Have you ever felt like a celebrity on social media?

I’ve had a moment or two when someone I really like or admire reshares a post of mine, or when people from across the world happen to come across my content and like or follow.

Social media has that unique ability to take non-celebs like me and thrust us into the spotlight every now and then.

Well now Twitter’s gone one step further. You can apply to be Twitter verified and receive a blue checkmark badge next to your name. To become verified on Twitter, you simply update your profile with current information, verify a phone number and email address, then fill out a form requesting consideration as a verified user.

It does provide a bit of an ego boost and celebrity moment to see the blue badge, but here’s the real kicker: There are significant business/brand advantages to being Twitter verified.

I’d love to show you how you can get your business or brand verified on Twitter and the great things that might mean!

twitter-verified-blue-check-990x510

(Nieman Lab wrote one of the best recaps of what the new Twitter verification process has meant, if you’re keen to check it out. The image above is from the great folks there.)

How to Get Verified on Twitter, Step-by-Step

  1. Fill out your profile completely with profile picture, cover photo, name, website, and bio
  2. Add a verified phone number and confirm your email address
  3. Add your birthday
  4. Set your tweets as “public”
  5. Visit the verification form on Twitter

(Note: If you’re applying for verification of a personal profile as opposed to a business profile, you’ll also need a copy of a photo ID like a passport or driver’s license.)

In Twitter’s announcement about verified accounts, they listed a few particular elements that might be a factor in which accounts they choose to verify and which they don’t. The biggest factor in getting verified on Twitter is that the profile is of public interest.

To explain a bit further, Twitter mentions that “public interest” might include public figures and organizations in the fields of:

  • Music
  • TV
  • Film
  • Fashion
  • Government
  • Politics
  • Religion
  • Journalism
  • Media
  • Sports
  • Business
  • and other key interest areas

So long as you meet the minimum guidelines with your profile (things like having a profile photo and a verified phone number, etc.), the verification process seems to be a bit subjective in ultimately deciding what is of “public interest.”

If you go through the process once and don’t get verified, no worries. You can try again in 30 days.

In terms of the minimum guidelines, here’s a bit more about how to complete each one successfully.

Verify your phone number on Twitter.

You can add a phone number to your account here; to verify the number, enter the verification code that Twitter sends to your email. This is what it looks like if your phone number is verified:

twitter-phone-settings

Confirm your email address.

You can add your email address here; to confirm the email, click the link that Twitter sends to your email address. This is what it looks like if your email address is confirmed:

twitter-email-settings

Add a bio, profile photo, cover photo, birthday, and website.

To add or edit this information, visit your profile on Twitter (in my case, twitter.com/kevanlee). If you’re logged in, you should see an “Edit Profile” button to the right of your Twitter stats.

edit-profile-twitter

Clicking the edit button will make the various aspects of your profile editable. You can click to change your cover photo and your profile photo. You can edit the text areas directly from this screen.

twitter-settings

In editing this information, Twitter recommends that your profile name is the real name of the person or the organization, that the profile photo and cover photo accurately represent what you’re about, and that the bio mentions an area of expertise or company mission.

Here’s a pro tip for adding a birthday: When you’re entering the birthday information on the web, click the lock icon to choose who can see your birthday on your profile.

Set your tweets to “public.”

Visit this page in your Twitter security and privacy settings, and make sure the checkbox for “Tweet privacy” is unchecked.

As you’re going through the verification process, Twitter will ask that you be logged in to the account you wish to verify. There will also be a paragraph section toward the end where you get to tell Twitter why you should be verified (this was the most time-intensive part of the process for me). You can share links to support your claim, too, so this might be something you want to think about or plan ahead.

Here’s what the form asks for specifically:

request-twitter-verificaton-form-fields

10 Ways to Maximize Your Chances at Getting Verified on Twitter

I was very fortunate to get the favor of the Twitter verified team on my first attempt. I’m still not sure I fully deserve it! However, I was glad to see that a bunch of the pre-work I did to ensure my profile was looking its best seems to have paid off.

twitter-verified-badge

There is no way to know for sure what factors go into the decision to verify a user or not. These are some of the things that I tried for myself and feel might be useful if you’re thinking of giving it a go.

