Social media accessibility guidelines for businesses

Implementing accessible content can expand your customer reach – David Gevorkian of Be Accessible shows eight ways you can make your social media posts more inclusive

In the UK, there are over 16 million people with disabilities, accounting for one in every four  people. Any business must ensure that its marketing strategies are inclusive of individuals with any kind of disability.

In this article, you will find actionable tips for creating more inclusive social media content for your business.

Web accessibility regulations

Accessibility refers to how easily a product, service, environment, or device can be reached and used by a diverse group of people.

There are two primary guidelines for website accessibility in the UK. The first is the Equality Act of 2010, and the second is the Public Sector Bodies (Website and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations of 2018. These UK accessibility laws are built upon the international web content accessibility guidelines and its four key principles.

Compliance with these regulations is essential for public sector organizations to ensure their digital content is accessible to all users.

Best practices for social media accessibility

Follow the best practices below to ensure that your social media content is accessible to everyone.

#1 – Write accessible social media posts

The copy

  • Use common and easy-to-understand words
  • Craft the text so that each sentence is a separate point of communication
  • Use active voice rather than passive
  • Avoid using technical language, acronyms, and jargon
  • Try using more ‘we’ and ‘you’ in your sentences
  • Don’t avoid giving instructions
  • Don’t use nominalisations (for instance, it’s better to use complete than completion)

Find in-detail instructions on how to craft texts in plain English on the website of Plain English Campaign.


  • Keep your sentences short and clear. Don’t exceed 25 words in one sentence
  • Don’t use non-standard mathematical symbols. For example, a sentence like “Accessibility = the key to inclusivity” may be difficult for individuals with disabilities to understand. Instead, it is recommended to write: Accessibility is the key to inclusivity
  • Use line breaks to introduce space in your social media posts
  • Incorporate line breaks to add spacing in your posts

Craft your message as simple as possible so that an average nine-year-old can easily understand the text. To be sure that your text is simple enough, you can use online readability-checking tools like the Hemingway app, The First Word, Small SEO Tools, and more.

#2 – Use accessible fonts

  • Avoid using fonts in small sizes as it makes your texts hard to read
  • Don’t use italicised and bold fonts
  • Keep your text left-aligned so that it is easier to read for people with cognitive disabilities

#3 – Make links accessible

  • It’s better to use full links rather than shortened versions
  • Add one link per post as navigating to several links may frustrate the audience
  • Always add a CTA (call to action) with a Read more or Learn more link
  • Mark links that lead to videos or audio by adding [VID] or [AUD] before the link
  • Use CamelCase for hashtags (for instance, use  #NewPost rather than #newpost)

#4 – Use initial capitalisation for hashtags

  • Start every word with a capitalised letter
  • Never exceed two hashtags per post
  • Add the hashtags at the end of your social post. This way they don’t disrupt the flow

#5 – Make emojies more accessible

  • Avoid adding more than three emojis per post
  • Add emojis at the end of a sentence
  • When necessary include a description of the emoji in your main post copy immediately after the icon. For instance, “[Slighlty Smiling Emoji]”

#6 – Use colour with accessibility in mind

  • Avoid using only colour to convey your key message
  • Avoid using colour to differentiate the information in tables and charts
  • Don’t use light colours on light or white backgrounds and dark colours on dark backgrounds
  • Avoid using low contrast. It is hard to read for the majority
  • Use block colours rather than gradients
  • Avoid using a large colour palette

#7 – Plan accessible images, videos and graphics

  • Add all the key messages to the post copy and not on the graphics
  • Don’t use smashing images and anything that may smash over three times in a second
  • Avoid posting images of printed text and documents. If necessary, ensure you provide a link to a full HTML version of the content within the post, rather than a PDF, which might be inaccessible
  • Don’t place animated images behind text, as this can pose difficulties for users of screen readers
  • Add subtitles to your videos. Be sure to check automatically generated subtitles as they are prone to errors.
  • Avoid using multiple columns for key information in compact graphics. Simply employing bullet points does not resolve this problem

 #8 – Add alt texts

  • Provide alt text whenever it is possible. All popular social media platforms allow adding alt text to the posts
  • It is important to communicate the image’s content and purpose concisely while ensuring clarity and specificity in the description
  • Transcribe any text that appears in the images

Accessibility can lead to rewarding outcomes

Implementing accessibility in your digital content goes beyond meeting regulations; it is a strategic step towards inclusivity that can greatly expand your customer reach.

This approach not only enhances your brand’s standing but also increases customer loyalty and sales. Investing in improving accessibility yields beneficial results for both businesses and communities.

David Gevorkian is the CEO and founder of Be Accessible.

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David Gevorkian

David Gevorkian is the CEO and founder of Be Accessible Inc.