How To Make Your Social Media Channels Accessible for Everyone

[Approximate Reading Time : 4 mins]

According to a 2019 PEW Research Center survey, 72% of all Americans use some form of social media, with the majority using at least one platform daily. In light of many businesses’ reliance upon social media marketing, it is in their best interest to ensure that their social posts are accessible not only to people with disabilities but to the broadest possible audience.

Why Increasing Social Media Reach Matters

Most businesses understand the value of using social channels for:

  • Building their brand awareness
  • Expanding their reputation
  • Engaging their audience
  • Demonstrating their expertise
  • Fewer may realize that they miss opportunities to attract significantly more customers by overlooking features of their posts’ critical components.

Ways To Make Social Media Posts More Accessible

Businesses can take various measures to increase their reach by focusing on making their posts more inclusive. Although the Web Content and Accessibility guideline’s compliance standards do not specifically mention social media accessibility or inclusivity, serving more people’s needs inevitably helps businesses build brand awareness and increase their bottom line.

Text

Using concise and straightforward text can benefit all audiences, but it is indispensable for engaging users with disabilities who use screen readers. Accessible social media posts are short without all upper case lettering. Instead, they have camel case letters in the main body and hashtags to facilitate screen reader translations. Keeping hashtags at the end of a post can help readers avoid confusing text interruptions. Trigger warnings at the beginning of posts can alert sensitive individuals about content.

Images

Alt-text inclusions allow screen readers to describe images that visually impaired individuals are unable to see. Image descriptions that incorporate keywords also help search engine optimization and promote brand awareness.

Videos

Adding captions to videos in social posts allows people with hearing difficulties to enjoy them and reinforces the non-native speakers’ understanding of content. When videos have captions, people can also enjoy them in settings where sounds are prohibited. Incorporating descriptive audio can also describe non-verbal aspects of videos, including gestures.

Colors

The World Wide Web Consortium recommends an ideal color contrast ratio of 4.5 to 1 between text and its background for maximum readability; however, blue, green, yellow and red color combinations are challenging to discern.

Emojis

Overusing emojis can be inconvenient for people who use screen readers because they can interrupt the flow of text with words necessary to describe the image. Descriptions must repeat as emojis repeat, leading to confusion about a post’s meaning. To learn more about how Amnet can help your business increase its social media channels’ accessibility and inclusivity, contact us at hello@amnet-systems.com to schedule a consultation. You can also check our creative content production services at https://creative.amnet-systems.com/.

 

Sources

  1. https://digital.gov/resources/federal-social-media-accessibility-toolkit-hackpad/
  2. https://www.cabvi.org/articles/how-you-can-make-social-media-more-accessible/
  3. https://www.afb.org/about-afb/what-we-do/afb-consulting/afb-accessibility-resources/afbs-social-media-accessibility
  4. https://www.hearinglikeme.com/5-ways-to-make-websites-more-accessible-for-deaf-people/
  5. https://uxplanet.org/6-principles-for-inclusive-design-3e9867f7f63e
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