Of all the 1 billion+ Instagram accounts, you’ve probably noticed the blue verification checkmark on some and wondered: How can I get one of those?
Well, you’re not alone. Getting “Instagram verified” was a mystery up until recent years. Only celebrities and big brands had them, as well as popular influencer accounts.
Today, Instagram has taken away some of the mystery (emphasis on some). Users can now request verification themselves.
If you’re not sure what verification is or how to get the badge, this is the guide for you.
What is the verified badge?
The verified badge is the blue badge you see on official accounts next to profile handles. It shows that Instagram confirmed that an account is authentic for a public figure, celebrity, or brand.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to create fake accounts on Instagram, and the verified badge is Instagram’s way of protecting brands, influencers, and public figures. Though getting the badge doesn’t mean the Instagram algorithm treats your account any differently, but it’s easy to see why many people want it for reasons other than identity protection.
Because it’s an exclusive feature, that little blue check mark has become a status symbol for many people. Plus, the verification badge also offers social proof of authenticity to potential customers, building trust between the business and it’s followers, and increasing the chances they’ll buy from you.
What are the eligibility requirements for a verification badge?
Some people think that if you are verified on Facebook, you automatically get the verification badge on Instagram. That’s not true. The two social media platforms have two different verification processes.
Instagram has made its requirements for applying relatively public, and says your account needs to be:
- Authentic. This is the easy one. You just need to be the real person, registered business or entity that you’re representing on Instagram. Don’t try to get verified if you aren’t.
- Unique. This might sound subjective, but what Instagram means is that only one account per person or business can be verified (unless you also have language-specific accounts). Also, your account can’t be of general interest like memes, photography curations, or fan accounts.
- Complete. When you apply for verification your account needs to be public, have a profile picture, a bio, and be active (i.e., have at least one post).
- Notable. Here’s the trickier bit of criteria. Instagram considers someone notable when they are or represent a “well-known, highly searched for person, brand or entity.” To figure this out, Instagram reviews news sources (not paid or sponsored) and likely their own analytical tools.
Even if you or your brand can fulfill the above criteria, Instagram still gets to be picky on whether or not it verifies you. However, nothing is stopping you from trying. So let’s take a look at the process of applying for verification.
How to apply for Instagram verification
There are only six steps towards applying for verification on Instagram, and all of them are straightforward.
- Open the Instagram app and choose the profile you want verified.
- Once on your profile, tap the three-line hamburger icon in the top right corner and select Settings.
- Go into your Account settings, then tap Request verification.
After getting to the verification screen, there are a few more steps.
4. Fill out your full name and add your identification. This can be a government-issued (such as a driver’s license or passport) or official business document.
5. Confirm your notability. Selecting a category (e.g. music, fashion, sport) is required, but the remaining fields are optional. You can describe your target audience as well as list names you or your brand might otherwise be known as.
6. Add supporting links. While not required, you might better your chances if you provide links that support your “notability” such as other verified social media accounts, news articles, or your website.
After filling out the fields, all you have to do is press Submit. That’s it! You’ve applied for verification.
If your application is successful, you’ll get an in-app notification telling you that you’ll see the blue verified badge next to your name and encouraging you to use two-factor authentication.
However, if Instagram doesn’t verify your account, the notification will say you don’t meet the criteria and that you can apply again in 30 days.
If you’ve are rejected there are a few ways you can try to improve your chances of being approved in future applications.
Tips for improving your chances
So let’s say your verification application was rejected, or you want to have a solid foundation of evidence to give Instagram before you apply. The tips in this section can help prove the notability of you or your brand and improve your chances of getting verified.
Get more authentic Instagram followers
It’s clear that you must be a public figure, celebrity, or brand to get the Instagram verification badge. Being a public figure can include bloggers and influencers, as well as popular YouTubers and entrepreneurs.
As a public figure, you likely already have a decent number of followers, but what if you’re starting a new business or new content creation journey?
For that, you’ll need to grow your followers. With the help of Instagram Automation by ManyChat, you can automate many of the processes involved in growing your audience.
- Comments Growth Tool. Besides creating great content, using hashtags, and even geotags, one of the most important post elements that influence the algorithm is whether it generates conversation. In other words, high engagement.
Of course, you might not have the time to reply to every comment on your posts. That’s where the Comments Growth Tool can help by replying to comments for you.
- Keyword triggers. Not every post on your business account should be promotional content; however, for the posts that are, you can use keyword triggers for even more added value.
