All Bowdoin social media account managers and content creators should make sure to use the accessibility features within each social media platform. Features continue to rapidly evolve, so refer to platform documentation for the latest information.
If you have questions about using any of these features, please contact Chelsea Doyle, Digital Community Manager.
Tips and Best Practices
Try to avoid using text on images. It can be hard to read for some people, especially if it is blurry or the color contrast is poor. If text is used on an image, be sure to add the same text caption of your post.
Videos must have open or closed captions so that the audio of the video is represented with text and synchronized with the video. This is useful for everyone, especially when viewing on a mobile device.
Hashtags and Mentions
Put hashtags and mentions at the end of your post. Punctuation marks are read aloud by screen readers, so hashtags or @ mentions can be distracting.
When creating and using hashtags use camel case. This makes it easier for people to read and screen readers to decipher. For example, use #NationalPolarBearDay rather than #NATIONALPOLARBEARDAY.
Use as few emojis as possible. A screen reader will read the emojis to the user. One flower may be cute, but four flowers could be annoying as the reader says “flower, flower, flower, flower.”
Color and Contrast
Pay attention to color contrast and do not rely on color as the only way to identify something. Want to test colors you are using to see if they pass? Visit WebAIM’s color contrast checker.
Meaningful Link Text
Avoid using the following text, “click here” or “read more.” It provides no context for a person using a speech-to-text device and does not let them know what the link is.
Accessibility Features Within Each Platform
Facebook offers auto-generated captions and alternative text, but content creators should make sure to review and edit these captions and descriptions for accuracy.
Images posted on Instagram should have alternative text and videos should include captions.
- Accessibility Options in Instagram
- Use the New Captions Sticker to Add Captions to Video Used in Instagram Stories
- 5 Ways to Make Your Instagram Account More Accessible Right Now
- Instagram Releases Auto-Captioning for IGTV in 16 Languages
Add alternative text to your images and caption files (.srt) to your videos on LinkedIn.
YouTube offers automatic captions for your videos, but these captions do not meet the accuracy requirement outlined in the Bowdoin captioning policy. If you use YouTube captions, make sure to edit them accordingly.