Social media video captions: how to create and optimize them?

Do you want to maximize the impact of your social media video thanks to captions ? We've got the guide made just for you

March 11, 2021
Video marketing

In the last few years, videos have literally conquered social media. You cannot go on these platforms without finding videos of every kind.

Social media video captions: how to create and optimize them?

Realizing how much users consume these contents on the go, these platforms have also increasingly favored playback without sound in their algorithm for appearance on the feed.

This is why subtitles have become central to any marketing strategy on social networks. But their creation is not done anyhow. Here are the best practices to remember to subtitle your content and improve their visual impact.

Why add subtitles to your social media videos?

Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, or even Snapchat or Tiktok, videos have become the forefront of any content creation strategy on social media. Videos are expected to represent 82% of internet traffic in the next few years.

However, as these types of content are pouring in from all sides, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to hold the attention of users. Users can easily switch from more entertaining content to more informative and serious content, without really paying attention or remembering the message.

To differentiate your content, subtitles have become strong allies. Not only do they adapt your content with current algorithm changes (playing without sound), they allow you to maximize the visual impact of your content. Here are the many marketing benefits to expect from them:

  • With good subtitles, you increase the amount of impressions, playing time and engagement rate of your content on platforms.
  • You improve the visual impact of your videos, helping them to better remember your message and easily react to your words
  • You allow them to watch and understand your video without turning on the sound
  • By adding subtitles you make your content accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing
  • You also open your creations to languages and nationalities from all over the world

Pretty interesting, isn’t it? Check out the rest.

Social media captions: the platforms that need them most

As far as subtitles are concerned, it must be said that almost all social networks are using them. Here is a small summary of the need and possibilities of subtitles for each of these platforms:

Social MediaCaption importanceCaption featureSupported format
Essential Automatic and manual caption editorSRT, VTT
EssentialCaption importSRT
GrowingCaption importSRT
Necessary in Discover platformImport by technical supportAll type
Tiktok Text and captions growing Caption editor and importSRT
TwitterIndispensableCaption importSRT

Are you on one of these platforms and seriously considering doing subtitles? Here’s how to get started.

How to optimize social media subtitles: best practices

There are several ways to subtitle your video. If you want to be sure of a clean and quality result, you can simply ask a professional service. But if you want to do it yourself or with the help of a subtitling tool, here are some best practices to remember:

1# Adapting to the common sense rules of subtitling

If subtitles are not yet regulatory on the Internet (as on television, for example), you might although comply to specific standards concerning the accessibility of your videos. Media or official organizations such as the BBC have given precise guidelines to do good subtitles. Here is what you can learn from them:

  • Try to make your subtitles easily readable. For example, it’s best to keep your subtitles to a maximum of 70 characters, and to divide them into two relatively equal lines (in the form of a pyramid).
  • Choose white subtitles on a black background, to contrast with your video.
  • Position your subtitles in the middle and at the bottom of your video, relatively large, but not too large either (also adapting to the format of the different devices)
  • Synchronize your subtitles precisely with the voice of the speakers, especially by taking into account the movement of their lips (some people are lips-readers).

2# Transcribing your videos with the right tools

Now you also need to know the right tools to achieve this result. Since the invention of television, captioning professionals have learned to transcribe and time code by hand. Their work was arduous and complex, especially when it came to long movies. Transcription tools (such as keyboards or headsets) or software such as Aegisub made their jobs easier, but still required a great deal of concentration and careful listening.

Fortunately, those days are partly over with speech recognition technologies. We’ll talk about this later, but these new tools are a blessing to save time in your video production. Be careful though, this does not mean that the result will be perfect. There is often some editing and optimization work to do to finalize your subtitling. This is why professional subtitlers are still essential.

3# Taking seriously video translation in foreign languages

If you post your videos on social networks (especially LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), be aware that your audience is increasingly international. Indeed, a video in English would be limited to a market whose opportunities are increasingly exported to high-growth countries (Indonesia, South Korea, Mexico…).

But this is not done just any old way. Translation also has precise rules. So, if you are not familiar with the language you want to translate, it’s better to refrain from doing so and ask experts of that language. Automatic subtitle translators still exist, but professional translators are still needed to have that human understanding of things.

4# Adapting your content to sound-off

As you probably already know, users watch video content without sound on their device. Platforms are well aware of this and therefore progressively promote soundless playback by default in their scrolling interface. Subtitling is obviously a good response to these changes.

However, it should not stop there. You also need to make your content more interactive and expressive. More expressive body language, more varied and animated shots, better structure of your video guarantee the best visibility of your content. Think about it when you make your video!

How to automatically generate subtitles on all social media ?

Social media video captions: how to create and optimize them?

As you might have noticed, subtitle options available in each platform are diverse and sometimes complex. Sometimes a subtitle generator and editor is included, sometimes not. Sometimes you can use your Srt file, sometimes not. But if you want a productive and efficient way to do it for each platform, here’s something that can help you with that.

We have created an automatic subtitle solution, which allows you to create subtitles for all your social network videos. Whether you upload a SRT or VTT file or embed the subtitles in your content, our tool will do the job with quality and in a short time. This is thanks to a number of specific features. These features allow you to:

  • Automatically and accurately transcribe your videos (advanced speech recognition API)
  • Collaborate with professional subtitlers and translators to manage your video project
  • Translate your video into over 128 languages (deep learning based translation).
  • Easily edit and customize the appearance of your subtitles.

You have 1 hour free trial to explore and test the platform. Here are a few steps on how to use it:

  • Upload your video to the interface. Choose between automatic or professional subtitling.
  • You can then use the subtitle editor to check and optimize the result
  • When you are satisfied with the result, you have two choices. Either, you can upload and send the SRT or VTT file to your social network. To do this, go to “Export Video” and choose your format.
  • Or, you can embed the subtitles in your video by going to “Video Export” “Export”. This last option allows you to effortlessly export your subtitled video anywhere.

Using a professional subtitle service

Logo Checksub a captions and subtitles company

As you may have noticed, using Checksub by yourself saves a lot of time, but still requires some effort and energy.

We are well aware of this, and that’s why you can contact our subtitling service directly from our interface. Professional subtitlers and translators will take care of your video projects. Don’t hesitate to ask us for more information!

Now you know how to maximize the impact of your videos with subtitles. We hope this helps you become a rising star on social media!

Social media video captions: how to create and optimize them?

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