User Tools

Communications for NNELS

Social Media Plan and Communication Guidelines


  • Engage with more users
  • Get the word out about NNELS - many Canadians who would benefit from our service are not aware of us
  • Get the word out about print disabilities - many Canadians with cognitive/learning disabilities are not aware that these qualify as print disabilities
    • They don’t know that they can use services like NNELS, and may not even understand what the benefit would be
  • Build relationships with more libraries, disability-related organizations, and e-production folks

Current Audience

The audience is an important consideration when creating content. The NNELS social media targets three main target audiences simultaneously:

  • People with print disabilities
  • Librarians and libraries
  • Publishers and authors

Audience Demographics

  • Almost exclusively interacting via desktop during the work day
    • Suggests that most people are looking at us while at work- This means we’re mostly hitting librarians, publishers etc. who are looking at our pages at work


  • 58% between ages of 25 and 54
  • Mainly women
    • Unsurprising- typically more women are employed in for not-for-profits, libraries, and literacy-based organizations
  • Followers mainly in BC, Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto
    • But we’re mainly reaching non-followers in Edmonton, and prairie provinces
  • The main times people are interacting with us is during the work day
    • 9AM, noon, 6PM


  • The majority of followers appear to be women along with people between the ages of 35–44.
  • Active times are similar to Facebook
    • It is best to post at 9AM, noon, and 6PM


  • Job functions: Top industries are community and social services, business development, media and communications, education, marketing
  • Most are listed in entry level positions- likely a similar age range to other platforms, 25 - 44

Key messages

We want to stay consistent with our brand messaging across all platforms. Key words and concepts help maintain message consistency. Keep these in mind when writing any content.

Keywords and Concepts:

  • Accessible
  • Sharing
  • Collaborative
  • Innovative
  • Supportive
  • Accessibility specialists


Use the correct terminology for language describing the different perceptual or print disabilities. Impairments can have negative connotations. This terminology comes from the copyright act, so if you use it there should be a note saying that this is why these terms are used in the website.

Key terms

  • A “disability” is a functional limitation.
  • A “handicap” is an environmental or attitudinal barrier.
  • The word disabled is an adjective not a noun. People are not conditions. Use terms like “people with disabilities” rather than “the disabled”.
  • Do not use “victim of”, “suffers from”, “confined to a wheelchair”, or “afflicted”. These terms diminish the person’s dignity and magnify the disability
  • Use print disability or perceptual disability, rather than impairment
  • Use blind or partially sighted, rather than visual impairment

Tone and voice

The tone for social media can be more casual than on the website. We want to present NNELS as friendly, approachable, and modern on social media. Be enthusiastic, use exclamation marks, and do not be afraid to sound too excited! Feel free to use humor when interacting on Twitter and Facebook. Linkedin should take more of a professional tone, in line with the news articles on the website.

Avoid negativity as much as possible. Try to spin bad news into hope for the future and shut down any attempts to pit NNELS against other accessibility organizations by referring to them as fellow industry professionals.

Analytics and how to find them

Important analytic elements are defined differently by each platform. It is difficult to compare performance across platforms, so maintaining a log of analytic performance to compare month-to-month is more useful for analyzing performance.

The quickest way to gather analytics is through Hootsuite, but it is not necessarily the most accurate. However, if you’re just trying to get a sense of performance for comparison, then it is the most efficient tool. Just be sure to always compare Hootsuite data to itself, rather than mixing Hootsuite analytics with other analytic tools to get the most valid comparison.

Hootsuite lets you compare one period of time to another for quick insights. It is most useful to compare generally the same number of days (eg. Compare one month to another).

  1. Select Analytics on left menu
  2. Select Change Date
  3. Drag the circles to the beginning and end dates of the first period
  4. Select Compare with another period and select the comparison dates

Analytics are currently being tracked over time via this Google Sheet

There are some analytic elements that are useful but not available on Hootsuite. These will be described for each platform below.

