My previous experience with social media management through my work with the American Council of Blind Students(ACBS) and the Writing Center at Saint Joseph’s University helped me prepare for my role at WeCo. I created content and posts for both of these accounts. These days I’m handling most of the social media posts for WeCo, with help and input for pictures and visual aspects from staff. Even though I’m blind, I’ve been fairly successful in social media management thus far.
I manage WeCo’s social media accounts through my laptop with the Job Access With Speech(JAWS) screen reader, and my iPhone 5C with VoiceOver. Each day, I search the list serves I am subscribed to, as well as news sites, for related content. I do most of this through my laptop because it is easiest to save links I want to come back to. I also scroll through the company’s Twitter feed on my iPhone for content and ideas. Over the past 6 months, I have found that Twitter is a great source of information in the web accessibilityworld for articles, blogs, personal feedback on products or platforms, etc. Twitter updates each second, and news can spread immediately; some of this content can only be found on Twitter. I have found that it is easiest to read through using the Twitter application for the iPhone; since JAWS often gets interrupted with Twitter refreshing every few seconds. I added WeCo’s account to my app, and I can toggle between my personal account and WeCo’s company account with a simple double tap (iPhone users will understand this reference). I know there are web applications for computers that make Twitter more usable for screen readers, but I haven’t experienced these yet. My personal preference is a hybrid between the laptop and the phone; I only use JAWS with twitter when copying an exact URL into a tweet. The rest of the Twitter interactions come from my phone. The mobile accessibility of Twitter, and the sites I visit as a result of certain tweets, is crucial.
My way of managing WeCo’s Facebook and Twitter accounts is definitely not full proof, but it works for me. I am constantly exploring ways to improve the way I manage the accounts, and this could change depending on the way pages are set-up. I’m currently experimenting with management systems such as HootSuitefor scheduling posts when necessary, and especially for accessing analytics. Social media is one of the most powerful ways to reach potential partners and clients, but I need to access numbers in order to adjust my approach and get better results. Understanding who we are reaching, the time of day we have the most reads, etc. is essential for sharing information about the best practices for web accessibility which is a part of WeCo’s public outreach mission.