1. Make sure your Twitter profile has been active, consistently, for the past two weeks.

There’s this cryptic bit of advice from Twitter: “Before you apply, take a look at your account to make sure it’s ready.”

What does “ready” mean exactly?

It’s hard to tell, but one possibility might be that a “ready” profile means an active profile.

When I first heard that Twitter was allowing users to request the verified badge, I wanted to do it right away. The only snag: I realized I was in a bit of a Twitter lull and hadn’t posted for a couple weeks. So did a bit of work:

  1. I hopped into Buffer and filled up the Buffer queue for my Twitter account for the next 30 days.
  2. I also made sure that I was actively engaged with my @-mentions and direct messages in the days immediately before and after I submitted the verified form.

I’m not sure to what degree it actually helped. These things tend to matter when we check out Twitter profiles for potential Buffer hires, so my sense is that the Twitter verified team would notice the same!

2. Link to other verified Twitter accounts in your bio.

shayla-price-twitter-profile

This one seems to give a bit of social proof to one’s chances of being verified. Within your Twitter bio, you can @-mention any other profile on Twitter. Bonus: It’s a good practice for writing a great Twitter bio that helps you gain more followers.

If you’re an individual, you can add your current employer, past employers, or connections you have with other members of the Twitter community (“husband to @mywife” or “building a product with @partner”).

If you’re a company, you can mention parent companies or VCs that have funded you.

I was lucky to be able to @-mention Buffer in my bio.

3. For organizations, add numbers and specifics to your Twitter bio.

state-fair-of-texas-twitter

Put your best foot forward by being a bit self-promotional about what you achieved. Here are a few ideas:

  • +3 million customers and counting
  • We’re a $10M startup …
  • Member of the INC 5000
  • celebrating 25 years in business

4. For individuals, use the biggest job title you can in your bio.

ann-mah-twitter-profile

Similar to the above tip for organizations, this one requires that you sell yourself a little. Before I reached out to Twitter, I had my profile listed as “Content @buffer.” I changed it to “Director of marketing @buffer.” Here are a few other semantic changes that might spark some ideas for you:

  • Content marketer = Published at @TNW and @Lifehacker
  • I run a blog = Founder of @ProBlogger

And here are some tips that Neil Patel shared on the Buffer blog:

  • If you started a company, welcome to the ranks of the “entrepreneur.”
  • If you helped a company, you are a “problem solver.”
  • If you run sometimes, maybe you can be a “fitness guru.”
  • If you give to charity, perhaps you’re a “philanthropist.”

5. For people profiles, add a cover photo that shows you doing something important.

For a long time, I had used an inspiring quote as my cover photo. It looked pretty nice, I thought (thanks to Canva). But it wasn’t quite as powerful or descriptive of a person of “public interest.”

Fortunately, I had the chance to speak at Unbounce’s CTA Conference a few months before, so I added a picture from when I was speaking on stage. John Bonini of Litmus does it really well here, too:

john-bonini-twitter-profile

6. In your “why I should be verified” paragraph, write your pitch with empathy for the Twitter community.

One of the quotes I love from Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People is this one:

You can make more friends in two months by being interested in them, than in two years by making them interested in you.

It’s spot-on advice for filling out the Twitter verification form and writing the paragraph about why you should be verified. Show an interest in how your being verified can help the Twitter community. Does it help your audience find you easier? Are you often confused with others and are keen to help improve that experience? Are you a business who wants to provide great, fast, trusted support to your Twitter audience?

I took a Dale Carnegie approach with my paragraph for Twitter verification, mentioning how I’d love to be able to connect easier with the people who follow the Buffer blog and the other places where our content is syndicated. I’m not sure how much this approach weighted things for the Twitter team, but it felt like a good step!

