Even superstars like Beyonce can’t escape the need to ensure their content marketing strategies are accessible for people from all walks of life. And for good reason. Not only is it important for reaching the widest possible audience, but normalizing a more inclusive marketing experience makes the internet much more enjoyable for those with hearing or sight impairments.
While accessible website strategies usually get the most spotlight, you can’t forget to include social media when thinking of ways to make your marketing easy to access. Update your social media strategies to include these four tips and you’ll be well on your way to ensuring your content is easy for everyone to perceive, understand, and enjoy.
Tip # 1: Nix the Fancy Fonts
If you frequent the social media platform Twitter, you may have noticed an uptick in posts with elaborate, scrolling font styles. With no shortage of cursive font generators available online, a lot of Twitter fans have taken to personalizing their posts with their own signature flair. The problem is, text-to-speech readers often have a hard time discerning the words of cursive content. To best serve your audience who may rely on these types of tools to peruse the world wide web, stick to traditional print text and let your enticing wordsmithing be all the flourish you need.
Tip # 2: Mind your Hashtags
While Twitter may have popularized hashtags, they can now be found all over social media, from Facebook to LinkedIn or Instagram. Whether you’re working to craft that perfect hashtag that captures the spirit of your post, or you’re looking to ride the waves of one that’s already been popularized — be sure that you’re using the medial capital’s version of the hashtag. Hashtags that are in all capslock mode are more difficult for some voice readers to recognize. Still a bit confused? The Goofus and Gallant explanations can be found below:
Tip # 3: Use Descriptions or Alt Text for GIFs and Images
The internet has been swallowed by reaction GIFs, and you can’t scroll too far down your feed before coming across a GIF or meme promoting a “big mood”. Similar to the issue with fancy fonts, text-to-speech readers cannot read GIFs or images. But that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on this trend if your branding calls for a good GIF or meme every now and then. Include a description with your social media post so everyone in your audience can join in on the fun.
Some social media sites like Twitter have the option to include alt text for images. To activate this option, go to your Settings and select “Accessibility”. From there, select the option to include image descriptions. The next time you upload an image or GIF, you will now have the ability to add a description. Here’s a good example of how to caption effectively:
Ex: GIF of Michael Scott from The Office, holding a mug that reads “World’s Best Boss”
If your social media platform of choice does not offer an option to add alt text, you can always include a general image description within the body of your post. Using the same GIF example as before, your hypothetical image description would look like this:
Ex: [Image Description: Michael Scott from The Office holding a mug that reads “World’s Best Boss”.]
If the image or GIF contains any relevant text, you need to make sure that it is included in your alt text or captions, as well. Some other things to keep in mind when writing captions for GIFs:
- GIFs can include a lot of different reactions, color changes, or shifts in mood. Be as descriptive as possible whenever necessary.
- Ex: Cat is drinking water calmly before the owner rolls a cucumber in their direction. Cat knocks over the water bowl as it runs away.
- GIFs and images also use a lot of visual effects that help set the mood of the post. Those would be important to include, as well.
- Ex: Happy face emoji on a blue background changes to an angry face emoji with a red background.
- If the GIF or image comes from some form of media (TV, movies, or comics, for example), then be sure to mention what piece of media the character is from. You wouldn’t want to make a post about Homer the Greek poet and have the reader think of Homer Simpson, for example.
Tip # 4: Add Subtitles for Videos
Whether you’re uploading to YouTube or another video platform like Vimeo or Instagram, it’s important to include captions so everyone can understand your content. Depending on the type of video, it may be beneficial to hire someone to caption the video for you. Freelancer sites like Upwork are a great resource for finding caption professionals. There are also apps like Clipomatic, which will automatically turn speech to captions.
Mindful Marketing Means Inclusivity
When thinking about ways to reach your target audience, you need to consider more than just PPC campaigns or community events. Keeping your social media strategy inclusive allows you to ensure your content is accessible for anyone who may be interested. Not sure how to implement these strategies on your own? The good news is: you don’t have to. EVG is a global content marketing company well-versed in helping clients from a range of backgrounds improve their strategies for engaging with their target audiences. Reach out to us today to learn how we can help you create an inclusive online presence.