Captioning Your Videos: A Guide for Every Social Media Platform


Can you believe nearly 85% of mobile users watch social media videos with the sound OFF? Truthfully, I can. I almost never have my sound on - I’m always worried about my phone going off in an exam room or waking up a kiddo at home. It’s just easier to leave the phone’s sound off. Consider this stat along with the fact that:

  1. Videos are the preferred social media content (from the perspective of users and algorithms alike) and

  2. We have just a few short seconds to capture our viewer’s attention.

Combined, these reasons make captioning your videos a worthy investment of time and, in some cases, money. Captions are a great way to improve the length of watch time and get your viewer to understand your message. Even on image-heavy Instagram, captions can increase view time by 12%. ​ Adding captions sounds hard but really can be done in just a few steps. A quick note about file type: I had never heard of an .SRT file (SubRip file type) before I started captioning videos, so don’t feel bad if you hadn’t either!

Here’s the roundup of the platforms and options:


Facebook Auto-generated:

  • ​​Click Photo/Video at the top of your timeline or newsfeed.

  • After the video has loaded and you’ve added your title and description, click “subtitles and captions” in the right-hand toolbar.

  • Click “Auto-generate” under “Add New Captions.”

  • Wait for Facebook to quickly generate and add your file before posting.

Upload your own caption file (we recommend Rev.com to generate):

  • Click Photo/Video at the top of your timeline or newsfeed.

  • After the video has loaded and you’ve added your title and description, click “subtitles and captions” in the right-hand toolbar.

  • Click “Upload” under “Add New Captions.”

  • Select your file and file type(s) and click next when uploading is complete. Note: you’ll be looking for a file that looks like this: YourCaptionFile.en_US.srt.

  • Choose the default language for your caption file (English).

  • Publish your video.

Adding captions to previously posted videos:

  • Click “Edit Post” and follow the steps above

LinkedIn

  • Create a new post and click the video icon to add a video to it.

  • When it has fully loaded but before posting, click the Edit icon in the upper right corner.

  • Select video settings.

  • Select file.

  • Attach your SRT file.

  • Click save.

  • Add any additional text, hashtags, etc and post!

The only downside with adding captions to a LinkedIn video is that currently, I haven’t found a way to schedule captioned content.​

Instagram Unfortunately, the only way to include subtitles on your Instagram videos is to have them be a part of the original file. There are a few apps that can help with this, or you can usetraditional video editing software like Adobe Premier Pro. YouTube

  • Go to your Video Manager by clicking your account in the top right > Creator Studio > Video Manager > Videos.

  • Next to the video you want to add captions or subtitles to, click the drop-down menu next to the Edit button.

  • Select Subtitles/CC.

  • Click the Add new subtitles or CC button.

  • Choose how you want to add or edit subtitles or closed captions to your video:

Note: If you’re using a service like Rev.com, you’re in luck! Rev integrates with YouTube and will auto-upload your captions.

Twitter

  • Click on a video within your Media Studio library.

  • Select the “Subtitles” tab in the pop-up window.

  • Select the text language of your subtitle file from the dropdown menu.

  • Click the “Upload” button and select the .SRT file from your local computer.

  • The file is now associated with your video. To update the file, click the Pencil icon.

Happy Captioning!

​The Social DVM Team


#socialmedia


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