Welcome to the Social Smarty Show, your weekly podcast for social media marketing tips, tactics, and practical digital marketing advice. Let's get you taking real action to grow your online audience, build connections, and your business. I'm your host, Jody McIntyre. Think of me as your digital marketing coach, cheerleader, and wingwoman all rolled into one. Grab some of my social media marketing know-how for free at socialsmarty.co/freebies Now, before we dive in, make sure you subscribe so you don't miss any future episodes.
Meta has rolled out Meta Verified or paid subscriptions for both Facebook and Instagram. And I bet you have questions. What benefits do you get? Who can sign up for it? Is it worth paying for? In this episode, I'll be answering all of those questions for you today. But before we dive in, I want to let you know that I have been really busy working on my online store, which is full of templates to help you grow your business. From social media post templates to ebooks that you can use as lead magnets in your own business. There are a ton of resources there that are completely editable and customizable just with a free Canva account. Check out all the templates at socialsmartystore.com okay, let's get into it.
As one of the first in the world to get access to Meta Verified, I am ready to dish all the dirt, but let's start with what is it? What is Meta Verified? So if we have a look at the description provided by Meta, it talks about it's obviously a paid subscription that includes account verification, impersonation protection, increased visibility, we'll come back to that soon, and extra support.
So those are the key benefits to Meta Verified for both Facebook and for Instagram. So let's break that down a little bit further. So Meta goes on to explain, and I'm going to read a quote here, we want to make it easier for people, especially creators, to establish a presence so they can focus on building their communities on Instagram and Facebook. Basically, it's a product for creators, for people, for public figures, for individuals. It isn't necessarily a product for businesses. Unless, of course, you're someone like me who's a coach, a one man band, a business where it's all about you. You're the face of the business. You are your own personal brand. That's really the key to who this product is aimed at. With this in mind, what do you actually get when you sign up for Meta Verified? So number one, you get a shiny badge, that nice little blue tick next to your name on Facebook or Instagram or both if you sign up for both. And that's basically saying that you are the real you. So it's protecting you against people who are impersonating you. And that's also a benefit to me to verify.
Do you get protection from impersonation through something they're calling proactive account monitoring? So I haven't really found out any more information around what actually proactive account monitoring is. Obviously, we can interpret it as someone at Meta checking in on our accounts or checking in for fake accounts, but I'm not 100 % on that one there. But it is interesting. If you are having issues with people impersonating you or creating fake accounts in your name and using your image, then yeah, this could be a real benefit for you. I'm not quite big enough that that's an issue for me. So for me, that's not really a draw card. Okay, so next up, we have the increased visibility and reach. Now, this one's really interesting. I'm in New Zealand and I was one of the first to be able to sign up for Meta Verified because it rolled out in New Zealand and Australia first. But now Meta Verified is rolling out to the US. And interestingly, for US users, Meta has removed this benefit. Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, he went on his Stories, or it might have been a Reel, but basically he said, we are not going to include any increased reach in the US expansion for now.
So if you are US based, you're not going to get any increased reach as a result of signing up for me to verify. But for me here in New Zealand, it is still showing as a benefit. So when I go in and I have a look at my subscription details and what it includes, it is still showing that I get increased reach. So it's really interesting that they have different offerings for different countries. Now, another benefit of Meta Verified is support. So we're told we get help when we need it with access to a real person, a support person. But that support person can only help with personal account issues. So if you think you're going to sign up for Meta Verified and you're going to get help with your business account or an issue maybe you're having with your Facebook business page, don't count on it. I tried. I literally reached out to support. Once I signed up to meet Meta Verified and I said, Hey, I've got this issue going on with my business account. Can you help? And they said no. They said no, they couldn't help with business issues. They did pass my inquiry on to another support person, someone in the business side of things, but I just got put straight back into that usual support process.
It's been a few weeks now and I still haven't had an update. I'm still waiting on help there, but it wasn't that silver bullet I thought it was going to be. Now, another benefit of Meta Verified is what they're calling access to exclusive features to express yourself in unique ways. Now, this one made me laugh a little bit. It doesn't actually detail exactly what those exclusive features are. But when I went into my Instagram stories, I had these three really bright stickers that I could add to my stories. Now, when I checked my other accounts which aren't verified, I didn't have those stickers. So I think these stickers are one of their exclusive benefits or exclusive stickers based on those who just have the meta verified. Now, personally, I don't think I'd use the stickers. They're really colourful, they're fun, but I don't see that they're any better than any of the other stickers I have access to in Instagram stories. One of them is like a link in bio sticker. I can't remember what the other two were, but they're nothing major. It doesn't say, hey, I'm verified, or anything like that. And another thing is with Meta Verified for Facebook is you're given 100 stars every month to use.
