How to increase Facebook video views by adding subtitles
Did you know that you can increase Facebook video views by adding subtitles? Follow this step-by-step to find out how you can use YouTube's caption tools to add subtitles and get more Facebook video views.
85 percent of Facebook video is watched without sound according to Digiday, leading to a huge drop off of viewers for videos without words on screen.
This is likely happening because when Facebook first rolled out autoplay video it included sound.
However, Facebook quickly dropped this feature because people scrolling through their feeds in public or at work were often surprised by very awkward and loud sounds they were not expecting. This was an invasive features and a bad user experience, so Facebook switched off sound for outplaying videos.
There is a way to increase Facebook video views, even if someone is listening without the sound on: adding captions and subtitles.
Adding captions to videos for Facebook can be a burden, because of the time it takes and the expertise needed for organisation's running on limited time and resources. But help is at hand...
Did you know you can create your own captions by adding SRT (SubRip Subtitle) files? And that YouTube has a free tool to help you create SRT files for your videos?
Adding SRT files to your videos means that people who watch your Facebook Page's video with sound turned off will automatically see captions. People who watch your video with sound turned on will need to turn on captions to see them, but they'll be able to hear what's happening in the video anyway.
This method does take a bit of time, but we think is worth it and the results we're seeing show that too. Since we've posted a video with subtitles, less people turned the sound on but lots of people watched more of the video than did people on similar content videos without subtitles.
In fact, we're seeing a 30-50% increase in the average view times for videos on Facebook.
Want to try it for yourself? Below is a step by step guide to adding, but if you have any questions let us know in the comments and we'll help you out.
How to add subtitles to Facebook videos using YouTube's SRT files
Step 1 - If you have an edited transcript to the video
From video manager in YouTube, select edit video and then click "Subtitles & CC" (Closed Captions).
Then paste the text in to box under “Transcribe and autosync” and then once it syncs, follow instructions on setting the timing below.
Step 1 - If you do not have an edited transcript of the video
Upload video to YouTube. Be sure to keep it private if not ready to launch.
Wait some time for it to process.
Create captions. Follow screenshot instructions in steps 1-6 here: http://its.uiowa.edu/support/article/103635
The automatic subtitles option sometimes doesn’t appear until about 5 minutes after it says it has finished processing the video.
Step 2 - Edit the captions
You can add text to each section on the lefthand side and change when and for how long each section appears on the video by dragging the boxes under the video on the right:
Export the auto captions from YouTube as an SRT file, open the SRT file in Notepad (File > Open > Change dropdown menu from “txt Files” to “All Files” > click the SRT file), paste in to text editor and then fix any errors.
Here is how to export SRT Files:
After being edited, add back in to YouTube, by following instructions above on editing the captions.
Or, paste in to box under “Transcribe and autosync” and then once it syncs, follow instructions above on setting the timing, as described in Step 1 - If you have an edited transcript to the video.
Step 3: Upload SRT File To Facebook
Download the SRT file from Youtube.
Upload your video to Facebook.
When editing the video, select the Captions tab, and then upload the SRT file:
Double check that everything is working fine, and you are done!
People who watch your Page's video with sound turned off will automatically see captions. People who watch your video with sound turned on will need to turn on captions to see them:
This might not be a permanent solution, but it is a solution that works and one you can use now.
Give it a go and increase your Facebook video views now!