There are many steps that go into creating your business, and marketing it online. One step that sometimes gets overlooked is making sure the URL and social media handles are all available.

Once you figure this out--and begin posting--it's important to create a trustworthy brand identity online. What small businesses struggle to achieve early on, is getting followers to believe that they are a very real and thriving business.

One sure-fire way to inform new followers to the legitimacy of your online business is to get a verified Twitter account. Having that fancy little blue check mark on your profile sends a signal out to the world, alerting them of your status. Getting this done was nearly impossible back in the day; you had to be chosen or deemed worthy of the stamp.

The social media gurus over at Twitter have now decided that they themselves cannot stumble upon all of those worthy of the mark alone, so they've enlisted the users to hunt down the movers and shakers.

Also, you're finally able to apply to be verified yourself! This is great news for business owners, especially those who have a throng of parasitic fake accounts from whom they're desperately trying to separate themselves.

Basic Information

Filling out a Twitter verification request is easier than ever. To complete the form, you must be logged into the account you are attempting to verify, and have the following listed on your account:

  • A verified phone number
  • A confirmed email address
  • A bio
  • A profile photo
  • A header photo
  • A birthday (for accounts that are not company, brand, or organization accounts)
  • A website
  • Tweets set as public in Tweet privacy settings

Profile and Account Recommendations

Most verified accounts have a few things in common, and these tips will help you to also become verified. It is important that the name of the account reflects the business name. If you are a celebrity or personality your Twitter handle should be closely related to your own name.

For example, if your business is called Jim's Donuts your Twitter handle should be something like @JimsTastyDonuts, not @JimsSnackEmporium. The email address used should be a company email, and the profile photo or header should be related to the business as well.

Additional Information

You may be asked for additional information to explain why you above everyone else should be verified. Hopefully you've done your due diligence in building your brand by this point, and can provide helpful links to show that your business is something that people are interested in, or is newsworthy.

What is your mission? Providing links that show your company has been in the news lately, or is relevant to your field is a great way to gain validity. Even though you're applying as a business, you still may be asked to supply a photo of your government issued Identification to prove you are who you say.

I am sure you can think of a few companies who you might expect to be verified, I sure can. If you've been to Miami recently you might have stopped into a Panther Coffee shop, or tried to but the line was wrapped around the building.

I thought they would be verified already because of their popularity as of lately, but upon checking they were not. There stores have been popping up across the street from Starbucks newer locations. Perhaps it would behoove them to fill out the Twitter verification form and get themselves that fancy blue check mark.

Unfortunately not everyone will be approved, that would defeat the purpose. If your side business is mowing lawns in the neighborhood, and you don't have a web presence your chances at being approved might be slim. 

Now the Hard Part: Waiting

After you've submitted this information, you must wait for confirmation which will be sent via email. Remember, this will go to the email account associated with your Twitter profile. There isn't a time listed as to how long this will take, but I would assume they have many applications to filter through so be patient.

If you are accepted, congratulations! If by chance you are denied, you may apply again after 30 days of receiving the denial email. A lot can change in 30 days, so make it count.

You're well on your way to proving your business as being valid and newsworthy, bravo. When managing a business online is it important to take the necessary steps to ease customers minds about shopping with your company. Remember, the internet is still viewed by many to be the "Wild West."

Settling their fears and proving to be trustworthy is key when selling online. You can accomplish this by offering well known and trusted methods of payment, customer reviews, and by getting your social media accounts verified. Soon you'll have throngs of new customers discovering your brand, and even recommending it to friends and family.

If you've got any other ideas on how a small business can build their customers trust online, let me know in the comments section above.