How to Make Social Media More Accessible
Social media is all about building community. And for many users, it’s where they “hang out” online. For people with disabilities, social media can be an important opportunity to connect with people and brands. So if you don’t make social media more accessible, you’re not just forgetting some “technical details”. You’re alienating whole groups of people.
There’s some good news. With so many people using social media, mainstream platforms have done a lot to make accessibility easier. Features like subtitles, link shortening, and image “alternative” text all play a part.
Using alternative text – known as alt text – on images is a little detail that helps a lot. Here’s a video walkthrough on how to make your images more accessible across several major platforms:
Think about accessibility when you post. It makes the experience better overall for everyone, too. For example, 85% of Facebook video content is watched without sound. So yes, you should use captions!
Ideas to Make Social Media Content More Accessible
- Add an alternative image description to explain what’s being shown.
- Use captions/subtitles in your videos.
- Make links “readable” (e.g. website.com/blog/how-to-roast-a-chicken VS website.com/post-192)
- Capitalise the different words in a hashtag. Why? So screen readers can read it properly. #UseHashtagsLikeThis
Other ideas include:
- Using a tag like [VIDEO] or [ARTICLE] in your tweets to explain what the link contains.
- Replying to someone with a visual impairment, through an audio message.
- Having a voiceover, not just overlaid music, on your videos.
- Publishing audio recordings of your blog articles.
- Using colour-blind friendly colour schemes so your visuals are clear to everyone.
These quick ideas are just a starting point. This isn’t about getting overwhelmed. It’s about taking small steps to make your social media content more accessible. Learn more here from the University of Minnesota. Their guide breaks down the details of each platform.