It’s so important to strive to be as inclusive as possible in every aspect of your business. From making your premises accessible to wheelchair users, to ensuring you have gender neutral bathrooms available, making sure your work is representative of more than just the white, ‘able-bodied’ cutout and going above and beyond to treat all employees, customers & clients equally. But it doesn’t stop there.
How do we provide social media content that continues our responsibility to be inclusive and accessible?
1. Content - if you’re looking at your Instagram feed and seeing a severe lack of women of colour, disabled people, LGBTQI+ people and bodies of all sizes - something needs to change. Not only is it the right thing to do to make sure these people are represented in the media, it will undoubtedly have a positive impact on your business when customers notice how inclusive you’re being.
2. Alt Text - Unless you’re all about SEO you’re probably thinking ‘Alt what now?’. Alt Text is the coding attached to a photo that describes what it is in text. It’s used incase your photo doesn’t load so people can still read what it is supposed to be, for SEO purposes and also for sight-impaired people that use software that reads out the Alt Text so they know what the photo is showing. You can add Alt Text to all the photos on your website, but now you can also do this on Instagram too. Next time you post a photo on Insta, hit the ‘advanced settings’ option and describe your photo so everyone can enjoy your feed.
3. Stories - We’ve all noticed by now that Stories is the most popular way to engage with your audience at the moment, so we need to make sure we’re reaching everyone that’s watching. Videos of you or your staff talking to the camera is a fantastic way to get a behind the scenes look of your business and really connecting, but for anyone that’s hearing-impaired this is going to be a struggle. But it’s so easy to make this accessible. Just add text to any Stories you upload that have vocals. There are even apps like Clipomatic (I’m desperate for an Android version, anyone know of one?!) that will automatically add the text you speak to your Stories without you having to type it - so no excuses!
4. Language - it’s 2019 and the days of discriminatory language should be long gone, but we’re human and there are still words we use today that you may not even realise are not ok to use. Really think about what you write before you write it and think about whether it excludes or makes anyone feel lesser.
5. Be active - support, showcase and promote members of minority groups and use your platform to share their stories. Always ask permission and don’t speak over their experiences, but use your success to lift others.
Let’s all be better. If there is anything else you think is important to add, please let me know. We’re all learning and growing alongside our businesses.