The Harbinger Group

How to Emphasize Accessibility on your Social Channels

Google “importance of accessibility on … “ and “social media” will be the first search term that pops up. 


Accessibility for social media users has become a growing topic of conversation as multiple types of platforms continue to develop and grow their audiences, spanning all age groups. As the number of users grows, it’s important for your business or brand to create an inclusive experience for your followers. 

According to a study conducted by Kepios, there are 4.74 BILLION social media users around the world as of October 2022. That’s nearly 60% of the global population! This information proves the importance of creating content that people from different backgrounds, cultures, countries, ethnicities, religions, etc. can understand.

The easiest place to begin as a content creator is to make sure your social media content and messaging is clear, concise and easy to understand. This is something most of us know to be a fundamental part of what we do as marketers, communicators, journalists, etc. But it can be easy to forget when we’re working to break down complex concepts for our audience.

The World Health Organization reports that as of 2022, more than one billion people worldwide experience some type of disability. If your content cannot be consumed by those with vision, hearing or motor skills impairment, cognitive disabilities or difficulty speaking, then your content is likely not inclusive. As social media marketers, it’s important for us to remember when creating content that we may be connecting with someone who is a non-native English speaker or someone who is color blind. 

So, in case you’re not familiar with creating accessible content, we’ve come up with a few tips to keep in mind as you communicate with your audience.

  • Keep text simple and accessible
    1. As mentioned above, keeping your language simple and easy to understand is a great place to start. Make your call-to-actions clear and descriptive (rather than “click here for more,” try “sign up now,” “subscribe,” “check out the full schedule”).
    2. Make sure your font size is large enough to read easily in graphics, images or videos.
    3. Be careful with emoji use. Look up how they translate to text before including them in your copy.
    4. Avoid special characters. These may also be read differently than you intended through text-to-speech tools.
    5. Use camel case for hashtags for text-to-speech tools (#WomensHistoryMonth versus #womenshistorymonth)

  • Add text to your images and videos
    1. Utilize the alternative text (alt text) features to describe an image.
    2. Be descriptive when writing captions.
    3. Auto-generate captions for YouTube and Facebook videos or upload a supported file.
    4. Upload .srt files for Twitter and LinkedIn videos. 

  • Turn your text into voice over
    1. Use text-to-speech features that convert typed text to voice over for visually impaired users. 
    2. Try using auto captions for your Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat stories or for your TikTok videos. 
    3. Add video descriptions to highlight sights and sounds that are not included in closed captions.

  • Be cognizant of how you utilize color and special effects
    1. Don’t use color as a primary way of communicating meaning in a post. Remember not everyone sees color the same. Different cultures see different meanings in the same colors. Some users may be color blind. 
    2. Be aware that some users may be sensitive to flashing lights and images. It doesn’t hurt to provide a warning for any special effects that may trigger photosensitive epilepsy. Some platforms, like TikTok, even provide a feature where users can opt out of content with special effects. 

  • Be open to feedback
    1. Encourage and welcome feedback from your followers to continue to make your content more accessible to them. 
    2. A recent example of this from Twitter:

  • Finally, continue to educate yourself!
    1. We, as social media marketers, all know how imperative it is that we continue to educate ourselves in this ever-changing, fast-paced digital landscape. 
    2. Attend webinars, subscribe to blogs or newsletters, and follow influencers and content creators who promote accessibility on social media. Influencer Intelligence has a list of its top ten disability rights activists to follow ASAP.

  • Tools and resources
    1. Meta’s Accessibility Page
    2. Twitter’s Accessibility Account 
    3. LinkedIn’s Accessibility Policy
    4. TikTok’s Accessibility Information