7. Be exact with the location in your bio

I’ve seen a lot of clever, original ways that people have used their location field in the Twitter bio. At Buffer, since we’re a fully remote team, we list our location as “Worldwide.”

Other people have chosen a humorous path. My all-time favorite is “Location: Spaceship earth.” ? ?

It’s very possible that the location field doesn’t matter much. I didn’t want to take any chances.

My location was listed as “Idaho,” which I always thought was specific enough since not too many people know specific cities within my sparsely populated state. However, just to play it safe, I went ahead and added the city: Boise, Idaho.

8. Choose a variety of links to submit

Submitting the Twitter verification form reminded me a bit of applying for a job. I wanted to give people the best, broadest sense of how I could be a fit. As a writer, this often means submitting links from a variety of sources where you’ve been published. For Twitter, I went one step further and added conference speaking engagements (both ones from the past and from the future).

Generally-speaking, share as many positive mentions of you or your business, from as many big sources as possible. This could be:

  • Bylines form major websites or publications
  • Author pages at major websites or publications
  • Press you received from major publications
  • Awards
  • Speaking engagements
  • Company profiles

9. You must submit at least two links. Be sure you submit the maximum five links.

Though Twitter lets you submit only two links, you definitely want to maximize this by filling in links for all five spots. Be creative (see the list above).

10. View the list of recently verified users for inspiration

This is one that I wished I had found earlier. The Twitter account @verified follows all the verified accounts on the network. If you click over to their “following” tab, you can see a list of everyone who has recently been verified. The full list is over 215,000 people and companies.

You can scroll this list for ideas and inspiration for what might be worth trying to get verified.

One thing you’re likely to notice: There’s a lot of variety! It seems there might not be any one right way to get verified. My best advice would be to find people or organizations that might be similar to you and take some learnings from the way they pitch themselves.

Another thing you might notice: You don’t have to have thousands of followers to get verified. There are many, many verified profiles with 2,000 or less followers. Don’t let follower count stop you from applying for verification!

Why It’s Important to be Twitter Verified

There are likely to be a lot of obvious benefits to having a verified status on Twitter.

  1. You might get more followers
  2. You’re bound to gain trust and respect from the community
  3. You have one more data point on your being an influencer/authority

There are some immediate platform benefits, too. You can opt out of group DMs, and (this one’s quite cool) you can filter your notifications to include only notifications from other verified users.

verified-users-notifications-tab

It’s this last point that might be the most important.

By being verified, you will always have a closer connection to other verified users. Your likes, replies, and retweets of other verified users can never be hidden.

And to look ahead into the future, this may be an area that Twitter moves toward for everyone. The “Verified” filter is only available to other verified users now, but it’s possible that this could be rolled out to all Twitter users in some form, perhaps even as a filter in the main Twitter stream.

Being verified ensures that your content and your interactions always remain visible for the maximum number of Twitter users possible.

As the Nieman Lab pointed out:

“If a significant share of Twitter users were verified, it would be easier for Twitter to make something like “Show notifications and replies only from verified users and people I follow” the Twitter default view.”

It’s a bit early to tell for sure where Twitter may head, though it never helps to get ahead of the curve if you can. Just in case. ?

Over to you

Does Twitter verification sound like something you might give a try?

If you’ve already tried it out, what was your experience? Any tips to share? Any questions to ask?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments and keep the conversation going there!

Image sources: WOC in Tech, Pablo

25 Comments

  1. Kevan

    Yeah, great point! I would say that the ratio is a subjective data point in some decisions possibly. Feels good to get the ratio to a comfortable balance or slightly tilted in favor of more people following you than you following people. 🙂

  2. Kevan

    Yeah, sorry there’s not much feedback given for rejected applications.

  3. Kevan

    Good question, Larry! I believe the phone number is only used for security reasons (if you need a password reset or want to use your phone to log in). There are also some options to receive tweets by phone. I think it’d be quite against the rules for them to sell the number to third parties!

