As marketers and purveyors of great content, our days are filled with questions like, “How is my video performing,” “What should we post next month for [insert holiday here],” or, “Do I really need to resize that image for Facebook?” (The answers are “Great!”, “A cute video,” and “Absolutely.”) But when was the last time you wondered, “Are my social channels inclusive?”
According to the World Health Organization, about 15% of the world’s population lives with some form of disability. This could be anything from someone temporarily needing to use crutches to a learning disability. Think about this: 466 million people worldwide have some kind of hearing loss or deafness. Globally, 285 million people are visually impaired or blind. And in 2018, an estimated 2.65 billion people were on social media.
How many people are facing barriers like these to interact with your brand on social media every day? Here are 3 easy ways to make your social more accessible to everyone.
1. CamelCase Hashtags
CamelCase, or CapCase, refers to capitalizing each word in a phrase that isn’t separated by spaces. Look at this example:
#blaskoffwithrocketchimp vs #BlastOffWithRocketChimp
Which is easier to read at a glance? Audience members who rely on screen readers to consume your content will hear the first as one long phrase, whereas the second will be read as individual words. Now everyone can quickly read and understand your hashtag.
Take for another example, Amazon’s hit car show, The Grand Tour, and this newspaper ad.
Be honest. How did you read that at first? Now, knowing these three guys, that was probably intentional. But it’s better to be safe than #SorryNotSorry.
2. Alt Text
Alt text is descriptive text that accompanies any image that you post. On Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, it can be added when you post natively. But, social media scheduling tools, like Hootsuite and Sprinkler, allow you to add alt text to your scheduled posts, too. Facebook actually ads alt text automatically, but you can edit to make it more specific.
Alt text is important for a few reasons. It gives users with screen readers the ability to “see” photos and it is displayed if your image doesn’t load properly so even your general audience can understand what the photo was supposed to look like. (Alt text is also a great place to build in a little SEO.)
3. Closed Captions & Subtitles
The soundtrack of social media is silence. It’s the default mode of video playback on all platforms. Because users have to actually enable their volume, 92% of videos viewed on mobile are watched with the sound off. If your video has dialogue or a voice-over, chances are, your audience is not hearing it.
What can you do? You could ask them to turn the sound on in the post copy or with a sticker. But your deaf and hard-of-hearing audience still won’t be able to understand. So, add closed captions to your video. YouTube and Facebook have the ability to add subtitles automatically when you upload a video. However, this feature depends on voice-tracking technology, so they may not always be totally accurate. Don’t worry, you can also add your own custom subtitles to match your script perfectly.
It’s a small step that can lead to big results. 80% of consumers are more likely to watch the entire video if it has subtitles. And almost 40% of people said they were more likely to turn the sound on because the subtitles made the video seem more interesting to them. You’re getting more engagement AND creating a more inclusive environment for your audience.
These are just three easy ways to make your social media channels more inclusive. Because accessible social media is just good social media.
About Rocket Chimp
Rocket Chimp is a full-service marketing agency serving Central Florida and beyond. We create a personalized strategy for every client utilizing a range of creative and digital services as well as in-house video production. Schedule a free consultation with our team to discuss your business’s advertising needs today!