When it comes to sharing information, social media is one of the most valuable tools in any business’ marketing arsenal. From increasing brand awareness and partnership building, all the way to product promotion and consumer engagement, there are a number of different ways social media can help drive sales and improve overall sentiment towards a brand. The very focal point of social media marketing is cultivating and catering to a particular audience and that’s why it is important to make sure your social media is accessible to the masses.
There are over 13 million disabled people in the UK today; that’s around 20% of the population. On their own, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms aren’t particularly accessible for users with disabilities or learning difficulties but there are steps that you can take to improve this. We’ve created this short guide to highlight some of the ways you can ensure your social channels cater for a wide variety of users
Whilst Facebook’s image captioning capabilities can serve a similar purpose, Twitter is really the only social channel that offers a service specifically designed to cater to those with visual impairments. Twitter’s “image descriptions” is a recently added function that allows users to describe the content of an image they are posting. Unfortunately, this function needs to be switched on before it can be used. Follow the instructions below to activate the image descriptions function on PC.
- Click on your profile icon and select Settings and privacy from the dropdown
- Click Accessibility
- Find the Compose image descriptions checkbox
- Check the box to turn the setting on
- Click Save changes
Now whenever you add an image to a tweet you will see an Add Description option on the image preview thumbnail.
Add Closed Captions to Video Content
Adding closed captions to video content is especially helpful to those who are deaf/hard of hearing and to users who speak English as a second language. There are many different ways to add closed captions to your video content and YouTube even offers an automated closed caption service for videos. If you have the time and the software you should add closed captions to your video content before you upload it. Facebook’s help section even offers its own guide to captioning videos for the platform.
Use Plain English & Keep Information Clear
Users with visual impairments may use “talk back” or “read-aloud” apps or software to browse their timelines. Content creators should keep these in mind when composing a message. Spelling mistakes or making up new words make it difficult for apps/software such as this to do their jobs and make it difficult for users to understand what you’re saying.
Using plain English is beneficial to users on the autism spectrum and those with dyslexia too. Making sure key posts are kept short, concise, and written using simple language allows users to better understand your message and what your brand is trying to encompass.
It’s important to keep instructions clear so users know exactly how to carry out an action and what will happen when they do so. This is beneficial to dyslexic users, autistic users, users who speak English as a second language, elderly users, and even users with anxiety.
Understand Everybody’s Needs Are Different
Most importantly of all, make sure whoever is running your social media understands they are going to be interacting with many different types of users. Your social media manager/s should use a calm and informed approach when handling questions, complaints, and negative feedback. Avoiding vague responses helps users with disabilities and or learning difficulties resolve problems quickly. Offering alternative lines of correspondence such as telephone or direct message can make it easier for the visually impaired and those who struggle processing large chunks of text to communicate with you.
Our Social Media and Community Management teams are dedicated to delivering first class content and representing your brand in the best possible light. That’s why we make it a priority to work towards ensuring all our clients social media channels are accessible. Whether you’re looking to expand your audience or re-think your social media strategy we can help!
Find out what we can do to help your brand shine, contact us on email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on telephone at +44 (0) 1253 885 581.