Social Media for Humans

Alt text 101

July 08, 2022 Alexis Bushnell Season 2 Episode 18
Social Media for Humans
Alt text 101
Show Notes Transcript

This quick tip is all about alt text and making your social media content more accessible. If you're avoiding alt text because you don't feel confident with it, hopefully this episode will get you going!

Alexis' links.
I hang out on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alexisbushnell/​
Find me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SocialMediaForHumans
Join the club to learn more about ethical and effective social media marketing: https://socialmediaforhumans.club/

Voice over by Hawke Wood: https://www.spotlight.com/3490-9081-8844

Support the show
Hawke:

Hello and welcome to Social Media for  Humans, the podcast that empowers you to do social   differently. Your host, Alexis Bushnell, and her  guests discuss their experience of social media   as business owners, users and, ultimately,  humans. With insights and advice to help   you find an effective and ethical strategy  that works for you, grab yourself a drink  

and join the conversation. Alexis:

Hi, hello,  hi, I'm Alexis, my pronouns are she her,   welcome to a quick tip episode of the Social Media  for Humans podcast. This episode is going to be   super duper wooper quick because it comes with  a challenge, prepare yourselves! It's very easy   challenge, I promise, because of the content of  the episode. So today I want to talk to you about   making your content accessible. So I  have had a few questions about this,   I actually taught a class on this for the  Fiery Well's membership recently, and I wanna   only talk this episode about alt text. So alt  text, image descriptions, for when you are posting   images and GIFs, we'll get into that in a moment.  My challenge for you is going to be to include alt   text in your content going forward and, if you are  struggling, if you've put a post up with some alt   text and you're like "oh, I don't know if this  is very good," send it to me, send me the post,   share it with me, please do, I am quite happy  to have a read of it and let you know. So   essentially image descriptions or alt text  is explaining what's happening in the image.   That sounds really simple when you think about  it but I tend to find a lot of people when they   sit down to actually write it then go "which  bits of the image? What is actually important?   What is not?" So the things you're thinking  about when you're writing alt text are   how is it relevant to the caption that you've  put with it? Why are you posting it, basically?   So if you have an image say, of a hot  chocolate, like a mug of hot chocolate,   it's got some marshmallows in it and  it's sat on a table on a sunny day.   I don't know why you'd be drinking. I  say I don't know why you'd be drinking   hot chocolate on a sunny day, I drink hot  chocolate all year round so that's why! So if you are a cafe that sells hot chocolate that  might be a very different image description   to if you are having a rough day and you made  yourself a hot chocolate to cheer yourself   up. So if you were the cafe who sells hot  chocolate you might have an image description   that is like "a luxurious hot chocolate  with marshmallows and whipped cream   in a..." can I think of a way to describe mugs  right now? No, so we'll just go with "in a mug   on one of our outside tables looking out at  the high street on this beautiful sunny bank   holiday," shall we say. Whereas if you have had  a really rough day and you're posting a photo   of your hot chocolate on a sunny day outside and  sat outside your image description might be like   "a hot chocolate with marshmallows in a mug on  my outside table, the sun is shining," might be a   very different description because the necessity  is different, what you're trying to get across   is different and so try to think about how the  image is relevant and what things are relevant.   This is especially true if you have quite a  busy image, so if you have taken a photo at   an event, maybe and you took a photo, like there's  recently been near me there's been an air show,   so maybe you took a photo at the air show and you  took the photo of a plane flying past. Why did I   pick air show? I know nothing about aeroplanes  but okay! And there was an aeroplane flying past   that you took the photo of and also in the photo  there are different people doing different things,   some of them are drinking things, some of  them might be eating things, some have got   dogs with them maybe, maybe there's a band in the  corner of the photo too. You don't have to explain   all of that if the thing you took the photo of is  the actual plane itself and the caption is about   how you went to the air show and you saw this  amazing plane, you were so excited to be able to   see this specific plane, then describe the plane  like "a photo of a plane, a Boeing 747," you are   not going to an air show to see that but that is  the only plane that I can name so "a Boeing 747   about to land on tarmac," why did I pick this  example? "There are people milling around   at the air show, you know, in the  foreground, in the background, wherever"   but if you have taken the photo of the air  show as a whole even though that plane is   coming in you will then probably want to  explain like there's a plane in the photo,   there are people who are eating different things,  there is a band playing in the corner of the shot,   because your purpose for taking it and your  purpose for sharing it is different. So it comes   down to what you are trying to get across and  why you are sharing it. When it comes to images   of text, so if there is text on your image,  this is like if you're posting quotes,   if you're posting like information and  you've got text on the image with like dates,   pricing, any text, any text at all, please  please please please please include that   in the image description. So you you can have like  "text reads" or "text saying" or "quote saying"   whatever, but include that text from the image  in the image description and preferably also in   the caption itself. So do include any text, if  there is any text at all in an image. So yes,   what you're thinking about is just  what are the relevant bits of the   photo, the image, the whatever it is that you are  posting, what things are relevant to the caption,   why are you posting it, what do people  need to understand and take from that image   for it to make sense that you have posted it, for  them to understand what you are posting it for? Okay that's it, that's it, now I'm going to ask  you very nicely to please go and give it a go   because the other thing is you won't be perfect at  it. I'm not perfect at it and I've been doing it   for years. You will also develop your own natural  sort of way of doing it. It will get easier,   it will become more of just like a thing you just  add but initially it's gonna feel hard, it's gonna   feel awkward, it's gonna feel weird, you're  gonna feel like "I don't know what I'm doing,"   do it anyway. Just just give it a go, just give  it a go, just try, it's all I'm asking, just try.   Like I say, if you post an image with some alt  text on social media and you would like someone   to take a little peek at it, please send it  to me, I'm happy to give you some feedback,   cheer you on, whatever you need. But yeah, I am  on a mission to get everybody using alt text and   other accessibility options but we will get to  those in a future episode so prepare yourself for   that! We're going to start small, start with alt  text, we can all do it. Do it, do it, do it! Okay,   if you would like some more advice on alt text or  indeed how to make your content more accessible,   I talk about a lot in my membership  the Social Media for Humans Club,   I would love to see you there. We also talk  about lots of other things about social media,   and making social media work for you and your  business. Yeah, that is that's all I've got,   that's all I've got. I very much  look forward to my DMs being flooded   with images with alt text, please make it happen,  this is my Christmas wish even though it is July, bring it on! And yeah, just give it a go, just  give it a go, that's all I'm asking. It is not   gonna be perfect, it doesn't have to be perfect,  what matters is that you are trying. Okay,   I will see you next week for a very exciting guest  episode, yeah, that's it! Take care of yourselves.  

Hawke:

If you want more regular reminders to find  your own way to use social media, follow Alexis on   your social platform of choice, all the links will  be in the show notes. Until next time, be a human. you