Readability is an issue we all need to be aware of and be acting on. So much so, the UK Government has released a set of guidelines for their social media activity. The government recommends readable.io.

When you look at the stats from gov.uk, it’s clear why readable content is essential:

  • Facebook has over 28 million users, in the UK
  • Twitter has 13 million UK users scrolling through its newsfeed
  • LinkedIn acquires two new users every second
  • The average Instagram user spends 21 minutes per day using the app
  • Snapchat has managed to notch up an impressive 100 million monthly users worldwide

As gov.uk says, “social media is everywhere”

As much as that statement is a candidate for my Stating the obvious award for content marketing, it’s also very true.

Being copywriters, we need to treat our social channels in the same way as any other written medium. In fact, I would argue more so.

Writing for social media needs to be short, sharp and to the point.

You're battling with how quickly someone can scroll over your post. Everything needs to work, from copy, to images and call to actions. All working in synergy.

Readable content and accessibility

A crucial part of the UK Government's guidelines is ensuring written content is accessible. This is fantastic advice that would have saved the Dutch government a lot of money. They fell into the trap of writing and printing a lot of content that most of their population couldn't understand.

"GOV.UK guidelines advocate that written content should meet the minimum reading age of 9 years, to ensure it is easily understood. You might consider an adult with additional learning needs or an elderly relative with dementia trying to understand your information.

It’s key to understand your users and their needs; then be consistent.

You can check the reading age of your content using Flesch–Kincaid readability metrics or Readability-Score.com."

For those new to readable.io, readability-score.com was our old domain name.

If you'd like to find out the score of your copy, try our free readability scoring tool.

Steve Linney

Steve Linney has been a marketer for the last twenty years, covering a diverse number of sectors. Including e-learning, the music industry, and corporate responsibility.