How to get verified on instagram
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How to Get Your Small Business Verified on Instagram

March 5, 2019

Congrats, you’ve been verified on Instagram!

Imagine waking up one morning with a little blue badge on your Instagram profile and triple the follower count you had the day before.

It happened to one small brand, and we’re going to show you how they did it.

You don’t have to be a celebrity or famous corporate brand to get verified.

We’ll answer all your questions, show you a couple legit alternate paths to approval, and give you 27 tips to help increase your chances of obtaining that coveted blue tick.

We also tossed in a few talking points so you can impress your friends and colleagues.

Not sure if it’s worth your time?

We promise this piece is a great way to spend your coffee break!
Because everything you do to get verified helps grow your social media audience into a bigger, better, and more engaged crowd.

Instagram Verification FAQ’s

Before diving into tips, tricks, and case studies, let’s address the questions circling above your head.

You know the ones… What is “Instagram verified?” Why should my brand get verified? Will that little blue badge earn me cash and followers?

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What Does it Mean to Get Verified on Instagram

Getting “verified” by Instagram means that IG has personally confirmed that you are who you say you are.

Verified accounts get the coveted blue verification badge, also called the “blue tick,” next to their profile name.

Oreo verified badge on Instagram
Source: Oreo on Instagram

The badge also shows posts.

Byonce verified badge profile
Source: Beyonce on Instagram

Why Does Getting Verified On Instagram Matter?

Getting your Instagram account verified lends trust and authenticity to your account and to your brand.
Verification lends power and influence for two reasons:

  • It’s hard to get, which makes it more prestigious.
  • Verification is handled personally by Instagram staffers, so it lends a solid reputation.

It’s as if the CEO of Instagram personally floated down from a cloud and said: “This business is legit.”

Does Instagram Verification Translate To Cash?

No. And yes.

Take advantage of its influence to expand your reach and build your audience.

Then, establish a connection through meaningful conversations and high-quality content. Finally, poise your account to convert those followers to leads or customers.

That translates to cash.

Verification can mean a wider audience and more success for your business if you have the right social media marketing strategy in play.

Who Can Apply to Get Verified?

Anyone can apply to be verified on Instagram.

Instagram changed the rules in August 2018 and now they allow anyone to submit a request for verification. What was once reserved for celebrities, public figures, and giant brands is now open to small businesses and entrepreneurs.

But there’s a catch.

The chances of a small business getting verified are slim. According to Instagram, you must represent “a well-known, highly searched for person, brand or entity” to get verified.

We’ve got you covered, though.

The team at Sharelov found a small business with only 300 followers and a barely-engaged audience that got verified by Instagram.

We’ll show you how they did it, and help you understand how your business might get verified, too.

What Requirements Do I Have to Meet to Get Verified?

Let’s start by taking a look at the status quo. Here’s what Instagram says you need to get verified:

Instagram iPhone App
Source: Pixabay

You must be:

Your account must be:

  1. Authentic – representing an actual business or person
  2. Unique – the only account representing your business (except language-specific accounts)
  3. Complete – publicly accessible and includes bio, profile photo, and at least one post.
    Your account must not contain any “add me” type links that send users to a different social media channel.
  4. Notable – represents “a well-known, highly searched for person, brand or entity,” according to Instagram.

Instagram verification can be revoked, and your account may be deleted if you give them false or misleading information during the application process.

While Instagram only verifies people considered well-known or highly-searched for, they do review accounts featured in multiple news sources.

How to Request Verification from Instagram

Instagram verification is free, and no one will request payment to submit your application.

Instagram Verification Talking Points

To request an Instagram verification for your brand or business:

  1. Log into the account you’re requesting verification for.
  2. Tap the menu icon on your profile.
  3. Go to: Settings > Account > Request Verification
  4. Enter your name and provide your acceptable form of I.D. (usually a government-issued photo I.D.)

What happens after you apply?

Instagram will notify you about the status of your verification once they make a decision.

If Instagram rejects your request, you can try again in 30 days.

In the next section, we’ll show you how some non-famous businesses got verified, even though their Instagram accounts were small.

How The Shopify Stockroom Got Verified by Instagram

Entrepreneurial products store The Shopify Stockroom got verified by Instagram even though it had only 300 followers and no active posting or engaged followers at the time.

The Shopify Stockroom more than tripled its number of followers overnight when they received the blue verified badge.

stockroom verified on instagram

Two years later, the company remains verified and has nearly 6000 followers.

The folks at Shopify Stockroom believe they got approved because they had achieved some notoriety on YouTube.

This put them at risk of being impersonated on Instagram.

By establishing popularity on a different social media channel, the company created a motive for Instagram to verify. The possibility that Shopify Stockroom might convert its YouTube followers to Instagram followers perhaps tipped the scales for the unknown IG account.

