Video is a HUGELY powerful marketing tool, there’s no denying that, but one time it can fall down is when autoplay kicks in on a person’s computer/mobile device and there’s no sound. It’s not always convenient to listen to a video, so people scroll on by. And that’s a real shame, but that’s life. However, there is a way you can make your video work even when the sound is off – and that’s through subtitles or closed captions.

Subtitles and closed captions on Facebook

How to add subtitles to a Facebook videoNow, Facebook can has assist you with the closed caption or subtitle process. Previously there was the option to upload the SRT file (and there still is), but that really put me off as it would have taken a LOT of extra work and I was concerned that if the timing wasn’t spot on, it would look a bit rubbish. So can you imagine my delight when a magic ‘generate’ button appeared? Now. A word of warning before you think adding closed captions with the generate button is a two minute job. It isn’t. You MUST check and edit what it thinks you’ve said. It’s written some very interesting interpretations of what I’ve said, and I am very pleased I spotted them before it went live. What it does do is provide timings, a really easy to edit format and a professional finish. And it’s really easy to do. Here’s how.

  1. Upload your video natively to Facebook
  2. On the right hand side of the post, click the dropdown and select ‘Edit Post’
  3. Click ‘Captions’
  4. You should see a little wand with the word ‘Generate’ next to it – click this
  5. And as if by magic it will generate your captions! On the desktop, the video is on the left and the captions are on the right. Press play and you’ll see them pop up on the screen as you talk. I tend to press pause before editing my captions, although when you start typing it stops. I just find it’s better this way.

Will adding closed captions or subtitles to my Facebook video take long?

If Facebook understands the way you speak, editing the captions might be a fast process. If you mumble and confuse it, it’s going to take longer. Either way, it is a good thing to do as it will increase the appeal of your video and allow people to consume it when there’s no sound too, so it works even harder for you. There’s some really impressive stats to back this up – making closed captions or subtitles a must if you want more people to ‘hear’ your message.

2 replies
  1. Sandra Poppema
    Sandra Poppema says:

    Thank you for this handy instructions.

    I always add subtitles to my videos. Not only for all the reasons you name but also because English is my second language. I know a lot of my target group is ESL as well. So reading and listening at the same time makes it more comprehensible. I always check them too since Fb and YT don’t know much about language horse people use.

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