Up until a few days ago, a verified Twitter account was a privilege accorded to big shots and top guns. In our culture, that would be celebrities, big-name politicians, and CEO’s–in short, those who are likely to have a mass following.
The purpose was for the fans and anyone eager to locate these people on Twitter to be able to find the right people. Fake and parody accounts abound on Twitter, and many take pleasure out of creating these accounts for the sole purpose of trolling people.
Now, however, Twitter has made the verification process available for everyone. It kind of de-exclusivizes (that’s not a word, but you get what we mean) the social platform.
Anyone can now apply to get their account verified, but what purpose would that serve?
Let’s look at some of the benefits of a verified account.
For a small business that blue check mark next to their Twitter handle is a seal of trust that will be noticed and appreciated by prospects and customers alike. People almost expect such accounts to be verified.
Clears brand confusion
There are many similar-sounding handles on Twitter. Something as trivial as a misplaced underscore can tag a completely different business from the one intended.
For prospects, customers or those browsing in general, a verified account leaves no doubt as to who they are dealing with. They know exactly who to follow and where to pose their queries. This will lead to better engagement and more followers.
Helps manage reputation
Not all of us are famous enough to have a prankster create a fake account for us; despite that, all kinds of accounts, belonging to businesses big or small, sometimes get hacked and trolled. Verification ensures your followers can trust you as a legitimate account. Having a squeaky clean reputation is a great way to establish brand authority and trust.
Gives you access to analytics
Verified accounts can see how their tweets are faring and whether they are engaging people. This behind-the-scenes access can give you actionable intelligence to further refine your social media strategy. You also get the option to decide who can DM you and how your mentions appear. These extra insights and controls help streamline your Twitter account.
So should you apply for verification?
If you aim to be an influencer or a thought leader in your field, yes.
“We want to make it even easier for people to find creators and influencers on Twitter so it makes sense for us to let people apply for verification,” said Tina Bhatnagar, Twitter’s vice president of User Services. “We hope opening up this application process results in more people finding great, high-quality accounts to follow, and for these creators and influencers to connect with a broader audience.”
At any rate there is no harm in it and a lot to be gained.
Bear in mind though that simply applying for verification does not guarantee that your request will be granted. Twitter has its own rules and criteria to assess the authenticity, usefulness, and relevance to the general public of accounts that apply for verification.
How have you managed your Twitter strategy up to this point? Is your Twitter page a testament to responsible tweeting, helpful customer service, quality content, and an overall generous and personable profile?
If so, get that coveted blue checkmark. (Yes, it’s still a desirable thing to have.)
Will this lead to a glut of verified accounts?
We can certainly see a steep rise in the number of verified accounts, but it need not be a bad thing. Hundreds of thousands of verified accounts can be good for businesses, as well as individuals. We need more transparency on the internet. We need more people to be held accountable for their abusive or irresponsible tweets, and this is one way of weeding out the good from the bad. As it is, Twitter is flooded with trolls. Being flooded with verified accounts instead doesn’t sound like a bad thing–and might even tip the scales somewhat in favour of honest and responsible Twitter users.
Not exclusive but still useful
How successful this strategy will turn out be for Twitter remains to be seen. The takeaway though is that with verification people will trust you more, and that can only be a good sign for ambitious businesses. The fact that you have undergone the verification process itself implies that people can trust you with their personal information and allow you to interact with them. It proves you are exactly who you claim to be.
A good social media following, with a trustworthy brand, can make a big difference when generating leads or establishing yourself as an authority. Our social media experts can help guide you through the Twitter verification process, as well as clean up and optimize your social media accounts, so your followers can easily find you and develop a sense of trust for your company. In today’s cyber marketplace, anything that inspires such a level of trust in followers is a priceless asset in a digital world where fakes, imposters, and hackers abound.