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How to add subtitles to your Facebook videos

This week’s Wednesday Workshop video shares instructions for adding subtitles to your videos. The file needed for adding captions is the same, regardless of video host – but they’re especially effective on Facebook, since the audio is muted by default on all auto-play videos.

Check out the video for detailed instructions on creating your subtitle file – if you’ve got any questions, leave them below and we’ll answer them as quickly as possible!

Hey, welcome back to another Wednesday Workshop with DealerOn. Except this one’s being posted on Thursday, cause I was in New Jersey speaking at the Digital Dealer Workshop and didn’t get back in time to get this shot and posted yesterday… This week, we’re talking about these… subtitles in videos.

Subtitles make your video more accessible, especially if you’re expecting people to view your video at work when they might not have the audio turned up.

You can have some fun with subtitles too – throw in some jokes and make your videos more engaging.

And subtitles are even more important for Facebook. If you upload a video directly to Facebook, it will auto-play in the stream – but by default, the audio is muted. Subtitles will help grab attention, and let people know exactly what the video’s about even when there’s no sound.

It’s pretty easy to add subtitles to your videos – it’s just a little time consuming. You need to create a “subrip” file, which is a specific file format for subtitles. You can upload it to YouTube videos, Facebook videos, and any other major video hosting platform. The file extension is .srt, and the file has to be set up matching the correct format.

Here’s an example of the .srt file for this video. There are 4 lines of text required for each individual subtitle. The first line is the number of the subtitle. The second line lists the starting and ending timecode for that specific subtitle, listed down to the millisecond, separated by an “arrow”. The third line is the actual text of the subtitle (which can actually be several lines of text). The final line has to be a blank line.

It’s a bit tedious to create the file – for our videos, we script them first, and use a teleprompter (mostly because Shaun likes to ramble and it keeps him on topic) – anyway, we already have a video transcript. Then, we have to slowly step through the video in our editing software to figure out where to place the individual phrases and what the starting and ending points will be to display each one.

Once you’ve got your .srt file completed, you just need to upload it to your video platform. YouTube and other video platforms let you upload captions at any time. With Facebook, you’ll need to have your .srt file ready when you’re uploading the video, the initial info form that pops up when you upload is only time you’ll be able to upload the file.

We’ve seen a huge jump in interaction by adding captions to our Facebook videos – and now you know how to do it for your own videos. Go test a few, and check your metrics… You’ll see that your videos are watched by more people, and that more of the video is viewed.

That’s it for this week’s Wednesday Workshop video. As always, if you’ve got questions or comments, leave them down below and we’ll get back to you ASAP. If you’re gonna be in Vegas for Driving Sales next week, make sure you come by the booth and say hi, we’ll both be there. And, don’t forget to come back next week for another Wednesday Workshop from DealerOn.

Author Greg Gifford

Greg Gifford is the Vice President of Search at DealerOn. He has over 16 years of online marketing and web design experience, and has specialized in automotive SEO for the last 8 years, helping hundreds of auto dealers thrive while the industry has struggled during the recession. Greg speaks internationally at both automotive and SEO conferences, teaching thousands of small business owners and marketers how to get their sites to show up higher in local search rankings. Greg also spends his spare time doing freelance website design and SEO for local businesses. He graduated from Southern Methodist University with a BA in Cinema and Communications, and has an obscure movie quote for just about any situation.

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