The social teams behind prominent public figures and popular brands face unique challenges when it comes to their social media presence. Not only do you manage an incredibly high volume of incoming messages from fans, media, and customers, but you also have to deal with the nuisance of copycat and impostor accounts.
Among others, Twitter has been proactive in creating a more manageable experience for its high profile members through verified accounts. The social network concentrates on highly sought members in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business, and other key interest areas.
Twitter’s blue verified badge does more than just signify to people that yours is an official profile. As a verified member, you have access to special features that can enhance your overall Twitter experience.
As we mentioned, whether you’re a celebrity or a company, you handle high volumes of incoming messages on a regular basis. But once you have your blue verified badge, you’ll be able to better manage the large number of incoming conversations. As a verified user you can display your notifications and mentions in one of four ways: “All” (default), “Filtered,” “Verified,” or “People you follow.”
Selecting “Filtered” will show mentions based on an algorithm Twitter uses to filter out spam. Choosing “Verified” means you’ll only see mentions from other verified accounts. While the latter is helpful if you’re collaborating with other prominent members, it’s not ideal for engaging fans. Keep in mind that Twitter’s verified feature isn’t available to the general public — so mentions from fans and customers won’t be included in the “Verified” filter.
While the previous feature focused on creating a better experience for you, in this case, Twitter is making it easier for your fans and customers to follow along. Visitors to verified account profiles will have the option of viewing your timeline with or without replies. Sometimes direct replies to others can crowd your timeline, making it difficult to see tweets that might be more interesting. By default, “No Replies” is selected, but people can choose to view your complete timeline by clicking “All.”
Unrestricted Direct Messages
In 2013, Twitter experimented with a new opt-in setting that would allow you to receive Direct Messages from any of your followers, regardless of whether you followed them. The experiment lasted just over a month before it was phased out; however, it wasn’t removed for good. Although the majority of Twitter members don’t have access to this setting any longer, verified accounts do.
As a verified member, you can choose to receive DMs from all followers by opting in from the Account settings tab. This is significant, especially for customer service at major brands, as keeping up with large followings isn’t always easy. It can also be embarrassing for the sender who has to ask to be followed back in order to message you.
More recently, Twitter introduced two new mobile features for verified accounts. First, on iOS and Android, you can be notified whenever another verified account follows you. This can be very helpful for accounts with large numbers of followers that want to be made aware when collaborators, partners, and other public figures follow you.
The second feature, which is only available on iOS for now, gives you the option of viewing only your verified followers from your mobile device. While this likely won’t be as useful as some of the previous features, Twitter hopes that its new tools will help verified users more easily connect with each other.
If your account has already been verified, you can begin using these features at any time. Currently verification requests from the general public aren’t being accepted. If you’re chosen to be a verified account, Twitter will contact you.
In the meantime, if you’d like to show that your account is authentic, a good way of achieving this is by linking to your Twitter profile from an official website. An even better option is to add Twitter’s follow button to your site so visitors can follow you in just one click. This way there’s no risk of anyone accidentally following an impostor account.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.