Key analytics


Via Hootsuite:

  • Engagements: Reactions (likes), comments, shares
  • Shares are important for spreading information
  • Reactions and comments boosts posts in user’s feeds
  • Fans: people who follow our page

Number of posts

  • Try to keep a consistent presence online
    • Goal of 2-3 posts per week

Via Platform:

  • Reach: Content entered their screen
    • The most reliable way to increase reach is to pay to boost the post

Finding analytics on platform

  1. You must be an administrator of the page
  2. Go to NNELS page
  3. Select insights


  • Engagements: Reactions (likes), comments, shares
  • Followers
  • Page clicks
  • Posts
    • Goal to post 1-2 times per week

Via Platform

  • Impressions (reach): Content takes up 50% of screen for a user, or they click on the content to expand it
  • Visitors: people who visited the page but did not follow it

Finding analytics on platform

  1. Must be an administrator of
  2. Go to NNELS page
  3. Click Analytics on top menu


  • Impressions (reach): Times the post crossed users Twitter feeds
  • Total engagements: all interactions, including clicking to expand details, clicking to expand images, link clicks, likes, profile clicks from the tweet, hashtag clicks, and replies
  • Followers
  • Number of tweets
    • The tweets include retweets, as well as long chains of tweets that we use to list new items in our catalogue. So, the numbers for twitter always end up being somewhat inflated, but they're all inflated in generally the same way each month, so the numbers are still useful for general comparison.
    • Goal to post 4-7 times a week

Via platform

  • Breakdown of engagements broken into likes, retweets, and link clicks are the most useful to defining the efficacy of campaigns, but there is no easy way to track this
  • If there is only one Tweet a day, you can look at the graphs on the right side of the analytics page to determine the number of likes, clicks, and retweets for that post. If there are multiple posts in a day, the information is not broken down and you have to look at the individual tweets themselves

Finding analytics on platform

  1. Select More on left menu
  2. Select analytics
  3. Analytics are presented in a month-by-month format

Analytics on individual tweets

  1. Select specific tweet
  2. Select View Tweet Activity
  3. Select View engagements

Hootsuite-Specific Analytics

Clicks: Hootsuite monitors traffic in the form of “clicks.” This record only applies to links shorted to the format when posting via Hootsuite. It is very rarely an accurate representation because it does not track traffic when posting via the platform itself. The exception is Linkedin, which tracks all links clicked on the profile regardless of link format or where the link was posted from.

Sentiment: Hootsuite tries to analyze the tone or “sentiment” of incoming messages and replies to posts. This is often very inaccurate and should not be looked at as a sign of performance.


People filter out traditional sales pitches, so try to frame any direct advertising for our services as helpful, informational posts rather than “selling” our services. This means giving followers a reason to click on our links that is relevant to them. For example, advertise specific items we have in our collection in relation to some kind of event or holiday rather than just telling people to look at our collection. As a general rule, 80% of posts should inform, educate, or entertain the audience and 20% can directly promote the brand. Since NNELS services are generally educational, this is more of a general guideline than a hard rule.

Since creating paid advertising spaces on Twitter and Facebook, those platforms have been cracking down on unpaid marketing posts. They search for language that sounds like hard sales pitches and moves them down in user’s feeds, severely reducing reach. Avoid using the following words in posts:

  • Free
  • Like
  • Share
  • Buy
  • Sale
  • Win

Other ways to increase reach include:

  • Replying to all comments
  • Gaining likes/reactions
    • On Facebook, Love/Heart reactions are prioritized over likes, so try to include heartwarming, supportive, cute, or inspirational posts in the posting schedule
  • Use hashtags
    • Only hashtag words relevant to the content of the post and relevant to NNELS or that join in on a larger conversation
    • #braille, #advocacy, #accessible, #a11y
    • Eg: We’re so excited to see the #CanadaReads shortlist! We’re working as fast as we can to make #accesible versions of each book available to NNELS users with the support of @cbcbooks
    • Do not overuse hashtags- try to limit it to two per post, and try to include them in the actual text of the post rather than tack them on to the end
    • When writing multi-word hashtags, capitalize each word so screen readers can properly pronounce them. Eg: #RestoreFundingForAccessibleBooks
  • Tag relevant users
    • Eg. Tag the author and publisher in new braille book posts

Content Types


See the Awards workflow page

In general, re-tweet announcements of long-lists, short-lists, and winners. Include mention of, and link to, the accessible collections on the NNELS site. Include links to news releases, if applicable.