Stars, these are like tips that you can give to creators. So if a creator posts a Reel or if a creator goes live, you can basically give them stars which gives them money. But the interesting thing is 100 stars, so that's what I get every month as part of Meta Verified on Facebook, that's worth about US dollar. So I did find that was a little bit funny. It is a little extra bonus you get, but I don't really see the value in it. Okay, so now we know what Meta Verified includes. What do I think you need to know before you sign up? So number one, it was first tested in Australia and New Zealand. That's why I was able to get this early access. And now it is rolling out to the US. But like anything with Facebook and Instagram, it takes a while for these new features to roll out. So if you try to sign up and you don't have access yet, then it just probably hasn't rolled out to you yet. So you'll have to check back in again. Okay, number two, as I mentioned earlier, businesses are not eligible to apply.
Now, interestingly, I do have a business account on Instagram and that is verified. So that's what I was able to use to sign up for Meta Verified. I was under the impression that I'd have to change it to a personal account or a creator account, but I didn't have to. I left it as a business account and it was verified. Now, the key thing is that I do have my name, so my full name, Jody McI nter, in my account name. So that's what they matched up with my ID to process that verification or to prove that I was that person. A little bit of a tip there is thinking about, do you have your name and your account name for Instagram? Number three, I was told it would be cheaper if you pay on the web. When you have a look at all the information about Meta Verify, there's two different prices. There's one price for when you sign up online on the web, and then there's another price for when we sign up in the app on our device. The reason for this is because when we sign up for anything or we make any payments through apps on our phone, we are paying to iPhone or Android Google a cut of that payment.
I use an iPhone, and so Apple takes 30% of any payments I make in the app. It makes sense that if we sign up on the web in a browser, it's going to be cheaper. But what I found is I wasn't able to sign up on the web. So I tried a number of different browsers, but every time I went to sign up, I would get to a point and then it would say, Great, now open up the app on your phone. Now, I wonder if this is a New Zealand specific thing because we don't have the ability to buy things through Instagram or Facebook. We don't have those payment processes available to us. So I wondered if that was just something I experienced here in New Zealand. But it was really frustrating. I wanted to get that extra, cheaper pricing, but it just kept driving me through the app, and that's how I had to sign up in the end. Right, number 4. Before you sign up, make sure that your account, so either your Facebook or Instagram account, depending on which one you're signing up for, make sure the name that you have on that account matches your photo ID.
So what happens when you're signing up is you scan your ID. So you can't use a photo that you already have on your phone. You literally have to get the ID and scan it, scan the front, scan the back. And what Meta is looking at is does the name on the ID match the name on your account? So if you're on Instagram and you're a business and you don't have your own personal name in your account, you won't be able to get Meta verified. Now, the other thing is your profile photo. So your profile photo must match your ID. So you can't be using a logo, for example, as your profile photo on Instagram because they are looking to see your face, your appearance to see if that matches your ID. So if your appearance has changed since your ID was issued, or maybe you have a profile photo that doesn't really look much like you, it's artsy or you've got filters or effects on there, you may need to change that before you apply. The fifth thing I think you need to know is that when you use the support, so as I mentioned, yes, you get access to a real person, but the support is literally filling in a form and waiting for someone to email you back.
So it's not like you can just jump on chat support or call a phone number or anything like that. But I must admit, when I did submit the form, the response was really, really fast. So I had a message back, an email back from Meta Concierge within a couple of hours, but it is still filling in the form. So as I mentioned earlier, I went ahead and I requested support for an issue I was having with my business account. And the response I got was to say, I'm sorry, we can't help with that. We can't help with business issues. So okay, you're thinking, that all sounds good. Yep, I'm still keen to sign up. How do I do it? Now, I did fill in a form for a waitlist a long time ago, weeks ago, and I had nothing back. So I just assumed it hadn't rolled out yet. But then I thought, Oh, I might just check. And so when I went into my app on my phone, I could actually see it sitting there. So I recommend not waiting for a notification or an invitation. Just go in and check if it's in there.
