In early July, the Government Communication Service (GCS) released a statement that helps encourage us all to create accessible social media campaigns. According to the GCS, one in five people suffer from impairments, illness, or disabilities that impacts their ability to
understand the messages you and I are sharing through our Social Media Communications.
I encourage you to have a look at this report. It will take a few minutes of your time and will allow you to tweak your social media content in a way that improves the efficiency in which you deliver your message. As well as making your content more accessible for those who may be impaired, the tips included within the report also allow you to ensure all of your social communications are easily understood by the masses.
Not much is new, in honesty. In fact, some of the tips you'll see are things that you've heard me and the Green Umbrella team suggest for many, many years! So, for me, it's fantastic to see similar guidance coming out from a government channel. (It makes it seem like I might know what I'm talking about! Ha Ha!)
As I said previously, the report was first released in July – and it's already had an update. As social media continues to evolve and develop, I strongly believe this report is something we need to look at regularly. As publishers, the guidance will help us all ensure that more and more of the people who see our content are able to easily read, and better understand our communications.
What stood out?
Let's give you a run down of the tips within the report that stood out for me and had my head nodding in agreement as I read.
- When writing social media posts, avoid using bold italics in your
text as it makes things more difficult to read. – There is a trend of people doing this right now because they believe it makes the content stand out more in newsfeeds and, Yes, it is more noticeable. However, it actually makes the text trickier to read – this isn't a good reason to stand out! As an alternative, why not just create really good content!
- Avoid using symbols instead of words as it confuses screen reading software. – This isn't something many people would consider as being a problem, but now you've read it, you're probably thinking it makes perfect sense!
- If you're adding a call to action (such as ‘Read More') within your text, make sure to add some context for the audience. – So, rather than just saying ‘Read More', to make it more accessible, a better option would be ‘To read our eBook on Five things to do on LinkedIn click here.'
Don't forget your imagery
There is also some useful guidance on using imagery, a subject we've covered in this blog a few times over the year. One of the points raised in particular is something I'm often saying to my social media coaching clients.
Do not crowd text into your social media graphics.
I see this mistake time and time again. Quite often, it's when reviews or testimonials are being shared within a social media image. The entirety of the text of the testimonial gets used and the size of the font is then reduced down to a point where it's almost impossible to read in order to get everything on the image. Instead of doing this, just pull a line or two from the testimonial, essentially, just quoting a certain element of it on your social media graphic. You can always add the full text of the testimonial within the body of the post if you feel it's necessary.
I really do want you to look at the GCS report, that's why I have only included a few points in this article. In addition to these, you'll find a whole host of bullet points relating to keeping your imagery and video accessible, they talk about subtitles, even Gif's are discussed!
Please do have a look at the report, especially if you are fulfilling the role of a social media manager. Yes, some of the points included in the report are obvious; but there are also some key reminders of the things you should be paying real attention to and things you should ensure you are implementing within your social media activities.
Read the report here.