5 Ways to Be More Inclusive In Social Media Content Creation

Written by Bridgette Weller Brown
on 13 May 2020

Across every corner of the globe, approximately 3 billion people use social media.

With that equals an eclectic range of people from different ethnicities, races, genders, sexualities, religions, ages, locations, languages, abilities, and so forth.

If you’re looking to engage a diverse audience, then understanding how to create content that can appeal to the masses, or multiple target demographics for that matter is crucial to success.

That means moving your audience towards a certain action or feeling, keeping them entertained, informed, educated, inspired etc.

Today, we’ll focus on how to make your posts accessible, relatable, and understandable to as many people as possible.

1. Let’s start with the serious stuff, Emojis.

Plain and simple; use yellow emojis
Call them the ‘Simpsons-Esque emojis’ if you will. Everything from smiley faces, to sad, confused, and yes, even vomiting emojis and more, can come in handy when needing to convey a message in ‘emoji form.’ Using a yellow emoji makes it abundantly clear that your ‘chosen characters’ do not have a particular race or skin tone applied. This way, you’re not excluding any particular race.

Use different gendered emojis
In late 2019, Apple rolled out a heavily anticipated release of gender-neutral emojis on its then-newest version of iOS.

But if you don’t have a phone with these emojis, no need to worry. Simply use multiple genders in your post to show you’re not excluding any gender (might not be on purpose, but we don’t know how people will read into things).

Let’s say you’re posting about web development and would like to include an emoji of someone behind a computer screen. Instead of posting only the male ‘technologist’ emoji, post both a male and female. ?‍??‍?

Simple, but it works.

Girl Holding Emoji Balloons

2. #Hashtag Know-How

Capitalise your hashtags
Screen readers struggle to read hashtags presented in a singular word #suchasthis. By capitalising the first letter of each name, #SuchAsThis allows screen readers to differentiate between each word.

Use hashtags or mentions at the end of the post you make on social media
Even sighted people struggle to read an unbroken line of text.

For people who are visually impaired or blind and require assistive technology to enable them to read copy through the power of listening, using hashtags in the text can interrupt the flow of words for the reader. Users will hear “at” and “hash” every time there is one.

Using hashtags and mentions at the end of a post shows you have considered every member of your audience.

3. Be Diverse In Your Images

Use images on your social media platforms that include EVERYONE. Your customers will identify with companies when they see people like themselves reflected in your marketing.

It’s not enough to say you are a diverse business; you have to show it too.

Think about it. If you’re using stock photographs on your business page, and your business targets all genders, then you might want to include a healthy balance of photos between all genders.

Heart String

(READ: The Impact of Health and Wellbeing on Workplace Productivity)

4. Videos are Important too

Using captions in videos empowers users to be able to engage with your content in different formats. Hearing-impaired users will be able to engage with the useful information presented in your video.

You’ll find many mobile users will browse their devices with the sound turned off, buy creating content that can be easily consumed through different types of viewing habits widens your available audience.

5. Using The Right Language

Your copy needs to reflect the values of current times.

Our lives have changed, and so has our copy. For example, it’s best to say “thoughts and well wishes” rather than “thoughts and prayers” as not all customers may be religious or engage in regular prayer.

It is equally as important to use the right language when it comes to more sensitive subjects, such as people with a disability.

Notice how we worded the above ‘people with a disability.’

We do this by focusing on the person, not the impairment. Best practice language is to use a ‘person with a disability’ rather than ‘a disabled person’. Person-first language shows your audience that your content is about the person, instead of their disability.

Customers work with businesses when they feel welcomed and represented, which makes being ‘more inclusive’ more important than ever.

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