GVSU Social Blog

Permanent link for Four tips to make your social media content more accessible on March 4, 2021

Social media should be accessible for all, but that’s often not the case. 

Leaving out alt-text, overusing emojis and writing in all-capital letters are all errors we’ve made while creating social media content. 

It’s on us as social media managers to stay up-to-date on best accessibility practices. When accessibility is left out of a social media strategy, it’s a missed opportunity to connect with members of your audience. 

Follow the four tips below to create more accessible social media content. 

Include image descriptions

Writing an alternate description, also known as alt-text, helps people visualize an image when they can’t see it. 

Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook have specific fields to add alt-text for images and GIFs. Include descriptive captions in post copy when providing alt-text is not possible.

Remember to transcribe copy in the image, if it is crucial to understanding the image (example: a graphic or chart). 

Make sure videos have captions

Captioned videos assist people with hearing impairments, but they can also help people watching with the sound off or those who are learning the language the video is in. 

How do you add captions? Here’s a guide from Hootsuite.

  • Facebook: Auto-generate captions, write them yourself, or upload a SubRip (.srt) file. Automatic closed captioning is also available for Facebook Live and Workplace Live.
  • YouTube: Auto-generate captions, transcribe them, or upload a supported file. Errors can be corrected with the caption editor. Automatic captions are available in English for YouTube Live
  • Instagram: Automatic closed captioning is available for IGTV Live and IGTV. For stories, there is a "sticker" that automatically transcribes the video and adds captions. Video captions must be added to in-feed posts in advance. 
  • Twitter: Upload an .srt file with your video. 
  • LinkedIn: Upload an .srt file with your video.

A paid service University Communications uses for generating SRT files is rev.com

Write hashtags in “Camel Case” 

Capitalize the first letter of each word in a hashtag to make it more legible for everyone and prevent screen reader issues.

Instead of writing hashtags #LIKETHIS or #likethis, make sure to #WriteLikeThis, a practice often referred to as “Camel Case.” 

Writing in all capital letters can be misinterpreted by all, so it’s best to not overuse them. Include hashtags and @mentions at the end of copy, as they can disrupt the caption. 

Don’t use fancy characters or emojis in the middle of copy

Consider how special characters and emojis sound they are read by a screen reader. 

Special characters that create different fonts on social media sound jumbled, and emojis are read as their descriptions. Example: “pleading face” and “dizzy.” Before using emoji in social media copy, check Emojipedia to learn how it translates to text.

Categories: best practices strategy
Posted by Meagan Saxton on Permanent link for Four tips to make your social media content more accessible on March 4, 2021.

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Page last modified March 4, 2021