On Twitter, you have what is called a verified account. In Twitter’s words, a verified account is among the solutions that they are beta testing “so users can trust that the accounts they follow are legitimate.”

Furthermore, when Twitter users visit a verified account, they “know that tweets coming from well known personalities, organizations, government agencies, and others on Twitter are the real thing!”

The verified account feature is Twitter’s way of ensuring that a celebrity Twitter account actually belongs to the celebrity or operating on their behalf. It’s not just for celebrities, but for people and organizations that are well known, as well. Among the verified Twitter accounts that I am following, and are following me back, are business speakers and consultants Chris Brogan and Gary Vaynerchuk, rapper Gorilla Zoe, singer Lady Gaga, Ford Motor Company and my buddy Wayne Sutton.

This got me thinking: why not have verified accounts on your forums? Create some policies and requirements through which you verify the legitimacy of accounts tied to well known individuals and corporations. And then go out and invite celebrities within your niche to the community.

Explain to them the power of your community, the value of participation and the guidelines within which they can participate. The bigger your community, the more likely it is, but you never know. There are celebrities of all stripes and the one that would mean something to your community may ready and willing to hear an idea like this. You may need to contact their management, PR or some other type of handler.

If they agree and you verify them, give them a special rank image (that only verified accounts can have) and welcome them to your site. Link the verified rank image to your page explaining what a verified account is (similar to what Twitter does). You may need to give the person some special consideration. For example, you might turn off their private messages, so that they aren’t bombarded with them, whereas you might not offer that feature to other members.

Giving your members access to someone like this creates yet another benefit for them. It’s beneficial for the celebrity, as well. Plus, it brings buzz, traffic and content to your site. All while building relationships that could continue to be mutually beneficial down the road.