Accessibility for social media
Video and audio on social media
It is important not to forget that videos content is one of the most popular on social media at the moment and can be viewed on different devices and channels, it is a great way to communicate with our audience groups, which includes those with varying abilities. Therefore you must ensure your social videos are accessible and have alternative formats.
All videos published on social media must be audio-led and have subtitles.
What must you do?
- Add subtitles to your social videos.
- You can use auto captioning within the social platforms where available. For example, YouTube can auto-generate captions and then you can edit them manually to correct any mistakes. You can download the captions as an srt file to upload to other social networks than do not have auto captioning available. See more information on the Making accessible videos page.
- If you have budget, consider using a paid service such as Rev.com to create professional captions.
- Podcasts – You must provide a text alternative. After the recording is complete ensure the outline (script) is edited and supplemented to match the dialogue. The resulting transcript must be link to from your social post. Find out more about accessible podcasting.
Images on social media
Images on social media should be treated in a similar way to accessible images on a web page. The best practice is to always add a descriptive alternative (alt) text to the image. Most major social networks now have dedicated fields for alt text to be added to images, although it may appear as not compulsory - to meet our legal obligations - you must:
- Add an alt text or caption to all images.
If you cannot add an alt text or caption please do the following:
- Ensure the image is relevant to the post text
- Add a description or image caption within the post.
- Try not to use words in the image or graphic
- If the image needs further explanation - Link to a web page that explains the graphic or image.
If using emoji in a post, remember to keep accessibility in mind. Screen readers will read the name of every emoji used, so you should ensure the emoji are relevant to the post’s content and are not overused.
Don't forget you can shorthen the word 'accessibility' down to 'A11y' on social media posts to save space.