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How to Get 12% More LinkedIn Followers, Impressions, and Clicks!

Practical Accessibility Tips and Tricks

8/23/2023 1:00:44 PM

LinkedIn logo with upward arrows to the side.

By: Jennie Delisi, Office of Accessibility

Thank you to Karla Larson, Minnesota IT Services’ Recruiting and Retention Director, for her contributions to this article.

You may use LinkedIn to promote a post, a government agency or company, or yourself. Your accessibility know-how can amplify your reach. According to LinkedIn’s profile page they have “More than 850 million members worldwide, including executives from every Fortune 500 company.” 12% of those members (based on statistics listed in a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2022 ) may have a disability - 102 million. That’s a lot of potential followers, impressions, and clicks!

This article will give you the scoop on what you need to know when preparing:

  • Posts.
  • Profile and company pages.
  • Articles on LinkedIn.

Do you link to webpages, documents, and other social media content like YouTube videos? Are you creating online learning experiences with LinkedIn Learning? Those need to be accessible too! Learn more about accessibility for those types of technologies on the Office of Accessibility website.

Paragraph Text, Headings, Links

Text Tips

Purposefully use emojis and emoticons

I included emojis and emoticons here because many people add them while drafting their post’s text. Some people may not understand certain emojis and emoticons. For example, many content authors are unaware of what screen reading software announces for a particular emoji, and it may not match what they want to communicate. Or the color contrast may not work well for someone with low vision.

Let’s compare 4 different emojis available on LinkedIn.

Emojis: brain, monkey with hands over eyes, dart in the bull's eye of a target, smiling face.

In the examples shown here, the brain has 3 shades of pink, with a black outline. If the person reading your post cannot distinguish the different lines in pink from the rest, you might think this outline communicates a cloud.

The monkey has good alternative text (“see-no-evil monkey”) however both the image and the alternative text require your audience to know and remember the reference (if that is why you are using the emoji).

The target with the dart in the bull’s eye uses the alternative text “direct hit,” which is accurate. This may or may not work with all use cases for the emoji related to darts and target.

Finally, this smiley face has good color contrast that is easy to distinguish. It magnifies well. The alternative text is “grinning face” which is good for the typical uses of this emoji. There is a similar emoji available within LinkedIn that says “smiling face with open mouth.” Note: the hover text when selecting the emojis did not match the smiley face’s alternative text. The hover text said “grinning face with big eyes.” For people checking posts who do not use a screen reader, you can learn more about emojis on websites like Emojipedia. According to their page about this emoji, the Unicode name is what is announcing in the alternative text. More information about emojis and accessibility is in an article listed in the “Text Tricks” section below.

What if I added 5 emojis, each with long alternative text, into my message? It might take some of my readers a long time to listen to the emojis. If so, will they listen to the rest of my post? Keep this in mind when considering the number of emojis you add into your posts.

Definitely keep using emojis if they work for both your message and your readers. When choosing them, consider:

  • Will they mean the same thing to all of your readers?
  • Do they have good color contrast?
  • Do they have good alternative text?

Use underlines for links only

In LinkedIn articles you have more text editing options, like underlining text. This visual cue signals a link in the digital space. Miscuing by using underlined text when something is not a link may frustrate some readers.

Learn the function of available text structures

For LinkedIn articles (and the hope of this author, for future versions of LinkedIn posts!) you can use text structures. These include headings, bulleted and numbered lists, etc. People using assistive technologies rely on these structures to understand the organization of the information.

Consider the location of links and hashtags in your message. Count them.

Links and hashtags (which are also links) get “focus” each time a person navigates between “interactive elements” using the tab key or an equivalent to move around the page. People may use this style of navigation with voice-controlled navigation, a screen reader, or other devices. Also, “link” announces for screen reader users before each one. Including many of them require some of your readers more work to consume your message. So how many should you use? There is no definitive answer. You use hashtags to help people find your post or article. People click on hashtags to find posts and articles of interest on a related topic. There is a balance between this “findability” and “usability” (how will people who listen to this or do not use a mouse use this content?). Thinking through how people use your content will help you get some ideas of how to balance these needs.

Here’s a “recipe” to consider:

  • Use one hashtag or link to a LinkedIn page in a sentence where it is part of your content.
  • Follow your main body content with a link to supplemental information (webpages with content, YouTube videos, etc.).
  • If you’re adding a few hashtags or links to profiles and LinkedIn pages for findability, add them at the very end.

Text Tricks

  • Bookmark the blog article Say It With a Face. As features change, this will help you quickly review accessibility information related to emojis and emoticons to ensure you consider accessibility.
  • Take the Accessible Word Document Training. Module 2: Working with Styles covers headings, bulleted, and numbered lists.
  • Use your tab key to try other people’s content. Learn what slows down your ability to get to the content you want. Be sure to try to get to content about halfway down a page. While this is not an exact replication of many people’s experiences, it will help you understand more about the impact of your content choices.


Image Tips

Images help improve the actions taken by readers. One reason? They help more readers connect with your message. But not all readers access images the way you may think. And despite the myth that images are not accessible they may improve connections to your content by people with some types of disabilities. First, they help some people better understand your message. And, when you use quality alternative text and good color contrast, more people can access the content.

To improve the accessibility of your images: choose them carefully and follow some accessibility basics.