  4. Kevan

    Oh no, very sorry to hear it, Simone. Sorry you didn’t get the answer you wanted!

  5. Kevan

    Hmm, yeah that’s a really good point, Dr. Aron! I could see that being the case, especially if left up to subjective opinion. Will you try again?

  6. Kevan

    You bet, Shayla! And congrats!

  7. Kevan

    Oh, interesting Steve! “Not eligible” … hmm, that makes me think that perhaps something didn’t quite go through on your application? Did they redirect you to the page to see all the requirements? Really sorry for the runaround. Hoping the next try gets you verified!

  8. Kevan

    Yay, very excited to hear it, Cheryl. Hope you get some good news!

  9. Cheryl Marquez

    Thanks for sharing these tips, Kevan! I updated my Twitter profile based this article: updated the bio to include verified organizations, created and added a custom header and filled out the form to get verified. I hope to hear back soon!

  10. Steve Williams

    Hi Kevan,

    I received a reply from Twitter within 2 days. I don’t qualify. Here is what they wrote:

    “We reviewed the account, and unfortunately it is not eligible to be verified at this time. Please visit our Help Center for more information about the types of accounts we verify.”

    I guess I will have to change my strategy …

  11. Shayla Price

    Kevan Thanks for using me as an example. 🙂

  12. Dr Aron, WeightLossNYC.com

    We tried some weeks ago when news first broke, but it does seem very subjective as perhaps skewed more to media related figures than verified businesses

  13. Simone Castello

    No

  14. Simone Castello

    I applied and got rejected. I am an ex journo and marketing person. Perhaps they don’t do quirky. It’s very snobbish, should have mentioned I worked for the BBC and probably got in. Very disappointed in their criteria. Waste of time.

  15. Noel Dávila

    That’s true. But I was under the impression that they’d request the picture after they had determined that you qualify. Maybe in the next coming months the whole process will become even more simple.

  16. Petr Pinkas

    Hey Jason, good question.What is your ratio by the way? I wonder if that is connected to my rejection as well.

  17. Petr Pinkas

    Hey Noel, I’ve been turned down twice as well.. and I won’t give up. Right now I think it is something with the official ID photo they require. There is no place in the form where to upload it.

  18. Noel Dávila

    Yes, about five days later. Second time was just as fast.

  19. Ahmad Awais

    Did you get an email where they told you about being turned down? I didn’t?

  20. Steve Williams

    Thanks Kevan, very inspiring. I just applied for verification. Crossing fingers.

  21. Larry S. Evans II

    Wondering about the phone number requirement and privacy concerns. Is there any indication or disclosure regarding whether the number would be possibly released to third parties? I generally don’t mind the prospect of ending up on a mailing list, but those are typically easier to get off of than a phone list.

  22. NOM NOM Boris

    I might have miss read the real person, but I thought it mentioned named that performers use that are not always real, but you are probably right. For external links, do you recommend using 3rd party sites or other online properties of your band like instagram, facebook and etc? One thing I was wondering if there is a need to have a minimum number of followers to get verified. I will try and will let you know if it works.

  23. Sebök Orsolya Noémi

    Thank you for sharing these useful tips, Kevan! I also applied with one of our business accounts. I haven’t got any response yet, but it’s been only a few days since I sent the application form.

    I have a curiosity, maybe someone can answer. Do you receive feedback if your application is rejected?

  24. Debbie

    They took almost a month to reject me.

  25. Jason J. Lewis

    Thanks Kevan, really appreciate your insight on this. Tried about 2 months ago, rejected. Was planning on trying again soon. Question, would the follower/following ration matter at all? I cleaned up mine after my rejection so my followers are lower than who I’m following. Its does seem a little vague on their application what it means to get your profile ready. Always love your articles and insight about social media stuff, and love the buffer app. On an unrelated note, would love to see the buffer app come to windows phone 🙂

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