Social Media

Bowdoin maintains institutional accounts on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube; in addition, dozens of departments and offices maintain their own social media accounts.

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

Alternative Text

Use meaningful image alternative text where possible. Need ideas? Refer to “Alt-text as Poetry” by Shannon Finnegan or WebAIM's alternative text guide.

Images

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.

Video Captions

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.

Hashtag Style

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.

Emojis

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

Facebook offers auto-generated captions and alternative text, but content creators should make sure to review and edit these captions and descriptions for accuracy.

Instagram

Images posted on Instagram should have alternative text and videos should include captions.

LinkedIn

Add alternative text to your images and caption files (.srt) to your videos on LinkedIn. 

Twitter

YouTube

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.