When drafting content, draft your image’s alternative text

  • Good alternative text means sharing the essential elements of the graphic information. Drafting when choosing images means the image, alternative text, and text content work together to complete the communication. You should be able to answer these questions: Why are you including this image? If someone explained it to you over the phone, what would you need to know about it?

Text in your image? Make a plan.

Sometimes there is too much text to share in the alternative text. Other times, the image text includes things like URLs that readers cannot memorize after hearing it just once. Think about adding it into the content area as well, or have a link to a page with the same content available in text.

Charts, graphs, and other essential graphics need good contrast, good quality images.

Some people have difficulty seeing certain colors or color combinations. Make sure your essential graphics use good contrast. Just like with alternative text, think about why you are sharing this graphic. If someone needs to be able to see certain elements, be sure they are easy to discriminate.

Use good quality images. Many people magnify your images. This is especially true for people viewing your content on mobile devices, and people with disabilities impacting their vision. Quality helps with clarity.

Image Tricks

  • Make alternative text easy to find for everyone on your production team using the images. If multiple people will be using them, consider adding the alternative text using square brackets around it with text “alternative text” to make them easy to find. We do this when drafting our article content. Our team often uses these same images in social media posts. This improves our efficiency and consistency.
  • Have a decision tree for text in images. Short amount of text in the image? Include text contained in the image in the alternative text, and body content. Why also in the body content? This helps people with reading challenges who may use tools to support reading. Longer amount of text in the image of something like an infographic? Include a link to a text description on a web page, or within a document.
  • Test colors and ability to magnify. Use a tool like Colour Contrast Analyser to test the color of essential elements. Magnify the image to 200%. Does it get blurry? If so, use a higher quality image.


A little planning goes a long way. This doesn’t mean you can’t be spontaneous. Have a plan for handling each type of video.

Pre-recorded Video Tips

Write a script

A script is going to provide you many accessibility benefits! You will have a chance to verify that you described all essential visuals. This will help people who may not be able to see them or see them well. It will also provide the basis for making very accurate captions.

Make a caption file

Well before the day you want to post, make time to learn how to create an SRT (SubRip Subtitle) file.

Next, review how to load the caption file for your video. LinkedIn’s help article provides the steps: Add Closed Captions to Videos on LinkedIn.

Pre-recorded Video Tricks

  • Include accessibility into your storyboard: Include sounds, talking, easy to add descriptions of visuals.
  • Add production time for captions into your schedule.

Live video – Streaming Tips

Know your options

If you have a short video, the auto-captions available in LinkedIn may be appropriate until you have a chance to provide more accurate captions.

For longer videos or those providing essential information, consider working with a caption provider. They can provide a link to a webpage and can provide quality captions using CART services. Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division of the Minnesota Department of Human Services has information on Real-time captioning.

Pre-plan a post about how to access captions

In the moment, live video is a lot to manage! Crafting a message ahead of time makes it easy to let your followers know how to access the captions.

Great Examples

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

Check out the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s post on July 31, 2023!

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s LinkedIn post, described in text after this image.

Minnesota IT Services

Creativity is part of creating accessible LinkedIn posts. This video includes some visual content important to viewers. The author of this Minnesota IT Services post with a video about Cybersecurity Basics:

  • Included the title screen’s text in the post.
  • Ensured the script included the main points included onscreen, like “3. Update your software.”
LinkedIn post by Minnesota IT Services. Video shows the title screen: Cybersecurity Basics with the State of Minnesota CIO. Post text includes this information.
Caption: The LinkedIn post showing the video's title page.

Left image: Minnesota IT Services LinkedIn video with Commissioner Tomes, and text onscreen: 3. Update your software. Right image is the same, with captions onscreen: "Three, update your software, and four."
Caption: Left image has a green banner with blue text. This is onscreen text to emphasize the Commissioner's point. The right image has captions displaying over this banner - the audio a person hears during the video. The Commissioner is speaking the onscreen text.

Flaunt Your Knowledge!

Talking to colleagues and supervisors about your new content strategy to improve accessibility? Here are the specific success criteria from the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, 2. 1, related to the content in this article.

Paragraph Text, Headings, Links

  • Information – general: 1.3.1 Info and Relationships – Level A, 1.3.2 Meaningful Sequence– Level A.
  • Link purpose: 2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context) – Level A.
    • Reminder: you can’t add meaningful text to links except in LinkedIn articles (as of our date of publication), but you should know that impact of links without meaningful text.
  • Headings: 2.4.6 Headings and Labels – Level AA.


  • Text alternative: 1.1.1 Non-text Content – Level A.
  • Images of text: 1.4.5 Images of Text – Level AA.
  • Other images supporting understanding: 1.4.11 Non-text Contrast – Level AA.

Pre-Recorded Videos

  • Captions: 1.2.2 Captions (Prerecorded) – Level A.
  • Audio Description or Media Alternative: 1.2.3 Audio Description or Media Alternative (prerecorded) – Level A.
  • Audio Description: 1.2.5 Audio Description (Prerecorded) – Level AA.
  • Flashes in videos: 2.3.1 Three Flashes or Below Threshold – Level A.

Live video – Streaming

Captions: 1.2.4 Captions (Live) – Level AA.

More Resources

To prepare for this article, I visited the How to Meet WCAG (Quickref Reference). I selected elements from the filter related to many options available within LinkedIn used by content creators. I chose the WCAG 2.1 version, A and AA levels. You can access that filtered view to learn more information about the topics posted in this article: Quick Reference with filters for some LinkedIn content.

Here are some other resources you may enjoy:

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