In a previous post, we discussed the need to make your social media accessible to the widest audience possible. Today we are going to discuss ways to make your posts more accessible on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Something to keep in mind as we delve into this topic is the issue of scheduling software. This type of software is great for a social media manager because it allows them to set up their content and basically “forget it.” Unfortunately, not all software is designed for the best accessibility experience.
If you are using this type of software, you should check to see if it allows you to add alt text to images and other methods of ensuring your content are accessible.
If you are in the market for scheduling software, then you need to keep accessibility in the front of your mind as you look at the various features that different products offer. Don’t spend money on half-baked software that won’t fulfill all of your needs.
While this platform may not be as popular as the other platforms, LinkedIn is still a great way to market your content, especially to the more business-oriented population of your constituents. And while they may not be perfect as far as accessibility goes (hey, we’re all human!), their developers work hard to constantly improve the digital environment.
- Images – If you are adding an image to your post on LinkedIn, make sure you use the “Add alt text” button that appears below the image.
- Video – You can add captions to any videos you upload to their site, but you need to know how to make a .srt file. After you select the video you want to upload, select the “Edit” button then add your SRT file.
If you don’t know how to make an SRT file:
– Upload your video to YouTube and take advantage of their captioning feature!
– Follow this tutorial on How to Create a SRT File posted on 3PlayMedia
The development team at Twitter has done a great job of improving accessibility options, especially with images. Why does this matter to you and your company? Research shows that tweets with images get retweeted 150% more times than tweets without images!
But guess what … the accessibility is not enabled by default, so you have to turn it on using the following steps.
- Navigate to Settings and Privacy
- Click Accessibility
- Click the checkbox next to Compose image descriptions
Once you have enabled this option, you’ll be able to add alt text to your images using the “Add Description” link below the image.
As a side note, while your tweets themselves are limited in characters … your alt text can actually contain up to 420 characters!
Due to Facebook’s extreme popularity, accessibility has had to be a priority for their development team(s). The company’s help center contains an extensive collection of accessibility information for its users. This includes instructions for using keyboard shortcuts, screen readers, and more.
Facebook has made an attempt to automatically generate alternate text for images added. However, it is best practice to always proofread any automatically generated content. Here are some steps to check and add/edit the alternate text to your images on Facebook.
- Select “Edit Photo”
- Select “Alt Text”
- Read the content provided and if necessary, select “Override generated alt text”
- Revise the text as necessary
- Select “Save”
Like LinkedIn, when adding videos to Facebook, you will need to add captions. Fortunately, Facebook also accepts that .srt file we discussed earlier.
Once you have your SRT file and have uploaded your video to Facebook, follow these steps to add the captions to your video.
- Navigate to your video, select “Options”
- Select “Edit this Video”
- Under “Captions and Upload SRT Files” select “Choose File” to upload your .srt file with captions
- Select “Save”
When using Instagram for your company, avoid using the Stories feature. The Stories feature doesn’t have a way to add alt text, captions, or a descriptive audio track to your content. This first step will help you become immediately more accessible on this platform.
Instagram, like other platforms, has a way to automatically generate alternate text for images. And… like with all the other platforms, it is extremely wise to proofread and edit what the system automatically generates.
To review/add/edit alt text on Instagram:
- Tap “Advanced Settings”
- Select “Write Alt Text” under “Accessibility”
- Write or edit your alt text
- Select “Save”
Unfortunately, the Instagram platform does not allow for alt text, closed captions, or audio descriptions from within its app. This leaves you with two options to make your videos accessible.
- Write a detailed caption to describe what is occurring in the video, as well as a transcript of what is said (if there is any speaking).
- Alternatively, use another application to caption your videos prior to uploading them to Instagram.
Whew! That was a lot, wasn’t it? But honestly, most of the steps are extremely easy for anyone to implement. It is about just taking a few extra steps to go the distance, and by doing so, making sure your content is available to the widest audience possible.
Until next time…. live long life learner!
Content partially curated from SiteImprove’s Course: Accessibility for Social Media (Premium) and is not available for sale.