Guidelines for Making your Facebook Page Voice Friendly

Below are guidelines for making the posts on your Facebook page easy to listen to by customers using Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana.

If you have suggestions or comments, please feel free to submit them in the form below.


Guideline Details
1 Keep it short Users don’t want to listen to long audio messages.  Keep your post short and pithy, in the form of a self-contained headline that will enable the user to understand what the post is about as well as entice them to ask for the post to be texted.
2 Don’t be cryptic Short is good. But too short can frustrate. Don’t publish posts with a word or two. If you post an image with a written message within it, provide a text version of the text in the image.
3 Avoid posting just a link A URL doesn’t tell the user much about the content of that URL. If it’s a video, provide a short description of the video. The same applies if it’s a web page, blog post, or a news item. The headline should be short and concise, and provide the user with enough information for them to decide if they want to have a link to the post texted to them.
4 Watch the hashtags Include at most 1 or 2 hashtags, but no hashtags is even better. Avoid hashtags in the main content or sentences; place them at the end of the post.
5 Avoid Anaphoric formulations Avoid posts such as, “Check this out,”or “Watch this,” that refer to something that doesn’t describe or explain what “this” is referring to. Instead of “Check this out,” to point to a photo, the post may say, “Here’s a photo of the team during the donation drive yesterday,” or “Here’s a video of Parrot Pete singing.”
6 Use punctuation Use periods and commas so that the voice interface doesn’t speak in a monotone stream of words. Don’t use punctuation to emphasize words.  This is an effective way of communicating through text, but not through a voice based interface.

Example to avoid: “Our groups are not. letting. up. We can’t wait for July 4th. Recess.”

7 Avoid texting/messaging style based language Avoid using emojis, special symbols like “:)”, “:@”, abbreviations, and bracketed content.  Such markers make the sentence more cumbersome to listen to and heavy on the ear. Instead, take the time to pick out just the right word that brings the emotion to life: “stoked,” “thrilled,” “floored,” are far more effective ways to communicate via voice than a flat “smiley” or a “wink”.
8 Be extra careful with your spelling Spelling mistakes are easy for the eyes to correct (sometimes the correction is done unconsciously), but in the case of the spoken word, the typo is jarring and the listener often won’t have enough time to mentally correct the mistake, or worse, will be distracted from listening by trying to correct the mistake in their mind.
9 Avoid jargon or slang, especially one that the voice interface is probably going to mispronounce Make sure that whatever jargon or slang words that you use won’t trip the voice interface when it pronounces the words.
10 Avoid using long, unordered lists A long, unordered list, whether separated by newlines or commas, is easy for a user to skim through visually, but is difficult for a listener to comprehend. Instead, break down the information in smaller chunks, with 3 to 4 discrete pieces of information per sentence, and use punctuation to mark the items.
11 Format your phone numbers in the xxx-xxx-xxxx format Contact information like phone numbers or fax numbers should be in the appropriate format so that the voice interface will recognize them and speak them back correctly.
12 Avoid digressions and asides Asides and digressions (long parentheses, for instances) can be quickly skipped over by the visual reader, but not by someone who is listening to a linear stream of words. Avoid digressions, or if you must have them, tuck them at the end of the post.

 


If you have suggestions or comments, please feel free to submit them in the form below.