Establishing a “verified” Twitter account can be even more important than snagging a great handle. Why? Because if your group or client has any imitators, he/she/it will be battling them in order to establish authenticity. We know people tend to trust whatever they find on the Internet (ha ha), but do you have any idea how many fake Justin Bieber accounts exist? Stephen Colbert couldn’t even create Bill Clinton‘s account under his own name because so many people claiming to be him already tweet on his behalf (and that must be really annoying!).
This whole “are you authentic” thing is especially important to smaller brands and personalities looking to gain a little publicity via Twitter, because sometimes people don’t pay enough attention to this sort of thing! For example, we were fooled earlier this year by a fake MetLife Stadium account that made a couple of jokes at the Superdome’s expense during the Super Bowl. Guilty as charged!
At any rate, the parents of company co-founder Jack Dorsey now face the same verification problems as everyone else — and they’ve started a campaign of sorts to resolve the issue. This isn’t necessarily encouraging news, but it should serve as a warning/lesson for PR pros with relatively low-level clients who want to expand their Twitter presence:
@verified you should verify me I’m jack’s dad.
— Tim Dorsey (@Tim535353) April 9, 2013
Twitter I’m not @verified….Should I be?
— Marcia Dorsey (@marciadorsey) April 9, 2013
Francis G. Slay, mayor of the Dorsey’s hometown of St. Louis and a longtime family friend, also got involved in calling for their verification:
— MayorSlay.com (@MayorSlay) April 9, 2013
While Twitter hasn’t issued a statement on the matter, the original story notes that the Dorseys aren’t quite worthy of verification because they don’t qualify as celebrities or big-name “influencers.” In other words, not enough people care whether they’re legitimate or not.
Fair point. And no, this isn’t all that big of a deal. But it very well could be if someone starts imitating/defaming your client and the public has no clear sense of which account is legitimate (or if a certain gullible blog is fooled into reporting on your client’s fake feed).
Oh, and check out this interesting post about the verification process. It seems more complicated than it has to be!