Let’s say you’re running a giveaway competition, or you’re handing out digital freebies. Use a keyword such as “ebook.” The caption might read, “Reply with ‘e-book’ to get your free ebook today!” The keyword will then trigger a chatbot flow in the user’s DM.
- Story mentions triggers. Similar to keyword triggers, you can also set up Instagram Story mention triggers. This means that when another account mentions you in their Story, you can trigger a chatbot flow to respond to their mention.
Both the keyword trigger and Story mention trigger show Instagram’s algorithm you’re creating conversations — after all, it is a social network.
- Live Chat. Continuing with the theme of having conversations, within ManyChat there is a Live Chat function where you can jump in on DM conversations to speak with your customers or followers at any time.
It might not seem like talking to customers and followers would help you gain more of them, but having a reputation for responding quickly can.
In terms of improving your follower count, using these automated processes as well as other tips for increasing your followers will help you grow in no time.
Be notable outside of Instagram
This tip might be the trickiest to navigate, and is especially true if your business isn’t a global brand with dedicated marketers.
As a new business, you probably haven’t given much thought to press releases, news articles, or anything PR-related. However, if you want to be verified on Instagram, you’ll need to get your name out there.
If you Google your name or your brand, what comes up? Does your name or brand show up at all? Or worse, is it bad press? This is what Instagram will see when they’re deciding whether or not to verify you. If the situation isn’t looking great, you’ll need to work on finding ways to be newsworthy.
Here are some strategies you could try:
- Create or participate in a community benefitting program.
- Participate as a guest on a podcast, blog, or YouTube channel.
- Publish original data and share it among niche communities.
- Become a charity partner or representative.
While these are just a few examples, the idea remains the same: Be in the public eye. Once your brand is picked up on other notable sites, apply for verification.
Follow the rules and community guidelines
Compared to the previous tip, this one should be the easiest to adopt. Keeping in line with Instagram’s terms and conditions, as well as their community guidelines, is super important if you want to be verified.
What the rules and guidelines really boil down to is being an honest and respectful member of the Instagram community. In fact, Instagram has even made a TL;DR for its guidelines:
We want Instagram to continue to be an authentic and safe place for inspiration and expression. Help us foster this community. Post only your own photos and videos and always follow the law. Respect everyone on Instagram, don’t spam people or post nudity.
There are more nuanced rules, especially since the pandemic began, but unless your brand is deliberately controversial, you shouldn’t have problems with this tip. If you’re not sure whether to share a specific post for fear of breaking the rules, chances are you shouldn’t publish that post.
Monitor for imposters
Beyond verification, this is a good tip for general Instagram use, without even considering verification. However, it just so happens that the sole purpose of verification, as we mentioned earlier, is to combat fake profiles and verify real ones.
With that in mind, you should spend a little time regularly combing through Instagram to look out for accounts that could be impersonating you or your brand.
The main, simple way to do this is to search your name or brand on Instagram. After that, switch tabs to Accounts where you’ll see all the different accounts related to that search.
If the problem is more extensive, or you don’t have the time, you can also use a service such as ZeroFox to help you weed them out.
If you see a potential imposter — for example, they have the same or similar profile photo and Instagram bio — report them. If you do it often, make a spreadsheet of the reports you’ve made and include the sheet as a link on your verification application.
How to stay verified
So let’s say you’ve implemented the tips we’ve talked about, you applied to be verified, and were approved. Congratulations! However, you should be aware that Instagram can take away the verification badge if you fall below standards. So here’s how to keep the badge once you get it.
- Keep following rules and guidelines. At the most basic level, if you start breaking any of the rules or guidelines, not only are you risking your badge, you’re also risking your whole account.
When you get the badge, guidelines also indicate that you cannot advertise, transfer, or sell your badge. Additionally, if you switch your account from public to private too often, this can trigger Instagram to disable your account.
- Stay active. According to Instagram, you need to have at least one post on your profile to be verified. But there’s no reason to stop posting once you get it. Keep posting and stay active on your account and your business opportunities will continue to grow.
Granted, keeping your verification badge isn’t as hard as getting one, but you should still be vigilant and protect your account.
Grow your business with Instagram
Getting a verification badge on your Instagram account can feel like you’ve passed a great milestone, but it doesn’t need to stop there. Having a verified account is just the beginning of generating business opportunities through Instagram.
As we’ve discussed in our tips, you can keep growing your followers and your business with the help of Instagram Automation by ManyChat, which can help you build chatbot flows that boost your engagement and make your business scalable.