Man using his phone with accessible media.

Two months ago, we provided some advice for updating your website to meet and comply with web accessibility standards and why it is beneficial for your business beyond just being a legal requirement. The inclusivity of accessibility is just as essential on social media so everyone can access, view, and engage with your content. Increasing your content’s accessibility also increases your ability to grow by allowing you to reach your full potential audience. It also simply benefits those with disabilities who might not otherwise be able to access your content. Here are some essential tips for making your posts, stories, reels, etc. more accessible.

Social Media Accessibility

Social media platforms come with numerous accessibility concerns around text, images, and video. There can be a lot to keep in mind, but here are some basics to always consider that will immediately increase your content’s accessibility.

Tips for Accessible Writing

Nearly every bit of content on social media includes some text, a description, a caption, or part of the picture or video. That text is a crucial part of the content, and you want everyone to be able to read and understand it.

  • Accessible Language – It is best practice to not include specialist terminology in your writing to ensure a general audience understands it. Avoid jargon, technical terms, or specialized acronyms and abbreviations. Similarly, only use slang if your audience is familiar with it. These specialized terms can confuse and alienate anyone unfamiliar with them, which will include many potential customers or clients. Your writing can still communicate effectively and retain your brand’s voice without them.
  • Pascal Case for Hashtags – Hashtags entirely written in lower case can be difficult to read, especially for those with dyslexia or visual impairments. Screen readers and people can also have difficulty separating the words: #momscare could be “moms care” or “mom scare”. Capitalizing each word, called Pascal Case or Upper Camel Case, will dispel any ambiguity and increase legibility: #AnAlbumParty.
  • Avoid All Caps: It might be surprising, but studies have repeatedly found that all upper-case text is even less legible than all lower-case because it gives every word the same rectangular shape. Avoid all capital fonts and write with normal, mixed casing as much as possible. The occasional all upper-case word is okay but remember an exclamation mark can be just as effective for communicating excitement or surprise.
  • Avoid too many emojis and special characters: Too many emojis and special characters can reduce your text’s legibility. As well, speech-to-text programs read each one of these characters aloud individually, leading for an unpleasant reading experience. For this reason, it is also best to put hashtags at the end of your text. Screen readers read out each # as “number sign”. Placing hashtags at the end allows those using screen readers or text to speech to turn it off when they have already heard the meat of your content.

Tips for Accessible Images and Videos

Images and videos are essential components of your visual content on every social media platform, but they can also present accessibility concerns. Here are tips to ensure your entire audience can enjoy and understand them.

  • Alt-text and descriptions: Descriptions of images and videos help users who may have difficulty or cannot see your visual content. These will allow users to visualize the content for themselves. Some platforms support alt-text where the description is engrained into the image, such as Twitter. If the platform does not support alt-text, simply include a description in the post. 
  • Effective Descriptions: An effective description will include important details that captures both content and tone. Explain graphics, mention colours, identify emotions, and transcribe any text in the video or picture.
  • Closed Captions: Adding sound to image and videos rounds out your content, but some of your users may have hearing difficulties. Many also prefer to view content with their devices muted. Closed captions allow those members of your audience to still access that essential aspect of your content. Include captions for any sounds in your videos, e.g. talking, music, and noises. Most platforms can automatically generate closed captions. However, make sure to verify and edit them so they are accurate. 

Social Media Accessibility for Text on Your Images and Videos

Text on images and videos adds other accessibility concerns, so we have created a separate section to ensure you are providing an accessible experience and ensuring your content’s quality.  

