By not getting verified. Of course!
There’s a lot of spam and weird stuff on the internet. Sometimes you really can’t tell what your getting into when you click on third party links. At one point in everyone’s lifetime, you will accidentally (or intentionally, no judgement) get sucked in to a porn vortex that will crash your browser or, ::gasp::, operating system.
Breathe! Social Media is continuously adapting to protect its users from spam. And if you use Twitter or Instagram at all, then surely you’re familiar with fake/ghost accounts. Last year Instagram tried to resolve this by purging millions of fake accounts, which artificially pump up followers for celebrity accounts. But that’s not all, according to a New York Times article. But how does this affect you? Not much really…the occasional like on Instagram from some spam account – but who doesn’t like it when all those little hearts show up?
As a reader, this does have an affect. I’m not just going to click a link on any random website or account. I don’t want a virus on my computer or my phone to bug out. I want to know that there’s a real person to connect with behind that account or blog, that it’s not just some cash cow or secret window to some porn lords basement. Amiright?! Especially if I am doing research on something – a project, an outfit, gadgets.
.. cocktails, vines, “world’s stupidest” anything. 😉
As a blogger, YouTuber, whatever…you know the value of having a returning visitor. Someone who comes back and is loyal to your brand or site – those are the ones you’re going to have the most valuable and meaningful connections with. As a returning visitor to many YouTube channels and blogs, many of my favorite sites are “verified”. It shows me that someone took the time to prove their site is legit, so it’s seems completely logical that most visitors trust those pages (at least more than the pages without a verification). It also helps in case someone tries to copy your profile and create a fake account.
Unfortunately, unless you’re Kim Kardashian or President Obama, Facebook (and Instagram, owned by Facebook) and Twitter don’t hand those verification’s out to small brands and users or a blogger like me. BUT there are tons of others platforms that DO in some capacity or another!
Here are a list of platforms that will verify you (you can easily cross promote all of your platforms along these) – (and yes, I have each of these. No, it’s not that time consuming lol)
Google Plus Business Page Verification
Google Plus, launched 2011, Pages for brands, celebs and more, also introduced a manual authenticity process attainable even for small time bloggers like me. So, things are a lot easier than seen before with Facebook and Twitter verification. To get the coveted verification check-mark you just need to fill out a request and of course meet the shown conditions.
Check out mine here
Pros: I was able to link to all my other platforms, easily viewed on the main profile to anyone who visits my site. I also get that cutesy little check-mark that insinuates Google has verified me as totally legit. (too legit to quit)
Con: Google+ hasn’t really taken off like other “big box” social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram (owned by Facebook), and Twitter.
YouTube Channel Verification
Honestly, I’ve seen so many half-ass’d YouTube channels. It’s sad. You want subscribers but you don’t want to take the time to set up a little window dressing for visitors? And I’m not even talking about the videos yet. Sadly, like Facebook and Twitter, YouTube isn’t just handing these verification’s out to anyone. See here. BUT DON’T LET THAT STOP YOU.
Here’s how you can get the most out of your channel:
- If you’re creating your own videos, become a YouTube Partner!
- What does this mean? MONEY. Really. Maybe not lots and maybe not right away, but it allows you to monetize your videos. That means YouTube will display ads, that in turn, generate revenue. Learn more here
- Since YouTube is directly connected to Google+, and you’ve already just verified your brands/blogs Google+ Page, you have more creative control.
- Create a unique banner and image for your channel
Pros: Your channel looks legit. That means viewers are more likely to come back and check out your videos instead of running away because you’re greasy aunt greeted them at the front door in her bra. Once you’re page looks ready for it’s cotillion, you can preview what it will look like across television and cell-phone devices as well.
Con: If you don’t like reading instructions, or poking around with settings to figure things out. It took me just an afternoon to do it on my PC. I don’t recommend trying to do if from your phone.
Did you know Pinterest has analytic’s now? I literally just found out as I’m researching for this blog entry!
Anyways, to verify your site for Pinterest: Go to “Edit Profile”, enter your website URL. When you submit it will take you through verifying it. That way, whenever someone visits your page, your sites URL will be displayed with that cutesy little verification symbol.
You can also convert to a business site. I just did that, maybe that’s why I’m just now discovering Pinterest analytic’s. Anyone?
I really can’t beat the dead horse enough with this one, but…..TAKE THE TIME TO FIX UP YOUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL if you’re going to bother to ask people to subscribe, if you’re going to upload your own videos, or pursue becoming a YouTube Creator.
Now that I’ve done some of the work to connect you with the right resources or instructions…what are you waiting for?
You could also be selling yourself short by not cross-promoting on your social media platforms with your blog or other social media accounts. (It seems tedious, it is) But also if you’re on YouTube, be sure to link to your other platforms in the “description” section so viewers know where else they can keep up with you.
or along your channel art:
Example of my Google+ Page linked up to my other social media platforms (yes, there’s a zillion!)
For example, if you’re on Instagram, go ahead and link up with your twitter – once it pops up on twitter it will draw users to connect with you on Instagram (I know that may seem like social media 101 for some of you, but honestly, some people just don’t know).
If you’re on Twitter, give short excerpts and use sites like bitly to shorten your links (140 characters isn’t a lot, make it count).
And for heavens sake y’all, #hashtags are your friends! Especially on Twitter and Instagram. It exposes your content to a larger audience that you won’t get without those hashtags. Facebook only introduced hashtags last year and users rebelled and it hasn’t really taken off like it has on Twitter (but I think it’s more an issue of Facebook’s demographics than incompatibility).
…someone just took away my soapbox
Good Luck 😉
PS. I’ve only been blogging since March and since I’ve adopted these tips, I’ve seen a sharper increase in returning visitors and a decrease in my bounce rate! That means people are coming back and sticking around longer 🙂