How To: Add Subtitles To Your Facebook Videos

Did you know that 85% of video on Facebook is watched without sound? Yep, those mobile-loving Facebook users are reading the subtitles to your amazing videos more than listening, according to one study from 2016.

By not adding subtitles to your videos, you’re only giving a small percentage of your audience access to your content. So, here’s the DL on how to add subtitles to your Facebook videos.

What are subtitles?

How are they made?

In the past, it used to be a pretty complex process using software and humans transcribe your content, but with advances in technology in the last few years, Facebook and YouTube can autogenerate a pretty bang-on set of subtitles without too much editing from a human afterwards.

Why is it important to add subtitles?

According to this blog post, there are plenty of other uses for closed captions:

  • It’s inclusive and gives people with hearing impairments access to your content.
  • Not everyone absorbs everything they listen to — seeing text can help people absorb your message more completely.
  • You can translate your message to other languages by transcribing into other languages.
  • If you’re using YouTube, adding captions gives you a little SEO boost.
  • Recycle that content — having a transcript means you can more easily repurpose the video content into other mediums like a blog or infographic. Nice!

So.. how do we add subtitles to Facebook Videos?

Adding Closed Captions To New Page Posts

Upload your video

Select Closed Captions from the sidebar

Select the format — you can autogenerate them, you can upload an existing .srt file (if you’ve used a transcription service, this would be what they provide), or you can write them by hand.

Having Facebook autogenerate the captions is surprisingly effective and you can edit them to any words which have been mistranslated.

Done! Your video will now post with Closed Captions.

Adding Closed Captions To New Page Posts

Note: This seems to only work if it’s a Page Post which has never been boosted. If you’ve used it in an ad buy, you can’t edit it (apparently!).

From there, you will be given access to the same menu as the previous example, where you can select to add Closed Captions from the right sidebar.

And that’s it!

PRO TIP: If you’ve create a Facebook Live video, after it’s posted, you can go back in an add closed captions so that people who view the video later will have access to the captions.

Related: The Must-Have Checklist for Your First Facebook Live

Adding Closed Captions To Ads

Simply navigate to your Ad creative level in Ads Manager and edit the ad design. There is an option there to add closed captions under the Thumbnail & Captions Button.

You will have the same options for uploading, autogenerating or writing by hand. You can then proofread it for accuracy, or, I discovered, get Facebook to do that for you.

Ready to add closed captions to your next video? Get in on it!

Freelance Digital and Social Media Specialist. Lover of clay animation, future tech and dogs. You can read more of her work at rachelbeaney.com