Top Tips: Making Your Social Media Posts More Accessible

Social Media is how we communicate these days - and that includes the 1 in 4 New Zealanders with access needs or disabilities. By ensuring your social media posts are accessible you’ll reach 100% of customers, and gain a reputation for accessibility.

Yellow background. Close up of a hand holding a phone with the Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Chrome, Gmail, Spotify and Messenger Apps.

Why you should incorporate accessibility into your business and social media marketing strategy

Research shows that social media use in on the rise, especially since COVID-19. Making your social media posts accessible is the right thing to do in order to be more inclusive to the 1 in 4 New Zealanders with access needs. It also makes business sense.

Firstly, you will be reaching more potential customers. With over 1 million New Zealanders with access needs, and 1.85 billion people with disabilities worldwide, Access citizens now represent the largest untapped market opportunity in the world. (Read more about the opportunity of the access economy on our blog).

Secondly, being known for a commitment to accessibility is good for business. Consumers are increasingly favouring values-led brands, especially those that genuinely committed to diversity and inclusion. (Read more about the brand advantage of accessibility over on our blog).

 

What does it mean to be accessible to your diverse audience?

It’s important to remember that not all your followers have the same needs when accessing digital technology.

Your social media followers with visual impairments may use screen readers or zoom technology. Some may be hard of hearing or Deaf. Others may have learning, reading or sensory needs.

There’s a lot of good information on the web discussing a variety of different technology users’ needs (including this resource).

We’ve put together a list of top tips to help make your social media more accessible to diverse users.

 

Top Tips to get started

1.   Images

Alt Text

When uploading images to Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, remember to write alt text (a basic written description) for each image. This will be read out to people using screen readers. (Don’t assume the platform writes alt text for you- while some automatically generate alt text, it is not reliable).

Image Descriptions

Adding an image description in the caption means that everyone can access this information. It is a good option when the image requires long, detailed or complex description.

Transcribe Memes and Gifs

Screen readers may not be able to read memes or gifs so write a description to convey meaning within the post text.

 

2.    Text

Formatting

Plain text is best. Stay away from customizable font and formatting, as this is unreadable for people using screen readers.

Emojis

Keep this to a minimum, for those using screen readers.

Hashtags

Remember to use Camel Case for hashtags. Camel Case is when the first letter of each word is capitalised,and it makes hashtags much #EasierToRead for people using screen readers.

3.    Images with text overlay

It has become popular to overlay images with text. If you do this, ensure the text is in the alt text, and stick to the following guidelines:

Colour Contrast

Apply the same colour contrast guidelines that you would on your website.

 

4.    Video

Captions

Captions are better than subtitles, as captions describe all speech and sound such as background noise and music, making all video content accessible.

Did you know that most people watch videos on social media with the sound off these days?

(Facebook business allows you to have captions automatically uploaded- however the auto-captions are not always accurate, so make sure you review them!)

Transcripts

Provide transcripts of videos as they may be preferable to captions for those using screen readers.

Transcripts are also useful for people who are short on time, and want to skip to key information.

 

5.    Podcasts/Radio Interviews

Transcripts

Ensure you provide transcripts of podcasts or radio interviews for your followers who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

Transcripts are also useful for people who are short on time, and want to skip to key information.

 

6.   Stories

Stories are very popular on social media at the moment. Please be aware that screen readers will not read text or images on stories.

For Blind or Visually Impaired followers, a variety of content such as videos or live chat will ensure everyone can interact with your content.

For your Deaf or Hard of Hearing Followers, Instagram now has the option of auto-captions for videos on stories.

 

More Top tips for Digital Accessibility:

How accessible is your online content and interface? Read our top tips for making websites and apps accessible.

Are your work documents accessible to all users? Read our top tips for making your documents accessible.

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