Digpu PostOpinion

Why is social media verification trending in the Indian PR industry?

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter Verification PR enquiries have increased by 300% in the past 15 months – Explained by Kunwar Devender Singh

It was only around 18 months ago when a negligible percentage of our PR content projects used to be demands for digital PR news publication for the purpose of social media verification by entrepreneurs and corporate clients at Digpu. It is astonishing to compare the same data to that from March 2021 with a humungous 300% increase in the last 15 months. An analysis of this data, the content and some other factors have led to the discovery of some interesting facts.

Who is looking for Social Media Verification?

There are mainly 5 types of enquiries under this category for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram Verification

  1. Ecommerce Brands
  2. Startups
  3. Young Entrepreneurs
  4. Influencers and Marketers
  5. Social Activists

Why individuals and brands looking for verified accounts?

Online Sales:  Companies and Brands that are engaged in selling products through social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook are also aggressive towards social media verification. Many fashion brands are also looking for a verified account to save themselves from imposters.

Competition:  While talking to several startups, we at Digpu News Network asked them how social media verification will help improve their business. A few start-up owners were of the opinion that it will help them secure funds from VCs and Angels, but interestingly, most of them were confused. It will be fair to say that they had no idea about the utility of having a verified social media account but wanted to do it because most of their competitors had done it.

Trending: In the past 15 months, we at Digpu have received more than 500 enquiries for social media verification, a significant number of them being from very young people having a tentative budget lesser than Rs 30,000. They wanted a ‘Blue Tick’ on their portfolio to come off as genuine, important or special. These young adults aged between 16 and 25 age group, claim to be Serial Entrepreneurs, Digital Marketing Gurus, Multipreneurs, Inspirational Entrepreneurs, SEO Experts, Social media experts etc.

At Digpu, we have rejected almost 90% of such work and published merely 10% of it. Only the content that adhered to our stringent guidelines was published, after complete fact-check and background research. However, we have noticed an alarming level of such unverified work directly being published in the mainstream media through other mediums.

Influencers & Marketers: A large number of social media influencers and marketers are also conscious about their verified accounts on social media platforms especially Instagram and Facebook. With regard to them, it is understandable that verified accounts will help them earn more perks and brand associations, which are the sole source of revenue for them.

Social Activist: There has been a rise in demand for verified Twitter Accounts, which has been both, surprising as well as shocking for us. In several cases, we asked such people to share their content draft with us in order to check their socio-political inclinations and found that most of them claim to be social activists. We have tried to stay wary of these portfolios with the apprehension that they might be used for trolling or spreading misinformation on Twitter and could put a big dent in the PR industry.

Who actually needs a social media verification and Why?

Now the question arises who actually needs social media verification (Blue Tick) and how does it help them?

Social media verification is required by celebrities, brands selling products on social media platforms, political leaders and people who can influence a majority, in order to secure their account from duplicity and to avoid any misuse. For example, if there are ten different accounts on the name of Amitabh Bachchan on Twitter, the Blue Tick will help his followers and new people to identify a duplicate and a real account. Political leaders and other people who can influence public opinion, generally require a Blue Tick. Similarly, brands engaged in selling products on social media platforms need a verified account to avoid fraudulent companies selling copies of their products. On the other hand, a person who is hardly known in his own neighbourhood and is still keen to get his/her account verified seems unnecessary and inappropriate.

We started Digpu News Network with a mission to showcase deserving and skilled Indian companies, startups and entrepreneurs by publishing their success stories in the mainstream media. We do not endorse any unverified content. Every day we reject an insane amount of content work, simply because it does not fall in line with our principles of authenticity and honesty. We guide businesses on ways to spend their money in showcasing their business USPs and features instead of singularly focusing on social media verification. We also urge all our fellow mainstream media partners to be more cautious while publishing any content without a proper background check. If such content gets published unverified, it will decrease the value of digital PR and lead to the promotion of fake content in the long run.

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Kunwar Devender Singh

Kunwar is a passionate writer, philanthropist and a social worker. He is the founder of Brave Hearts (India's First Crisis Helpline for Indian Armed Forces), Digpu News Network, Save Earth and Digital Punch.
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