Ways to be more inclusive on social media

Staff Writer Staff Writer
September 2, 2020

Jacob Lund

While not all social media platforms have accessible interfaces, there’s nothing stopping social media managers and digital creators from creating accessible content and becoming advocates for making their social space more inclusive and diverse. You’ve listened, learned, and used your voice.

Rather than only stating how important inclusivity means to your brand, what are the actionable items and steps that you’re taking to ensure that everyone has an equal seat at the table? 

Use alternative text

Late last year, Instagram launched an alternative text option, similar to Twitter & Facebook’s feature. When unused, the application uses object recognition technology to provide a visual description of photos for people with visual impairments. However, the network gives you the option now to replace the auto-generated text to provide a better description of a photo. 

Incorporating this final step in your social planning will help the visually impaired experience your content in the easiest, most accessible way possible. 

Utilize inclusive pronouns

Language is a powerful tool that shapes our perception of the world around us which is why it’s important to apply a policy of gender neutrality in your social messaging. A good place to start is the use of pronouns like “they” instead of “he” or she.” It’s best practice not to assume someone’s gender, regardless of whether you think you know the gender identity of the person or people you are interacting with. 

Small adjustments to your messaging can go a long way for non-binary individuals and increasing overall gender equality.

Representation matters

To this day, there are limited photos of women and people of colour in positions of power or STEM-related careers. Fortunately, the stock photo space has evolved to include several sites—such as Women of Colour in Tech, Burst, and Pexels. These sites have committed to providing images of diverse people in a vast range of roles, settings, and scenarios, making it easier for brands and creators to properly represent all groups across their channels.

Avoid flashing or flickering content

Videos and animations that flicker, flash, or rapidly change colours can trigger seizures for people who are sensitive to specific content and have photosensitive epilepsy. Avoid using any videos that flash more than 3 times per second, or have fully-saturated colours of red. 

Use simple & effective copy

Clear and direct messaging will help those using assistive technology to scroll through posts, or those who are still learning the language that you’re communicating in. Using a legible font size, limiting the use of emojis , and making hashtags readable by using camel-case, are all easy practices that will help users who need assistance understand your content. 

Social media platforms aren’t perfect, and continue to raise issues for marginalized folks and individuals with disabilities. Even with limitations, it’s our job to ensure that we utilize the tools that do exist in each platform. 

If you have another practical tip to make posts more inclusive, let us know

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