Facebook does apparently intend to enforce their terms of service and the branded content policy update from here on out. And in this post I’ll explain why Facebook doesn’t want you to “post” other people’s content, but does have a “share” button on every post.

Lest we get upset with the newly enforced policy however, we must remember that Facebook is a business and makes decisions based on it’s own best interests, just as we do for our businesses. If Facebook has decided to finally enforce a policy or update a policy, we have two choices:

  1. Choose to comply for the privilege of using their platform, or
  2. Take our business elsewhere.

The branded content policy (found here) states that “Branded content on Pages is only allowed from Verified Pages (with the blue badge)”. Non-verified pages and pages with grey badge verification will not be given the option to promote branded content. And similarly once you are blue verified you will be required to tag EVERY brand you mention whether the post is sponsored or not.

When verified, your page will have a blue checkmark next to the page title. You can see that Amy Porterfield’s page is listed with her name as the page Title and as a Product/Service, while at Love Bakes Good Cakes, Jamie has used the business name as the page Title and is defined as a Public Figure.

If you do not have a blue badge certification, you can apply for it, and I’ll walk you through the steps below. Please note, Facebook has been inundated with requests for page verification since the update to their Branded Content policy was released on April 26th, so do not expect this to happen quickly.

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How to blue verify your Facebook page:

If your page is not yet verified on Facebook, and you’d like it to be, here is how to request verification. Feel free to take notes or print out the FREE checklist at the end of this post.

  1. Go to your blog’s facebook page, and click the pencil icon on the About section.
  2. Click the pencil icon to edit the category under Page Info. Choose “People” from the drop down list (This is apparently the only category allowed to obtain blue verification).
  3. Edit the sub category to be public figure, media company, or brand. Writer or author may also be an option.
  4. Click Save.

To verify your page, you would then go to your Page settings, General, and choose “Verify Page” and follow the instructions. BUT DON’T VERIFY IT YET.

Tips for verifying your Facebook page on the first try:

If you verify your Facebook page immediately after changing the category, you will likely be turned down either because Facebook is inundated with requests currently or because they see that you just changed your category. Here are some things you can do that may give you Facebook favor when you apply to be verified:

  1. Wait a couple of weeks, don’t request as soon as you change categories.
  2. Make sure your page’s profile photo is a photo of you. You are listed as a person now, your profile pic should reflect that and be identifiable as you with Facebook’s face recognition technology.
  3. Ask some friends to organically mention your page on their personal profiles over the next few weeks, showing that you are popular and people see your information as valuable.
  4. Only share your own content on your page, showing that you respect and comply with Facebook’s policies.[Tweet “These are awesome tips for getting your #facebook page verified! “]
  5. Pay to boost some of your posts over the next couple of weeks, showing that you’re willing to pay Facebook for exposure (they’re after more money, remember.)
  6. Get a “publicly listed phone number” for your page and display it publicly in your contact info on the Facebook page and on your contact page of your website. You may also want to run the contact page URL through Facebook’s debugger once you’ve added the phone number. If you’re uncomfortable putting your home or cell phone number out there, get a business number through Google Voice.  (Note: When you do verify with Facebook, they may want to call you with a verification code. If you’re using a Google Voice number you’ll need to have your Google Hangouts open in a different window at the time you ask them to call you. Instructions by Kara here.)
  7. Be prepared with the correct documents to submit when you do apply for verification. Some page owners are reporting that Facebook could ask to see a copy of a driver’s lisence, passport, or birth certificate, to prove to Facebook that you are a real person, not a scammer with a fake profile.
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So once you’ve had a few weeks to prove yourself in your new “People” category, you can follow the steps for Page Verification in your Page, Settings, General Settings, and it should work. (Actual Facebook Instructions here). That being said, Facebook is a mystery and this is not a guarantee. For instance, it is unclear at this point if number of followers plays into verification approval. There may be more information about the verification process emerging over the next few weeks. We plan to keep this page updated as we learn more. Join our mailing list below and you’ll be notified of updates as they post.

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