The number one question I get asked all the time is “how can I become verified on Twitter?” It’s not possible to answer this question with a simple answer, and for the first time ever I will share with you here exclusively some tips and ideas to help improve your chances of Twitter accepting your verification request.
The reason I regularly get asked about Twitter verification is because I have successfully managed to help nearly 50 Twitter accounts become verified, including journalists, professional sportsmen, charities and other accounts.
You are probably wondering, who is Shulem Stern, and how would he have knowledge in this field more than others? Let me explain: Twitter has only recently created a public form for anyone to be able to request verification for their account, however most accounts are being denied verification and that’s simply because the criteria for verification haven’t changed. But prior to the public application form being launched there wasn’t a specific way for the general public to apply for verification, however I managed to get access to a hidden form which allowed me to submit applications for accounts to be reviewed for verification, and the more people I helped become verified the more requests I got from the general public to try and help them too. Amongst the applications I submitted, many got rejected, and in certain cases Twitter requested certain details to be changed or updated. So I picked up a lot of knowledge along the way.
My advice to accounts seeking verification on Twitter is to focus on three main points. Avoid being rejected for minor technicalities as well as putting forward a strong and legitimate case which must then be backed up by evidence, not just words. Let me explain this in more detail. Make sure all the technical bits are in place, then decide on which basis you think Twitter should verify your account (Twitter will not verify an account simply because you are a real person), usually your profession will be your reason that you meet the criteria for verification, then supply Twitter with links to webpages that confirm all the facts; remember, the person reviewing your request might know nothing about you or your company.
The technical details include the following:
Your account should have a profile photo and also a header photo (not the default avatar), both pictures should reflect the account holder.
The email linked to your account should be a ‘personal domain’ email address, not a Gmail or Hotmail etc. Ideally the domain should be with the company or organisation that your profession is linked to (i.e. a BBC journalist should have their BBC work email linked to the Twitter account). Make sure that the email address is verified: you can check this by going into your Twitter settings.
Your account should have a verified phone number; this can be checked or edited in the settings tab.
You should add your date of birth in the twitter settings, although you may choose that no one other than yourself should be able to see it: this is not a requirement for corporate twitter accounts.
Your bio should be completed with information about your profession or the company you work for.
You should add a web link in the website section; this link should also reflect your profession.
Your tweets should be visible and not protected; this can be changed in the privacy settings tab.
And finally, your display name should be your real name or stage name. Here’s a little secret though, nearly everything can be changed after an account is verified, besides for changing the username and protecting your tweets which will automatically result with the blue/white tick being removed.
Now to explaining your profession.
This is where most people need a reality check, does your profession meet the criteria for verification?! Lets assume it does, as you wouldn’t want to hear otherwise, you need to focus on facts, not ambition; remember, anything that doesn’t help your case, don’t bother including it. Don’t say I am planning to do this that and the other, as that doesn’t help you meet the criteria right now.
Followers and Tweet count is not taken into account when considering verification, so don’t even bother mentioning that you have lots of followers, as it’s irrelevant and unnecessary.
Saying that people are impersonating you will also not help your cause, as it’s not a reason that helps you meet the criteria, so don’t bother mentioning it in your verification application (Twitter have separate forms to report impersonation).
You also don’t need to include other information that they already have, i.e. your twitter username, cut out the clutter and focus on describing your profession.
But evidence is the single and most vital part of the application, which most people overlook; include links to webpages that focus on you and/or your company, ideally the articles should include information about your twitter account too. If you are part of a wider company or organisation you should get a link from the official company website that has information and a link to your Twitter account, or even a link to a Twitter list from the main company account that includes your twitter account as part of the official tweeters from the company or organisation.
Here are a few examples: A footballer should provide a link to their profile page on the club’s website, and a journalist should provide a link to their bio page, which usually includes a list of articles they wrote.
Provide at least two links, but the more links you send them, the more you increase your chances of becoming verified. Remember, Twitter will not guess that your account is genuine, if they are not 100% certain that your account is actually you, they may reject the application even though you meet the criteria, so it’s important the links you provide include information of your Twitter account. Most accounts that meet the criteria for verification shouldn’t have an issue finding two articles about themselves or their company, if you do struggle, maybe you should have a deep think whether you really meet the criteria for verification.