Creating Alt Text for Social Media Platforms

Businesses take a lot of time to curate the perfect social media content, especially in terms of visual content. Perfect content means using the best filters, the right hashtags, and the best captions for social media platforms. However, that also means companies tend to overlook some of the elements that aren’t as visible when sharing those posts, largely because this element, in particular, tends to live in the background of social media posts. Yet the proper use of that element is extremely beneficial to both accessibility and SEO, and that element is Alt or Alternative text. Wherever a photo is online, it should come with alternative text, which is an HTML attribute that’s used to describe the contents of an image. Whenever an image is displayed on a website, the alt text isn’t visible. But that piece of text can be accessed by screen readers, and it’s displayed if any images aren’t able to load.

Clear Image Description

Whether it’s for accessibility or SEO reasons, it’s best to describe an image in the Alt text space as clearly as possible. That means the space should be used to clearly describe the contents of the image in a way that users can understand or envision in its larger context.

Concise Description

Creating an effective alt text description doesn’t mean the image description should be wordy. The best way to cut down on the amount of space that’s being used is to avoid any qualifiers and filler words if the description still makes sense without them. 


Creating the alt text for an image should be an objective process. The alt text should only describe what’s seen in the photo, not what can be inferred from its content. That means there shouldn’t be any assumptions or judgments conveyed in the description, and companies shouldn’t use the space to tell a story.


Lastly, for SEO purposes, companies can use any relevant keywords in the alt text space as long as they’re related to the description itself. That can be the main targeted keyword or any tangential or related keywords. It’s important to note that just like with overall keyword use, companies should always avoid keyword stuffing in the alt text space too.

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