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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 "What's on your mind, [Name]?" at the top of your feed.

  • Click the video or media uploader icon.

  • Select and upload your video.

  • Click "Video Options" on the video thumbnail.

  • Choose "Add Captions" on the left.

    • Opt for auto-generated captions or upload a .srt file.

  • Click "Save", then "Post".

Upload your own caption file (we recommend 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:

  • 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


  • Add media in a new post

  • Select video file from computer and upload

  • Hit the CC button under video in Editor

  • Select Auto Captions or Upload SRT file

  • Click Apply

  • Add post caption, hashtags, etc and post OR schedule for later

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

Instagram Instagram has recently expanded capabilities for captioning videos, especially if you are posting natively though Meta Business Suite. There are also a few apps that can help with this (we like Kapwing), or you can use traditional video editing software like Adobe Premier Pro.

  • Manage captions either before or after sharing your video.

  • Before sharing a video or reel:

    • Tap "Advanced Settings".

    • Scroll to "Accessibility".

    • Tap "switch off" or "switch on" next to "Show Captions" to toggle them.

  • After sharing:

    • Tap "more actions" below the video.

    • Tap "Advanced settings".

    • Again, tap "switch off" or "switch on" next to "Show Captions" to adjust

  • Remember: Captions will automatically display for available posts unless you deactivate them. YouTube

  • Begin by signing into YouTube Studio.

  • Navigate using the left menu and choose Subtitles.

  • Select the video you wish to add subtitles to.

  • Click on ADD LANGUAGE and pick your desired language.

  • Under the 'subtitles' section, hit ADD.

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

Happy Captioning!

​The Social DVM Team

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