The blue verification tick you see besides an influencer’s name on Instagram is a sign of popularity.
Only the most popular and influential Instagram users will get it. In fact, it can be incredibly difficult to get verified on Instagram.
It is important to remember what these symbols mean. The social networks have not designed them to represent popularity. They were created to signify authenticity. The term “verified” indicates that Instagram has made an effort to ensure that you are who you say you are.
Verification on Instagram ensures that people can find the correct account when they search for a particular celebrity or influencer. A verified account belongs to “the real deal.” It is not a fan account, a tribute account, or a fake account.
However, Instagram only wants to verify people whom they deem important enough for somebody to want to set up fake accounts or imitate. If you are a “normal” person, there is no reason for somebody to impersonate you. So, from Instagram’s point of view, there is no reason to verify you.
Below is a fun tool to estimate your chances of getting verified on Instagram – this is in no way endorsed by Instagram and merely a fun way to check whether you are on the right track. We have analyzed 1000 social profiles and considered social factors that may play a part in instagram verification.
- Instagram Handle
- Verification on another Social Network
- Wikipedia Page
- Featured Press
- Personal Website/Blog
- Contributor on another website
- Is this username /brand trademarked
How to Get Verified on Instagram:
Official Instagram Statements
Instagram makes its views on verification clear on its knowledge base. It says that a verified badge means “that Instagram has confirmed that this is the authentic account for the public figure, celebrity or global brand it represents.”
“Accounts representing well-known figures and brands are verified because they have a high likelihood of being impersonated. We want to make sure that people in the Instagram community can easily find the authentic people and brands they want to follow.”
Instagram also makes it clear that it is up to them to decide who qualifies as a public figure, celebrity or global brand. You cannot just apply to become verified.
Instagram also makes it clear that although Facebook owns it, it uses separate procedures to determine who should have an Instagram verified badge on their profile.
The followers of somebody on Facebook and Instagram are entirely different. Someone who is famous on one of the networks, may not be considered a celebrity on the other.
Ultimately, Instagram sums up its policy with the following statement. “Currently, only Instagram accounts that have a high likelihood of being impersonated have verified badges.” If people can find your Instagram account easily enough, then Instagram is unlikely to verify you.
Of course, despite Instagram not considering the verification tick to be a status symbol that is how many of its users see it. Instagrammers who have it display it proudly and those who lack it often feel that Instagram has denied them “authenticity power.”
What Can You do to Get Verified on Instagram?
If you want to have that verified badge beside your name, then you need to turn yourself into a “public figure, celebrity or global brand.” In other words, you need to become a real influencer.
There is some evidence, however, that you first need to do this on a platform other than Instagram. This makes sense. If you have many genuine followers on Instagram, then people can obviously find you quickly enough. They are unlikely to be confused by whether your account is your own.
Hence you should first apply the suggestions here to another social network and build an influencer status there before you use them on Instagram. If you build up a following on Instagram too quickly, before you find fame elsewhere, you may never become verified.
1. Build Your Followers and Engagement
Clearly the key to being famous online is to become a true influencer. This means that you need plenty of people wanting to follow you.
However, more importantly, you want followers who will interact with you and engage with your posts and statuses. There is no point in having irrelevant followers, just to boost your numbers.
We have previously covered how to become famous on Instagram. Although this focuses on making the most of Instagram’s graphic nature, you can still use many of those tips to build your influencer status on another platform first.
An essential requirement is to define your niche. When you try to ask everybody to follow you, in this way you never increase your engagement. To let people engage with your posts you need to build up recognition for your expertise in your preferred niche.
For instance, Zoe Sugg first built her online reputation with her personal beauty and lifestyle blog – Zoella.
She started her social media life with a YouTube channel, where she developed a reputation as a fashion and beauty guru. That channel now has more than 12 million dedicated followers.
