When we think of social media marketing, terms that often come to mind include things like reach, engagement, frequency, and relevance. In other words, we consider how many people are seeing our posts and how often, how many are actively commenting, sharing, liking, etc., and how closely the content matches what they want to experience.
Engagement with clients, customers, and potential leads is always important for growing and maintaining your business’s online presence – including those with disabilities, which is why ensuring your posts are accessible to everyone should be an essential part of your strategy.
Today, we would like to share with you how making the most of the various accessibility tools at your fingertips can act as a valuable asset of your marketing strategy.
1. It sends a positive message about your brand.
Over the last few years, more and more importance has been allocated to creating inclusive content and promoting diversity. Brands that actively seek to do these things gain a lot of respect from consumers because it shows a level of corporate social responsibility and conveys the message that these brands value the well-being and positive experiences of everyone, and embrace opportunities to bring more people together.
2. It grants opportunities for wider reach and engagement.
These days, most of the major players in the world of social media platforms have a reasonable to wide variety of accessibility tools, from supporting alt text in photos (including carousel ads) to allowing you to customize subtitles and/or use text-to-speech in videos, to encouraging the use of Camel case – capitalizing each word in a hashtag.
Simply put, these things are meant to allow for people with disabilities to consume the information on their feeds with as much ease as people without. By using these tools for your own content, you are doing the same thing, and thus opening the door to many more customer relationships than you would have had otherwise.
Some of the specific ways in which these things help users include:
- Adding alt text to any image you want to include in a post. Thanks to screen readers like Jaws and voiceOver, this allows for visually impaired users to learn what the photo contains even if they cannot see it themselves. Better yet, it lets them do so without the description or ad copy becoming overly cluttered – a point that benefits both sighted and non-sighted users since things can both be seen clearly and read smoothly by the screen readers. Sites that allow you to add alt text include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (Yes, even on carousel posts), and LinkedIn.
- YouTube and TikTok do not allow for alt text since they are for videos, but they do allow you to include text-to-speech. However, the risk of using this is that viewers cannot toggle TTS on or off, so it should be used in a way that doesn’t disrupt the experience too much for those who do not need it. For example, if there are people speaking in your video, or if is it an ad with existing voiceover, TTS should be used in between those things so none of them interrupt each other.
- Ensuring high contrast in your graphics. This may seem like an obvious point, but it is important to keep in mind. In most cases, it would be difficult even for a fully sighted individual to make everything out in a post with light text on an equally light background, for instance, meaning it would be even harder for someone with a visual impairment. The same can be said for dark text on dark backgrounds.
The colour scheme you select has a lot to do with this point. You want to use the colours associated with your brand and existing logos, of course, but this means it can often be best to place them on backgrounds of contrasting colours. The good news is that it is possible to achieve this while still selecting background colours that work well with everything else.
3. It opens the door to greater CRM and customer service.
Whether you have a well-established customer relationship management system or are in the process of developing one, making your content accessible to everyone involved – employees and customers alike – can go a long way in earning trust and goodwill. Putting this kind of effort in shows you care about the relationship and making sure everyone benefits equally from it. In other words, it communicates a level of commitment from you that will likely lead to higher customer loyalty.
When it comes to all these things, it is advisable to stay informed about any new accessibility options that are added by social media platforms so you can ensure your content remains viewable to all. If you need assistance adding accessibility into your social media marketing strategy, we are here to help! Click here to fill out an application form and learn more about hiring us.