Quick tips for making your social media posts more inclusive

Technology has the ability to unite us globally and provides us with information in an instant, helping us to learn, be more efficient at work, and meet new people. With the majority of us staying at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, communication through digital technology is more apparent in our daily lives than ever before.
21-May-2020
Girl using smartphone

Technology has the ability to unite us globally and provides us with information in an instant, helping us to learn, be more efficient at work, and meet new people.

With the majority of us staying at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, communication through digital technology is more apparent in our daily lives than ever before.

The third Thursday in May is Global AccessibilityAwareness Day (GAAD) encouraging businesses and services all over the world to host events and share the latest learnings and developments in digital inclusion.

Across the world, it is estimated that 1 in 3 people and more than two thirds of internet users have social media accounts. For some of us, using social media is a relatively easy experience and it’s often the first thing we see in the morning and the last thing we check at night.

But all social media experiences are not the same. For a large number people, one or more of their senses are impaired, which greatly impacts on their use of social media and digital technology more broadly.      

With so many businesses and organisations using social media as their primary tool for customer engagement, it’s important to ensure the information you share is accessible for all.

In recognition of GAAD we have developed some quick and easy tips to help you write more accessible social media posts.

 

Quick tips for a more inclusive social media

  • Text
    Hashtags are a great way to get people sharing your information so be sure to start each new word with a capital letter e.g. #BetterAccessMap. This is commonly known as CamelCase. This helps to visually differentiate between the words, assists people with dyslexia and makes the hashtag easier to understand when using screen reading technology.

    Keep it simple, less is often more when it comes to social media posts. Always maximise your first three sentences as this is often when your text will disappear unless someone opens the full story. Avoid using jargon or acronyms that may confuse the reader.

  • Images
    Alternative (Alt) Text provides a written description of images for people using screen readers. Screen readers read out the text and are often used by people who are blind or vision impaired. When writing Instagram or Facebook posts include descriptive text with your photos to ensure you convey the meaning or content that is displayed. See Web Accessibility Tutorials: Images to find out more about images and Alt text.

    Additionally, if you use images that have text in them, make sure all the information in the image is also part of the text in your post.

  • Videos
    Adding captioning (subtitles) in your videos can assist people who are hearing impaired or deaf and provides a clear translation of the dialogue and any important sounds. Adding captions can also be beneficial to all your customers, particularly if they are viewing your videos in noisy locations or quiet locations where sound is not appropriate.
         


We hope these short tips have been helpful and you feel confident about creating accessible social media posts. We will soon be releasing a more comprehensive resource to support businesses and organisations to ensure all their digital platforms are accessible and inclusive. Email us at capacitybuildingprojects@vinnies.org.au if you are interested in receiving a copy of this when it launches.

If you would like to find out what events are happening across Australia in recognition of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, head to the GAAD website. Be sure to check out their resource page where you can find a list of tools and programs to check your digital accessibility.


Clair Hoffmann

Project Officer Better Access Map