Inclusivity In Social Media Marketing: How To Make Your Posts Accessible
Be mindful of the small things that matter
One in four people in the United States has a disability, the CDC reveals. Over 10% have cognitive impairments, almost 5% have visual impairments, and 5.7% have hearing impairments, while an increasing number of people also now rely on text-to-speech technology. An inclusive social media marketing strategy is therefore key to ensuring everyone can consume your content, attracting a wider audience, and boosting your social media engagement.
Build accessibility into your company culture
By incorporating accessibility throughout your entire business – and not just in your marketing campaigns – you’ll find your marketing efforts have a much wider reach. So, work on making cultural changes across your organization. Accessibility should become a priority in your hiring practices, team building efforts, communications, and community initiatives, for example. As a result, your business will benefit from better brand awareness, diverse talent, improved employee morale, and increased productivity and innovation. It’s also important to maintain a safe and accessible working environment – a worker is injured on the job every seven seconds in the U.S.. In the case of employee injury, it’s also important to have workers’ compensation insurance in place. Workers’ compensation provides financial aid and healthcare benefits to injured workers, and is a legal requirement for employers to maintain in most states.
Make your text accessible
Screen readers aren’t able to interpret fancy fonts, or even individual words in hashtags, which means inclusive text is essential in your social media campaigns. So, avoid trendy or creative fonts in your posts. Also, take care to format hashtags correctly by using CamelCase – a writing practice that involves capitalizing the first letter of each word (#ShareACoke instead of #shareacoke, for instance). Similarly, avoid all caps. Screen readers find it challenging to identify words in all caps, and may also wrongly interpret these words as acronyms. And, if you’re using acronyms, spell them out fully the first time you use them in a post. Screen readers (as well as people unfamiliar with the acronym) will therefore find your text easier to understand. Ideally, your posts should also contain clear, short sentences, and simple, straight-to-the-point language. Avoiding jargon or technical language will make your posts accessible to people with cognitive impairments, as well as non-native speakers.
Include descriptive alt text
“Despite being rule #1 of web accessibility, missing and inappropriate implementation of alternative text is still the most problematic aspect of web accessibility”, WebAIM, a non-profit organization based at Utah State University reveals. Alternative text (alt text) describes the appearance and function of images and GIFs in your posts, and therefore allows people with visual impairments to visualize the images correctly. Although a number of social media platforms generate alt text automatically thanks to object recognition technology, doing your own custom description is more reliable. Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter, in particular, let you add alt text manually.
Inclusivity in social media marketing is essential to business success. By building accessibility into company culture, making your text accessible, and including descriptive alt text, you can reach a wider audience and improve your engagement.
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