Thus, the verified badge assured that users coming from YouTube could find, follow, and engage with the brand on Instagram.

The Stockroom believes that their affiliation with well-known brand Shopify was also a contributing factor in its approval.

Even though your Instagram following is small, your brand could still get approved if you’ve built a healthy following on other social media channels.

More Ways for Small Businesses to Get Verified

In an article on Forbes, one writer (Tom Ward) launched an investigation into how he might get himself verified, even though he’s not famous.

After interviewing some people he knew who got verified, Ward determined that working through a digital agency might give you an edge.

According to Ward, agencies and publicists have access to an exclusive digital portal called “Media Partner Support.” He learned that having a media partner submit a request on your behalf may give you a better chance of getting verified.

For example, professional makeup artist Rachel Levin tried getting verified on her own without success. After about a year, she started working with a publicist and was verified by Instagram shortly after.

rachellevin IG verified badge
Source: Instagram

Hiring an agency may help if you’ve established a brand and a following online. Rachel already built a sizable following at the time her publicist submitted the application.

Writer Tom Ward never did get himself approved.

20 Tips To Increase Your Brand’s Authenticity and increase your chances of getting verified on instagram

To improve the authenticity of your brand and increase your chances of getting verified, promote your Instagram account, create strong branding, build authority, and establish authenticity behind-the-scenes.

Here are 20 tips to help your business achieve a higher level of authenticity.

5 Ways To Promote Your Instagram Account

Five ways to promote Your Instagram Account
  1. Include a profile link from your other social media channels to your IG account.
  2. Promote your IG account from your website.
  3. Embed IG content into your blog posts when appropriate.
  4. Promote your IG account to your email list.
  5. Include your IG account link in your email signature

5 Ways To Create Strong Social Media Branding

Five ways to create strong social media brading on instagram

Different social media channels have different personalities, but your branding should remain consistent. This builds trust because it shows you are who you say you are. It also helps people find you easier.

  1. Keep the following assets the same across all your social media profiles:
  • Company name
  • Profile image
  • Logo
  1. Keep the same buyer personas in mind when writing and creating content for each channel.
  2. Stick to your brand’s writing style guidelines when sharing posts, images, and videos across all networks.
  3. Respond consistently and quickly to questions and customer service inquiries.

7 Ways To Build Brand Authority

Seven Ways to Build Brand Authority

Increase your brand’s reputation by establishing authority in your industry. Some ways you can establish authority are:

  1. Get verified on other social media channels.
  2. Create a blog with consistent, high-quality content that positions you as an expert in your industry.
  3. Create a Wikipedia page for your company
  4. Contribute written content to other websites.
  5. Generate press about your brand and link it to a media or “about” page on your website.
  6. Maintain a clear, defined niche within your industry.
  7. Earn backlinks from high-authority domains to your website.

3 Ways To Establish a Reputation for Authenticity

Establishing Reputation for Authenticity on Instagram.

Authentic brands take pride in their honesty and transparency, even when no one’s looking. Here are some ways your business can establish behind-the-scenes authenticity.

  1. Avoid black and gray hat techniques.
    Don’t try to speed your success by buying followers, participating in link circles, or using other ways to cheat the system.
  2. Share behind-the-scenes videos, images, and stories with your followers.
    Inviting your followers behind the scenes of your company creates a connection with your audience. It also reinforces the fact that you’re a real, authentic business.
  3. Share stories about your team.
    Let people get to know your team members through storytelling. It’s an excellent way to provide high-quality content that engages your followers, and also builds trust with your audience.

7 Tips To Increase Your Followers, Reach, And Engagement On Instagram

A strong, engaged following contributes toward the legitimacy of your brand. Below are some tips to help you build the type of trust that IG audiences prefer.

  1. Create content that Instagrammers love, such as:
  • Videos
  • Live videos
  • High-quality images
  • Stories
  1. Increase your reach and add more followers by making good use of hashtags in your posts.
  2. Understand what engages your followers by checking in with your Instagram Analytics regularly.
  3. Increase engagement with your followers by including the following in your posts:
  1. Update your profile at least once a month.
  2. Publish your posts during times when your followers are most likely to interact with brands.
  3. Stick to a consistent posting schedule to retain and engage your followers.
  4. Compliment your organic efforts with promoted posts and paid ads.
27 Tips to Increase Your Chances of Getting Verified by Instagram

Get Verified on Instagram by Improving Your Online Presence

Getting verified on Instagram is no easy chore. If you do get approved, though, you’ll enjoy a boost of notoriety and prestige.

New people will be more likely to trust and follow you.

And, your brand name is less likely to be stolen or impersonated by scammers.

To get verified, increase the efforts that make your business a success across social media: multi-channel social marketing, a solid brand reputation, and an engaged target audience.

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