We’ve all seen the blue “verified” checkmarks coveted on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Usually these go to industry experts, public figures, and celebrities who have a high follower count and are likely to be impersonated. Users can apply for the verifications and some platforms (like Instagram) are more stringent about giving them out than others. But… that is all changing rapidly. Here’s why:
Shortly after his acquisition of Twitter, Musk introduced “Twitter Blue” where users can pay $8 a month or $96 annually to get a blue check mark and a variety of other benefits, like the ability to post up to 4,000 characters per tweet. In fact, Musk is even going a step further with his plans to launch a gold check mark which will retail for $1,000 a month. Musk told Social Media Today that the reason he’s taking check marks to the marketplace is to “level the playing field.” What’s more, we are also seeing evidence that Meta might follow suit with monetized check marks.
Needless to say, there is a lot of chatter for a little checkmark. So… what’ in a verification checkmark anyway?
Social proof, authority/expertise, and scarcity.
These three things are not only powerful marketing strategies, they are proven theories of persuasion that help any brand get consumers closer or to conversion.
With the future looking a bit muddled over the meaning of a verification checkmark (if anyone can buy it, doesn’t it take away some of its scarcity, social proof, and authority?), how can businesses mimic it’s power?
- Add social proof to your social media accounts. Maybe sure that you regularly post testimonials, reviews, and stats that highlight your success.
- Add scarcity to your social media accounts. Are you the only business in your industry or local area who does or sells a certain thing that consumers like? Do you have specialized training in areas that your competitors don’t?
- Add authority to your social media accounts. Are your degrees or certifications in your bio? Do you post about awards and recognition that you receive?
- Do it over and over again. As marketers, we worry about saying the say thing too many times. As consumers, we read over 100,000 words a day. Social media marketing is ALL about saying the same thing in a different way over and over again.
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in symbols, badges, and verifications on social media but they are all rooted in basic marketing principals, which can be mimicked in many ways.
Bring my above advice to life by getting a piece of paper and dividing it into three columns. Label them 1) Scarcity, 2) Authority/Expertise, and 3) Social proof. How many post ideas and updates to your social media and digital bios can you come up with in each column? Then, how many different ways can you write each post so that you can consistently say the same thing in a different way again and again?