is not actually that easy to get.
This coveted mark is elusive. It will slip through your fingers time and again until you successfully convince someone at Instagram that your account is worthy.
What are the criteria, exactly, that those Instagram gods are judging you on? Apparently, your account needs to be
“the authentic presence of the public figure, celebrity or global brand it represents.”
So there you have it.
To sum it up, you (or your company) have to be someone important.
“To a certain extent, you have to be someone whom others want to impersonate. You need to have fans so dedicated that they make fan pages that may be perceived as being official and personal to you or your brand.” — Marie Fincher, a writer and blogger at Trust My Paper.
If you are not that someone, no matter how many followers you have, this elusive blue mark will remain out of reach. But don’t be discouraged. If you are dedicated to getting verified on Instagram, there are some steps you can take that could eventually turn those Instagram gods to your favor.
Becoming Famous Enough For Instagram
Influencer Marketing Hub offers a really great checklist of “achievements” that you should have under your belt if you want to improve your chances of obtaining verification on Instagram.
- Be verified on another network like Facebook or Twitter. These social media platforms have different verification requirements. It may be easier to get verified on the other networks first.
- Make sure you have a Wikipedia page. This is a sure sign of being a public figure. If you have people looking you up on Wikipedia it is because your name is floating around out there. People want to know who you are or what your brand is or what your business is all about.
- Appear in the news. This is another sure sign of being notable. If your name or business is showing up on legitimate news outlets outside of Instagram, you’ve got a better chance of being considered “well known”.
- Maintain a personal blog or website and work to bring in a lot of traffic. Building an authoritative presence off Instagram makes you look good to the IG decision-makers. If your personal site has high traffic, you might deserve to be verified.
- Be a contributor to other well-known websites. Collaborating with other well-known websites and media outlets online will boost your public figure status.
- Trademark your name or brand. Trademarking your name is important. It symbolizes that other people may want to use it to their advantage without your permission and that you have to protect it. A trademark on your name or your brand is the best proof that your name must be protected.
Other Tips to Become a Public Figure
What you’ve probably realized by now is that if you are not obviously famous, getting verified on Instagram can be a bit of a challenge.
Don’t get discouraged. Keep your focus on building your following and creating a strong brand identity.
If you already consider yourself an influencer of some influence, keep up the good work. Now is the time to expand beyond your comfort zone to take your game to the next level.
Here are some great tips to point you in the right direction.
- Expand into other social media markets to build up a broad online presence.
- If you are exclusive to Instagram, consider opening up a YouTube channel. Create a Twitter account and use it.
- Expand your Instagram content to fit these distinct mediums. Make sure that you are coherent across your social media spectrum. Each facet of your social media presence should be fully integrated with the other.
- This includes using the same filters on your photos. Use consistent fonts and logos. These simple steps will conserve your brand identity throughout the different accounts.
- Cross-promote your different accounts so your followers can find you. You should not, however, link to those accounts in your Instagram bio.
- Keep all of your accounts up-to-date and engaging. As mentioned, take the steps necessary to get verified on each platform.
- Keep your account real. Strive for authenticity. It might be tempting to buy followers or take part in schemes that boost your following. This is counterproductive. You need to have real followers with genuine engagement and real interaction on your IG and other social media. The decision-makers at Instagram know when your following is fake.
- Eliminate any other Instagram accounts you may have.
- If you started your Instagram career with different accounts you need to delete the inactive ones.
- If those profiles are still active and represent different aspects of your online persona or interests, take the steps to combine the accounts and merge your followers.
- Don’t forget – the point of getting verified is to guarantee that your account is the one and only authentic you.
- If you have multiple accounts that are all the authentic you, Instagram will not verify any of them. The exception to this rule is if your accounts are language and country-specific.
Getting that blue badge of authenticity can be a challenge if you are not a big-time celebrity or if your brand is not internationally recognized.
But it is worth the effort if you want to appear at the top of the list in Instagram searches for your name or brand. It creates trust in your followers and is the #1 mark of legitimacy that you can achieve on your IG profile.
It is also the best way that you can set yourself apart from impersonators.
If you have found getting verified on Instagram beyond your reach, don’t give up.
Continue to invest in your career both online and off. Distinguish yourself in your field. Set yourself up as an authority in whatever it is that you do. Eventually, those Instagram gods will smile upon you and bestow you with the coveted mark of authenticity.
Bridgette Hernandez is an English Literature graduate who is interested in Marketing, Psychology, and Social Media. She’s an editor at Grab My Essay and a regular contributor at Studicus and Best Essay Education. The texts she writes are always informative, based on qualitative research but nevertheless pleasant to read.