You’re publishing videos on Facebook – hooray! Video is currently all the rage, and Facebook Live as well as direct-uploaded video files are favorites in the Facebook algorithm.
What I’m about to write may seem counterintuitive given the popularity of live video…but…there are a lot of people who will see (and watch) your video without sound.
Seems crazy, right?
If you give it some thought, it’s actually not that weird. Video is favored in the News Feed, so it has a higher likelihood to show up in your feed. Think about all the times, as you move through your day, that you check Facebook. There are probably a good number of those times that you’re glad the sound is off because video playing over your phone or at your computer at work would not be ideal.
If you’re curious to find out what percentage of the videos views you earn have the sound on or off when viewed, there’s a way to look. Visit any of your video posts and click on the number of people reached that shows up beneath the video. From there click on Video Views, and then scroll down a bit to the Sound On/Sound Off section.
So if you’re making and posting videos to your Facebook Page, which is fantastic, you can take full advantage of those videos and all the views you get by adding captions to your videos.
How to Add Captions to your Facebook Videos
The process of adding captions to your Facebook videos is a bit different if/when you run an ad in the way that if you create a new video for the purposes of an ad, you can have Facebook generate captions for that video once you upload it to your Ads Manager (meaning, a video doesn’t have to be published on your Page first to add captions). But for the most part, these instructions that I’ve included below will be the ones you’ll use to add captions to your Facebook videos, regardless of whether you post that video on your Page or upload it to your Ads Manager for an ad.
Facebook captions are free to add. You can have Facebook generate captions for a video you directly uploaded to your Page or for any Facebook Lives that you do. The videos do need to finish processing (either after uploading or once you finish your Lives) before the captions functionality becomes available.
Visit your Page, click on Publishing Tools located in the white Admin navigation bar (or by typing in https://www.facebook.com/YourPageName/publishing_tools/), and then click on Video Library in the left sidebar.
Hover your mouse to the right of the title of the video you want to add or edit captions for. Click on the pencil icon that says “Edit Video”.
Alternately, you can find the video post on your Facebook Page and click the icon with the 3 dots in the upper right corner. You’ll be presented with a drop-down menu that, depending on how you are viewing your post, will either say “Edit Post” or “Edit Video”.
In this Edit Video view, you can change the post text that you originally gave your video when you created it (if Live) or uploaded it, change or give your video a title, add tags to your video (which makes it more discoverable), choose or upload a thumbnail for your video, and add or edit the captions of your video.
Click on the Subtitles & Captions tab to either upload an .srt file of captions you’ve already prepared, click to have Facebook generate captions for you, or write your own. You’ll also need to choose the video language for your captions.
Once Facebook has finished generating captions for your video, it will give you the option to review and edit them. Expect that there will be a fair amount of editing to do. You can start and stop the video manually, and Facebook will stop the video for you when you start to type in one of the caption fields.
Once you have edited your video captions to your liking, click the blue Save to Video button and you’re all set!
As soon as you’ve clicked on Save to Video, your video will now play for viewers with captions included. If you find a mistake in your captions that you need to fix, follow these steps to make that correction and resave them to your video.
If you also publish your videos on YouTube, you might find it easier to have YouTube generate captions, edit those, and then download the .srt file from YouTube, to upload to your Facebook video. What I’ve found is that YouTube captions are much more correct than Facebook captions, so less editing for you. Also, if you caption your Facebook video to later upload to YouTube, those captions don’t carry over.