If you really want to ensure that your social media content is inclusive, you should learn how to test and check it for optimal accessibility. Most marketers already understand the importance of testing content to ensure ideal performance results. Testing content for accessibility purposes is no different.
Creating an unpublished Facebook page, locked Twitter account, or private Instagram profile are all great ways to test content for accessibility issues without an active audience noticing.
Test accounts are also useful if you want to see how a link will preview on Facebook, an image will crop on Twitter, or the grid will look on Instagram. It's best that all brands and businesses have at least one test account they can use for assessing their content before publishing it.
Testing your content by using your phone is another easy way to see how accessible it is. Most smartphones now have text-to-speech programs built into them, turning a phone into a screen reader. The text-to-speech program for iPhones is called VoiceOver and Android devices have TalkBack.
Once you’ve activated your text-to-speech program, you can tap different pieces of content to see how they sound when read aloud. It’s best to thoroughly read your respective device’s instructions before turning a text-to-speech feature on and practicing until you get the hang of using it.
You should also make sure to activate your phone’s voice assistant beforehand, that way you can easily have it turn text-to-speech off if you get stuck.
Another way to be certain your content is accessible is to consult web accessibility experts and people who actually rely on accessible best practices due to a disability. You can also check with your organization’s accessibility team and find out if they have any recommendations on how to make your social media more accessible.
Listening and talking to people with disabilities will always be the best thing you can do to ensure accessibility. Just remember that the disabled community does not exist solely to educate you about accessibility or provide you with feedback on content.
Be respectful of someone’s time, expertise, boundaries, and, most importantly, their personhood.