  • Text Contrast: Ensure any text on a picture and video contrast with the background. Anyone with visual impairments will have difficulty reading your text if it does not fully stand out. Use complementary colours for your text to have it stand against the background, e.g. black on white or yellow on blue/purple. Do not use colours that both contain reds and greens to create contrast. While the text may contrast for you, it will not for anyone with colourblindness, a common visual impairment. 
  • Text Contrast and Videos: Videos usually have moving backgrounds and changing colours. Some white text may contrast perfectly with the black at the start of the video, but if that spot becomes white, the text will disappear. A solid background is an easy solution and a feature provided by every social media platform. Creating high contrast between these two, will keep the text visible for the entire time. A less apparent, but similarly effective method is to add an outline or stroke to the text. White text with a black outline should be visible with nearly any background.
  • Font Choice and Size: Text on an image should be easily legible. Ensure the font is large enough to see. Stick to typographic fonts that use printing letter. Calligraphic and cursive fonts are more difficult to read. 
  • Voice to text: Some may not be able to read your text on your images and videos even with these accessibility considerations. You can also provide audio that reads captions or descriptions. Most social media platforms include voice to text that will automatically read any caption on your post with a robotic voice. You can also record yourself for a more personal touch. On TikTok, audio captions are expected and voice-to-text voice has become a recognizable part of the platform.

Summing up

There is plenty to learn when increasing your content’s accessibility. The best practices are always developing, and platforms are always building more tools. Increasing your content’s accessibility soon becomes habit, and it is extremely valuable to your audience. If you have more questions about social media accessibility, Rosewood’s social media team is happy to help. 

Accessible social media makes everyone happy.
Micro-Influencer Sitting on Stool in Front of Camera.

By now, everyone should be familiar with how important social media is for growing their business. For example, 83% of Instagram users now discover new products there. Part of this surge in social media’s role has increased the prominence of influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is where a brand partners with someone with a considerable social media presence. In exchange for free goods or monetary compensation, that influencer recommends and promotes the brand’s products or services. At least 61% of users say they trust an influencer’s recommendations, and their endorsement transfers that trust onto your brand. Through influencer marketing, not only do you reach more people, but they also have a positive perception of your brand and business.

For small businesses, influencer marketing is an effective tool for growth. However, it’s not just huge influencers that will give your brand reach. In fact, micro-influencers and their smaller followings can have a much bigger benefit to your business.

Why not mega-influencers?

Today, the most prominent influencers have hundreds of thousands and some even millions of followers. Some of these are celebrities, while others have entirely made their careers as prominent influencers on a variety of social media. These macro- and star- or mega-influencers have incredible reach for brand awareness, but they also can have limited availability or exclusivity agreement. Plus, that large following comes with a matching price tag. A mega-influencer typically charges a minimum of $1000 for a single piece of content. Some can even charge up to a staggering $50,000.

These larger influencers also have reduced engagement. On Instagram, macro-influencers have an average engagement rate of only 1.62%, mega-influencers 1.21%. The scale of such massive audiences prevents these influencers from being able to feasibly engage with their audience personally. Similarly, followers feel less connected to these mega-influencers because they are one among a much larger group. As a result, most followers are silent, never engaging with these larger influencers and thereby the brands they promote. 

What is a micro-influencer?

A micro-influencer is typically defined as someone with 10,000 to 100,000 followers. Since we’ve covered most of the terminology already, that last category is a nano-influencer with 10,000 or less. Micro-influencers have smaller followings than their macro and mega counterparts, but they still have considerable reach. 

The Benefits of Micro-Influencers

The dynamics of micro-influencers and their smaller followings can be tremendously beneficial for smaller businesses. Smaller followings tend to be more dedicated to that influencer, hence higher engagement rates. Micro-influencers have an average of 3.86% on Instagram, more than triple their larger counterparts. Their engagement rates are even higher on TikTok. Micro-influencers have an average engagement rate of 18%, while mega-influencers are under 5%. Those higher engagement rates mean more attention for your business whenever a micro-influencer promotes your products or services. 

Along with more engagement, users trust smaller influencers more than larger ones. They have a stronger perceived personal connection as a more prominent member of that influencer’s audience and community. Micro-influencers are more like towns or boroughs, where people are attached to the community. That same association does not typically exist for influencers whose follower numbers rival cities. Therefore, a micro-influencer’ recommendations feel less like a celebrity sponsorship and more like from a friend. Their endorsements appear more sincere to audiences than those from macro- and mega-influencers, and that transfers authenticity onto your brand by association. 

