Make sure each word in multi-word hashtags is discernible for assistive technology. This can be achieved by putting a hashtag in Camel Case or Pascal Case. Pascal Case is also referred to as Title Case.
A hashtag in Camel Case #looksLikeThis, with the first word in all lowercase and then the first letter of each subsequent word capitalized. A hashtag in Pascal Case or Title Case #LooksLikeThis, with the first letter in each word of the hashtag capitalized. Either formatting will make a hashtag accessible.
The difference between lowercase and uppercase letters help a screen reader identify the separate words, allowing it to pronounce the hashtag correctly. This is one of the easiest accessibility best practices to follow. Properly formatted hashtags are easier for everyone to read, no matter the status of their vision.
Formatted hashtags can also help a brand avoid embarrassing formatting mistakes or people misreading a hashtag. For example, without uppercase letters, the hashtag #superbowl could be read as #SuperBowl or the more amusing alternative, #SuperbOwl. The latter hashtag does in fact pop up every year during the Super Bowl specifically because of past formatting errors.
One of the most famous hashtag gaffes ever was #SusanAlbumParty in 2012, which was created to promote the album release of Scottish singer Susan Boyle.
If you’re not sure how your hashtag is going to be read by an assistive device or program, test it out first. Use the text-to-speech program on your phone to read some sample copy featuring your proposed hashtag before making a final decision on whether to use it.
BONUS TIP: Apply Camel Case or Pascal Case formatting to your Twitter handle to make it more accessible and easier to read! You don’t need to come up with a completely new handle to make this change either. Twitter doesn’t register case adjustments as handle updates, so while your handle may look different after you’ve changed the case, it’s still technically the same in every way that counts with the platform. No matter the case, the URL should always navigate to the same account.
Want to learn a little more about how things like hashtags, formatting, and different icons can impact your content? Check out the links below!