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Sunday, May 1, 2016

How to get VERIFIED on #SocialMedia platforms-By Kemi Omololu-Olunloyo #HNNTech



Verification on social media tells the followers and fans of social media personalities and public figures that the pages they are following are the authentic pages. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and even Society6 online store verifies accounts. I am verified on all of them except Twitter and Instagram which may be coming soon. The fact of the matter is that social media companies are not paid or told to verify a page as a must.

I woke up in September 2015 with an e-mail from Facebook saying that my page Facebook.com/HNNAfrica now has a “blue verification badge” and that my account was reviewed by them as an authentic global Journalist and public figure. It also came as a strange notification that had my picture on it.

Though I was pleased, I’ve been on Facebook since 2004 in the college network days as a beta tester, verifying my account could not have come at a better time when a fraudulent Nigerian built a Facebook fan pages in my name trying to defame me. He was actually imitating me posting things I never said portraying me in a bad light. The page had 4000 fans and it was gaining popularity. Even when I posted on there that my page with 15,000 at the time was the “real” page, nobody believed it. I then asked all 15,000 to flag and report the fake page and since Facebook needs only 6 flags to kill a page, 15,000 were enough and the page was deleted.

This is the reason why celebrities, Journalists, media houses, public figures and musicians get verified. Facebook has verification badge requests in certain jurisdictions but not in Africa. Google Plus also has a system of identity verification that will be extended to channels that have linked with a verified Google+ Page or Profile.

I contacted Twitter in California for an interview and they basically told me they constantly review accounts and content all the time. I remember in 2008 when I joined twitter, you could send your verification request in which I was told, but procrastinated on. Twitter no longer takes verification requests. I still have 2 fake defunct accounts imitating me using my image and I plan to have them flagged. Twitter concluded in my interview that their branches in many countries ultimately review accounts to complete the verification of local accounts in that country. Newly verified accounts by Twitter Nigeria last week include The Punch Newspapers, NTA News and former minister Oby Ezkwesili.

Society6 is an online store that uses the blue checkmark on one’s profile once they have verified your PayPal account when people make purchases. Instagram which is owned by Facebook says being verified on Facebook does not automatically get you a verification badge on Instagram and vice versa. One must continue to link their website to their pages to keep one’s brand authentic. Instagram.com/HNNAfrica is not verified yet.

Pinterest will allow you to verify your page if you have a business account. They have the html code to insert in your website and will bring out their new globe icon verification button which used to be a red checkmark. Finally the psychology of verification. People online think you are super big on social media, everywhere I comment on Facebook has my comment as the highest ranked even if the thread had 30,000 comments, mine is always at the top, but verification also solidifies your brand and keeps my advertising prices steady because people know I have an authentic brand and audience.

One big complaint on Twitter is why socialites who do absolutely nothing are verified. Karrueche Tran, Blac Chyna and Amber Rose are the most complained about. No reality shows, dating rappers and yet have verified accounts. Of course, they are public figures. So am I! JJ Omojuwa, one of the most eloquent social media figures in Nigeria is verified on twitter but not on Facebook and I am the opposite.

So it’s a matter of waiting for your turn.

First published on Social Media Africa Hub

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