New in NNELS

#NewInNNELS is the hashtag we use when we talk about new books that have been added to the repository.

They consist of a chain of tweets: an intro tweet, a few tweets on individual books (3-5), and a conclusion tweet (examples below). The tweets are generally written by either Rachel or the production assistants and will be emailed to the social media coordinator.

Tweets include the following:

  • Book Title
  • Author
  • Short description of book and its audience, or some factoid or comment that might intrigue a reader
  • Mention if it is an award winning or nominated book (optional - only if there is space)
  • Link to the record in the collection
  • The file format in a hashtag:, i.e, #EPUB #MP3 #DAISY (you might need to take a look at the record in the repository)
  • The hashtags: #NewInNNELS, and #a11y

Intro Tweet examples :

  • #NewInNNELS alert! There are quite a few new additions to the repository which should help keep you entertained, educated, or distracted this weekend (and beyond)! Stay tuned for some recommendations, or check them all out here: #a11y #EPUB #MP3 #DAISY
  • It’s been a little while since we've done this: that's right, it's time for #NewInNNELS!
  • We have had oodles of awesome additions to the collection recently. You check them all out, here:, and stay tuned for a few highlights! #a11y #books!
  • We are so excited to talk about a few recent additions to the NNELS repository! Check out all of them here (, or read about a few selected titles in this thread! #a11y #NewInNNELS

Conclusion Tweet Examples

Distributed Braille releases

Distributed braille is a unique element of NNELS services, so we want to highlight that service. Riane/the braille coordinator will send the social media coordinator information about any new braille items to be advertised. Tweets should include:

  • The name of the book
  • The author, tagged if possible
  • The publisher, tagged if possible
  • The repo link
  • The library hosting the braille copy, tagged if possible
  • If there is space, include instructions to request the item thorough interlibrary loan and thanks to the federal government for funding this project

Eg:NNELS is thrilled to announce the simultaneous #braille and print release of a Dear Black Girls! Special thanks to author Shanice Nicole, illustrator Kenza Dalz, publisher @MetonymyPress and the #GoC for working with us! NNELS listing here:

NNELS news and updates

Every week, check the SDDP-d minutes document for updates from the NNELS team. Pull out any interesting information, content, or project to post about. This can include collections information, what is being worked on, upcoming events, stats, etc.

Minutes available here


It is important to use images when trying to attract attention on social media. Adding images into social media posts can boost them in user’s algorithms and make them more likely to be seen. However, you need to keep the audience in mind and avoid having crucial information only presented via images.

Add alt text to describe all uploaded images. Alt text should be clear and accurately describe the image in a way that no meaning of the content is lost for people with print disabilities. If using text in graphics, try to be as brief as possible, as all the text has to also go into alt text, which has limited characters. Text based graphics can be useful for posts we want shared, because other users can just share the image. Eg. posting for audiobook narrators. Any graphics created should have a visual link to NNELS by using the NNELS colours, red (Hex: #EA2127), white, and grey (Hex: #59595c).

On Twitter, only retweet images that have alt text. It will say ALT in the right corner if alt text is available. If there is no alt text, use quote tweet and type the alt text into the tweet. Another option is to save the image and tweet it yourself, tagging the original poster, but this could affect their analytics and is not the preferred method.

Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter all allow for alt-text to be added via Hoosuite or on the individual platforms.

If using Hoosuite:

  1. Select new post
  2. Select platform
  3. Upload image
  4. Select create alt text
  5. Write alt text and select Apply

On platforms:

Facebook (500 characters)

  1. Upload photo
  2. Select edit
  3. Click alternative text
  4. Save

Twitter (420 characters)

  1. Upload image
  2. Add description
  3. Save

Linkedin (120 characters)

  1. Add photo
  2. Select add alt text
  3. Click done

Linkedin currently has a very short alt text allowance, so I avoid adding any images that are more than decorative.

