For some, social media prominence and being recognised and followed on various social media networks is a top priority – especially if that is a source of income too. Social media influencers rely on their social audiences to help generate income by scoring brand partnership deals and contracts. Over the last decade there has been a significant increase in the number of influencers and content creators across all social media networks with a particular focus on Instagram and TikTok with audiences engaging with visual and short-form video content. Although we love to scroll through the largely frivolous pictures and watch the videos that influencers post online, it’s easy to forget the work that goes on behind the scenes to continuously create content. Social media can be a demanding space to play in, as well as an incredibly competitive one – with new influencers entering the scene daily, it can take a lot to stand out consistently enough to build a sustainable audience and social community.

One of the original demarcations that separated social media users from influencers was the coveted blue tick. Now, over the last few years the criteria required in order to obtain a blue tick across the various social media networks has changed. Most notably and recently, when Twitter was acquired by Elon Musk and rebranded as X, Musk commercialised the blue tick and made it possible for users to purchase the tick instead of ‘earning’ it through meeting the previous authenticity criteria. Over the last few weeks, Musk has now made it possible for X users with over 2500 followers to attain the blue tick for free. So, what does it really take to get verified on the different social media networks in 2024, and is that even still relevant?

Well, some argue that getting your profile verified – whether as an individual or a brand adds credibility and helps distinguish that profile as one with an established track record of content creation, authenticity and authority. On most social networks, having a verified profile also gives the profile priority when it comes to search results and therefore makes the profile more visible which in turn gives it a greater chance of content engagement. From an Instagram perspective, there are a few steps that need to be followed in order to achieve the verified profile, blue tick status. The first few steps are relatively easy as they involve establishing an account, showcasing that you are a real person, as well as that you are a unique person or business and complete your profile including having a bio as well as a profile picture and ensuring that it is an active public account. The second part is harder, as you need to showcase that your account is a ‘notable’ one meaning that it has some established presence, recognition or authority in that area. Being featured on multiple external news sources is a great way to do this.

Lastly, if all the above criteria have been met, then you need to submit an application to Instagram for the App’s approval. Some of the tips given to increase your chances of getting verified include increasing your Instagram following, as well as getting media mentions.