Keeping Your Social Media Accessible for All to Enjoy

What is social media accessibility? It is the practice of creating social media content and posts that provide an inclusive experience for everyone. Because social media is designed to reach a large audience quickly, it is important to write in an inclusive way. If you do not make it inclusive and accessible, you risk alienating members of your community or missing them entirely.

How to Make Your Social Media Accessible

When writing social media posts, it is important to apply all of the same rules and guidelines used for all public communications. This applies to web page content, emails, blog posts, Facebook posts, Instagram posts, tweets (or X’s if you prefer). Keep your writing simple, include alt text for non-decorative images, add captions and transcriptions for videos, keep emojis to a minimum, use an accessible font, etc.

But what about social media is different? There are a few unique requirements within the social media realm that need special attention.


Have you ever thought to yourself…Camel Case or Pascal Case? The problem is many of us do not think of either of these options, and as a result, make our hashtags inaccessible to many users. It is important that you make use of one or the other of these formats in order to make your hashtags work.

Camel Case: A way to format hashtags where the first letter of the first word is lowercase, and each following word is capitalized. It gets its name from the way it (sort of) looks like a camel (either Dromedary or Bactrian). E.g., #weLoveLibraries

Pascal Case: Also an accessible format of hashtag where the first letter of every word in the string is capitalized. I was told that a good way to remember how the Pascal Case format works is to remember that Pascal is a name, and names are capitalized. E.g., #WeLoveLibraries 

You don’t really need to remember which is Camel Case and which is Pascal Case because they both work. As long as you use one of these formats in your hashtags, they will be accessible. Changing case helps screen readers identify separate words, allowing them to pronounce hashtags. 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.

Don’t insert hashtags in line with your text. Add any hashtags at the end of the post or caption, not in the middle of the sentence. Like most unconventional/unexpected text, this will interrupt the flow of a screen reader and can cause the user frustration. If you have a block of hashtags to share, put them in a separate comment so as not to confuse the content and message being shared.


Whenever possible, make sure that any links you use in your social media post are descriptive in nature and not a long written out code. This helps individuals to understand where the link will take them.

Avoid ambiguous phrases like Click Here or Read More. These phrases lack the necessary detail to tell someone where the link will take them. This is problematic for everyone but is especially so for individuals using screen readers. No one wants to be surprised by a hyperlink – so save the surprises for birthday gifts and make your links transparent to the clicker.


There are some general rules of thumb when writing accessible text for social media. You should always prioritize clarity in your writing to be understandable and accessible. When writing copy, consider the experience of others; How will this impact user with assistive technology? What about English as a second language? Writing in plain language can be hard, but it benefits everyone and ensures that your message is received loud and clear. Check out our post about plain language to learn more about how to be a plain language writer.

Fonts are another aspect of a social media post that can make or break the success of your post. Many content creators use funny or fancy fonts to bring more attention to the content of their posts, but this is never a good idea. Many fonts are really hard for some people to read, and they are actually illegible by screen readers. It may feel like you are being boring, but you will be more accessible and that will keep users more engaged with what you have to say.

Serif: The tops and bottoms of the letters contain decorative edges called “serifs,” which some say bear a resemblance to little feet. There are many accessible serif fonts, but some are less readable because they contain decorative elements.

Sans-serif: Recommended because they have a slightly higher readability than serif fonts. Their appearance is more block-like and less decorative than serif fonts.

Other font factors to consider: Accessible fonts have good height, width, and thickness, making them clear to most people. Font availability is also very important. Ideally, it’s best to use a font that is popular and available to most users. These fonts are among the highest-rated regarding readability, legibility, and availability.

  • Verdana (sans serif)
  • Tahoma (sans serif)
  • Arial (sans serif)
  • Georgia (serif)—UNCG brand body font
  • Palatino (serif)—UNCG brand body font
  • Lucida Sans (sans serif—Windows)/Lucida Grande (sans serif—Mac)
  • Book Antiqua (serif)
  • Helvetica (sans serif)

Other formatting best practices

  • Use abbreviations carefully. Abbreviations can be confusing to some readers, and assistive technology tools often try to read them as a single word. To avoid this, make sure to add periods or spaces between the letters.
  • Do not use alternating caps or all caps in your sentences. This reads as gibberish to a screen reader. Remember, a screen reader is trying to find patterns in the structure of your text, as well as word familiarity. Screen readers rely on punctuation, capital letters, spaces, tabs, hard returns, or other defining marks. If they do not find what they are looking for, they are unable to understand why the characters don’t make sense. It is best to steer clear of unnecessary or confusing capitalization or non-standard editing techniques.
  • Don’t replace letters with asterisks. This interrupts the flow for screen readers.
  • Don’t underline text. Reserve underlining for identifying links.
  • Use left aligned text. A consistent left margin makes reading easier.

Social Media Platforms

There is a growing number of social media platforms out there, and each has its own way of embracing accessible content. Some do better than others at making it easy to create accessible content, but the landscape is evolving rapidly. Accessible Social is a website dedicated to promoting best practices in social media. They make it their job to keep track of the available features and tools incorporated in the myriad of social media platforms available. It is worthwhile to check them out and learn more about from the information they share on their social media accessibility by platform page.

In a Nutshell: Accessible Best Practices for Social Media

  • Put hashtags in #camelCase or #PascalCase.
  • Keep the formatting of posts and tweets simple.
  • Write image descriptions for photos and other static visuals.
  • Add closed or open captions to all video content.
  • Create audio or written descriptions for all video content.
  • Use inclusive language and avoid ableist words in copy.
  • Don’t copy and paste alternative characters or funky fonts from external sites.
  • Use accessible fonts and don’t use excessive unnecessary punctuation or capitalization.
  • Don’t use underlining – that is already reserved to indicate hyperlinks.
  • Use abbreviations carefully, and separate letters with periods or spaces.
  • Use emojis sparingly, or not at all.

Give yourself the goal to make accessibility part of your communication routine. Don’t let the fear of perfection hold you back from making this work a priority. By creating accessible social media, we’re not just enhancing usability, we’re empowering inclusion. By prioritizing accessibility, we ensure that every voice is heard, every perspective valued, and every interaction meaningful.