May '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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30 || P R I N T W E A R M A Y 2 0 1 8 INTERNET STRATEGIES B Y K E L LY " R A G S " R A G L A N D Kelly "Rags" Ragland is the owner and operator of Rags to Stitches Productions, a holistic advertising specialty company that provides a range of services, from Web design and development to customized ap- parel. Read his blog at That Coveted Check Mark Verified H istorically, the simple check mark graphic has been used throughout advertising and branding in almost every industry. Your heating and air conditioning ser- vice will boast a check mark indicating they're qualified tech- nicians. Your auto mechanics have check marks on patches indicating their certification as a qualified and certified pro- fessional. Even social media uses the check mark as a sign of verification. Getting verified on Facebook and Twitter with the coveted check mark is a great way to establish brand credibility online. The verified badge lets your audience know you're authentic, which helps your page show up higher in search results so po- tential customers can easily find your business. To assess whether or not you'll actually get that coveted check mark, you should run through a check list to make sure that these platforms will consider the quality and value of your social media properties. FACEBOOK Facebook has two verification badges. Big brands can apply for the blue verification badge while smaller local businesses can apply for the gray verification badge. Should you have multiple shops and a Facebook Page for each, you can add the gray veri- fication badge to Pages for specific locations. To benefit your verification request, investigate a few things and be sure your Facebook business page is tidy and ready for review: 1) Clean up any posts that aren't necessarily representing your brand 2) Spell check! Facebook will be looking for the utmost in professionalism 3) Replace or remove poor-quality images and videos Also, be sure your page is full of valuable information. The more details you can provide about your business, the better. Make sure you've filled out all applicable details in your business page's About section, such as addresses, phone numbers, a mis- sion statement, and company overview. The right links are also important. To have your verification request approved, you must have an up-to-date link to your of- ficial website. In addition, you must also link back to your Face- book Page from your website. In short, go through your page with extreme prejudice as if you were looking at it through the eyes of Facebook's veri- fication team. They're going to be looking at the quality of your profile, branding, posts, images, engagement, and more. When you're ready, the process is simple: 1) Click on Settings at the top of your Facebook Page 2) From the General menu, click the Page Verification selection 3) Click on Verify this Page, then Get Started, and follow the prompts TWITTER In 2009, Twitter introduced verification badges as a way to prove that celebrities, journalists, and other notable users were not fake accounts. After debates over verification, bots, phony accounts, and hackery in general, the company is restructur- ing their verification requirements to make them more open to those using the platform in good faith. The same rules as Facebook also apply to Twitter. Be sure your profile is clean, crisp, and represents your brand; your descrip- tion is clear and concise; and your posts are business driven and generating engagement. A link to your website should be used in that field of your profile, and your site should link back to your Twitter account. Once your profile looks tuned in, visit https://verification. to apply for the blue check prize. They're going to ask you why you deserve to be verified, so be prepared with a cover letter or business story that sells. Again, look at your ap- plication as if you were the team at Twitter making verification decisions and be as professional as possible. Should you find yourself getting declined, don't lose hope. By gathering more followers and creating more engagement over time, you can always apply again after your social media profiles have gained more strength. Although the verification badges aren't necessary for doing business on these platforms, they do give users a sense of confidence and provide your business with a professional, verified online property.

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