Digital marketing today is all about reaching the right people - images, SEO, good descriptions, are essential to any business wanting to reach out to customers. But are you considering everyone in your target market?

Some people use screen readers to tell them what is on their computer screen. Some people use reading words instead of hearing speech. When you see content that you don’t understand (perhaps one in a language you don’t speak and Google Translate isn’t doing its job) do you tend to just scroll past it? You should expect the same treatment if a screen reader can’t read your content or a silent video makes no sense to the viewer (this includes people in noisy offices!)

The spending power of the ‘Purple Pound’ is estimated to be around £249 billion. Read on to ensure that your social media doesn't miss out on a slice of that!

Hashtags

Make sure everyone can understand your hashtags by capitalising the beginning of each word in a hashtag to make them screenreader friendly - screenreaders will recognise that a capital letter indicates a new word and will read accordingly. #ScreenReaderFriendly

Putting subtitles on videos

If you have ever watched Prime Minister's’ Questions with subtitles on, and fallen about laughing, you will know how irritating Youtube’s own subtitles are. Ensure accuracy by using a website like  https://www.rev.com/ or https://ezgif.com/video-subtitles to add subtitles before uploading to your platform. (Embedded videos are more successful for reach than a link to Youtube anyway).

Ensuring the text can be heard the way it is read

Screenreaders only recognise abbreviations when there are full stops between each letter. We mention Corporate Social Responsibility a lot, and to save letters, we use ‘C.S.R.’ on Twitter and image descriptions.

Image description on Scheduling Platforms

Seeing Social now uses Buffer to schedule posts, as it allows image description as standard. You simply upload an image, click on the thumbnail and input your description.

Below is a quick guide to image description for separate social media platforms, and how to do it if it is not offered:

Facebook

When uploading a picture to Facebook, before pressing ‘post’ , hover over your image preview and select ‘edit’. On the next screen, hit ‘alt text’ and input your image description. Press save on the bottom right and then post!

Screenshot of how to put alt text on Facebook post

Screenshot of putting alt text on Facebook image

Twitter

First make sure you have selected ‘Compose image description’ in your settings. Twitter explain how to do this.

Then as with Facebook, click on your image thumbnail then enter a description.

Screenshot of how to add alt text to Twitter image

Screenshot - adding alt text to Twitter image

LinkedIn

As of January 2019, LinkedIn has enabled Image Description for all images. Simply click on 'Add Description' once you have uploaded an image.

Ensuring that everyone can understand your posts is definitely a form of Corporate Responsibility. If you use us to communicate with your customers, we will ensure that alternative text is standard as part of our posting services. Contact me today for a free consultation to find out how we can help meet your social media requirements.

5/11/18 - Jo Barber, jo.barber@seeing-social.co.uk