Social Media Accessibility Best Practices

Basics

Although social media platforms are great tools for sharing information, keep in mind that social media should be used as an extension of your department’s overall communication strategy and not as its primary or single method of providing important information. 

To make social media accessible, try to use plain language and avoid acronyms whenever possible.  As a best practice, have your department’s contact information current and easily available.

Social Media Platforms

Facebook

Images

Facebook allows users to provide a description of their photos using alternative text. While Facebook has object recognition technology to automatically generate a description of the photo, it is better to write Alt Text for photos.

To add the description before the post is published:

  1. Select the photo(s) for the post
  2. Click Edit Photo, then click Alt Text, the text automatically generated may show
  3. Click Override generated alt text to add your own Alt Text to the image
  4. Click Save

To add the description after the post has been published:

  1. Open the photo
  2. Click Options in the bottom right corner of the image, and select Change Alt Text
  3. Click Override generated alt text to add your own Alt Text to the image
  4. Click Save

For more information go to Facebook’s Help Page

Video

To have Facebook videos captioned (including Facebook Live), please fill out the Caption Request Form.  For assistance, contact the Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity at or at 410-704-0203.  Please submit requests for Facebook Live videos two weeks in advance.

Text

When using text as a graphic, make sure the text has sufficient contrast with the background. 

NOTE: For more information on Facebook accessibility features and to stay updated, visit the Accessibility Page on Facebook.

Twitter

Images

To add alternative text to images, go into settings and turn the alternative text feature on.

Video

To have Twitter videos captioned please fill out the Caption Request Form.  For questions, contact the Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity at or at 410-704-0203.  Please submit requests for Facebook Live videos two weeks in advance.  NOTE: At this time, Live videos on Twitter cannot currently be captioned.

Text

When you tweet a hyperlink, indicate if it links to audio, a picture or a video.  Use the following notifications [AUDIO], [PIC], or [VIDEO] whenever possible.  

To minimize the number of characters in a hyperlink, use a URL shortener such as Bitly.  

Put mentions (or tags) and hashtags at the end of your tweets.  

Use upper-lower (camel case) for each word in a hashtag (e.g. #TowsonUniversity).

NOTE: For more information on Twitter accessibility, please visit the Twitter Help Center.

Instagram

Images

Instagram allows custom alternative text to be added when uploading a photo or after, Instagram also uses object recognition technology to provide a description of a photo but it is better to write/edit an Alt Text for posts. To add the description do the following:

  • Edit the image, then tap next
  • Tap Advanced Settings at the bottom of the screen
  • Tap Write Alt Text and add your description.

For more information go to Instagram's Help Page.

Video

Creating captions for videos for Instagram is challenging.  Captions must be made directly in the video file.  For assistance, please contact the Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity by email at or at 410-704-0203. 

Text

Put mentions (or tags) and hashtags at the end of your post.

Use upper-lower (camel case) for each word in a hashtag (e.g. #TowsonUniversity)

YouTube

Video

You have multiple options to caption your YouTube videos.  For short videos, it’s possible to automatically caption videos through the YouTube platform, but you will need to review and correct the captions as needed.  For detailed directions, see the YouTube Help Document.

For longer videos, please fill out the Caption Request Form.  For assistance, contact the Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity at or at 410-704-0203.

Text

Use the “Basic Info” section to describe the video in plain language.

Special considerations

  • For departments that are using a social media management tool, please work closely with your social media management tool vendor and the ADA Coordinator’s office for accessibility best practices and updates.
  • Remember to check your external links for accessibility.