Translation guidelines

If a quick translation is needed in the short term, using DeepL translate is preferred to using Google translate. If using DeepL, include "automatic translation by DeepL" at the end of the post so French-speakers know it was not a human-translated text.

What goes where


  • Customer service
  • NNELS news (eg. Funding)
  • Special collection items/lists
    • Eg. Award winners
  • Website news stories
  • NNELS events


  • Customer service
  • Collection items (highlighting items, new items)
    • New in NNELS
    • Distributed braille collection
    • Awards
  • Website news stories
  • NNELS news (eg. Funding)
  • Industry news
  • Industry interaction
    • Boosting events, articles, etc. of related organizations
  • Hashtag participation
    • #a11y
    • #eprdctn
    • #braille
  • NNELS events
  • General user interaction- eg. Trends, holidays, etc.


  • Industry news
  • NNELS news
    • Funding
    • Organizational changes
  • NNELS events


  • Tutorials
  • Special interest stories (eg. Profiling accessibility testers)

Publishing Schedule


Here is a calendar of important dates for NNELS, Canadian holidays, and special days, weeks, and months (eg. White Cane Week) that are relevant to NNELS, libraries, and NNELS users.

Use this website to find Canadian holidays, as well as fun special days (eg. Talk like a pirate day) to center content around.

Posting Goals:

  • Facebook: 2-3 times a week
  • Twitter: 4-7 times a week
  • Linkedin: once a week
  • Youtube: as needed
  • Newsletters: once a month
  • News articles: as needed

Website Articles

Articles pages are used for news articles and updates. Topics include:

  • Funding information
  • Simultaneous braille releases
  • Awards
  • Partnerships
  • Special event announcements (eg. World Braille Day)
  • Major staffing changes
  • Major project updates
  • Special interest stories (eg. about audio book production, profiling accessibility testers, etc.)

This is the content most likely seen by non-users. It is important to pay extra attention to your tone and voice when writing articles. Generally, try to be informative and enthusiastic about sharing information in these posts.

For this content type, you have the option to upload a file, add a location, a date, and a summary. Generally, a document is only uploaded for grant announcements. The story is always also presented directly in the body of the article.

The date is auto-filled, so unless you want to back date an article, leave the date as filled.

The summary is the text users read, before they decide to open the full news article. Edit this summary to a one-sentence description of the story. Make sure it is concise, as the summary is only about 200 characters.

Website front page: News

There are three featured news items on the front page of NNELS. Try to change at least one news item every month. Avoid using single-item collection news for the front page, so it does not appear we are advertising for a specific author. Instead, post news about new collections (eg. Awards), announcements, and updates.


Newsletters are sent out via Campaigner. See for formatting guidelines of newsletters (password: campaigner).

Currently, our newsletters are used to announce certain awards, funding information, and major organizational changes. See Gaps for more ways to use newsletters.


Newsletters: We have a list of subscribers that we are not actively engaging. To maintain interest and engagement, newsletters should be sent out monthly to the subscribers. Ideally there should be 3-5 news items in each newsletter, and they should be a combination of NNELS advertising (eg. New items), organization news, industry news, and special interest stories.

When writing newsletter with these types of stories, they should have a blurb of 200-400 words, and then link out to read the full story. If you include the full story in the newsletter, it becomes very long and people are generally unlikely to actually scroll down to the bottom. If you include short blurbs, they are more likely to click links they are interested in and be exposed to all stories in the newsletter.

Youtube and podcasting: Youtube is currently only used for tutorials. We can leverage our Youtube account to create more content to show our users, libraries, and publishers what NNELS offers. For example, we could create a video that shows the steps that go into the production of a braille or audiobook.

Youtube can also be used as a vlog to discuss industry issues and accessibility tips. There was discussion of a podcast which could be used the same way.

Website Articles/What is happening in NNELS: We want to get the word out about what NNELS has to offer. This means we should be sharing more of what people are up to, where funding is going, and how users, libraries and publishers benefit from NNELS. We can “pull back the curtain” more on things NNESL is doing. I believe this is also important to do now, with funding instability, since it reinforces to people how important NNELS is to the industry.

public/nnels/communications.txt · Last modified: 2021/04/16 12:43 by jenny.plecash