HOW TO REACH EVERYONE ON LINKEDIN

As you know, my newsletter always focuses on the practical – real implementable strategies to increase your LinkedIn ROI, sometimes focusing on the what but always focusing on the how!

Let No-one Feel Left Out. How Can You Make Sure That Your LinkedIn Posts are Inclusive?

Like other social media, Gen Z is the fastest growing demographic among new LinkedIn users around the world. Consequently, social media platforms continue to introduce “inclusive-first” features for their users. Fortunately, LinkedIn incorporated many such “ease-of-accessibility” features long before they became a mainstay of online content. Many users are well aware of the accessibility features on the profile i.e. Name Pronunciation recording, the introduction video and media uploads in profile sub-sections. Nonetheless, networkers fail to utilise similar features in their posts.

What’s In It For You?

First, it improves the accessibility & engagement of the post. Nearly one-sixth of the global population has some form of disability and many may have some temporary form of disability. Some of them may be a critical part of your intended audience.  

Second, it can align with your LinkedIn presence as an equal opportunity employer, seasoned professional or avid networker. The American Foundation for the Blind identifies the LinkedIn Site as “mostly accessible”. It helps if the individual post makes use of some LinkedIn tools to become accessible.  

Finally, the algorithm favours posts that use more LinkedIn features. This does not mean that you employ too many features and complicate the overall experience of the audience. The primary goal of these features is to make the content more accessible to a wider audience. 

Tips to Create an Inclusive Post:

Look at some of the easy-to-consume posts on your LinkedIn feed & you may figure out the format intuitively. The default LinkedIn format may have automated the font size & line spacing for easy consumption but the following tools & tips can make posts more inclusive of the audience.

 Use of Fonts, Symbols & Emoticons

I’m a little sad that this is an accessibility faux pas. I used to detest emojis as found them unprofessional but have grown to really like them and find they do increase post reach. However, emojis have meta descriptions that are read aloud by screen readers. So yes, cute for formatting but less cute for accessibility.

An exception to this is if an emoji is being used in-line to replace a word, like this: “What’s your favourite flavour 🍨? I’ll eat any kind as long as it has a 🍒 on top”. This is screen reader-friendly.

If you wish to highlight SEO or search-engine-friendly text in bold, you can write it on any text editor like MS Word, Google Docs etc., copy the bold text & insert it within the body of your post. Other text can become eye catchy when you use any text generator to create a fancy Unicode version of it. The Unicode text does attract a viewer’s attention but it does not show up on search results and it should be used sparingly.

A better option could be the use of symbols & emoticons present on your keyboard. They are easy to spot & they can convey the message to an audience that may misinterpret the text. Again, they should be used sparingly i.e. add to the message without appearing like a casual social media post.

Upload Rich Media

Relevant & good quality rich media can supplement text as a great audio-visual aid. Today, rich media has become ubiquitous in the form of images, videos, carousel posts, audio files, GIFs & mixed media. Marketers opine that a rich media post eases the accessibility of content, instead of a third-party link that draws the audience away from your post. It also improves the dwell time on your post, especially for an audience who has trouble reading online text. When you write a LinkedIn Post on the browser homepage or Post window of the App, you can use the icons to add photos, documents & videos to the post within four clicks by following the prompts.

Add Alt-Text:

LinkedIn posts also have an in-built feature for users to add alt-text to the image. Alt Text is a searchable description of the image that can be read out loud by the screen reader i.e. the automated reading software of your device. It also improves the text & voice-based search engine results for your post. As for the how, click on the Add photo icon, select the image, click Open & then press the Alt Text tab below the image. Then write a 300-character description & press Save. You can avoid non-essential text in the description i.e. “image of”, “this picture is about” etc. PLUS this will help your content come up first in searches.

Add Captions:  

If your video is a LinkedIn Live event in English, you can enable auto-captions right before you start broadcasting on LinkedIn. Thereafter, anyone opening your broadcast will get a prompt to toggle between Available captions i.e. Off & English. These captions are closed captions and they can be turned off by the viewer.

In the case of pre-recorded video uploads, you can upload open captions in the form of an SRT file. First, click on the Video icon under the Post field, select a video & click on done. Then press the edit button in the video preview, click on Select Caption & upload the relevant SRT file.

Many websites specialise in making SRT files for videos at affordable prices. If your video consists of simple words & phrases, these websites can deliver accurate captions without much hassle. If your content has unavoidable long and difficult words, it is better to hire a transcriber or learn to create your SRT file in a text editor.

Sound too complex? It does to me too!

For a simple way to add camption use Zubtitle to add them to a video which can even be from your mobile or use Loom to record from mobile/desktop and they had a transcript now.

Experiment with Dark Mode to get your Colours Right:

LinkedIn has a dark mode feature to reduce the eye fatigue of readers. After you post your content, go to settings, click on Account Preferences & switch to the Dark Mode option under the Display Section. Return to your post & view it with inverted colours. If the Dark Mode eases the readability & consumption of your post, you can invert the colours of your image or make your audience aware of viewing your video in the dark mode. Some viewers may even opt for the Device settings option instead of the dark or light mode.

To switch to either dark or light mode:

  1. Click the 
  2.  Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
  3. Select Settings & Privacy from the dropdown menu.
  4. Under Account Preferences on the left, click Display.
  5. In the Display section, click Change next to Dark Mode.
  6. From here you can select:
  • Device settings: The settings will be similar to the device setting/theme.
  • Dark mode: To switch to dark mode.
  • Light mode: To switch to light mode (selected, by default).

Use Camel Case for Hashtags

Did you know that all hashtags should be written in Camel Case to be accessible? Camel Case means you capitalise each word in a hashtag which then allows screen readers to read each word separately rather than alltogetherinajumbledmess.

Unfortunately, social media platforms aren’t yet aware of this and often autocomplete hashtags as all lowercase. Fight the urge to use autocorrect and manually capitalise your hashtags!

Two more tips for making hashtags accessible: Avoid using them inline as much as possible. When a hashtag is randomly in the middle of a sentence or paragraph #asinthisexample, this interrupts the flow when it’s being read aloud by a screen reader. Instead, put them at the end of your caption – #GotIt?

Start an Audio Event:

Recently, LinkedIn has also permitted users to launch Audio events through their posts. While captions & Alt text act as visual aids, an Audio event widens the audience base to people who prefer audio content. Click on the “Create an Event” option on the Post Page of App or Audio event icon on the browser homepage & go to the Event Format dropdown. Then, select the LinkedIn Audio Event Option, fill in all the details & click Post. 

✂………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………I hope that you found these LinkedIn tips and strategies useful. If so, do click on the 🔔 on my profile to be notified of my new posts and follow #Trevisan to see LinkedIn strategy tips in your feed. that amplify your presence here.

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