Micro-influencers’ audiences also tend to be more niche and specialized. Most businesses don’t cater their products or services to everyone. They have specific demographics and audiences, and so do micro-influencers. Choosing the right micro-influencers allows you to focus and target your brand’s niche audience turning into a much higher conversion rate. 

That increased engagement and resonating recommendation all come with less financial cost to your business. Micro-level influencers cost much less for content than bigger influencers. They may even accept free products or services instead of monetary compensation. That itself will only further contribute to recommendations that appear trustworthy to their audiences. An influencer is recommending your product or service because they use it. This all creates opportunities to create personal ties between the influencer, your business, and their audience who become yours. 

In Summary

Though their follower numbers may be small, they are fierce. Micro-influencers have smaller audiences, but they can much bigger benefits for your business. They are overall more effective at fostering trust and reaching that audience than an influencer with a following ten times bigger. Plus, that better engagement and authenticity all comes with less investment from your business.

A lot of this can also apply to the smaller, nano-influencers. They are typically even cheaper with slightly more engagement, but also significantly less followers. Overall, if you are looking to invest heavily into influencer marketing, the most effective influencer marketing strategy is to engage with multiple levels of influencers. A macro-level influencer allows you to cast a wide net, while nano- and micro-level influencers create stronger associations to your brand.

If you’re interested in getting started with influencer marketing or have more questions, Rosewood’s social media marketing team will be happy to find your next micro-influencer.

Three women smiling and looking at a phone together.
Rosewood Marketing Instagram reels tips for making short video.

Want to grow your business and reach your dedicated community? It may not be for everyone, but consistency is key for staying at the top of your followers’ feeds. You may have posts and stories worked out, but what about Reels? Don’t let them fall by the wayside with these tips for great Instagram reels. Instagram currently prioritizes Reels for suggested content. This means they are the best way to reach your target audience and grow your following and reach on the platform. 

Need some tips to help get you started? Here are 5 to get your Insta Reels rolling:

  1. Take advantage of the all the features: Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes creators who use the new functions and features. Adding filters, camera effects, audio, and/or text to your video will give your Reels a leading edge for appearing in viewer’s feeds. Just don’t add too many. Instagram prefers a little over a lot. Bonus – Captions: The majority of video on social media is watched without sound, so adding text or captions is essential for reaching most viewers. Your content will be more discoverable and also more accessible to anyone with hearing difficulties. 
  2. Not too much production: Pretty, produced videos are great for selling your product(s), but people also love seeing what makes your brand tick. Informal and genuine short clips from behind the scenes are a great place to start for Reels. They’re easy to make, take little planning and time, and have a personal touch. Just make sure to keep the video quality high. Neither Instagram’s algorithm nor viewers like a blurry Reel.
  3. Use trends and brands for inspiration: Look through the Reels tab see any current trends and aesthetics that are consistently popping up. Look at other creators you like or members of your industry for ideas. But don’t just copy. What are they doing? What do you like? How can that content work for your brand?
  4. Be authentic and sincere: Sell what your brand is, not what it isn’t. Don’t underestimate the ability of a customer to see right through false or insincere content that’s hopping on another major trend. Your followers were drawn to your brand in the first place, so make sure to keep emphasizing that niche and give your content that unique touch.
  5. Share content from your community: Not only is this content you didn’t have to make, but it’s also a genuine positive response to your brand. Sharing that content engages with your community, strengthening that connection and making people feel a part of your brand. Don’t just share though. Some extra text creates engagement, and Instagram deprioritizes content that is simply reshared.

These tips should give you a better handle on making great Instagram Reels. Don’t forget to have fun and flex those creative muscles. A couple other general tips. 

  • Include a call-to-action that drives viewers to the link in your bio. 
  • Share your Reels to your main feed and add hashtags to increase discoverability. Just 3 to 5 will mean reaching more viewers.