Having built her reputation on YouTube, Zoe was able to make a successful transition to other social networks, including Instagram. She has now developed a sizeable audience there that matches her YouTube following. Other people have opened similarly named Instagram accounts, so Instagram verified Zoe’s account to avoid confusion.
2. Use Popular Hashtags to Help Make Yourself More Visible
One way you can help your posts reach a wider audience is to use popular hashtags. Both Instagram and Twitter suggest popular hashtags. There are also independent apps to assist with ideas, such as Hashtagify or TagBlender.
Shortstack lists 158 popular hashtags for Instagram marketing, Instagram contests/promotions, restaurants, boutiques/retailers, and musicians. They also include the 100 most popular hashtags. According to this list, Instagram’s ten most popular hashtags are:
#love, #instagood, #photooftheday, #tbt, #beautiful, #cute, #me, #happy, #fashion, #followme
It is important that you only use hashtags they are relevant to your niche, however. You are never going to be accepted as an influencer if you create posts that are irrelevant to your niche and followers.
One common practice is to create a hashtag for your personal brand and to encourage your followers to use it regularly.
3. Cross Promote Your Social Media Accounts
One way you can build your following on Instagram, or any other network is to promote all of your social network accounts. That way, your Instagram followers may choose to follow you on YouTube, your Twitter followers may sign up to your Facebook page, your Facebook followers may join you on Instagram, etc.
By establishing popularity across a range of sites, you come across as being more of an internet celebrity, and more likely to be considered somebody worthy of Instagram verification.
You want your entire online presence to come across as a single outlet for you (or your brand’s) personality. Therefore you want your blog, YouTube page, and all of your social media sites to link together seamlessly. Combined, they represent you. If you desire to be an influencer you need a wide-ranging and varied online platform. Instagram should be just one part of your overall online social platform.
4. Make Your Posts at the Best Times for Your Target Social Network
To encourage maximum engagement, you will want as many people as possible to see your posts. That means you should post at the times when most of your followers are checking their social media accounts.
Yes, you will have to compete with more posts from others at those times, bit if you can prove you are influential, you should be able to stand out from lower-quality posters.
Remember that the best way to get verified on Instagram is to build a following on another platform first. So you will need to follow the best practices for the initial platform you choose to target.
5. Personalize Your Posts
Do not forget that the reason that Instagram verifies selected accounts is to guarantee that they are official accounts belonging to actual public figures, celebrities or global brands. Therefore, you need to ensure that your account differs in some way from anyone else who might choose to use your name or something very similar.
If you operate a cold, impersonal account, then there is no advantage to somebody if they follow you. They might as well support a generic copycat if you do not provide them with anything better.
You need to add personality to your postings. If you merely post pictures of buildings or landscapes you are not adding value. Indeed you are not influential in any way. If you are a portraying yourself as a fashion influencer, there is little point in just posting pictures of clothing. You will do far better by posting a picture of people wearing the attire in attractive settings, or you modeling it.
6. Avoid Bad Social Practices
Just like Google, Facebook, and other major internet companies, Instagram is skilled at spotting any attempts to game its system. You need to avoid taking any shortcuts as you attempt to build enough of a reputation as an influencer to gain the coveted verification tick.
Never buy followers. Quite apart from the fact that Instagram will probably spot it, it will lead to you having an “unbalanced” account, i.e., a significant following with little engagement. People you buy as followers, if they exist at all, will have no interest in you, will never see your posts, and certainly will never meaningfully engage with you.
Don’t make spammy comments. Neither Instagram nor its users will consider you an influencer if they associate you with pointless “nice picture”-type comments, that are no different from those created by automatic bots.
Finally, make sure that your posts meet Instagram’s community guidelines. You do not want to be the guy banned by Instagram for posting pictures of nudes or your latest drug paraphernalia.
If you use Instagram the way they want you to, and you build your reputation as an influencer somewhere else first, then the day may come when you open your account to find that Instagram has awarded you their verification tick.
It is hard to get verified on Instagram – but not impossible.