Getting verified on Instagram is a significant milestone for influencers and brands, and a major boost to the follower count and popularity on the platform.
Verification makes you part of Instagram’s elite, indicating that you’re credible, authentic, and noteworthy – as well as giving you access to additional tools and features. It’s easy to see why the blue badge is challenging to obtain, and why it’s so important for brands and influencers to have.
If you’ve tried applying for Instagram verification but keep getting denied, it’s time to re-evaluate your strategy and find out where you’re going wrong. Here are ten reasons why Instagram may be rejecting your application.
1. Missing or incomplete bio
If your bio is too general, inaccurate, or altogether missing, Instagram will deny your verification request. Before you apply again, invest some effort into creating a well-written, on-brand bio that accurately reflects who you are and what you do.
2. No profile picture
Seems pretty basic, but you could get denied simply for not having a profile picture – even if everything else about your profile is in order and meets Instagram’s requirements.
Choose an image that’s appropriate and relevant to your brand. Influencers and other individual public figures should opt for a photo of themselves. Although it doesn’t need to be a formal, LinkedIn-style headshot, it should nonetheless be professional enough to inspire trust.
3. Links to other social media profiles
It may appear counter-intuitive, but Instagram specifically states that in order to get verified, ‘Your profile can't contain "add me" links to other social media services’.
Before your next attempt at verification, make sure to remove any such links from your bio and other content.
4. Lack of activity
Technically, Instagram requires a minimum of one post on the profile in order to qualify for verification. Still, the more high-quality content you’ve posted, the better.
Celebrities and other high-profile public figures can probably get away with just the one post, but for the rest of us, we need all the help we can get to be verified.
5. Not enough media coverage
Instagram calls this being ‘noteworthy’. In practice, it means that to have any chance at getting verified, you need to have had some press published about you.
Verification requests are reviewed manually. If the person checking your application does a Google search for your name and comes up with nothing, there’s no chance of getting verified.
In general, it’s recommended to have at least 10 publications focusing on you. Any fewer, and you’re considered not important enough to merit verification.
6. Weak or unsuitable publications
Still on the topic of media coverage, quality is just as important as quantity. Your Instagram verification request may be getting rejected because your publications are not strong enough: 10 mentions in a local newspaper won’t matter nearly as much as 10 features in Entrepreneur magazine.
Also, Instagram states that they don’t ‘consider paid or promotional content as sources for review’ – so, if your publications have clearly been sponsored, they won’t count.
7. No presence outside of Instagram
Instagram doesn’t officially mention this as a verification requirement, but it’s implied that if you’re a public figure, brand, or otherwise noteworthy in some way, you should be easy to find outside of Instagram, too.
Having a high-quality website, a relevant and authentic Wikipedia page, and a good presence on Facebook and other social media will help with getting accepted next time.
8. Running multiple accounts for the same brand
Do you have more than one Instagram account for your brand and content? If so, that could be why you were denied verification. In addition to being authentic, your account has to be unique – so stick to one profile.
The only exception to this rule is when large, global companies – such as Netflix – create language-specific Instagram accounts for audiences in different countries.
9. Deemed a general interest account
In order to get verified, your account has to represent ‘a real person, registered business or entity’, as Instagram puts it.
If your profile is focused on a particular topic, instead – say, urban photography – without concentrating on you as a person and brand, it’s going to get you rejected.
10. Lack of followers and engagement
Just like with the level of activity on your account, there’s no official requirement to have a lot of followers before applying for verification. While you’re not likely to get rejected for having few followers if you meet all of the other criteria really well, it does help to have a large following if you’re not exactly a celebrity.
As you can see, getting verified on Instagram is a complex and challenging process, especially if your brand or influencer career are just taking off. Contact us to find out how Famous Influencer can help you ensure that your next Instagram verification request will be approved!