So what you need to do to check is you need to find your account centre. So if you're on your Facebook app, you're going to click on the menu right down in the bottom corner there, and then you're going to look for settings. It should be up at the top right. Then you're going to scroll all the way down and you're looking for account centre. When you click on that, that's where you'll see Meta Verified. On Instagram, it's really similar. You're going to click on the three lines at the top. Then we're going to select settings. We're going to scroll down to account centre at the bottom and we're going to go ahead and sign up. Now, if you don't see Meta Verified sitting there, it just means it probably hasn't rolled out to you yet. But keep checking in because it will be rolling out at some stage if you're in the US, New Zealand or Australia. If you're outside of those countries, I have no idea when it's going to roll out to you, I'm sorry. Okay, so just so we're clear, you do need to sign up for me to verify it on each platform separately.
So you'll need to do Facebook and you'll need to do Instagram separately and you'll have to pay twice. So basically you're signing up for a monthly subscription for each. So if you choose to cancel, you have to cancel each. You don't just cancel one and hope that it's canceled both. You'll need to go back into both Instagram and Facebook to cancel. Okay, so what do you do? You found where to sign up. First of all, you need a copy of your photo ID. As I mentioned earlier, you can't just use a photo of your ID that you already have saved on your phone. You'll need to have it with you because it basically scans the front and then it scans the back. Now, you need to check your profile photo and your account name match your ID because if they don't, you will get declined. And if you are declined, there is a stand down period. So you'll have to wait before you can apply again. But the decision, in my experience, was really quickly. It was within an hour or two, I had a response to say, Yes, I have been accepted. And that was for both Facebook and Instagram.
Now, we're coming to the big question, is it worth signing up for? Should you do it? Should you fork over the cash? Now, in my opinion, if you want to sign up to get support with an issue you have, it's probably not going to be worth it. Chances are they might not be able to help you there. At least the issue is strictly personal, like on your personal account. But if you have a business issue, then no, don't bother using the support there. Now, if you want to sign up for increased reach, if you're in the US, obviously not. We know it's not included. But in New Zealand and Australia, I personally haven't found that being verified has increased my reach. So I have a really good handle on what my average reach is. So obviously working in social media and I haven't seen any increase. So for me, I just don't think that would be worth it. Now, if you want to sign up to prevent impersonation, absolutely. I think that's a good idea. That's a good reason to become verified. If that's an issue to you, if it's a concern, go ahead, sign up.
I think that could be a good way to prevent that impersonation happening. Now, if you want to sign up for those exclusive features, access to exclusive features, save your money. It's not worth it in my experience. I haven't seen anything that has gone, Wow, I'm so glad I have access to this. Okay, so there's a couple of questions I want you to ask yourself before you go ahead and sign up for Meta Verified. Firstly, ask yourself, if I was going to sign up for Meta Verify it, and this is for Facebook, do you want or do you want to or do you currently use your personal profile to build your personal brand with the public? In my world, I don't. I generally use my personal Facebook profile to just connect with family and friends. When I publish something or I post something, I'm doing it to my friends only. Now, of course, sometimes I post public posts, but mostly my Facebook personal profile is for personal use. Verifying that I'm not a big famous public figure, so for me, it doesn't really make sense. Now for Instagram, I want you to ask yourself, are you happy to have your own name, your personal name, in your account name.
Now, if you're a business, it might not make sense to have your name and your account name. And also your profile image. Are you happy to use a photo of yourself? Many businesses use logos. Are you happy to change your name? change it to a photo? Because you'll need to do that to get verified. And if you're in Australia or New Zealand and you're thinking, Great, this is a great way to get more reach, get more eyeballs on my content. Well, I would ask yourself, Is it easier just to spend the same amount of money on boosting a post, promoting a post, or running a short promotion? That way, you have guaranteed increased reach. Spend that 30 bucks or whatever it is that you're paying a month, or you would be paying a month for me to verify it, and run a paid promotion to get your increased reach that way.
So there you have it. That's all my thoughts on Meta Verified. I would love to know if you have any questions at all. I'd love to hear from you. Have you signed up? Will you sign up? What are your experiences? Come on over to Instagram or TikTok and have a chat. You'll find me @socialsmarty.co right, until the next episode, stay social.